Ask A Lawyer: Disability Benefits and Heart Disease

If your disability claim has been denied but you are unable to work, you probably have a lot of questions about why this happened, what the intricacies of your policy are, and what to do next.

Here are some answers to questions specifically related to heart disease and insurance claims. Have a question of your own? Check out our Ask a Lawyer page.

Q: I had a massive heart attack. I am still in rehab and have a long way to go in my recovery before I can return to work. Why did my insurance company deny my valid claim for disability benefits?

A: As the frequency and severity of disabilities and the cost of medical care rises, insurance companies face losses on disability policies. Some insurance companies may choose to ignore the law and do what they can to avoid paying on these policies whenever possible. It is our job at Share Lawyers to call insurance companies out on their bad faith practices and make sure our clients get the benefits they need.

Q: I’ve recently been diagnosed with heart disease and there’s something called a “survival period” in my critical illness policy.

A: The survival period, also known as the waiting period, is the length of time you must wait after receiving your medical diagnosis to collect your critical illness benefit from your insurance company. The survival period is typically 30 days, but this length may vary from one insurance policy to another.

Q: After taking s6 weeks off work to recover from my heart attack, I found out that my boss replaced me. I did not have a chance to apply for my long-term disability through my group insurance benefits. Is there anything I can do at this point?

A: You should insist on being provided the group insurance benefit forms so that you can submit a claim to your disability insurance carrier even though your employment has been terminated. If the disability arose during a period in which you were actively working as an employee, you should still have coverage, as long-term disability coverage is usually based on the initial date of total disability.

If you are not getting cooperation from your employer, or they refuse to provide this information to you, you could try to receive the forms directly from the insurance company. After that, if you're still not getting any results, you should consider contacting us to further discuss your legal options in such circumstances.

Q: After my double bypass my doctor prescribed me statins she says are essential to saving my life. But my benefits were denied, and I don’t know how to pay for my expensive medications.

A: If you had medical and health benefits from your employer, chances are you remain covered. To lose the benefits, your status as an employee has to change. When your employment is terminated, such benefits end. You can also be inactively employed long enough to be removed from the benefits under the contract terms. Never assume that just because you are not actively at work or have been refused disability benefits, that other employment “perks” automatically end.Have more questions about your claim? Try our Ask A Lawyer section on our website to get more insight into your claim, or call 416-488-9000, or 1-888-777-1109 to contact our office.

Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

We have recently settled cases against SSQ, Manulife, Sun Life, Great West Life, and many more. We love hearing feedback from our clients, so please share your own experience with us.

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