Disability Claim & Appeal Denied Despite Parkinson’s Symptoms

Annie started to notice something was wrong when she developed a tremor in her left hand.

For the past several months her sleep had been interrupted and she had often felt lightheaded. At 54 years old and just finished menopause, she assumed she was pushing herself too hard. She left her job at a major real estate company in Kitchener-Waterloo and became an independent real estate agent to ease some of the pressure of her work. Because she was getting tired more easily, being able to pick and choose her hours helped a lot. She wanted to make sure that she had an insurance package to protect her if anything went wrong, and after a lot of online research she found a privately-purchased disability benefits package that helped her feel more secure.

Symptoms worsen

Annie’s symptoms started to get worse after about 18 months. Moving and walking became more labour intensive. She booked an appointment with her doctor, but the soonest appointment she could get was several months away. She worked only during periods when she felt well but was growing increasingly worried that her symptoms were not clearing up with rest

Testing, but no diagnosis

By the time she finally saw her doctor, there was even more cause for concern. Annie’s muscles were stiff and her movement was slow. Annie’s doctor referred her to a neurologist, and in the meantime recommended that Annie stop working. Though she did not yet have a diagnosis, her work was suffering and her mental health along with it. She couldn’t keep up, and the anxiety it was causing was becoming a big issue. Annie had many sleepless nights and was constantly worried about letting her clients down.

So Annie stopped working. She filed a claim with her insurance company for long term disability benefits with the help of her husband and was able to rest a bit easier. The disability benefits that she worked so hard to find would certainly come in handy.

Claim denied

Annie’s insurance company took months to review her medical records and requested numerous updates throughout that time. But Annie was still waiting to see a neurologist. Finally, the insurance company came back with a denial. According to them, Annie could work because she did not have a diagnosis. Despite having the full support from her doctor and documentation stating how hard it was for her to work, they did not want to pay out her disability claim.

A diagnosis didn't help

It didn’t take long after seeing a neurologist for Annie to receive a diagnosis. She had Parkinson’s disease. Annie was shocked - she was still young and never thought she could have anything this serious. She was in a fragile state and she knew she needed help. With her new diagnosis, she appealed the insurance company’s decision, hoping this would clear things up. She was heartbroken when her case manager called her the next week - her appeal had also been denied. Because Annie was in the early stages of Parkinson’s, the insurance company believed that she would still be able to work at a less active job.

Share Lawyers was there

Annie and her husband hired Share Lawyers after reading positive online reviews from past clients who had also dealt with denied disability claims. After reviewing her file, Share Lawyers determined that Annie had at all times fulfilled the terms of her policy by seeking appropriate treatment from her doctor and specialist. It was clear from the medical documentation that Annie’s symptoms were severe enough to keep her from working, and the long term disability lawyers at Share Lawyers knew that the insurance company’s decision was unfair.

Share Lawyers gathered the necessary medical evidence to strengthen Annie’s case against her insurer. Once the insurance company received the compelling evidence gathered by Share Lawyers, they were ready to negotiate, and Annie received a significant lump-sum settlement.

Annie was grateful to Share Lawyers for negotiating the settlement on her behalf, especially after learning that around 60% of long term disability claims are denied. Winning her case gave her the time she needed to plan her next steps and look into treatment options. She had a whole new path ahead of her, made possible by receiving the long term disability benefits that she deserved.

*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals mentioned.


In this video, President David Share talks about appeals and how they often take up the valuable time that should be spent hiring a long term disability lawyer to fight back against the insurance comapny.

Have you been denied disability benefits but you aren’t sure what your next steps should be? Check out our Disability Benefits Denied page on our website.

Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you.Our 35+ years of experience can help you win your case against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and other insurance companies. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless you win your case. Join us on Facebook and become a Top Fan for a chance to win each month.

We’re here to support you during this difficult time

How can we help?