Doctor’s Evidence Not Enough for an Approved LTD Claim

Once her daughter began school, Elizabeth re-entered the workforce. She got a job at an insurance company’s call centre in London, Ontario. But poor ergonomics and job stress plagued her from the beginning and eventually became too much for her. Suddenly, Elizabeth found herself unable to work.

An ergonomic chair and desk were important to Elizabeth’s comfort and health. However, these items were not ergonomically correct, even after she repeatedly expressed concern to her supervisor. Over two years on the job and working eight hours a day and five days a week, she had developed near-chronic pain in her neck and right wrist.

Elizabeth also found her job emotionally stressful. Many callers were short and rude with her and she would be yelled at several times a day. All activity on her phone and computer was recorded and timed. She was under pressure from her employer to shorten each phone call in order to fit in more calls to her day. Elizabeth felt particularly stressed as the economy worsened and some of her friends were laid off. When her workmate who sat next to her was laid off, Elizabeth grew very concerned. She needed her job in order to pay her bills. Being let go was not an option.

Elizabeth went to her doctor for help. Dr. Ling had been working in general practice for over 15 years, and was concerned for both Elizabeth’s physical health and mental wellbeing. Elizabeth was clearly under a lot of pressure, and Dr. Ling knew that some time away from work would help her get back on track. Dr. Ling recommend that Elizabeth take some time away from work to heal - and that constant typing was now a health hazard. She referred Elizabeth to see a psychologist, prescribed painkillers for her neck and wrist pain, and prescribed an antidepressant for the stress. She also referred Elizabeth to physiotherapist for her carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Ling’s thorough response left Elizabeth feeling relieved that help was within her grasp.

Elizabeth applied for short term disability benefits with her employer and was approved. Three months later, however, stressed and depressed about the state of her health and employability, Elizabeth’s pain symptoms and depression seemed to be getting worse. She applied for long term disability benefits. Her claim was denied and her employer threatened to terminate her employment with no severance if she did not return to work immediately.

Dr. Ling was shocked and, frankly, annoyed. She had done everything right on behalf of her client and felt very strongly that Elizabeth needed time away from work – all the paperwork, documentation, and follow ups. She felt like her hands were tied and there was nothing more that she could do.

Then, she remembered an administrative assistant in her practice who had gotten sick and needed to take time off to collect long term disability benefits. Dr. Ling remembered that Carol had called Share Lawyers and was able to get her settlement easily after being hassled by her insurance company. Dr. Ling gently suggested the idea of called Share Lawyers to Elizabeth.

Elizabeth felt somewhat hopefully when she called Share Lawyers. Right away, she learned the main issue in her long term disability claim was that it was merely considered one of workplace stress. The insurance company was unimpressed by the medical evidence, which did not differ from her medical information over several prior years. They argued that Elizabeth had complained of a sore wrist and neck pain in the past but was always able to continue working. Also, it suggested that the weak economy had caused her to pursue the claim as surety.

Share Lawyers secured further medical information by having Elizabeth attend assessments with specialists who could explain the deterioration of her condition. The disability lawyers always made sure that Elizabeth was in the loop and knew the status of her case.

The disability lawyers at Share Lawyers fought back on Elizabeth’s behalf and successfully sued her insurer for long term disability benefits. The insurance company caved, and the case was settled in her favour – along with secured severance pay from her employer. She was relieved to have the case settled, and with the settlement funds aimed to focus on recuperating and planning for the future.

If you have had your claim for long term disability denied, contact the long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of long term disability (LTD) lawyers can help. We have recently settled cases against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

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