May is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month in Canada. MS impacts around 50,000 Canadians and is often recognized as the most prevalent neurological disease in young adults.
To help raise awareness around the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, and how those with MS are denied long term disability insurance by their insurance companies, we are sharing the story of a Share Lawyers client from around 10 years ago. We have helped many clients with MS who have been denied and our long term disability lawyers understand the particular issues that cause insurance claim denials. Please note that we have changed the client’s name to protect her anonymity.
Forty-three year old Ashley was thriving. She was working her dream job as an estate lawyer in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale, was living in a new condo with her husband, and enjoyed an active lifestyle, often taking her dog out for long runs.
On top of the long hours at work, Ashley also ran in long-distance marathons. These runs were very important to her. Ashley had been diagnosed with MS several years before, and her doctor’s medical opinion was that she would begin to lose her mobility over the next five years. Ashley wasn’t yet feeling any symptoms and felt grateful every time she laced up her running shoes.
But it was during one such run that Ashley noticed she was getting dizzy and incredibly tired. This had happened to her before when she had pushed herself, but this episode seemed more severe.
Several days later, Ashley woke up to more dizziness and fatigue. This was unusual, as she usually got over any dizziness spells within a few hours. It was partway through the day when she realized she was having trouble seeing, and her arms felt like she had pins and needles all the way down. She booked an appointment with her doctor, who immediately sent her to a neurologist for more testing.
Several months went by and when the test results came back, Ashley knew what she was about to hear. Her MS symptoms were worsening. She was told to plan for more dizziness, pain, and mobility issues in the coming years and prepare to take the time needed for more testing and medical treatment.
Ashely Stopped Working
The lingering symptoms she had been experiencing were severe enough to prevent her from being able to do her job effectively and so, reluctantly, she decided she had no choice but to stop working and apply for her disability benefits. The short term disability benefits she had through her private disability insurance were approved. But she quickly developed some additional symptoms including problems with coordination, tremors, issues with concentration, and depression.
Ashley then applied for long term disability benefits with the help of her husband. After waiting for weeks, unsure of what to do next, her claim was denied even though she was experiencing disabling symptoms. The insurance company’s review of the medical information claimed that her symptoms were not so severe to prevent Ashley from being able to do the essential duties of her job. Ashley was in disbelief – she knew that this wasn’t true.
Share Lawyers’ Disability Lawyers Help
Ashley felt defeated but knew that she had legal recourse against this decision. Ashley was already aware of Share Lawyers as her mother had been denied her long term disability benefits back in 2004. When she looked Share Lawyers up online, she saw that not only did the firm still exist, but it had grown and expanded its offering, its number of lawyers, and its experience in winning cases against the insurance company. She booked a free consultation, and the Share Lawyers team immediately got to work on Ashley’s case, putting pressure on the insurance company to approve the claim.
A settlement was reached, allowing Ashley to focus on her health. Now that she doesn’t have to worry about how to pay her mortgage and her other bills, Ashley is determined not to let her diagnosis stop her from being as active and independent as she can. She still has good days and bad days, but can live her life and focus on her health.
If you have had your claim for long term disability denied in Vancouver,contactthe long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our 35+ years of experience in long term disability (LTD) law 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.