Bill C-22 a Windfall for Disability Insurers
Article written by Steven Muller, Vice President Litigation
UPDATE, February 22, 2023: The B.C. Trial Lawyers Association and the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association have endorsed the submissions going to the committee. Lawyers across Canada see this as an important issue.
UPDATE, February 20, 2023: On February 16, 2023, Senator Pate spoke on Bill C-22 in debate. Two paragraphs were specifically on the issue of insurance set-offs that has been raised by Steven Muller Vice President of Share lawyers to our Senate. Senator Pate said to 102 sitting Senators:
“Similar concerns abound regarding the failure to prevent insurance company shareholders from experiencing windfalls via clawbacks or set-offs of any disability support monies an individual might receive as a result of insurance benefits. Without the prohibition on deductions or set-offs by private insurance providers, provinces, or territories, targeted beneficiaries of the Canada Disability Benefit may receive no supplemental benefit at all or may even receive less than they currently do, a situation that would undermined the very purpose of the new federal program.
As Senator Cotter and others have acknowledged, rather than achieve its goal of reducing poverty for persons with disabilities, the Canada Disability Benefits could contribute to provincial coffers and increased profits for private insurance providers and no doubt without a corresponding drop in the costs of insurance premiums. Taxpayers could thus end up indirectly and unintentionally supporting private insurance providers or enhance provincial coffers.”
We at Share Lawyers are working to protect the disabled and support Senator Pate’s comments so that monies for the impoverished disabled do not end up being a windfall for the insurance companies.
What is Bill C-22
Bill C-22 is proposed legislation at the federal level that seeks to provide an additional safety net to Canadians by establishing the Canada disability benefit. (An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit) is a huge financial windfall for life and health insurers on the backs of those living with disabilities and disabling conditions.
The proposed legislation (which you can read about here), whose purpose is poverty reduction and financial security for those with disabilities, inadequately addresses insurers of group disability insurance policies clawing back this proposed benefit. Section 9 of the proposed legislation specifically fails to address deduction or set-off provisions for disabled persons who may have access to a group disability policy. The absence of clear protections in the proposed legislation will lead to abuse as set-off and deduction provisions are often broadly worded in group disability contracts.
The benefits available under Bill C-22 should be in excess of any insurance indemnifying those with disabilities. The Bill received unanimous, all party support in its second reading and was reported back to the House of Commons on December 14, 2022, after being studied and amended by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. It is currently awaiting report stage and third reading before moving to the Senate.
Twelve million Canadians have access to disability benefits. The multiplier here is enormous. There is no doubt persons with disabilities need protections to reduce poverty and support for their financial security. Persons with disabilities also need protection - not just with what they get but also with what they get to keep.
The disability lawyers at Share Lawyers will be closely watching the status of Bill C-22, and will continue to bring to people’s attention and protect our client’s disability insurance rights and benefits.
A note from our long term disability lawyers
Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well being, and your LTD benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.
If you have made the tough decision to stop working and apply for your short term disability or long term disability claims, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and have questions that your employer and your insurance company are not able or willing to answer. Share is There to see you through and answer your questions.
A disability lawyer knows what you have been going through
Our disability law firm understands that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim.
Disability benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been wrongly denied, our disability lawyers will fight to get your benefits approved. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their LTD claim over the past 35 years, and we can help you get the best possible results too.
Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf
Share Lawyers knows disability law and believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, our disability law firm has developed our team of experienced, compassionate, and caring long term disability lawyers, law clerks, and administrative staff to meet all of your needs. Our team of experienced long term disability, life insurance, employment, and critical illness insurance lawyers have made successful disability claims against many insurance companies, third-party administrators and employers.
If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.
Our disability claim lawyers and disability law firm fight for your disability insurance claim by relying on our many years of experience to apply the best strategic planning and approach in each case, using the latest technology available. Experience matters, and with Share Lawyers, you are in the best hands in disability law with 35 years of success on your side.
Denied your long term disability claim?
Contact a disability lawyer at Share Lawyers today 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. Our legal team offers a free consultation 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.