Struggling with her busy schedule, Claire knew that she had to make more time for herself. After her dental partner retired suddenly at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, Claire had to scramble to find more help at the dental clinic she owned in Oakville, Ontario. Worries about potential professional disability insurance denials were also constantly on her mind. But for now, she only had a small number of staff members to rely on. She was feeling the pressure at work, and her children were home – often in the dental office - doing virtual school. To keep things going, Claire’s needs were coming last. In the back of her mind, she was concerned about her high blood pressure, but saw this level of stress and overwhelm as temporary – she would find more help soon.
The Stroke Came on Suddenly
Claire’s stroke came on suddenly one morning as she was getting out of bed. The entire left side of her body went numb, making her legs too weak to support her weight as her feet hit the floor. She reached out to steady herself but couldn’t raise her arm and collapsed when she tried to take a step. She even slurred her words when her eldest daughter worriedly asked her what was wrong. Thankfully, her daughter knew to call an ambulance right away. This call probably saved Claire’s life.
When the doctors verified the stroke, Claire was in complete denial. She was only 48 years old and relatively healthy. Claire was soon out of immediate danger and was out of the hospital a few weeks later, but her return home was bittersweet because it also marked the end of her career. At her dental clinic, she spent long days poking patients with sharp objects and precision power tools. Now she was walking with a cane and simply did not have the strength, or the finger dexterity needed to perform a basic cleaning, to say nothing of a more complicated procedure like a root canal.
Claire Would Have to Give Up Her Practice
It was painful, but Claire knew that she would have to give up her practice. She made all the necessary business arrangements while her old partner came out of retirement in order to hand the practice off to someone new.
Claire knew that she had been paying into private disability benefits for years, but not how to access those benefits. Her fear of professional disability insurance denials made her hesitant to apply. Her sister had needed long term benefits several years back and had hired the disability lawyers at Share Lawyers. Though they were located in Toronto, communicating with them from Oakville was so easy – it felt like they were just down the street. Claire remembered all the good things her sister had to say about working with Share Lawyers. They were specialists and helped people fight for their disability benefits. Claire wanted a lawyer with experience to fight on her behalf.
She called the next morning. Share Lawyers was able to get the information needed to walk Claire through her options and her next steps. Claire applied for and received short term benefits until her time ran out. Then she applied for her long term disability benefits, LTD, with her insurance company but was immediately informed that she was denied on the basis of not having submitted enough medical information.
She Knew She Couldn’t Fight on Her Own
Frustrated, she called the disability lawyers at Share Lawyers back. Because we had worked with Claire to advise her of her options, we already had all her information and knew that she was being unfairly denied. We reached out to her physicians and specialists to obtain more detailed medical documentation of what had happened – more proof that Claire was not able to work in her current condition.
Claire knew it would have been reckless and irresponsible to accept the provider’s decision and attempt to go back to work. She had plenty of evidence to document her stroke and its aftereffects. No informed medical professional would expect her to work after such an incident. However, Claire didn’t think she could handle the stress of fighting back on her own. Overcoming professional disability insurance denials seemed like a daunting task, but with the help of Share Lawyers, she felt confident that she could win her case.
Share Lawyers was able to make the entire process of getting her private disability benefits far less intimidating and stressful, and that’s given her the peace of mind she needs to move forward with her life. Claire received her benefits. Though she still receives frequent calls from her insurance company’s case manager, she knows that Share Lawyers is on her side. She is currently taking the time she needs to regain her strength and is looking forward to a full recovery.
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