.When you have worked hard to get to a certain level at work and you are dealing with a disabling medical condition, it is hard to consider applying for disability benefits and to give up the career or job that you love, not to mention the income you and your family have come to rely upon. So, one option is to consider your work hours. Working less hours with your employer’s permission to see if you can maintain your job by working a little bit less.
This strategy may work out fine for some people and it may be preferable to going onto a disability claim, and all that goes along with that, but, a word of caution is required about the potential impact of reducing hours and how this may impact you later on if you find that you can’t continue even the part-time work.
Impact Of Reduction In Work Hours
Depending on the terms of the disability insurance policy that applies to you, if reducing your work hours to part-time hours becomes the extent of your revised job, any future claim for STD and LTD benefits may be limited by the reduced hours and pay the modified or new job entails.
For example, let’s say you have a job that pays you $50,000 a year for a 40 hour work week. Due to a medical condition you reduce your hours to 20 hours per week. You also have your salary reduced by ½ to $25,000.00 a year. If this new scenario becomes permanent, and you need to claim disability benefits in the future, your STD/LTD benefits may also be reduced. Let’s say your LTD plan entitles you to 60% of base salary per month. A $50,000.00 salary translates into a monthly gross salary of $4,166.67 and an LTD benefit of $2,500.00. If your revised salary becomes $25,000, your revised LTD would become $1,250.00.
You might say, but I only reduced my hours because of a disabling medical condition. Shouldn’t I be entitled to the full benefit based on my former salary? The answer lies in the specific wording of your policy. However, if the new part-time arrangement goes on for a extensive period of time, and essentially becomes your new job, then your LTD benefits would like be reduced.
On a cautionary note, many Group Benefit Plans have a minimum hours per week requirement to be able to participate in the benefits. Very often the threshold for participation is 24 hours or greater per week. In the above example, if the hours requirement was 24 hours, you would not be entitled to receive any LTD benefits because the new hours worked is only 20 hours per week.
Be sure you understand your entitlements and how your policy works. It's important you understand this before making decisions based on what you think you may be entitled to if you are unable to continue working in the future. Unfortunately, it is rarely as simple as it seems or should be.
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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 disability 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 benefits, 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.
Our Disability law firm knows what you have been going through
We understand 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. These 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 denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.
Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf
Share Lawyers believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, we have 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 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 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 with 35 years of success on your side.
In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.