Deciding to stop working and applying for disability benefits can be a very difficult decision to make. It is critical to carefully select when to stop working, as choosing the wrong time can lead to your claim being denied and can leave you with an uphill court battle.
Is it Time?
Most people who apply for disability insurance do not need to stop working immediately. They may suffer from a chronic illness or injury that makes continuing to work problematic, but not impossible. If you choose to continue to work with a disability, it is vital that you regularly meet with your healthcare provider and that they record your symptoms and details of your work experiences. Be specific - describe tasks you find difficult at work since your disability diagnosis. You should also prepare to apply for disability insurance benefits while you are still working. If you have a chronic illness, you should plan when to stop working even more carefully. You will need to document and demonstrate that your chronic illness has progressed to a point that makes your work life impossible to maintain.
Prepare For A Fight
You must prepare yourself for the inevitable - that your claim may be denied. It happens all the time, even when an individual is genuinely unwell and disabled. A great way to prepare for the worst is to have a great lawyer on your side that has a strong background in disability law - like the experienced lawyers at Share Lawyers. If the insurance company denies your application, they will carefully investigate why you chose to stop working when you did. This is where detailed medical records come in handy; your records must demonstrate that you experienced a gradual decline in health and must justify your decision to stop working when you did.
Think It Through, It's A Difficult Decision
Many people decide to stop working on a whim and make the choice without enough evidence to reinforce their decision. Even if your doctor has advised you to stop working, getting the benefits you deserve from the insurance company is never guaranteed. The same applies if your employer states that you can’t do your job - you may still be denied. Before you take the leap, carefully review your disability benefits plan, your medical files, and then carefully make an informed decision - working with your employer and your doctor if they are supportive.
Work With A Supportive Doctor
Do not stop working without your doctor’s full support. Without this support, the insurance company will have an easy excuse to deny your claim. You should be transparent and thorough with your doctor. He or she must understand and document the specifics of your circumstances. It is also important that you demonstrate to your doctor that you have tried to continue working unsuccessfully. If you feel like your doctor doesn't support you or doesn't understand the scope of your disability, you may need to find a new doctor that does. In this case it may be wise to seek out a specialist rather than a general practitioner or family doctor. Often, specialists have a better understanding of what you're dealing with.
Reach Out To Your Employer
Only after you obtain a note from your doctor that states that you are unfit to work, inform your employer that you cannot continue to work because of your disability, and present your medical note to reinforce the decision. You can then potentially arrange for medical leave from your job, which will ensure that you protected under provincial labour laws and human rights codes. Medical leave allows you to continue to have the status of “employed”, which gives you access to your medical and dental plan, pension plan, and other workplace benefits.
In most instances, taking medical leave from work is safer for both job security and securing disability benefits. Resigning or quitting your job can leave you vulnerable, because the insurance company may deny your claim based on your insurance coverage ending. Do not let your employer force you to quit, resign, or take severance. They may be motivated to do so for financial reasons that are not in your best interest.
We hope this article helps you make the difficult decision of if (and when) to stop working if you have a disability.
Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. 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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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.