Should I Go Down to Part Time Hours at Work to Manage My Medical Condition?
It goes without saying that working while ill or injured can be incredibly difficult. Many opt to reduce the number of hours they work on a regular, long-term basis in order to manage, but it's important to understand what that could mean for your disability claim.
Disability benefits from the insurance company are usually based on the number of hours that you worked or the amount of income that you earned prior to leaving your job on account of disability so reducing your hours for an extended period of time could result in lower long term disability claim entitlement.
Our disability lawyers know the long term disability claim process can be complicated- that's why our long term disability lawyers are here to help. Let the long term disability lawyers at Share Lawyers team put their years of experience in disability claims work for you!
Struggling to work full time hours
If you are struggling to keep working and fear that you may not be able to continue, even on a part-time basis, a disability lawyer will advise that you have reviewed your disability benefits to see how your potential disability claims entitlement will be impacted in the event that you reduce your hours from full-time to part-time, for a lengthy period of time.
If you go part-time, your disability benefits could be reduced
Many people don’t realize that reducing their working hours can result in a reduction in the disability claims they are eligible for. Your insurance company will look at the average hours you worked over a period of time to determine the number of hours you are eligible to claim for your short term disability and long term disability benefits. If you choose to reduce your hours, you may only be able to claim benefits for the part-time hours you are currently working instead of the full-time hours you formerly worked. This is very risky. The reduced benefit entitlement may not be sufficient to cover your cost of living, medications, and treatments when you need them the most.
Many group disability policies are based on the salary you are earning at the time of disability, so if you reduce your hours and your income is reduced from $50,000 to $25,000, the impact on the monthly amount you may be entitled to receive could be significant. In this example, if you assume that long term disability benefits are based on 60% of your eligible earnings, your LTD benefit on $50,000 would be $2,500 per month, and on $25,000, you would receive only $1,250 per month. When this happens, a disability lawyer can not do anything to bring this compensation back up.
If you go part-time, you may lose your disability benefits altogether
Before you take the plunge and reduce your working hours due to a disability, you should read your insurance policy carefully. Some group disability benefit plans may exclude you once you reduce your hours below a certain number per week. This means that if you find yourself unable to perform your reduced workload in the future you may no longer be eligible to receive any disability benefits at all. When this happens, a disability lawyer cannot help you with your disability claim.
Timing is key when it comes to disability benefits
Unless your disability was brought on by a sudden illness, accident, or injury, the date that you became disabled may not be perfectly clear either. A few factors have to be taken into consideration: When did you first experience disabling symptoms? When did you begin to undergo tests and receive a diagnosis, if any? Have your doctors and other healthcare providers accurately documented your ongoing health condition with medical evidence? Were you ever placed on modified duties or a modified work schedule on the advice of your doctors?
Therefore, timing in a disability claim is key. The amount of your entitlement may depend entirely on the date you were deemed unable to work and the number of hours you were working or the amount of income you received prior to that date. Because of this, it is important to ensure that your doctors are making thorough and accurate notes in your medical records. It is also essential to consider the option of full or part-time work if you believe you are going to make an LTD claim.
If you stay at work, you risk being fired
Even if you push yourself to the limits in order to stay at work you may not be doing yourself or your company any favours. You may risk delaying your recovery or injuring yourself further. If you ask yourself honestly whether you are doing your job to the best of your ability, you will probably say no. This opens up the possibility that your employer has noticed that you are not doing your best work and that you are not contributing to the company like you were before. The employer may choose to terminate your employment for cause (which means you cannot sue for wrongful dismissal) if you are not doing your job properly. When this happens, a disability lawyer often can not help you secure your disability claim.
Taking a medical leave
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.
Your health comes first
If working with your disability has become so difficult that you are considering applying for short-term disability or long-term disability benefits, you shouldn’t second guess yourself. Your health should be your number one priority. If you are suffering and unable to work, you need to stop. There are many advantages to taking the time off that you need – from healing an injury, to being free to seek proper medical care, to stress reduction. Adding strain to a bad situation can be very detrimental to your health and make your condition worse.
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.
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.
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.