What is Surveillance in Disability Insurance?
Have you recently filed a disability insurance claim? Perhaps you already receive long term disability benefits? You should know that the insurance company may be watching you and judging your claim based on what you can and can't do - even something as innocent as gardening.
Surveillance is standard practice for insurance companies, as their ultimate goal is to deny your claim or terminate your existing benefits. To build a case against you, the insurance company will often check in on you to ensure that you’re not lying or exaggerating your insurance claim.
With the summer season just around the corner, you will likely be spending more time outdoors with family and friends, will possibly be more mobile (even just because there is no snow!), and you may even participate in activities and recreation. Seemingly innocent activities like riding a bike can lead to a termination of your insurance claim. Knowing what you are up against is half the battle to winning and keeping your disability benefits.
How the insurance companies do this
There are many different ways insurance companies conduct surveillance. If you have a public presence on social media, you are potentially being watched by your insurance company. These companies are looking for something that indicates that you are not affected by a disability. If they see you taking part in activities like playing fetch with your dog in the backyard or picking up your children or grandchildren, they can argue that you are participating in “healthy behaviour”. They can record footage of your activities to use as evidence against you in order to deny your claim or terminate your existing benefits.
Surveillance in your case
Surveillance evidence is often presented out of context and can be manipulated to prove that you are not disabled. It generally documents a quick action or moment and does not show the true nature of the activity or the detrimental result of the activity (like the ease of the activity, or pain and stiffness caused by the activity). It is also a poor indicator of your ability to return to work because it only focuses on an isolated incident, rather than your full day. For example, you may be equipped to take out the trash once a day, but that doesn't prove that you can safely return to your heavy lifting job with your back injury.
You can fight it
Always tell the truth about your disabilities from the start. Be upfront about which activities you can engage in and which you can't; if you have a bad back but can still carry light groceries - be transparent about it. It’s important to let your lawyer or doctor know that it's an activity you still engage in.
Be wary of what you share online and on social media - you never know how that content might be misconstrued or manipulated. Re-consider standing in a photo with family and friends at your summer barbecue if you use a wheelchair.
Get a good lawyer
If you suspect that surveillance footage is used against you, stay calm and hire a lawyer. Your lawyer can help fight if your benefits get denied or cut off. An experienced disability lawyer will also be able to help demonstrate that the incident in question was most likely isolated and that you are deserving of continuing benefits.
Denied your long term disability claim?
Contact 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. We offer free consultations 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 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.