Will the Change of Definition Impact my Disability Benefits?
In a long term disability claim, the change of definition refers to a change in the definition of what it means to be disabled according to your disability policy. Commonly you will see that this takes place after 24 months of being on long term disability.
The change of definition usually refers to a transition from an “own occupation” definition, to an ”any occupation” definition. During the initial disability period, benefits are payable if you are unable to work at your “own occupation.” After the change, benefits are payable only if you cannot work at “any occupation” for which you have the required education, skill, or experience. Many people continue to be eligible for their benefits after the change of definition if their doctor continues to support their claim. There are variations in the wording, but this summarizes the typical Change of Definition. Typically, this means that in order to qualify for LTD benefits in any occupation period, you must be totally or substantially disabled from the duties of any occupation for which you have the requisite education, skills, or experience.
Where previously the insurance companies have looked at your ability to go back to doing your job, they are now looking to see if you can do any other job. Your insurance company may try and define this very loosely stating that if you can earn minimum wage working a job for example as a parking attendant then you have the ability to work and are not entitled to your disability benefits further. This si simply nto true.
Any occupation has to be a similar job at a similar payscale
The insurance company doesn’t care where you work, they simply want you off claim. However, if they are saying you can work, it has to be at a job that’s at a similar skill level to what you were doing and at a similar pay scale. If you can’t do that, they should continue to pay your long term disability benefits. You have worked very hard and should not have to sacrifice because your insurance company doesn’t want to pay you further. Your insurance company is saying you can find another job, but that is not the same as the reality of finding and keeping another job.
Finding a new job when you need medical accomodation can be challenging
When confronted with the idea of finding another job, you have to consider how your medical conditions affect your ability to work, the experience you need for the job, and accommodations you would need to be able to work. It will be very difficult to be hired if you are asking for accommodations prior to employment. If you and your doctor agree that you should not return to work, you have several options for next steps.
While you can appeal the insurance company decision, unless there is some dramatic medical evidence or change in your condition that makes it clear that you are not able to work in any capacity, they will continue to deny your long term disability claim. We recommend hiring a long term disability insurance lawyer to fight the insurance company instead of appealing your LTD denial.
Many insurance companies believe that very few people qualify for benefits in the “any occupation” period, basing their adjudication on a paper review by their doctors, none of whom have your best interests in mind. Your insurance company’s concern is the money they can save by stopping payment to you. If this happens, it is important that you find legal representation right away.
You can learn even more about the Change of Definition on our website, including what to do if your benefits have been cut off.
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.
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.