Privately purchased disability insurance policies are purchased by doctors, lawyers, dentists, and other professionals or self-employed people to provide income replacement in the event they are unable to continue to work in their occupation due to illness or injury.
Disability claims made under these policies tend to be scrutinized to the highest degree and may benefit from earlier intervention of legal representation. At Share Lawyers, our disability lawyers have the expertise and experience to assist you at various stages of the disability claim process.
Litigating long term disability benefit denials
If your long term disability benefit claim has been denied by your insurance company, our disability lawyers can take legal action against them to recover the disability benefits that you are entitled to. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your options.
When it comes to privately purchased disability insurance policies, there are additional issues that require the expertise and experience of a disability lawyer to ensure that you are recovering your maximum eligibility.
We offer different options for legal fees depending on the nature of your case. We may offer either an hourly rate, a contingency fee, a flat rate, or in some cases, a combination of both. We invite you to discuss what sort of fee arrangement is most suitable for you.
How we can help
Litigating disability claims
If your insurance company is not fulfilling their promise and providing you with the financial support set out in the policy you have purchased, you need to speak to our disability lawyers to see how this can be rectified. We will look into taking legal action against them to pursue the benefits you are entitled to. We will handle your insurance company and let you focus on your health.
Own occupation denials
Privately purchased disability insurance policies are sold as providing long term disability benefits if you are unable to work in your own profession and that benefits will continue even if you are able to work in another occupation. The fine print in these policies may show that your coverage is not as clear-cut as you may have originally thought. We can answer your questions with legal expertise and give you the peace of mind you need.
Providing legal opinions
If you have questions about the policy you have purchased, submitting a claim, or about your current or future dealings with your insurance company and case manager, we can support you. Get in contact with our office to arrange a consultation with one of our disability claim lawyers. We can answer your questions with legal expertise and give you the peace of mind you need.
The application process is complex and our years of experience in dealing with disability claims will enhance your chances of having your initial claim approved. Always bear in mind that the application form is drafted by the insurance company with vague questions which can easily be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
Monthly claim handling
Once your claim is approved, the insurance company will continually adjudicate your entitlement to ongoing benefits, which means that benefits can be stopped at any time. You may be required to provide regular updates (sometimes monthly) and to have your doctor(s) complete further forms. We can handle the ongoing claim, where any request and communication is routed through our office.
Residual & partial disability benefits
If you are able to work in a reduced capacity but have a loss of income exceeding 15-20% of your pre-disability earnings, you may be eligible for residual or partial disability benefits. Residual disability benefits include a specific percentage of earnings, while partial benefits are based on a percentage of the loss of your income.
In the situation that there may be offsets as part of your claim, there are scenarios that need to be reviewed. Does the insurance company have the right to deduct benefits from CPP or an existing severance? If you are able to earn income in another capacity, this could potentially limit the amount that the insurance company will want to pay you on a monthly benefit. We can answer your questions with legal expertise and give you the peace of mind you need.
Lump sum buyouts
Once long term disability payments are being made, the insurance company is losing money on your policy, and in some circumstances may be interested in “buying out” your policy for a one-time lump sum payment. There are numerous factors that go into putting a value on your policy including your life expectancy, likelihood of remaining totally or residually disabled, how much your insurance company has reserved for your policy and the present value of future monthly long term disability benefits.
How much time do I have?
There are time limits to all disability claims and any delay in proceeding may be subject to a deadline so you should not delay in proceeding with your disability claim or obtaining legal advice to clarify these deadlines. We understand how important these timelines are and will respond to any call or email as soon as we can.
Whatever your medical condition, our disability lawyers are here to help
Disability claims for mental health
A large percentage of people who go off on long term disability do so for mental health reasons. Even more people develop a mental health condition while off on a disability leave which provides a further barrier to return to work. This includes depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD and stress. Mental health claims do qualify you for long term disability benefits but your insurance company will try and find reasons to deny your disability claim – including denials based on lack of sufficient evidence, perceived lack of treatment, or denying the claim that you cannot work based on your current condition.
Disability claims for fibromyalgia
As fibromyalgia is an invisible disability with a wide variety of symptoms, insurance companies often target long term disability claims with this condition and deny them right away. As well, insurance companies will often deny claims for people who have symptoms of fibromyalgia but who have not yet been diagnosed (after ruling out other health issues and coming to a “diagnosis of exclusion”) despite debilitating pain.
Disability claims for chronic pain
Another invisible disability, chronic pain is often overlooked by insurance companies despite debilitating long term symptoms. Because the idea of pain can be subjective and the condition presents differently in everybody, claims are often denied based on pain not being serious enough to stop you from working, insufficient medical evidence, or overall lack of credibility.
Disability claims for COVID 19 and Long COVID 19
COVID 19 has become a part of our everyday lives for now, and for the foreseeable future. Medical professionals are still trying to understand the condition and its long-term effects. If COVID 19 or long covid symptoms are preventing you from being able to work, you can apply for short term disability and long term disability benefits and your insurance company should be supporting you. Your insurance company may try and deny your claim for disability benefits due to their lack of understanding of the condition and its severity.
Disability claims for back injuries
There are many injuries and conditions that impact back health, and back pain is a common focus of many disability claims. Whether you have back pain from a fall or crash, or have a condition such as spinal stenosis, bulging or ruptured disc(s) or arthritis, insurance companies often deny claims for back pain and argue that the claimant can simply work at a less physical job. We know that this is not the case.
Disability claims for migraines
Migraines are a common headache disorder that can impact the ability to function in many ways, let alone being able to work. Because migraines are not always easy to explain or diagnose, insurance companies often deny these claims due to insufficient medical evidence or skepticism that this condition is serious enough not to be able to work.
Whatever your career, our disability lawyers are here to help
There is a lot of pressure being put on you to return to work even if you are not ready to. You know you can’t go back and do your job properly and if you were to go back to work, it would negatively impact your health. You should be thinking about what is best for your future. Having dealt with thousands of disability cases and hundreds of careers, our disability law firm knows how unique your job can be and that you should not rush into anything. If you cannot work, don’t let your insurance company tell you differently. If they will not support you, we can help. Our employment lawyers can also support you with any employment law or employment rights issues related to your disability case
Disability Lawyers in Toronto, proudly serving clients in Ontario and across Canada
Are you looking for a disability lawyer to fight for your rights? Our law firm has unmatched experience in disability law and we don't let provincial borders stop us from helping you in your time of need. Your insurance company has a presence throughout Canada and it makes sense to hire a disability law firm that has a true expertise in disability law and has a national presence too. Your insurance company knows who we are and knows that we won’t back down.
Arlene contacted us as soon as her insurance company denied her benefits - she knew that she was not able to fight back on her own. Once we took over communication with her insurance company, Arlene had the time to attend her medical appointments. Once we were able to favourably settle her long term disability claim, Arlene didn’t have to worry about paying for her medical treatments. She described her experience hiring Share Lawyers as taking away her stress and letting her focus on her health.