Success Stories
Image: Success Story: Cindy Tomas

Success Story: Cindy Tomas

*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.

Cindy has had Type 1 Diabetes since she was a child, but her illness has always been well under control.

Just six months ago, when Cindy turned 40, she was hired for a new position in Nanaimo. She was excited for the opportunity and anxious to begin her new job. Cindy did not inform her employers about her illness as it had never been a problem for her in the workplace. Soon after starting her new job, however, Cindy was diagnosed with a severe depressive disorder. She had good group coverage in her new workplace, so she tried to file a disability claim for long-term disability benefits, but her claim was denied by the insurer. Cindy was devastated. She had a new debilitating illness and couldn’t take the time off she needed to figure out how to navigate it.

The insurance company argued that Cindy’s new diagnosis was connected to her long-standing Diabetes diagnosis. They claimed both conditions were pre-existing - making Cindy ineligible to receive benefits for her depression. Cindy knew that this wasn’t true - she has had Diabetes for years without any depression, and her Diabetes was under control. She reached out to her employers for support, but was dismayed when they also refused to assist her. They blamed her for the uncomfortable position she had put their company in and asked Cindy to step down “for the sake of the company”. Cindy was lost and didn’t know where to turn for help. She needed to support herself financially, but didn’t know how to manage her new depressive health condition at work.

One fortunate day, Cindy was browsing a Diabetes community group on Facebook. She noticed that a group member had posted something about Share Lawyers. Cindy was unfamiliar with Share Lawyers but decided to take a risk and reach out for help after reading the positive Facebook post from a former client. Once she discussed her claim, Share Lawyers took on Cindy’s case. They built a strong case against her insurer showing that her diabetes had nothing to do with her depression. Cindy’s claim was settled at mediation. She received a lump sum for her past benefits that had not been paid and then continued to receive ongoing benefits into the future.

Thanks to Share Lawyers, Cindy was able to get the help she needed. The benefits she now receives allow her to focus on healing and managing her illness. She was able to seek counseling and has developed coping mechanisms. One day she hopes to return to work.

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