Success Story: Elizabeth Harris
Once her five-year-old daughter began school, Elizabeth Harris re-entered the workforce. Elizabeth got a job at an insurance company’s call centre in Toronto. Poor ergonomics and job stress plagued her from the beginning, as in prior work experience, and eventually became too much for her. Share Lawyers successfully advocated for her when her disability benefits were cut off.
Workstation Causes Discomfort
As at any desk job, the ease-of-use of her chair, desk, phone, keyboard, and computer monitor were important to Elizabeth’s comfort and health. These were not ergonomically correct, even after she repeatedly expressed concern to her supervisor. Over two years on the job, chronic pain had developed in her neck and right wrist.
Work Conditions Cause Stress
Elizabeth also found her job emotionally stressful. Some callers were hard to please and a few each day would yell. All activity on her phone and computer was recorded and timed. She felt pressure from her employer to shorten each call, and she was expected to promote the company. Elizabeth felt particularly stressed as the economy worsened and some of her friends were laid off. When her best friend, who sat next to her, was laid off, it seemed a tipping point for her.
Doctor’s Views Distressing
Emotionally stressed and physically aching, Elizabeth went to her doctor for help. In the doctor’s offi ce, she broke down and cried. The doctor said that time off work was needed. She referred Elizabeth to see a psychologist, prescribed painkillers for her neck and wrist pain, and prescribed an antidepressant for the stress. Referring her to a surgeon for carpal tunnel syndrome, the doctor said that typing had become a health hazard. Rather than relieved, Elizabeth felt overwhelmed.
Short-term Disability Claim Approved
She applied for short-term disability benefits with her employer. Her claim was approved.
Long-term Disability Application Triggers Trouble
Three months later, stressed and depressed about the state of her health and employability, Elizabeth’s pain symptoms and depression seemed to be getting worse while on leave – not better. She applied for longterm disability benefi ts. Her claim was denied and her employer threatened to terminate her employment with no severance if she did not return to work immediately.
Nurse Friend Refers To Share Lawyers
Seeking help, Elizabeth turned to her friend Jim Macintosh, the nurse featured in the summer, 2007 issue of Share Perspectives who successfully sued for auto accident benefi ts and disability benefi ts after an automobile accident that occurred while he assisted his elderly parents. Jim assured her that David Share Associates could help. Unable to cope, Elizabeth followed Jim’s advice. Share Lawyers accepted her case.
Insurer Treats Suit Dismissively
The main issue in her claim for long-term disability benefi ts was that it was merely considered one of workplace stress. The insurance company was unimpressed by the medical evidence, which did not differ from her medical information over several prior years. It argued that Elizabeth had complained of a sore wrist and neck pain in the past but was always able to continue working. Also, it suggested that the weak economy had caused her to pursue the claim as surety.
Good Evidence + Good Representation
Share Lawyers secured further medical information by having Elizabeth attend assessments with specialists who could explain the deterioration of her condition. The insurance company would find this case not so easily won. Indeed, Elizabeth was pleasantly surprised at the final outcome, despite the posturing that had taken place before and during mediation.
Share Laywers successfully sued the insurer for long-term disability benefi ts and secured severance pay from her employer. She was relieved to have the case settled, and with the settlement funds, to focus on recuperating and start thinking about the future again.
*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.
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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.