Success Story: Kaitlyn Blake
Training young athletes eight hours a day, five days a week definitely encouraged 39-year-old Kaitlyn Blake, a former gymnast herself, to lead a healthy lifestyle. That is, until lingering pain from an injury caused her to develop an addiction to the powerful painkiller, OxyContin.
Ruptured Achilles Tendon
One day during practice, Kaityn attempted to demonstrate a dismount for her students but landed awkwardly on her feet. She heard a popping sound and felt as if she had been kicked hard in her right calf. She knew these were tell-tale signs of an Achilles rupture and was taken to the hospital right away.
A Standard Prescription
Kaitlyn underwent open surgery to repair her tendon and, during recovery, was given a prescription for OxyContin to help combat her pain. However, her recovery was slow. After the cast was removed and she began phsyiotherapy, Kaitlyn continued to complain about pain in her lower leg. The doctor refilled her OxyContin prescription for another two weeks, this time with a smaller dose to help her taper off the pills.
Six weeks after surgery, Kaitlyn had progressed to using crutches. However, she was becoming increasingly frustrated with the advice of her doctors, who stated that recovery would take time and she should take a break from coaching in order to give her tendon a proper chance to heal. Kaitlyn decided that taking two 10mg pills of OxyContin every 12 hours instead of the one 10mg pill prescribed by her doctor would help get rid of the pain completely and have her back on the mat in no time.
As the weeks progressed, Kaitlyn’s anxiety grew. The only time she felt okay was when she took her pills, which gave her a feeling of euphoria and deadened the emotional and physical pain of her injury. Soon, she was chewing the OxyContin instead of swallowing in order to feel the effects faster.
When her doctor refused to refill her third prescription and urged her to stop coaching for a while, Kaitlyn desperately resorted to purchasing the pills illegally through an acquaintance.
Addiction Becomes Disabling
Six months had passed since Kaitlyn’s surgery and the pain in her Achilles tendon had finally gone away, yet
Kaitlyn was still purchasing OxyContin illegally and increasing her dosage daily.
Although Kaitlyn had started coaching again, her students noticed that she was behaving erratically, often missing practice entirely. Soon, concerned parents began to pull their children out of Kaitlyn’s gymnastics program. Eventually, she stopped getting out of bed.
Kaitlyn had hit rock bottom. Thankfully, her husband suspected that his wife had a problem. With the intervention of her family, friends and doctors, he convinced Kaitlyn to seek help for her addiction. Kaitlyn agreed to get professional help by entering an inpatient rehab program on the advice of her doctor.
Kaitlyn applied for disability benefits through her private insurer and was shocked to receive a denial. The insurance company stated that Kaityn had not followed her doctor’s orders when she was first prescribed the OxyContin and that her addiction was caused by her failure to comply with her doctor’s treatment plan.
Share Lawyers Fights for Kaitlyn’s Benefits
Kaitlyn enlisted the services of Share Lawyers to help fight her insurance. She was relieved when the case was settled in her favour during mediation, awarding her a lump sum settlement that would allow her to focus on rehab while her coaching career was on hold. Kaitlyn recently called the Share Lawyers office to announce that she was 17 weeks clean and on the path to recovery. Congratulations, Kaitlyn!
*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.
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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.
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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.