Whether your long-term disability was a result of a workplace injury, a car accident, or some other personal injury that resulted in you being unable to work, chances are, your long-term disability has posed many different challenges in your life.
One key issue arises even after long-term disability has ended — when it’s time to return to work.
Have you been injured and have concerns about what will happen when your disability runs out? Have you tried to return to work but found that you physically can’t? What happens if your claim gets denied? We’ll explain your options here, but first, let’s take a closer look at Canada’s long-term disability policies and guidelines.
What Is Long-Term Disability in Canada?
Long-term disability law is an area of law that exists to help people who become unable to work as a result of a disability. As the Canadian Treasury Board explains on its website: “Long-term disability insurance benefits under the Public Service Management Insurance Plan (PSMIP-LTD) are provided to eligible employees of the public service, including eligible members of certain designated groups, who become totally disabled and are unable to work.” Long-term disability policies allow those injured or afflicted with illness to continue paying their bills while they are out of work.
What Are Some Challenges in Returning to Work After a Long-Term Disability?
There are various challenges associated with returning to work after a long-term disability:
- Be prepared. First and foremost, you must make sure you are ready to go back to work — physically, mentally, and emotionally — otherwise, you may risk a premature return that can worsen your medical condition. It’s important to note here that your insurance company cannot force you to return to work, nor can they harass or bully you into doing so. If you’re facing the prospect of being forced to go back to work by your insurer or your employer, contact an experienced long-term disability lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options.
- Doctor’s orders. It is also essential not to return to work until your doctor has cleared you to do so. Communicate clearly with your doctor regarding any continuing symptoms, chronic pain or discomfort, and anything about your condition that would make it difficult for you to perform your job duties successfully. Make the decision to return to work with the help and assistance of your doctor, after having carefully considered and discussed the pros and cons of going back, and what your new work routine may mean for your recovery.
- Slow down. Other potential challenges can arise if you try to do too much, too fast. A gradual return to work is preferred, as it allows you to ease back into your job while taking the time you need to ensure your new work routine does not adversely affect your health and recovery. Before going back, reconnect with your boss and your coworkers, if possible, so that you can make sure everyone is on the same page regarding your work duties and expectations, and ask for help.
- Seek accommodations. A key challenge can arise when your workplace does not afford you the proper accommodations to do your job. It is important to note that you have the right to request accommodations from your employer. Be sure you communicate your request in writing and detail exactly what you need in order to do your job, such as ergonomic sitting accommodations or the ability to work remotely for a time. While it’s possible that some smaller companies will be unable to provide certain accommodations, understand that you have the right to request them. Should you be denied accommodations, speak with a knowledgeable long-term disability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss ways to help you.
- Back to Disability. In some cases, returning to work may prove to be premature, resulting in the need to return to long-term disability. This may be possible in cases of recurring disability, depending on your symptoms, the length of time that has passed since you returned to work, and the individual policies set out by your long-term insurance provider. If this happens to you, and you feel you have returned to work prematurely, make a statement or record of your experience. Contact your doctor immediately to explain the situation and seek medical help, and ask for help with the documentation you’ll need to go back on disability. Also, contact your long-term disability insurance provider and explain in writing that you are unable to continue working. A consultation with an experienced long-term disability lawyer will help make your case to your employer and the insurance company, particularly if you’re met with resistance or denial.
How Can Derek Wilson Personal Injury Law Help with Your Long-Term Disability Claim?
Insurance companies and long-term disability policies in Canada can be complex to navigate on your own. Our team is prepared to take all reasonable steps to proceed with your claim and get you fair compensation. We are passionate and experienced legal professionals and have assisted many individuals across Ontario in recovering fair settlements.
My firm focuses only on personal injuries and represents clients whose long-term disability claims were denied. We provide fair and honest legal advice with a focus to help clients recover fair compensation with no up-front fees. Call us at 855-769-0418 or get in touch online to schedule a free consultation.