What Are Long-Term Disability Policies?
Experienced Hamilton Auto Accident Law Firm
What Are Long-Term Disability Policies?
It’s a disconcerting thought: in the blink of an eye, an accident, injury, or another unexpected event can result in medical issues that may mean a long-term disability. Being affected by a long-term disability often means a complete change in your lifestyle, affecting every part of your life. It can also mean being unable to work for a long period of time — in some cases, perhaps permanently.
What Is a Disability Policy?
Long-term disability policies can assist with the costs associated with disabilities. They exist to provide you with income in the event of a disability, paying out monthly income replacement payments in order to help you with your bills if you cannot work temporarily, or if you suffer a permanent disability. Many employers offer long-term disability policies, though you are also able to purchase a policy of your own.
How Do Long-Term Disability Policies Work?
There are various medical conditions and injuries that are covered by long-term disability policies. For example, a disability policy may cover physical and mental injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, orthopedic injuries, and other ailments related to an accident or sudden event. They may also cover a disability due to chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or arthritis, among many other causes.
Generally, the process of obtaining payments in the event of a long-term disability begins by filing a claim with your insurer. To be approved, you must prove that you have a disability, which will require documentation and records from your doctor. You will need to demonstrate that your medical condition prevents you from being able to work.
Once you submit your claim to your insurance provider, they will assess your application, which often means interviewing you and your medical providers, gathering and reviewing supporting documents, and analyzing your application to determine whether your claim should be approved.
In many cases, the insurer initially denies a claim. This can happen for various reasons: lack of objective evidence, lack of medical treatment, pre-existing conditions, and changes in your plan’s definition of disability are just some examples of reasons why a disability claim may be denied. If your claim is denied, you should consult with a knowledgeable long-term disability lawyer right away. They can help you file a claim in court to recover compensation under your policy.
What Are Some Important Things to Know About Long-Term Disability Policies?
There are some important tips to keep in mind if you are facing a long-term disability and have questions about your policy. For example:
- It is important that you visit your medical providers as soon as possible and continue seeking the medical care you need. Failure to visit a doctor or to follow your doctor’s recommendations may be used by the insurance company as a potential reason not to approve your claim.
- Disability benefits in Canada generally require your impairment to be totally disabling, meaning that the condition prevents you from doing the work you were previously doing before its onset. Generally, after 2 years, the disability must also prevent you from further gainful employment for which you are reasonably suited by your education, training, or prior work experience.
- You will need to obtain and gather medical records, documentation, and proof of your disability in order to strengthen your claim. Work with your doctor on gathering this important evidence, as well as any proof required by the insurance company of your inability to work.
- Remember that the main goal of insurance companies is to pay out as little as possible under each policy. Insurance companies usually have significant resources and legal help on their side, which can make for an unequal bargaining situation. Consider going to an experienced disability lawyer for help with negotiations and the process.
- It is not uncommon for a long-term disability claim to be denied by the insurance company. If this should happen to you, consult with a trusted long-term disability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and options. In the event of a denial, you are most likely better off skipping the internal appeals process–unless you have significant brand new information, it will be extremely difficult to win an appeal. Instead, consider hiring an experienced disability lawyer to help you file a lawsuit against the insurance company, in an effort to compensate you for your damages.
- An experienced and knowledgeable long-term disability lawyer can be very helpful in the claims and appeals process. Not only will they negotiate with the insurance company toward a favorable resolution, but they will also help you prepare a strong case, based on the evidence of your disability.
How Can Derek Wilson Personal Injury Law Help with Your Long-Term Disability Claim?
Long-term disability policies in Canada can be complicated and difficult to navigate on your own, particularly while you are trying to piece your life back together after a debilitating injury or accident. My team is prepared to take all reasonable steps to proceed with your claim and get you fair compensation.
We are passionate legal professionals and have assisted many individuals across Ontario in recovering fair settlements. My firm focuses only on personal injuries and represents clients with long-term disability claims, and we charge no up-front fees for our consultations.
If you are seeking fair and honest legal advice, contact us to discuss your legal rights, options, and potential next steps. Call Derek Wilson Personal Injury Law at 855-769-0418 or get in touch online to schedule a free consultation.