Achkar Law - LTD Lawyer

Long Term Disability Lawyer

Are you facing one of these situations?

  • Your long-term disability (LTD) benefits were initially approved by your insurer, but at some point, they were abruptly denied or terminated.
  • You have been locked in a prolonged battle with your long-term disability insurer for months, or even years, over the denial of your LTD claim, leaving you frustrated and unwell.

If you are caught in either of these distressing scenarios, it is essential to recognize your legal rights. In most cases, you do not need to navigate your insurer’s internal ‘appeal’ process, even if it is offered by your disability insurer.

In Ontario, a long term disability lawyer focuses in legal matters related to disability claims and benefits. Their primary concentration is on assisting individuals who are seeking disability benefits through government programs or private insurance, such as the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or long-term disability insurance.

A long term disability lawyer is well-versed in disability insurance laws and experienced in litigating long term disability insurance claims can. At Achkar Law, we can guide you through this challenging journey. We understand the intricacies of the process, such as hiring relevant experts, crafting effective pleadings to safeguard your interests, preventing insurance companies from overstepping their bounds, and strategically positioning your case for the best possible outcome.

A Long Term Disability Lawyer: Your Legal Ally

Long-term disability insurance is designed to support individuals who are unable to work due to a disability or illness, providing a replacement for their lost income. If you find yourself unable to work for an extended period due to illness, accident, or injury, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits through your insurance provider.

It is important to understand that each long-term disability insurance policy is unique. To qualify for these benefits, you must meet the eligibility criteria specified in your policy. This includes satisfying the definition of “disability” as outlined in your insurance agreement.

In Canada, long-term disability insurance is a specific type of coverage that steps in to replace a portion of your income if you can’t work due to injury or illness. In many cases, it’s offered as a workplace benefit by your employer. Depending on your group benefits program, you may or may not be responsible for paying part or all of the premiums. Alternatively, you can opt to purchase standalone long-term disability coverage directly from insurance companies that offer this product.

What is the difference between long-term disability insurance and short-term disability insurance?

Short-term disability benefits are accessible shortly after you become disabled. Typically, the waiting period for applying for these benefits ranges from 0 to 2 weeks. Short-term disability benefits can be provided by an insurance company, but more commonly, they are directly offered by your employer.

In contrast, long-term disability benefits usually only begin after a waiting period of three to six months. These benefits may continue for months or even years, depending on the nature of your disability.

Is it necessary to hire a lawyer to apply for disability insurance?

You can typically apply for disability insurance benefits yourself. However, if you have concerns that the insurance company might dispute or deny your claim due to factors like a pre-existing medical condition or a contested diagnosis, it can be advantageous to consult with a lawyer at an early stage to understand the most effective way to present your claim.

For how long is the insurance company obligated to pay me long-term disability benefits?

There are generally two main factors that determine how long an insurance company must continue to provide long-term disability benefits. The first factor is related to your eligibility for benefits, and the second is based on time or age limitations. Long-term disability insurance contracts can vary, with some being time-limited, offering benefits for a specific duration, such as two years, five years, or ten years, regardless of your age. Additionally, most contracts also have age limitations. In Canada, nearly all agreements specify that you can receive long-term disability benefits either as long as you meet the criteria or until you reach the age of 65, whichever comes first.

If my employer terminates me, do I lose my entitlement to long-term disability benefits?

No, your entitlement to long-term disability benefits remains intact, even if your employer terminates your employment. As long as you still meet the eligibility criteria, especially if your disability started while you were employed, you can continue to receive these benefits. It’s important to note that your participation in group benefit plans offered by your employer may cease if they terminate your employment, but this is a separate matter from your right to receive long-term disability benefits.

What happens if my long-term disability benefits are denied?

When you’ve submitted your long-term disability claim, your insurance company may initially approve it, allowing you to receive LTD benefits. However, it’s essential to understand that these benefits could end because the definition of disability changes after a specific period.

Typically, this change occurs around the two-year mark, shifting from “inability to work in your own occupation” to “inability to work in any occupation.” If your LTD benefits are discontinued, it’s time to consult with a lawyer.

When should I consider hiring a long-term disability lawyer?

While your LTD insurance policy is meant to provide security, it does not always work as expected. If you face an extended inability to work due to an accident, illness, or injury, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer straight away. They can assess whether you have a valid LTD claim against your insurer and guide you on the best course of action if your long-term disability insurance claim is rejected.

If you postpone challenging an insurance company’s unjust denial of your long-term disability benefits, you risk forfeiting your entitlement to those benefits. That is why it is crucial to get in touch with a lawyer without delay.

What can I do if my LTD benefits are denied?

The actions that LTD lawyers can take on your behalf vary and depend on your specific situation, the terms of your LTD contract, and the legal options available.

If your LTD claim has been completely denied, and you haven’t received any benefits, your insurer will have provided reasons for this decision, which we’ll need to assess. The same applies if you were receiving LTD benefits for a period and then had them stopped. In either scenario, if we have significant concerns about your insurer’s actions, we’ll discuss the next steps, including the possibility of retaining our legal services. However, it’s important to be transparent: if it seems that the insurer had valid reasons for denying your LTD claim or terminating your benefits, we will inform you and provide some guidance.

Can I challenge an insurance company’s denial of my long-term disability benefits on my own?

Yes, you can, but it might not be the most advisable course of action. When insurance companies reject a claim, they often suggest pursuing an internal appeal by submitting additional supporting information, typically related to medical evidence. However, you will be responsible for the expenses associated with obtaining this additional information. Unfortunately, internal appeals often do not result in insurance companies reversing their decisions to deny benefits. Moreover, the clock for commencing a lawsuit may start running while you engage in these internal appeal processes. Therefore, time is crucial when building a case and initiating litigation against an insurance company that wrongfully denies your long-term disability insurance benefits.

Contact Achkar Law – Your Trusted Long Term Disability Lawyer in Ontario

If you’re seeking experienced legal guidance for your disability claim in Ontario, don’t hesitate to reach out to Achkar Law. Our team of dedicated disability lawyers is here to support you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are upheld and your interests protected. We’re dedicated to helping clients like you achieve positive outcomes in disability claims.

Schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled disability lawyer at Achkar Law. We’re committed to providing personalized, client-focused legal support to help you overcome the challenges you’re facing. Don’t face the complexities of disability claims alone.

Contact Achkar Law today to schedule a consultation with an Experienced Disability Lawyer

Contact us by phone toll-free at 1-800-771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.