I’m on long term disability. Should I Speak with an Employment Lawyer?achkarlaw-admin
Long-term disability (sometimes called “LTD”) is a type of insurance that pays monthly benefits to people who are more or less permanently unable to work due to a medical condition, injury, or disability. LTD benefits give individuals a type of financial protection when they are unable to work due to a disability. LTD benefit payments vary between 60-85% of your final average income, and if the disability becomes permanent payments can last until the age of 65.
If you have been injured or are ill and must take an extended period of time off work as a result of an injury or illness you might be concerned about your finances. Employees must keep in mind that they have several options available to them: they could go on short-term disability or long-term disability, or if the injury or illness doesn’t prevent them from going to work, their employer must accommodate their needs to the point of undue hardship.
Being unable to work is without a doubt already a stressful situation, and submitting an LTD claim might add more stress as you want to make sure everything is done correctly to avoid any delays. In this article, we will explain the benefits of speaking with an employment lawyer when going on long-term disability.
Can I Claim for Long Term Disability by Myself?
Generally speaking, if your employer has an LTD plan, you can apply for LTD benefits insurance on your own. If you have concerns about your claim being dismissed or disputed by the insurance company due to a disputed diagnosis, or pre-existing medical condition, it is beneficial to consult with a disability lawyer as soon as possible, as they will be able to advise you on the best way to present your claim.
What Are the Benefits of a Disability Lawyer if You Believe You Are “Totally Disabled”?
Having a disability lawyer revise your documents before submitting a claim may be beneficial as the sooner you are able to obtain these benefits it will be beneficial not only for you but for your family as the income received will help maintain your family’s financial stability. A disability lawyer can advise you if you have a total disability depending on what your LTD policy states. Some of the key benefits of talking to a lawyer are:
- A lawyer will be able to review your LTD policy in detail.
- A lawyer can help you decide if applying for LTD is your best option or if you should seek accommodation at work.
- A lawyer will help prepare your LTD application.
- A lawyer will organize and revise your medical documentation and forms that will support your claim.
- A lawyer will advise you on what are the next steps to take.
- A lawyer can appeal a decision if your claim is denied or if your benefits have stopped after being approved.
What Happens if I Have Been Denied LTD?
A disability lawyer can help you with determining if you meet the requirements set out to apply for LTD benefits. If you are denied, they can also appeal your case and try to make sure the insurer interprets the LTD policy accurately and fairly. A lawyer will, if you instruct them, be able to go further and challenge an insurer’s denial of an LTD claim either in court or before a tribunal. If that time comes, they can help you understand your rights and the options available to you.
What Happens if I am Terminated While I am on LTD?
It is important to highlight that it is discriminatory under human rights legislation to terminate an employee due to their disability. Employers are required to accommodate their employees to the point of undue hardship. If you have been terminated while you are on a disability claim, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible so they can advise you on whether or not you have been discriminated against. An experienced employment lawyer will be able to provide you with what your best course of action would be.
When is the Right Time to Return to Work After Being on LTD?
You may consider returning to work either full time or gradually when the following occur:
- You feel ready to go back
- Your doctor says you are ready to return
Can an Insurer Force Me to Return to Work?
An insurer cannot force you to return to work, but they can threaten to cancel your LTD benefits. If that happens, you can ask your doctor to give you a letter confirming why you are unable to return to work. If your insurer continues to pressure or harass you about canceling your benefits, it is a good idea to contact a disability law firm immediately for assistance on how to proceed in order to protect yourself.
What Happens if I Start a Lawsuit to Resolve an LTD Claim?
Most lawsuits settle before going to court, especially if the parties are represented lawyers. This is the key benefit of having a lawyer with you. They will discuss your possible outcomes prior to mediation so that you are informed and will not be taken advantage of. Your lawyer is there to protect your best interests.
What Happens if I Take Too Long in Disputing a Denial for LTD?
If you delay disputing an insurance company for wrongful denial of LTD you may lose the rights to those benefits. For this reason, it is important to contact a disability lawyer who will tell you the limitation period, and work fast to prevent you from losing the LTD benefits.
Filing an LTD claim can be not only time-consuming but very stressful. There are many pieces of paperwork to be revised, filled out, and revised again; in addition to this, there are strict deadlines that you must not miss. Individuals struggling with a disability, injury, or mental illness already have a lot on their plate, so these additional burdens may be overwhelming. The good news is that they do not need to go through this process alone. They can hire an employment lawyer.
Hiring a disability lawyer will be beneficial for an individual looking to submit an LTD claim. It will increase your chances of success, and reduce all the stress of having to deal with all the paperwork.
If you are an employee who has questions about their long-term disability entitlements or are seeking advice about appealing an insurer’s decision regarding their long-term disability benefits, our team of experienced disability lawyers at Achkar Law can help.
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