When to Involve a Long-Term Disability Lawyer


In 2012, Statistics Canada reported that 13.7% of Canadians, approximately 3.8 million people, were living with some kind of disability. Disabilities can take many forms and people may have different levels of ability. When a disability keeps someone from working and earning a living, it’s important that there is some kind of financial support in place. There are various kinds of benefits available but applying and receiving financial assistance can be an onerous process. If a claim is being delayed, if there are complicated circumstances around the claim or if a claim has been denied, it’s important to involve the services of a long-term disability lawyer.


How Long-Term Disability Works


When there is a loss of income directly related to a disability, a financial claim may be made. Various disabilities may include, but are not limited to:


·       injuries sustained in a vehicle accident

·       deteriorating auto-immune diseases such as multiple scleroses or fibromyalgia

·       symptoms due to a concussion

·       Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

·       mental health issues

·       chronic illness


Long-term disability (LTD) benefits are generally part of a workplace insurance benefit package and have many variables, depending on previously negotiated terms. Long-term benefits don’t become available until short-term disability (STD) benefits have expired, often after a period of two to six months. Every benefit package will have different criteria and conditions for proving long-term disability. The amount paid is based on a percentage of the claimant’s salary, usually somewhere between 50-70%. The length of the payout may be for a pre-determined number of years, or until the applicant reaches a certain age, such as the retirement age of 65.


If No Group Coverage is Available


If someone is in need of financial support for long-term disability and has no group coverage, other options may be available. If the disability is the direct cause of an accident, for instance, a motor vehicle accident or slip-and-fall, other claims may be pursued that reflect the physical, emotional and financial challenges the victim may be facing. The Ontario Government may also offer support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).


Get a Lawyer Involved Early in the Process


If you, or someone you know, is having difficulty negotiating the confusing and time consuming process of making a long-term disability claim or has had a claim denied, it’s important to have the right lawyer advocating on your behalf. The financial and personal stakes are very high and agreeing to terms that are not fully beneficial may have long-term consequences. 


A long-term disability lawyer has experience in personal injury law and are skilled in dealing with large insurance institutions that don’t want to pay what is due.  They are knowledgeable at negotiating positive settlements for your insurance claim. Many firms also have lawyers qualified in litigation and trial cases, should the need arise. Sometimes merely the possibility of litigation will get a claim moving quickly and efficiently. If English isn’t your first language and communication is an issue, find a firm with long-term disability lawyers that speak multiple languages. The initial consultation should be free and fees are usually based on a percentage of a successful settlement.