The last installment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog dealt specifically with tips and tricks for long term disability claims in Ontario.
That Blog entry was a resounding success. We received considerable positive feedback and inquiries that we thought we would keep the ball rolling with a second installment of tips and tricks for long term disability claims in Ontario.
These tips and tricks are based on what our long term disability lawyers see in our every day practice. We see a variety of pitfalls which trip up our clients which we would like you to avoid. Knowing how to deal with a long term disability insurer and making the right moves at the outset of your long term disability claim will help get your claim started on the right foot so hopefully, you don’t get denied.
But if your long term disability claim does in fact get denied, feel free to contact Goldfinger Injury Lawyers in confidence for your free no hassle, confidential consultation. All of our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis meaning you don’t pay any upfront legal fees, unless we win the case for you. This gives you the client access to our Court system which is very expensive and acts as a barrier for most people to bring claims against large deep pocketed insurance companies.
1.Don’t resign or quit from your job: If you can’t work on account of long term disability, your employer will want to fill your job. They can’t hold a job open for you forever. At the same time, just because you’re disabled and unable to work doesn’t mean that you should be forced to quit or resign from your position without being properly compensated for your years of service. Your employer may likely put pressure on you to quit, resign, or come in for a “meeting” whereby they put on the full court press to get you to sign a document essentially relinquishing all of your rights. Don’t sign anything without first speaking with a lawyer. You don’t know what your signing, and what impact it may have on your legal case. The document which your employer is asking you to sign has likely been drafted or reviewed by their lawyers. If your employer lawyered up, wouldn’t it be wise for you to do the same? It would be a shame if your whole long term disability case sunk on account of one moment where you felt pressured in to signing a document which you didn’t have a chance to go over properly with a lawyer. It’s important to note that in instants like this where your employer is asking you to quit or resign, this is where the fields of long term disability law, employment law and sometime human rights law intersect. This can get very confusing for the client, because there are different heads of damages for each area, and each area has different tax implications on any potential settlement (ie some long term disability benefits are taxabale, some are not, the same applies to severance pay).
2. No social media!!! Social medial is GREAT if you work for an insurance company. You can go online and creep out any Plaintiff making a long term disability claim and get a ton of dirt on the party you’re seeking to discredit and defeat. It amazes our long term disability lawyers how many Plaintiffs maintain PUBLIC social media accounts which they believe to be private. Most Plaintiffs have the false sense of security that they’re invisible or untraceable on line. Much to their surprise and chagrin, they aren’t. Insurance Defence lawyers LOVE getting all of the information which they can from a Plaintiff’s social media account to manipulate that information and create a false narrative that works in their favour to discredit a Plaintiff’s case and bring their credibility in to question. Don’t give the insurance company any free ammunition. If you are planning on making a long term disability claim, or have an active long term disability claim, kill all of your social media accounts until your case has resolved. Now is not the time to be posting on long while you are in the midst of litigating against a large multi national insurance company who is committed to defeating your case.
3. Assume you are being followed. It’s inexpensive for an insurance company to hire a private investigator to follow you around. They do this in an effort to catch you doing something you said you couldn’t do (like working, heavy lifting, or leading a very active lifestyle which runs contrary to your medical records). If you have a side job that you haven’t disclosed to the insurance company or to your long term disability lawyer, an insurance company with the assistance from private investigator will catch you in the act. The result is that your claim will be defeated or significantly de-valued. You will be labelled as a liar, a cheater or as someone who is trying to play the system. I don’t know a single reputable long term disability lawyer who would want to represent such a client. That’s lawyer’s reputation is on the line, the same way your claim is, in acting on behalf of a client who is attempting to defraud the system. Not a good look for anyone involved and completely vindicates the insurance company for denying the claim and committing resources to hiring a private investigator. This sort of person is ruining the system for all meritorious claims which follow.
4. Apply for CPP Disability, Ontario Works, UI Disability and/or ODSP. While you are attempting to get long term disability benefits, there will be NO MONEY coming in for a while. What are you to do when there’s no money coming in? You can cash out your RRSPs, dig in to your savings, ask for loans and help from friends and family. But you should also look in to government resources such as CPP Disability, Ontario Works, UI Disability and/or ODSP. In most, if not all cases we have seen, your policy will require you to make a claim for CPP Disability Benefits. The good news with CPP Disability Benefits is that once you’ve been approved, you’ve been approved. It also makes it really hard for your insurance company to maintain its denial of long term disability benefits after the GOVERNMENT OF CANADA has found you to be disabled.