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How surveillance can totally destroy your Long Term Disability Claim (Ontario)

The unfortunate realities of Long Term Disability Claims is that in order to be on claim, you can’t be working. If you’re not working, that means that you’re not earning an income.

Whether you live in a big city like Toronto, a medium city like London, or on the outskirts of Peterborough, love alone won’t pay your rent, mortgage, pay for the food for your family, or pay the heating or hydro bills.

People need money to survive, and money doesn’t grow on trees. People need to go out and earn money by working.

But what if their doctors told them that they cannot work?

What if living on a pension, on OW, ODSP, or CPP Disability isn’t enough?

At Goldfinger Injury Lawyers, we understand that making ends meet, even for able bodied people is hard enough. Multiply that degree of difficulty times 5 if you’re disabled. Increase that degree of difficulty if an insurer like Manulife, Great West Life, Sun Life, SSQ, RBC, Industrial Alliance or Co-Operators has denied your Long Term Disability Claim.

The stress of having a Long Term Disability Claim denied in the first place is hard enough. Let alone the devastation of the denial itself. Compound to that the financial hardship that disabled claimant are under; it’s unconscionable.

Some of our Long Term Disability clients are desperate to return to work. Who can blame them?

Staying at home is boring. It leaves you isolated, without a purpose, without a feeling of self worth or meaning. You aren’t able to contribute to the financial well being of your household. You feel like a burden to your family. You feel embarrassed. You feel ashamed. Getting in to a deep downward spiral of depression, sadness, despair, even have suicidal ideations is not uncommon.

These emotions can drive people one of three ways.

They can stay the same, which isn’t good.

They can get worse, which is bad.

They can be driven to return to work, against doctors’ advice or orders.

Returning to work is not bad. But, it’s important that you clear the return to work with your doctor(s). If your doctor has not provided you with clearance to return to work, then you are putting yourself at risk of harm, along with your co-workers and others who you work with or around.

If and when you return to work, it’s also important to tell you long term disability or personal injury lawyer about your plans right away, so that they can deal with it accordingly.

Hiding your return to work will cause you nothing but harm; especially for your long term disability case.

Surveillance commissioned by a large long term disability insurance company which tracks your daily movements is a very real thing. The insurance company has a lot of information on you.Goldfinger-logo-icon-300x300

They know your legal name, address, postal code, phone number, employment information, doctor information, specialist information, social insurance number. They may have already stalked you online on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram when your Long Term Disability application was first received.

To think that the long term disability insurer and their private investigators won’t be able to track you down and find out what you’re up to is both naive and foolish.

Even if they haven’t caught you red handed, or in the act so to say, the truth will eventually surface. And when it does, those truths will likely ruin all of the goodwill and credibility you may have established with your long term disability insurer. Being known as an insurance fraudster, someone who has lied or attempted to deceive an insurer in order to claim long term disability benefits will completely destroy what may be an otherwise meritorious claim.

There is nothing wrong with an attempt to return to work. If that return to work is a success; then it’s a win-win. You are back at work and earning an income. The long term disability case can now settle much faster because there is a finite period of time in which benefits are in dispute.

If your return to work is a failure, then it’s a win too! Your long term disability lawyer can now show concrete proof to the insurer and their lawyers that you have tried to return to work, you have tried to mitigate your damages, but the return to work trial was unsuccessful. Even more reason that your claim for long term disability benefits ought to be approved (like now!). It also shows that you’re a hard working, determined person who is not looking for a hand out from the long term disability insurer.

Judges like that. Juries like that. Believe it or not, so do long term disability adjusters.

Our personal injury lawyers have seen cases where our very own ex-clients have attempted to not only deceive us, but deceive the long term disability insurer and their own doctors telling them one thing, and doing another. Stating under oath at an Examination for Discovery that they can’t work, telling their doctor that they aren’t working; telling their very own lawyers that they aren’t working;  yet they are working at a cash job where they are not reporting an income.

Working a cash job, even if it’s cash means that you can work and earn an income.

Under most long term disability policies, working a cash job even if it’s for less money will NOT meet the stringent definition of disability (particularly under the any occupation section).

When you lie under oath, lie to your doctors, and lie to your lawyers, you are only hurting yourself and completely destroying your case. Long Term Disability cases can be rather simple for clients. Don’t lie. Listen to your doctors. Do your very best to return to work. If you are truly disabled, it will show and your case will settle sooner rather than later so that you can move on with your life without having to worry about getting followed around by private investigators hired by your long term disability insurer to try to catch you in the act of doing something you shouldn’t be doing.


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