Has your long-term disability claim been denied? If so our Hamilton disability lawyers are able to assist insurance claimants through all stages of a claim for denied long-term disability benefits. Over the past 15 years Matt Lalande has represented hundreds of disability claimants who have been unreasonably denied long-term disability benefits by their insurance carrier in Hamilton and throughout Ontario.
Being denied long-term disability can be terribly frustrating for claimants that rely solely on their disability income. Denied claimants can be left with disastrous financial problems if their long-term disability income is their only source of cash flow – especially if that income contributes to shared family expenses or is the only source of income for the family. Unfortunately, insurance companies simply don’t care about your financial position – if they do not see that you are disabled according to their definitions, they will cut off their policyholders without hesitation.
The process of a policyholder then going through the process of having their claim approved can be extremely frustrating and confusing. Often times, we see that disability insurance carriers engage the services of their own paid doctors to review whether or not you’re disabled – and most time – these insurance company doctors are not specialists regarding the illness or injury that claimants suffer from. The claim process is not something that you can handle alone. You need the experience of a denied disability lawyer to assist you through the process and lawsuit for reinstatement.
About Long Term Disability Claims in Ontario
The essence of long term disability is that your insurance company will pay monthly pre-determined benefits (either fixed or a percentage of salary) to you provided that you meet the applicable policy definitions of “total disability”.
What is total disability? Most long term disability polices in Canada provide that the definition “total disability” within the first two years is established when you are unable to perform the important duties of your own job, even though you maybe capable of performing another job. This is what we normally refer to as “own occupation” disability.
After two years, long-term disability policies typically switch to a disability definition of “any occupation”, which means that you must be unable to perform the activities of any occupation for which you are reasonable suited by your education, training and experience.
If you are not denied at the application process, most long-term disability carriers will deny long-term disability benefits at the two year mark, when the policy makes “switch” from you not being able to do your own job, to not being able to do any job based on your education and work exprience. It is at this point that you would bear the ultimate burden of proof, meaning that you must prove that you totally disabled and unable to perform any occupation which you are reasonably suited by means of your education, training and experience. It is at this point that you would need the assistant of an experienced long-term disability lawyer.
Winning Your Long Term Disability Claim
When you hire an experienced long-term disability lawyer, how do you win your case? Technically, you would need to prove to your insurance company , or ultimately a judge, that you satisfy the definition of total disability within the meaning of your policy. As your long-term disability lawyer, we would seek that your benefits continue uninterrupted for your maximum period of benefit recovery – which is normally to age 65. In addition to this , we would argue that you should be paid all past disability benefits that are owed to you to the date of your settlement or trial.
Lump sum settlement awards for future benefits are sometimes negotiated during settlement but should not be a factor when starting a for denied benefits. There is no obligation for insurance company to settle with you for a lump sum amount, but there is an obligation for insurance company to reinstate you if you’re totally disabled, and to continue paying your benefits every month.
Do you need a Hamilton Long Term Disability Lawyer?
If you suffer from a psychiatric or physical clinical disability which renders you unable to perform the substantial and material duties of any occupation for which you have education training and experience, in a reasonable and continual way, then it is vital that you contact a Hamilton disability lawyer and inform yourself of your legal rights. Taking on a disability insurer in Ontario is not for the faint of heart – never try to do it alone. Even as disability lawyer we see our clients bombarded with a seemingly endless barrage of anti-coverage grenades that share a single target—preventing our clients from collecting disability benefits.
How do they do this? Disability insurance carriers will often hire its own doctors to conduct medical examinations that will inevitably find you in perfect health. Alternatively, the doctor’s might not be qualified to render an opinion regarding the insured’s condition but may do so anyway – while in real life they would surely send their own patients to specialists if needed.
If you happen to be wealthy, insurance companies will at times suggest that you stopped working out of choice, or because you are burnt out, not because you are truly and genuinely disabled. If that fails, insurance companies will often have its own paparazzi conduct days of surveillance which at some point will ultimately catch you, for a minute, exhibiting behaviour which contradicts your medical records.
At time, disability carriers might also attempt to manufacture “a choice” argument by offering to retrain art rehabilitate the insured person. If the insured declines the offer, the insurer will argue that the insured has chosen to remain disabled and therefore is not entitled to long-term disability benefits. The alternate choice argument is that the insurance company will argue that you are able to do some type a job when in fact this is not always true. Total disability does not signify an absolute state of helplessness. Rather you must be unable to work in any position by which you are suited by way of education training or experience.
If you have been denied long-term disability it is important that you speak to a lawyer that specializes in denied long term disability claim litigation. Hamilton lawyer Matt Lalande has a represented hundreds of individual claimants at all stages of disability claims, whether it be the claim denial, denial at the change of definition, or lawsuits to recover disability benefits.
If I’ve been denied disability, do I need to come to your office?
The short answer is no. We represent denied disability claimants all around the province. If you have been denied disability and you live anywhere between Toronto and Niagara we are happy to come and visit you. If you live outside of the Golden horseshoe than we are happy to have a telephone conversation with you to determine the viability of your claim and the potential of success. If at that point you decide to work with our firm then we are happy to arrange your digital signature of our firm retainer and courier the appropriate documents to you overnight that we will need you to execute to commence your lawsuit.
We have represented hundreds of disability insurance claimants outside of the Golden horseshoe area from Niagara Falls to Ottawa to Sudbury. We are happy to discuss your situation at any time. We will never ask you for money upfront in your consultation is certainly without obligation.
Contacting A Hamilton Long Term Disability Lawyer
Lalande & Company lawyers are experienced in representing individuals who have been denied long-term disability benefits under private insurance plans. We have represented disability insurance claimants at all stages of the process, from the initial denial to pretrial. If your claim for long-term disability benefits was denied, our Hamilton disability lawyers will aggressively advocate your legal rights. We have represented individual claimants in disability cases who suffered from:
- Chronic pain
- psychiatric illness
- psychological illnesses
- physical pain
- cardiac difficulties
- unexpected surgeries
- the unexpected onset of early dementia
- chronic back and neck problems
- hepatitis C
- severely diminished eyesight
- anxiety and depression
- serious orthopedic injuries
- vertigo and chronic dizziness and many more conditions
We understand that you might be hesitant in contacting a lawyer because of the fear of what hiring a lawyer will cost. This is certainly a fair presumption. However, be assured that we will never ask you for money upfront to start your case, nor do we charge for initial consultations. We are more than happy to discuss your situation, provide you with an opinion and advice and help you determine your options. The lawyers at Lalande & Company Lawyers are flexible and can arrange a consultation at a time that is convenient to you and your family – and we are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please fill in a contact form or call us 24/7 at (905) 333-8888 or at 1-88-4-LAWFIRM.