There are several sources to consider when seeking benefits for a long-term disability. The two most commonly contested sources of disability benefits are through private disability insurance companies and group disability insurance plans.
If you have private disability insurance coverage through a company such as Sun Life, Manulife, Great West Life or Canada Life, among many others, you pay a premium to secure your right to coverage should you become disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time. Claiming these benefits is not always an easy task, as many insurance providers will try to deny your claim to avoid paying the amounts of coverage you have been expecting for the years you have paid for your plan.
Group insurance coverage is often provided by an employer to protect employees who become unable to work for an extended period of time due to a disabling condition. You should expect the same ease of access to coverage with this type of insurance just as you would in a private plan, even though your employer may be paying the premiums.
The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is a type of disability benefit available to all Canadian citizens who meet the eligibility requirements for the program which is the vast knowledge of the disability lawyer Toronto.
Three Types of Benefit Providers
Personal disability insurance is typically available as part of a life insurance policy, but can also be purchased separately. These plans work just as any other insurance plan – you pay a premium and should you become disabled, your insurance policy will pay out the policy limits.
There are several types of personal disability insurance, including presumptive disability benefits, catastrophic disability benefits, and critical illness insurance. Some of these benefits may apply even if you are still able to work with your disability, while others may only apply if you are completely unable to continue working.
In addition to insurance directly related to disability, there may also be specific types of coverage under your other insurance policies that provide disability benefits. Your auto insurance policy or travel insurance may have riders that provide benefits in the event you suffer an applicable injury or illness that relates to the particular coverage.
Employer disability benefits are types of group plans provided by an employer to its employees. The benefits from these plans cover a range of impairments such as temporary sick leave, short-term disability, and long-term disability.
Once a claim is made for disability benefits you may be considered short-term disabled for the first few months. If your condition persists past the initial short-term period your case may be re-evaluated for long-term disability and extension of benefits.
These benefits are typically provided up to two years if you are unable to perform your current occupation, after which you may be required to evaluate your disability and determine if it prevents you from performing any occupation. Your employer may pay the premium for this coverage, or include it as a deduction from your wages.
Government disability benefits are available to most Canadians through the Canadian Pension Plan’s (CPP) disability benefits program. Specific to Ontario residents is the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) through the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
For the CPP benefits you must be unable to work due to a “severe and prolonged” disability. The CPP defines “severe” as “having a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work” and “prolonged as ” long-term and of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death.”
The ODSP provides income support benefits available to persons with a substantial mental or physical disability that is continuous or recurrent, is expected to last a year or more, has been verified by an approved health professional, and impairs their ability to work, care for themselves, or participate in the community.
The amount of income support will depend on the size of your family and your income, assets and costs of housing. If you are able to work, employment support through ODSP can help you prepare to work and even start your own business.
If you have been denied your long-term disability benefits, call the Preszler Law Firm today at 1-800-JUSTICE® in order to speak to an experienced disability lawyer who will be able to answer your questions. You may also fill out our Online Case Evaluation Form to have a lawyer call you back promptly. The call is free, the consultation is free and most importantly you don’t pay unless we recover money for you.