Long-Term Disability Lawyers

Our team of experienced and compassionate LTD lawyers is committed to advocating for you.

Do I Need A Disability Lawyer?

Is This You?

Your insurance claim for long-term disability benefits was originally approved by your insurer, paid for some period, and then denied or terminated.

Or Is This You?

You have been fighting with your long-term disability insurer for months or even years over its denial of your LTD claim, and you have gotten nowhere but frustrated and sick.

There Is Hope

If you are experiencing one or both of these misfortunes, you have the legal right to challenge the insurer’s decision. You normally do not need to first go through the insurer’s internal ‘appeal’ process, even though your disability insurer may provide that option.

 

Long-Term Disability Benefits

You may have purchased your long-term disability insurance policy privately, or you may have coverage through a package of group benefits made available to you by your employer. Or your long-term disability claim may arise under a mortgage disability policy that your bank required you to purchase when you financed your home or business. Your disability may be the result of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), or Fibromyalgia (FM), or it may arise from a Cardiac, Respiratory, Immunologic, Neurologic, Mental Health, or other disabling conditions.

Regardless of the cause of your long-term disability or the type of LTD coverage you have (private, group, or mortgage disability), you may be legally entitled to continue receiving LTD benefits even though your insurer has told you differently.

 

Act Now

It is most important that you do not refrain from or delay consulting an LTD lawyer regarding your LTD claim because of a fear of legal costs. If your LTD claim has merit and successfully results in a payment of compensation, your legal fees and expenses will only be paid out of the compensation that you receive. If compensation cannot be obtained for you, you will not be charged. And, of course, there is never any charge for our consultations, whether or not we take your case.

 

Get Your Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer

A no-obligation free consultation with a Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyer is only a phone call away. During the call, our LTD lawyer will discuss your current circumstances with you and, based on the information you provide, will advise whether our firm may be able to assist you in challenging the insurer’s denial. We will also always be direct and upfront with you, and we will therefore tell you if our personal injury law firm is not able to assist you, and we will tell you the reason(s) why.

Our long-term disability lawyers in Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara, and Barrie serve clients across Ontario and are here to work with you. Contact our nearest office to set up your free consultation.

 


 

What Is A Long-Term Disability Insurance Policy?

Long-term disability policies exist to protect individuals who are unable to work due to a disability or illness by providing an income replacement benefit. If you are unable to work due to illness, accident, or injury for an extended period, you may qualify for long-term disability benefits through your insurer. A personal injury lawyer can help you access these LTD benefits if your LTD insurance claims are being denied or if your LTD benefits are cut off while you are still disabled or recovering.

Every long-term disability insurance policy is different. To qualify for long-term disability benefits, you will have to meet the eligibility criteria as outlined in your insurance policy. This will include meeting the definition of “disability” that is described in your insurance policy.

Objective Evidence

When clients experience physical disabilities, it is generally easier to “see” the disability. Wearing a cast, using a walking aid such as a cane or walker, or having visible scarring are some examples of objective signs of disability.

When a disability is not evident, such as mental health and chronic pain, it is harder to prove that an individual is suffering or incapable of working. Gluckstein’s long-term disability lawyers take a strategic and compassionate approach. We will explain your long-term disability insurance policy and assist with your claim so that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

 

What If My Long-Term Disability Benefits Are Denied?

When you have filed your long-term disability claim, your insurance company may give you the green light to receive your LTD benefits. However, it is important to know that LTD insurance benefits may terminate because you now fall under a change in definition of disability after a certain period of time has passed.

A two-year period is the general cut-off mark, signaling a change from being unable to work “in his or her own occupation” to being unable to work in “any occupation”. The moment your LTD benefits stop, you need to call our long-term disability lawyers in Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara, or Barrie. It is not up to your LTD insurance company to ultimately decide when your LTD benefits end.

 

What If My Long-Term Disability Benefits Are Rejected Initially?

On the other hand, LTD insurance companies can immediately reject your long-term disability claim in certain circumstances. The denial may be based upon injuries or illnesses that the insurer does not acknowledge as valid reasons for the receipt of LTD benefits, or there may be insufficient medical evidence of disability provided to the insurer which can explain your LTD claim’s denial. This is another instance when our long-term disability lawyers are well-suited to step in. We have represented many people throughout Ontario who have struggled with their LTD insurance companies.

 

What Are My Possible Remedies If I am Denied My LTD Benefits?

The remedies that LTD lawyers can pursue for you are varied and will depend on your individual circumstances, on the terms of the LTD contract that you are claiming under, and on what the law itself allows.

If your LTD claim has been denied outright and you therefore have not received any LTD benefits at all, there will be reasons provided by your insurer, which we will need to consider. The same is true if you received LTD benefits for a certain period of time and were then cut off. In either case, if we have serious questions regarding the insurer’s actions, we will discuss next steps, including the possibility of our firm being retained. In being upfront with you, however, if we feel that the insurer appears to have had reasonable cause to deny the LTD claim or terminate LTD benefits, we will tell you so and we will also try to provide you with some guidance.

 

Will I Have to Go to Court?

Settlements, not court trials, are typically the preferred way to resolve LTD claims, wherever possible, because:

  • settlements leave direct control over the outcome of the case in the hands of the parties, rather than in the hands of judges who are strangers to the parties;
  • settlements can be reached at any time, rather than the parties having to await a trial that can be many years away;
  • settlements create certainty and are much less costly than trials for all concerned; and,
  • settlements eliminate the risk that one of the parties (the losing party at trial) will have to pay the successful party a significant amount in legal costs.

One of the most important but overlooked reasons for settlement, however, is that settlements can and often do include an amount for future LTD benefits. Trial judges cannot order an LTD insurer to pay LTD benefits over a future period; the judge’s authority extends only as far as ordering past LTD benefits and interest if found to be due, and ordering payment or reinstatement of LTD benefits under the terms of the contract. Those terms typically speak only to current, not future, entitlement for which the claimant must continuously qualify.

Can I Claim Punitive Damages?

It is common for LTD claimants to feel angry, frustrated, disrespected, and mistreated by the disability insurer who has denied LTD benefits. They may feel strongly about suing the insurer not only for LTD benefits but also for punitive damages. Punitive damages are not considered ‘compensatory’ but, rather, are awarded against an insurer as a penalty to send a message that the insurer’s conduct is high-handed, malicious, egregious, or the like.

However, the reality is that our Courts rarely award punitive damages in LTD insurance cases, both because of contract principles and the finding that the insurer’s conduct, even if questionable, did not meet the high threshold required for punitive damages. A further reality is that insurers will rarely, if ever, be willing to pay any amount representing ‘punitive damages’ as part of a long-term disability insurance claim settlement.

 

What If I Belong to A Union?

Finally, in some cases, a lawsuit against the disability insurer may not be available to you. The only recourse you may have is to file a formal grievance if you are a union member. Therefore, it is important to advise our long-term disability lawyers whether you belong to a union as part of your employment. If you do, the terms of the collective agreement between your union and your company will need to be reviewed to determine whether the grievance procedure is the ‘exclusive remedy.’ If the collective agreement appears to make your employer the party responsible for payment of LTD benefits, the LTD claim will likely have to ‘litigated’ using the union grievance apparatus. On the other hand, if the terms of the collective agreement require only that your employer pays the long-term disability insurance coverage premiums to a disability insurer, or if the collective agreement is silent regarding LTD insurance, the likelihood is greater that you will be able to bring a lawsuit against the disability insurer for its denial of LTD benefits.

 

When Do I Need A Long-Term Disability Lawyer?

An LTD insurance policy should be something you can rely on, although it is not always the case. If you or a family member is unable to work due for an extended period due to an accident, illness, or injury, we recommend that you consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can help determine if you have a potential LTD claim against your insurer and can advise you on how best to appeal if your long-term disability insurance claim is denied.

Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

At Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we consider all available remedies and decide upon the most appropriate course of action once we are retained and have sufficient information and evidence necessary to assess your long-term disability claim.

Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers offers free consultations and can help you navigate through the complex area of long-term disability law.

 

How Much Will My LTD Claim Cost Me?

Reasonable efforts will be made to attempt to resolve your long-term disability claim as early and as cost-efficiently as circumstances will permit.

In representing you in your LTD claim, our LTD lawyers will examine the terms of your long-term disability insurance policy, and the contents of your collective agreement (if you are a union member), and the insurer’s claim file. We will consider the medical and other evidence that supports or undermines your long-term disability claim, as well as the legal issues that must be addressed.

The payment of fees and HST on fees is normally delayed until the conclusion of the LTD claim and is dependent upon whether compensation is recovered for you. If compensation is recovered by settlement or judgment, a fund of money will exist, out of which legal fees will be paid. If there is no recovery of compensation, no fee will be charged to you by the firm.

The amount of the fee to be charged will be an agreed percentage of the compensation recovered. The percentage will be set out in writing as part of the retainer agreement required to be signed by you if you retain Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers to represent you in your LTD claim.

What About Other Expenses?

Apart from the fees mentioned above, every case requires that the law firm incur certain expenses. Most of the expenses that arise in an LTD claim file relate to obtaining necessary information to support the LTD insurance claim, such as medical records, expert assessments, and reports. Other expenses are incurred in order to move the case forward, such as the court filing costs, process serving fees, mediator’s fees, etc. As in the case of legal fees, the expenses that we incur will be charged against any recovery of compensation when the LTD insurance claim is concluded.

If there is no recovery of compensation, expenses will not be charged to you by the firm.

As part of any claim settlement, we will seek to recover for you an additional amount for ‘costs’ and ‘disbursements.’ This will help lower the overall amount payable by you for fees and expenses out of your settlement.

 

What Can I Expect from Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers?

If we take your case, it is because we believe that there is a reasonable chance that we can help you to receive the LTD benefits you have been denied from the beginning, or have been cut off from further receiving. Any settlement of your LTD claim would only come as a result of compromise by all parties. A very general example of such a compromise would be the lump-sum payment by the insurer of past LTD benefits owing, in an amount based on an agreed past period of time. A further lump-sum payment might be made in settlement of future LTD benefits, in an amount based on an agreed period of time into the future.

Committed to Advocating for You

Our long-term disability lawyers will work with you to get the right compensation and support for the physical, emotional, and mental trauma caused by an accident, injury, or illness.

Our team of experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyers is here to guide people to become their best selves after sustaining a catastrophic injury. Speak to our personal injury lawyers in Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara, and Barrie, when you need professional representation.

Testimonials

One moment in time can change a million after it. I never imagined that anything like this would happen to me; never mind deciding on who would be the right lawyer to represent me; is willing to fight with me, for happiness I seek once again; for what I believe to be right. I found that assurance in Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers.

Sandra

The Gluckstein team was there for us every step of the way after our baby’s catastrophic birth injury. At one of the most difficult times of our lives, we were reassured by our lawyers’ deep knowledge and expertise as well as their genuine compassion for our family. They are truly amazing and we can’t recommend them enough!

The Jennings

The lawyers at Gluckstein were extremely helpful and supportive when I came to them with my case. They handled it very professionally and assertively and always had my best interests at the forefront of their actions. I am very pleased with the outcome and would recommend them to any of my friends and family.

Lindsey Dobben

We couldn’t be more satisfied with the support we got from the entire Gluckstein team following our daughters brain injury shortly after her birth. During a very trying time and after contacting numerous law firms with no response. Once Charles and the staff at Gluckstein took on our case we never looked back.

The Thomson Family

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Resources

The 1-2-3s of LTD

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Long-Term Disability: What to Expect

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The Life-Changing Impact of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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