The lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates are experienced with Disability, Personal Injury and Employment claims.
Short-Term Disability (STD) Benefits or Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits provide replacement income to workers who become unable to work who become temporarily or permanently disabled.
STD benefits generally apply to the period between the onset of the disability and the mandatory waiting period before LTD benefits apply, which is usually a 6 month period. STD benefits are available to assist a worker who is temporary disabled as well.
LTD benefits, once the qualifying period is met, cover any type of illness or injury that prevent you from being able to work. In the field of personal injury law, we often encounter clients who have sustained serious injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents and have applied for LTD benefits as they cannot return to work.
Some policies have exclusions; always read over your employee benefits booklet to verify which illness and types of injuries you have coverage for.
Legally speaking, the LTD policy is a contract between the employee and the insurance company providing the LTD payments. This contract means that the insurer is obliged to pay the plan member LTD benefits when he or she is prevented from working due to injury or illness. This contract also imposes obligations on the person making the claim such as providing medical evidence and attending scheduled independent medical examinations.
It is also important to note that the definition of “total disability” does not mean a person is in a vegetative state. It means the worker and plan member is unable to return to his or her workplace duties entirely and is reasonably unable to return to work. “Total disability” could refer to a worker who previously had manual labour job and suffered a serious back injury such as fractures to sections of the vertebrae. It is relative to your occupation.
Consider the following advice:
Often insurers will send a denial letter and state that you no longer meet the definition of “totally disabled” and terminate LTD benefits. It is important to also understand that insurance companies terminate benefits due to “lack of objective evidence”. This is when you will want to bring these letters to your lawyer’s attention!
Don’t forget that insurance companies hire private investigators to conduct surveillance, so be sure to act in a prudent manner.
* This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute legal advice. Please read our disclaimer for further information.
* All of our lawyers are licensed by The Law Society of Upper Canada
* Office in Toronto and able to represent people in the province of Ontario