The lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates are experienced with Disability, Personal Injury and Employment claims.
As many of you are aware, October was breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 Canadian women and the most recent statistics estimate that 26,300 women and 230 men in Canada will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in 2017 and almost 5000 women and 43 men will die from it this year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women and it is expected to remain one of the four most diagnosed types of cancer.
Some other significant statistics courtesy of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation are:
When someone makes a claim for long-term disability benefits as a result of a breast cancer diagnosis, the length of disability might extend beyond the duration of treatment. You may receive benefits for the period of time you are receiving chemotherapy and radiation and recovering from surgeries, but what happens when your oncologist tells you that you are in remission, but, you are not able to return to work?
Complications from cancer treatments unfortunately do occur, and your insurance company may not understand the extent of your limitations resulting from post-cancer difficulties. Sometimes, after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, cancer patients develop chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain, lymphedema, fibromyalgia and psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Side effects and complications from breast cancer treatment, can include:
You may be faced with a denial letter from your insurance company telling you that you are no longer eligible for benefits because you are finished your treatments and should be able to work a sedentary job (if your job was a physical type of job), or that since your job is sedentary, you should be able to return to it. You may have been asked to participate in a rehabilitation program by your insurance company (involving physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy) to prepare you for a return to work.
You might see wording in a denial letter that tells you “there is no objective medical evidence” that accounts for your inability work. But you and your doctor(s) agree that you are not ready or able to return to work. Cancer can be in remission with a good prognosis (because it has not metastasized) but you may be struggling with pain and be on numerous medications to try to cope with the pain. There may not be findings on diagnostic imaging which is why it is important to show your insurance company how the pain affects your day to day activities and limits your ability to work. For example, you can show your insurance company how you continue to be affected by pain by your continued attendance at treatment and that you go to see your doctors on an ongoing basis and therefore continue to seek medical treatment.
If you or someone you know has been denied long-term disability benefits for any reason, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. The law firm of Aaron Waxman and Associates offers a free initial consultation that can be arranged at a date and time that is convenient for you.
* 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