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ONTARIO’S LONG-TERM DISABILITY LAWYERS

FREE CONSULTATIONS, MILLIONS RECOVERED, FIGHTING FOR THE DISABLED SINCE 2003

Book your Free Consultation and get your case started today with Ontario's Top Disability Lawyers.

With our Disability Law Firm, the Fee is Free. You only pay if and when we win your disability case. We NEVER ask our clients for money upfront.

You’ve paid your long-term disability premiums on every single paycheque, and now your disability insurance company has cut off or denied your long-term disability benefits. We understand that you don’t know where to go or where to turn. You don’t know who to talk to, or who to hire to help. Out of all the bad news, the good news is that you are fully entitled and allowed to hire your own long-term disability lawyer to help file your disability appeal and get your benefits back on track. Our Ontario Disability Lawyers have helped claimants across Ontario secure millions in wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits – and we can help you.

We’ve seen this situation countless times before. Your injury or illness prevents you from working – and you feel like your adjuster is not listening to you, has ignored you or mistreated you for months, then, suddenly, your disability claim is denied or your benefits are cut-off.

You Have the Right to Hire a Disability Lawyer. What your Insurance Company won’t tell you.

If you need to stop working because of an injury or chronic illness, you may be entitled to long-term disability benefits. If you file for disability insurance benefits and your insurance company unreasonably denied your long-term disability application or has cut off your long-term disability benefits, you have the right to hire a long-term disability lawyer to help you with your appeal.

Our Ontario disability lawyers have secured millions of dollars in wrongfully denied disability benefits for claimants across Ontario. Our disability lawyers represent claimants at various stages of denied disability benefits with short-term disability benefits, denied long-term disability benefit applications, disability benefits that are randomly cut off and disability benefits that are cut off at the two-year mark or at what is otherwise known as the the “change of definition”.

Our Ontario disability lawyers understand the incredible stress and possible financial disaster that individuals and families can be forced into, which in turn can cause a serious emotional toll if their disability insurance carrier cuts off their long-term disability benefits and leaves them suddenly without income.

The process of appealing your long-term disability denial could be difficult – Ontario disability lawyers have secured millions in wrongfully denied insurance benefits for our clients, and we can help you.

If you have been denied or cut off your long-term disability benefits, don’t give up the fight. Matt Lalande is a long-term disability lawyer in Ontario who has been fighting for people who have been denied disability benefits since 2003. He’s represented many disabled claimants who have been unreasonably denied or cut off their long-term disability benefits.

We have handled cases against every major disability insurance company in Canada.  If you have been denied disability benefits, we can help you, no matter which stage of the disability benefits claims process you are at. When you work with us and our Ontario disability lawyers, you will never be asked for fees upfront.

With our Ontario Disability Law firm the Fee is Free – you never pay anything until we win

We fully understand that the last thing you want to be worrying about after being denied your monthly income disability benefits is a legal bill. That’s why, when you contact our Ontario Disability Lawyers, your disability consultation is always free and we will never ask you for money upfront. On top of that, you are under NO obligation to retain our firm. We are more than happy to discuss your case with you and advise you of your legal rights.

The disability claims process is time-consuming and can leave many people who go through it feeling hopeless. In addition, the complex language of the insurance contract can leave many clients feeling frustrated. If you’ve had your disability benefits claims rejected, you have to speak to an experienced disability lawyer to work with you to protect your rights and get you your rightful benefits. We can set up a consultation with you to discuss your case and answer any of your questions about your case. This can be done via online chat, email or the phone, without any charge to you.

Interested in learning more? Read all about How Much it Costs to Hire a Disability Lawyer here.

With our firm, we only get paid when you get paid. Our disability law firm won’t ask you for money upfront. We only charge for our legal services if we are able to either reinstate your benefits or arrive at a lump sum settlement of your future benefit entitlement.

After years of paying your premiums, your Insurance Company refuses to pay you in a time of need. It’s something we see time and time again.

If you have become sick or disabled and are suddenly unable to work, you have the right to an Ontario disability lawyer and file a benefits claim through your private insurance company or through your place of employment (group policy) for payment of benefits to replace your income. 

The most unfortunate truth is that many claims are initially denied. Disability applications can be denied at the application stage for a number of reasons. If this occurs, it’s essential that you bring on an experienced disability lawyer to make sure that your case is handled efficiently, in order to receive the disability benefits you deserve. Most disability claimants receive disability insurance through their work group disability policies. Disability insurance in Ontario covers a wide range of medical conditions, such as severe bi-polar disorder, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, severe chronic pain, MS and other related health conditions. If you have suffered a total disability, meaning that you are medically unfit to perform the substantial duties of your occupation, you qualify for long-term disability benefits in Ontario. Individuals that suffer severe injury or illness can be forced to rely on monthly income benefits to make ends meet and support family and dependents. Despite this, some insurance companies unreasonably deny disability benefits to properly qualified claimants. The system is complex, making it even more crucial that you speak to an Ontario disability lawyer today to learn your rights.

Has your Disability Insurance Company cut-off y our long-term disability benefits?

If your insurance company has cut off your disability benefits without proper cause, you should immediately speak to an experienced Ontario long-term disability lawyer. Disability policies in Canada state that claimants are entitled to payment of benefits if they meet their policy definition of total disability. By definition, “total disability” is when you are no longer able to perform the core duties of your “own occupation”,  regardless of whether you may or may not be able to work another job.  After two years under these terms, most disability policies will alter their conditions from “your own occupation” to “any occupation”, meaning that you must be unable to perform the activities of any occupation for which you are reasonably suited by your professional and academic background.

It’s normally at the two-year mark that disability companies cut off disability benefits.  Insurance companies will usually argue that you are able to do “some type of job”, an assessment which may not entirely legally proper. Although it’s true that insurance companies can cancel your benefits if they find that you no longer meet the definition of “total disability, it’s also often the case that rogue insurance adjusters will cut off benefits without cause or reason.  If this is your situation, you have the right to reach out to a disability lawyer to make a claim for benefit reinstatement.

Why do I need an Ontario Long-Term Disability Lawyer?

Disability claims are extremely challenging to litigate and requires a practiced, legal professional with expertise to be successful. An experienced Ontario disability lawyer will recognize that the disability process can help return your disability income benefits. Generally our disability lawyers will go over your case with you – at no cost.  We can help assess your insurance claim and provide insight on Ontario disability laws, as well as our professional opinion as to how you can proceed with your appeals. 

If we decide to work together we will then take an in-depth look at your clinical history, and request copies of your medical history and clinical records, as well as rehabilitation records and medication records. We would then help to initiate a claim against your disability carrier, asking a Judge for a “declaration” that your disability insurance carrier pay you back for the past benefits owed to you (which they denied) and order that you are reinstated on claim – meaning that your disability benefits will be re-started and continue.  Our Ontario disability lawyers work with the best experts from all over Ontario and will guarantee that the most suitable expert is brought on to provide an opinion on your case. Always keep in mind that, in these cases, you have the burden of proving your disability, and for this, working with experienced Ontario disability lawyers will give you the best chance at success.

We help the Disabled all over Ontario

Our long-term disability lawyers are locally based in Ontario, and we serve claimants all over the province! We are more than happy to meet you in your neighbourhood, no matter where you live. If it is more convenient, we’re able discuss your case and review your disability policy or other relevant documents via Zoom, Facetime, Google Meet or telephone. Our technology gives us the flexibility to support clientele all over Ontario.  In fact, it is actually preferable for us to have our first consultation over the telephone or on Zoom; as Ontario Disability Lawyers, our work is to do everything in our ability to help our clients secure their disability benefits as quickly as possible.

LTD benefit denials take time to handle and can be discouraging – so get the help you need. If you’ve been denied disability benefits, it’s very important to keep a positive attitude and understand that the fight is far from over. You are fully within your rights to launch a challenge against your disability benefits denial and have a Judge determine if you meet the policy definition of disability. Before you even think about giving up your case, speak to an experienced disability lawyer so that you get all the facts. 

We have served clients in:

  • Hamilton
  • Milton
  • Toronto
  • St-Catharines
  • Niagara
  • Welland
  • Oakville
  • London
  • Owen Sound
  • Innisfil
  • Barrie
  • Parry-Sound
  • Sudbury
  • Ottawa
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Cornwall
  • Burlington and
  • clients in many other Ontario communities

We can help get your long-term disability benefits back.

If you suffer from a disability that makes it impossible for you to perform the essential duties of any occupation for which you have the professional and academic background, then you need to contact a disability lawyer – a professional who can inform you of your legal rights.

Fighting back against a disability insurer in Ontario is not an easy battle for anyone, and definitely not something you should try to do alone. Our lawyers have spoken to clients who come to us after being shell-shocked by the non-stop anti-coverage attacks that aim to do one thing: stop clients from receiving their disability benefits.

How do disability insurers do this? Many times, insurance companies will often hire medical professionals for the purpose of conducting health assessments, which, of course, will find that you are in “perfect” health. In reality, these doctors (who might not even be qualified enough to provide an accurate recommendation or opinion about your condition) would more than likely send their own patients to an actual professional and medical specialist. For the purposes of supporting a disability insurer’s claim against you, however, they’re happy to go ahead and provide an opinion on the matter.

Insurance companies will try to deny disability claims against those who are more well-off by suggesting that you stopped working out of choice or burnout, rather than as a result of your genuine disability. If that doesn’t work, insurance companies will often have hire staff to follow you and try to get evidence of you doing something that would contradict your medical records and prove that you’re capable of doing more than you claim.

A “choice” argument is another sneaky attempt disability companies will try to avoid paying out disability benefits. The client will be offered rehabilitation or other forms of retraining to help them get back on the job. If this offer is rejected, the insurance company will often turn around and say that it was the claimant’s decision to stay disabled, thereby disqualifying them from receiving disability benefits.

The term “total disability” does not mean helplessness, but is a technical term that refers to the inability to work the kind of job that you’ve been trained to do.

Don’t hesitate to contact an Ontario disability lawyer with a speciality in denied LTD claim litigation if you have been denied disability benefits in Ontario. Matt Lalande has worked with hundreds of clients, representing the entire spectrum of the disability claims process: from claim denial to denial at the change of definition to lawsuits to secure disability benefits.

The first step that we need to take when you hire our Ontario long-term disability lawyers is that we need to be able to prove that you meet the definition of total disability (as it is stated under your policy) to your insurance company or, ultimately, a judge.

The mission of our Ontario disability lawyers is for you to continue receiving your disability benefits until the age of sixty-five, which is normally the maximum period of benefit recovery. On top of this, our disability lawyers will fight to have all past disability benefits owed to you up to the date of your settlement or trial paid to you.

There are cases where lump-sum settlement awards for future benefits are sometimes negotiated during settlement talks; however, these should not be a factor when starting a claim for denied benefits. The insurance company does not need to settle with you for a lump-sum amount, but it must reinstate you and pay your benefits every month if you’re totally disabled.  Matt Lalande is a disability lawyer in Ontario that has been fighting disability insurance companies since 2003. If we decide to work together on your case, he will fight every step of the way for every penny owed to you.

Do I need to hire an experienced Long-Term Disability Lawyer?

If your disability claim was wrongfully delayed or denied,  you should speak to an experienced Ontario disability lawyer who concentrates on disability insurance cases.

We recognize that being denied or cut-off long-term disability insurance can be financially disastrous to people that rely on their monthly benefits, and result in great stress. Most people that we speak to are often surprised and caught off guard when they’re denied benefits. You may be like most of our disability insurance policyholders, and surprised when you receive your claim denial. All of your premiums, privately or through work, were paid for your policy as agreed. Naturally, you expected to receive your benefits as agreed – and then you get word that you’re being denied disability benefits.

The very first thing that should be said is that you cannot delay in contacting a disability lawyer that can assist you in getting your disability benefits back on track.  An experienced disability lawyer can give you proper guidance and professional advice on how to proceed with the appeal of your denied disability claim. Our disability lawyers are experienced with gathering the necessary medical evidence needed to assist you in proving that you satisfy your policy’s definition of total disability – either being your own occupation or any occupation to which you are reasonably trained. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to get your monthly benefits started again.

Understanding more about Long-Term Disability Benefits

To better understand your disability claim, go to one of our disability resource guides for a more detailed look at each of these topics:

What does”Total Disability” mean and why does my adjuter tell me I am not totally disabled?

Your insurance company may be saying that you do not suffer a total disability because of the language that is used in many disability definitions in disability insurance policies. Typically, total disability in the context of long-term disability insurance means two things.

Most long term disability policies in Canada considers a person totally disabled in the first 24 months (2 years) of benefit payments if he or she cannot perform his or her “own occupation” satisfactorily, as a result of disability. Even in cases where an individual is able to independently handle minor aspects of the job, he or she is still considered totally disabled. This is referred to as total disability of your “own occupation.”

After the initial 24-month period of time, a large number of disability policies disability will switch to an “any occupation” definition, which requires that the definition of total disability be satisfied when the insured person demonstrates that he or she is unable to engage in any job or perform any sort of work for compensation.

It’s common to hear that insurance companies will stop disability payments at the two-year mark and claim that you are capable of doing “some type” of work for compensation. In fact, legally, the definitions are a bit more complicated than this. If your adjuster says that you are not totally disabled call our Ontario disability lawyers for more information so we can review your case and advise you of your rights.

Do I need to travel to your office to be your client?

You do not. Whether it’s online by Zoom or Facetime or on the telephone, we have the technology and are able to connect with you about your situation remotely. It’s been our experience that it doesn’t take us much time to make a determination as to whether or not your long-term disability insurance provider unreasonably denied or cut off your benefits. We are happy to schedule a free consultation with you to discuss your situation. If we believe that you have a legitimate case, we are more than happy to meet with you by Zoom, Facetime or Google Meet whenever you need. Our disability lawyers also have the technology to serve clients remotely. You can have access to your files digitally, and any and all signatures or other things we need from you can certainly be done remotely – quite simply!

What are the most common long-term disability questions?

  1. I've been cut off or denied long-term disability, what should I do?

    We understand that this is a confusing time and you may be upset. However, if you've been cut off or denied your long-term disability benefits, its essential to get legal advice from a disability lawyer now. Remember that you may still be entitled to your monthly benefits even though they have been denied.

  2. Do you offer free long-term disability consultations?

    Speaking with our Ontario disability lawyers is ALWAYS free. We never ask for payment upfront.

  3. Why do most disability claims get cut off after 2 years on disability?

    Generally most disability policies have a change of definition. During the first two years of being on disability, a claimant only needs to be substantially disabled from performing the regular duties of his or her own job, but this definition is often changed after two years. After two years, a claimant must be totally disabled from any employment for which he or she has training and background in order to qualify for disability benefits. Essentially, definition changes make it more difficult for claimants to obtain disability benefits and, that's when most disability carriers cut claimants off the plan.

  4. Do I need to come into your office for my free disability consultation?

    Not at all! We represent disability claimants all over Ontario, and are more than happy to meet you via Zoom, Google Meet or Facetime. Also, our office technology is set up to allow for remote file and digital signature access, so our lawyers are fully operational remotely.

  5. Where in Ontario do your lawyers serve?

    Our Ontario disability lawyers represent denied disability claimants across the province, from the Golden Horseshoe area to Niagara Falls, and from Ottawa to Sudbury. Our disability lawyers are ready to discuss your situation at any time. We will never ask you for money upfront, and your meeting is without obligation

  6. Can I lump or settle out my LTD benefits?

    This may depend on the situation and your case. When a disability lawsuit is submitted, you are asking that a Judge declare you are totally disabled according to the definition of your disability policy.  With other lawsuits, disability claims do sometimes settle for lump-sum payments.

  7. Why does long-term disability deduct CPP Disability benefits?

    A majority of LTD disability policies require a claimant to apply for CPP disability. Most LTD carriers will request that a claimant applies for CPP disability after two years of disability payments. Your LTD insurance company then gets to set off or withdraw your CPP monthly payment from the total sum of long-term disability payable to you.

  8. What does a long-term disability insurance company get to deduct from my monthly payment?

    It all depends on your disability policy. However, many policies do state that the following may be deductible from your long-term disability benefits IF you are receiving the benefit:
    1. Severance packages
    2. Ontario Works benefits
    3. Ontario Disability Support Plan (ODSP)
    4. Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits
    5. Employment Insurance (EI)
    6. Financial Gifts

  9. What is the change of definition that my adjuster keeps talking about?

    Generally, LTD policies contain a condition that says that a person is eligible to receive benefits if he is not able from working at his own occupation for the first two years. This is known as the own occupation (own occ) period. After the first two years, the standard changes to a more difficult definition, requiring the individual to be disabled from performing any occupation for which he is reasonably suited (wording like “qualified, or could become qualified for, by reason of education, training or experience”). This is known the any occupation (any occ) period. Since the test for the own occu period is less onerous, and the insurance company's potential exposure is lower, insurance companies will often pay benefits during the own occ period, but resist paying benefits into the any occ period. In the latter period the potential payout, especially for a young person, could be significant.  Before the “own occ” period expires, the insurer may send the insured to one or more independent medical examinations (IMEs) in order to obtain medical evidence that would support terminating the claim at the end of the own occ period or conduct surveillance.

  10. Why were my disability benefits cut off?

    There are a number of reasons why a LTD claim might be denied or terminated:
    1. Lack of forms and necessary documentation.
    2. Employer did not give the proper documentation.
    3. Misrepresentations on claims forms or other supporting documentation, such as a pre-existing condition that was not declared or not fully disclosed.
    4. Missed deadline for submitting a claim.
    5. Failure to have the injury or condition properly documented by the client’s doctors.
    6. Failure to participate in treatment regiment or rehabilitation.
    7. Surveillance evidence contradicting the client’s claimed level of disability.
    8. The change of definition.
    9. Adjuster inattention.
    10. The insurance company not having understood your disorder or disease.
    11. A biased insurance company medical expert.

  11. What happens if I’m denied disability?

    If you have been denied long-term disability the best thing you can do is contact our Ontario disability lawyers to discuss your situation, no matter where you are in Ontario. Our lawyers can help direct you through the process and offer you choices and show you how to appeal it through the court system.

  12. What does Total Disability Mean?

    Total disability, as it pertains to disability insurance, typically has two meanings. The majority of disability policies say that total disability within the first two years of benefit payments is established where the insured is unable to perform the important duties of his or her regular job, even though the insured may be capable of performing another occupation. This is otherwise known as the “own occupation” disability provision. After 2 years of disability, most policies state that payments of benefits will be made to an insured who is incapable of doing activities required for the occupation for which he or she has trained for and has experience doing.

  13. What does own occ or own occupation mean?

    A person is totally disabled and unable to carry on his or her own occupation if the disability prevents him or her from performing the substantial duties of that occupation and from carrying out its major functions

  14. How long do Long-Term Disability benefits Last?

    An Long-Term Disability policy generally pays a portion of the policyholder’s usual salary or income as a monthly benefit until the person (in most cases) is:
    1. Able to demonstrate an ability to return to work.
    2. Not considered disabled by definition.
    3. At the age of retirement (age 65), if the individual has met the policy requirements to this point in time.
    Some policies only pay for a set period (e.g. 5, 10 or 15 years) while other policies cover the person for life.

  15. My LTD Carrier is telling me to apply for CPP Disability – do I need to do this?

    Yes, a significant number of policies require the insured to apply for CPP disability benefits. Some also require the insured to appeal a denied claim. In addition, there may be a provision for an offset for CPP disability benefits received by the insured.

  16. What conditions qualify for long-term disability?

    The following are only some conditions which qualify for long-term disability benefits:
    1. Cancer
    2. Depression
    3. Chronic Pain
    4. Bi-Polar Disorder
    5. Mental Illness
    6. Heart Disease
    7. Serious Injury
    8. Brain Injury
    9. Serious Arthritis
    10. Rheumatoid Arthritis
    11. Autoimmune Disorders
    12. Blood Disorders

  17. What are Long-Term Disability Benefits?

    The essence of a long-term disability policy is for the insurer to pay a monthly benefit to you as the policyholder – provided that you meet the applicable definition of disability and you are not precluded from receiving disability benefits due to any applicable exclusion in your policy.

  18. What are long-term disability policy exclusions?

    Unfortunately, many long-term disability insurance policies have exclusions and limitations that may prevent you from collecting long-term disability benefits. If you read the details written in fine print in your long-term disability policy, you will notice a provision entitled “exclusions”, some of which are:
    Alcohol and Substance Abuse – many policies do not cover cases of absenteeism as a result of the connection with substance abuse.
    Self Inflicted injuries or illness – if you have engaged in self-harm or caused yourself to be sick you may not qualify for long-term disability insurance.
    Medical or surgical care that is not necessary – “electing” for surgical care that is not vital can make someone ineligible for long-term disability benefits.
    Committing or attempting to commit an assault – assault will more likely than not void will cause you to be declined benefits.
    Being involved in or committing a criminal act – will probably void coverage.

  19. What type of disability insurance coverage is available in Ontario?

    There are three kinds of disability insurance coverage:
    Government Plans – which include the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), employment insurance, and Worker’s Compensation (WSIB).
    Group Benefit Plans – which are available for employed members of a company or an association. Group plans offer more limited disability protection but at a lower cost to the insured and employer.
    Individual Long-Term Disability Policies – available directly from an insurance company or broker, on a client-by-client basis. They provide the most extensive protection but require higher payments.

  20. What is short-term disability?

    Short-term disability (STD) are benefits that kick in from the start of disability and the application for long-term disability. STD might be offered through group employer plans. Short-term disability is meant to carry you through the elimination period, which are commonly 30, 60, 90 and 120 days. After the elimination period, the claimant would then apply for long-term disability. STD policies are usually paid for by the employer and cover income replacement for the first 120 days of injury or illness.

  21. What is the elimination period or the qualifying period?

    A qualifying or elimination period, which can range from 90 to 180 days, the period of time during which no benefits are paid but during this period the person may cover their lost wages by drawing on a short-term disability (STD) policy, employment insurance or government sickness benefits, which may provide an additional 15 weeks of sick benefits.  STD policies are usually paid for by the employer and cover income replacement for the first 120 days of injury or illness. The longer the elimination period, the lower the disability premium, often by a significant margin. The most common elimination that we see is 90 days.

  22. What's the point in waiting 120 days before filing for long-term disability?

    This waiting period is also referred to as your elimination period. Typically most policies have a 120 elimination period. It’s during this period that you would apply for short term disability.

  23. What happens if I’m denied disability?

    If you have been denied long-term disability, the best thing you can do is start a conversation with our Ontario disability lawyers to discuss your situation. For any and all clients in Ontario, we can help lead you through the process and provide you with options with respect to your denied claim and how to appeal it through the court system.

  24. What does total disability mean?

    When it comes to disability insurance, the term total disability can refer to two things. The overwhelming majority of disability policies state that total disability within the first two years of benefit payments means that the person in question cannot fulfill the most important duties of his or her regular job. Even if the person can still work another occupation, it is still considered total disability if he or she cannot do the job they have training and experience in. This is what's known as the “own occupation” disability provision and is the first meaning of total disability. The second meaning can kick in after 24 months of disability when policies can change the definition of total disability to stipulate that payments of benefits will be made to an insured who is unable to perform the activities of any occupation for which he or she is suited by training or experience.

  25. What does “own occupation” mean in disability law?

    A person is totally disabled and not able to carry on his or her own occupation if the disability prevents him or her from performing the substantial duties of that occupation and from carrying out its major functions

  26. What if I’m able to do some aspects of my job?

    In thinking about own occupation, even if the claimant is able to perform only minor functions of his or her job, the claimant is still considered totally disabled.

  27. How long do my disability benefits last?

    A Long-Term Disability policy will pay a portion of the policyholder’s usual salary or income as a monthly benefit until the person is: Able to return to work; no longer meets the definition of being disabled or; reaches retirement age (age 65), so long as the person continues to meet the policy requirements. Some policies only pay for a defined period (such as 5, 10 or 15 years). Other policies cover the person for life.

  28. How much will my long-term disability benefits be?

    Most policies may supply benefits equal to 65% of gross monthly earnings or 75% of net monthly earnings. There may be reductions to ensure that your total income does not go over a certain amount. For example, the policy provision may state that the employee’s total income from all sources is not to exceed 85% of your pre-disability earnings if the benefit is taxable or 85% of the pre-disability net earnings if the benefit is non-taxable. Benefit amounts may also be reduced by other benefits that a person receives or in entitled to receive from sources specified by the policy wording

  29. What can be deducted from my long-term disability benefits?

    You should know that deductions may be made from an LTD benefit amount based on policy wording. Some typical sources that may lower the LTD benefit amount include benefits the employee/plaintiff receives or is entitled to receive from: Canada pension plan (CPP); Workers' compensation (WSIB); retirement or pension plans; earnings or payments from any employer, including severance payments and vacation pay; self-employment income and government plans, except those that are excluded such as EI benefits.

  30. Does my LTD deduct severance?

    The deductibility of severance packages depends on the policy wording for the most part. If the wording is not open to interpretation, you won't need to look any further, but that may not always be the case. Where the wording is ambiguous, it's necessary to think about the nature of the severance package.

  31. Does my LTD deduct WSIB benefits?

    It's possible that some policies contain offsets for amounts received through WSIB claims. Richer v. Manulife Financial, 2007 CarswellOnt 1713 (Ont. C.A.), the client's policy provided for an offset for amounts he was entitled to receive through a WSIB claim. The insured plaintiff had made a WSIB claim which was pending. Entitlement to receive payments was not dependent on an application for compensation being approved. Manulife was entitled to lower the monthly benefit payable to the insured under the policy by the amount of WSIB benefits to which he would have been entitled had he not elected to proceed with an action. See also Robert Wilken v. Sun Life Assurance Company, 2017 CarswellOnt 19517 (Ont. C.A.) where the court observed that the plaintiff's voluntary decision to make a retroactive election, foregoing WSIB benefits to pursue a tort action, effectively would deny the insurer its contemplated and permitted offset, thereby elevating the insurer's relevant coverage obligation to a 'first payor' status that obviously was not intended.

  32. How long do I have to start a lawsuit or make a disability benefits claim?

    Usually, a lawsuit must begin within two years of the date of the benefits denial unless something else is stated in the contract. Deciding when the limitation period begins to run is not always clear and often the principle of discoverability makes matters more complicated.

  33. Are Legal Fees Tax Deductible?

    Yes, legal expenses paid to collect or establish the right to reinstatement of disability insurance benefits or the right to a lump sum disability insurance settlement of past and future benefits are deductible for tax purposes. Where a client incurred legal costs, those expenses are deductible from the settlement amount as being reasonable, necessary expenses incurred to realize the settlement that was achieved. Without the legal costs, the settlement would not have been realized by the claimant. Where the lump sum disability insurance settlement between the claimant and the disability insurer does not specify the sum of legal costs, the Tax Court of Canada will consider the evidence of what legal expenses were incurred.

Disability Conditions we can help with

When it comes to long-term disability insurance benefits, the definition of disability varies depending on the terms and limitations of your policy. That said, most policy definitions remain the same. Normally, a total disability is defined as when you are unable to complete the essential duties of your own occupation for the first 24 months after the onset of your disability.

After 24 months, a claimant will be considered totally disabled if he or she is unable to complete the substantial duties of any occupation for which he or she is reasonably suited by way of education, training and experience. 

Since 2003, disability lawyer Matt Lalande has represented disabled claimants all over Ontario at all stages of disability benefits against every major Canadian insurance company – with disabilities such as:

  • Anxiety disordersMany people with anxiety disorders have phobias or panic attacks that are so debilitating that they seriously affect their ability to work. Medication and psychotherapy cannot always help manage anxiety attacks and let someone suffering from anxiety hold down a job.
  • Asthma/COPD – Respiratory disorders can make it challenging to work, especially in positions that call for physical activity or labour. As asthma/COPD worsens, some people even require regular oxygen or other supplemental treatments.
  • ArthritisAnyone who has experienced arthritis understands firsthand how restricting the pain and stiffness can be. The experience is the same in cases of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. This condition can stop people from being able to fulfill their basic job duties.
  • Autoimmune DisordersMany individuals suffer from autoimmune disorders that can have debilitating symptoms, including lupus, connective tissue disease, scleroderma, and more. Disability as a result of autoimmune disorders will connect to the type of autoimmune disorder and the symptoms associated with it.
  • Back PainAlthough many people eventually recover from back pain, back pain is a condition that millions of people deal with on a daily basis. With chronic back pain, physical tasks as simple as sitting or standing for a short time at work can mean excruciating pain.
  • Bipolar disorder Type 1 or Type 2People who develop mental conditions like bipolar may require lifelong psychotherapy and medication to manage the condition and its symptoms. In spite of proper management, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can still make it impossible to hold a job.
  • Brain Injuries Acquired or Traumatic – Whether as a result of oxygen deprivation or head trauma, brain injury can result in significant, long-term cognitive and physical impairments. Brain injuries can occur to people at any age, including during birth.
  • Breast CancerIt goes without saying that a breast cancer diagnosis is an incredibly stressful piece of news to receive for most people. While 88 percent of breast cancer patients in Canada survive for five years, the side effects of treatment can result in long-term disability.
  • CancerA cancer diagnosis is one of the most unexpected things that can happen in a person’s life. When it happens, treatment is started right away. Chemotherapy and other intensive treatment can have debilitating side effects, and later-stage cancer can require patients to stop working permanently.
  • Cerebral palsy – A condition that occurs as a result of a birth injury, CP can cause numerous mobility disorders that affect a person’s abilities for life. For some, cerebral palsy can mean work disability for life.
  • Chronic back and neck problems – Long-term issues that affect the neck and back, parts of the body that are integral to physically holding up the body, can mean pain and immobility. Chronic pain or movement restrictions can keep people from performing job duties as they normally would.
  • Chronic Regional Pain SyndromeVictims of CRPS know that this condition means nerve pain that is far worse than the pain from the initial injury and surgery, with very little relief.
  • Crohn’s DiseaseThe symptoms of this type of inflammatory bowel disease can include life-stopping pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and more, any of which can mean work disability.
  • Dementia – Early-onset dementia affects a surprisingly high number of people. It is a condition that can lead to rapid cognitive decline, making it impossible to keep working.
  • Depression People with depression and related mood disorders can experience bouts that prevent them from being productive, going out or even leaving their rooms for long stretches of time.
  • EpilepsyAnticonvulsants can help manage seizure disorders in many situations, though certain individuals deal with symptoms that can hamper their daily lives, even with the use of medication.
  • Fibromyalgia – The effects of fibromyalgia can prevent people from maintaining regular gainful employment and having a productive life.
  • Heart DiseaseSevere heart disease prevents some people from being able to take on any type of physically challenging work.
  • Hepatitis – Patients who are living with hepatitis C are at risk of having chronic liver disease or cirrhosis. In worst-case situations, people with hepatitis C might require liver transplant, which can negatively impact their employment status.
  • Herniated discs – A herniated disc means debilitating pain and limited movement for the victim. Some people with herniated discs need spinal fusion surgery, further complicating the situation and requiring additional time for recovery.
  • HIV/AIDSIf a patient’s HIV/AIDS is symptomatic, it can affect your physical and mental abilities to the degree that you can’t work.
  • Huntington’s DiseaseA rare condition that begins in someone’s 30s or 40s, Huntington’s disease causes the progressive degeneration of the brain’s nerve cells. It can cause cognitive and physical impairment which means work disability.
  • Inner-ear/Balance disorders – Balance disorders or inner-ear damage can cause vertigo, hearing loss, or other symptoms that stop you from working.
  • Knee disorders – Healthy knees make it possible to sit, kneel, walk, or stand. Any knee damage can sideline your work; recovery for severe cases can even require surgery.
  • Leukemia – Certain kinds of leukemia can mean almost immediate symptoms, including extreme fatigue, infections, bleeding disorders, and other issues. Chemotherapy treatments can also cause side effects that can prevent someone from continuing their work.
  • Lung disease – There are numerous kinds of lung disease that can qualify as disabling. COPD, cystic fibrosis, chronic lung infections, and other kinds of lung disease can make it impossible for an individual from continuing their work.
  • Lung Cancer – Lung Cancer begins in the lungs and may spread to lymph nodes or other organs in the body,
  • Lupus – Individuals that are afflicted with more than one chronic symptom of this autoimmune disorder may be eligible for disability. Symptoms can include extreme fatigue, pain, chest pain, and more, any of which can be detrimental to someone trying to maintain a job.
  • Lymphoma – A cancer of the lymphatic system, an important part of the body’s germ-fighting network, lymphoma is a disability-causing condition. 
  • Lyme Disease – There are people with Lyme disease that can have symptoms of pain, fatigue, or cognitive challenges that can persist for years after they finish treatment.
  • Major Depression – There are types of depression that are treatment-resistant. People who have major depression might not have the mental capacity to be a productive employee or even manage regular tasks.
  • Mental IllnessWhile mental disorders might lead to a more challenging disability claim, our team represents clients with a wide range of disabling mental illnesses.
  • Morbid obesity – Having a body mass index score (BMI) of over 40 is not enough for disability on its own, but it can lead to other medical complications that can make some individuals eligible for benefits.
  • Multiple sclerosisIf MS results in disrupted motor function in at least two extremities or other sustained disturbances, it can make someone eligible for disability benefits.
  • Neck pain or neck surgery – If neck movement is impossible without pain or limitation, or you require surgery and recovery time for your neck, you might be able to get disability benefits.
  • Nervous Breakdowns – Nervous breakdowns are stressful situations in which someone may be temporarily incapable of functioning regularly in daily life.
  • Orthopedic injuries – Musculoskeletal injuries or conditions can cause severe joint or soft tissue pain as a result of a physical accident, causing the inability to work.
  • Osteoarthritis – This ailment results in pain and limited mobility as a result of the breakdown of different joints – typically, the hips, knees, hands, or spine.
  • Parkinson’s Disease – This progressive nervous system disorder can lead to physical and potentially cognitive degradation and is incurable.
  • Prostate CancerAggressive variations of prostate cancer frequently require aggressive medical approaches, which can have debilitating side effects.
  • Psychosis – This condition can result in hallucinations, agitation, incoherence, delusions, and other life-altering issues. Many cases of psychosis involve someone who may not even know that something is off.
  • Psychological illnesses – Many psychological conditions can be responsible for symptoms that disrupt your capacity to concentrate and complete the important tasks of a job.
  • Psychiatric ConditionsPsychiatric conditions require medication to handle the irregular brain activity of victims. However, in many cases, patients do not respond positively to medication and can have symptoms that result in major disability.
  • PTSDPost-traumatic stress disorder stems from a traumatic event. It is a condition that can cause someone to have many symptoms that can interfere with employment, including irrational fears, flashbacks, and avoidance of certain situations.
  • Rheumatoid arthritisThis chronic autoimmune disorder can be the cause of joint deformity, bone erosion, painful inflammation, and other consequences that make it challenging for individuals to operate several joints in the body without severe pain.
  • SchizophreniaThis intense mental disorder drives many people to lose touch with reality, experience hallucinations or delusions, and have disorganized thinking and behaviour patterns.
  • Schizoaffective DisorderInvolving both schizophrenia plus a mood disorder, schizoaffective disorder can involve cycles between severe symptoms and relief from symptoms. When someone has symptoms, they may not be able to work.
  • Scoliosis Extreme cases of spinal curvature and rotation can mean pain and movement limitations that are serious enough to interfere with regular work activities or even daily activities.
  • Seizure disorder – Chronic neurological disorders that cause electrical brain disturbances and seizures can stop someone from working. If medication is not sufficient to control the condition, it can be hazardous for someone to continue to work with a seizure disorder.
  • Severely diminished eyesight – Whether loss of vision happens as a result of a medical condition or a traumatic eye injury, diminished eyesight can make it treacherous or impossible for a sufferer to perform a job.
  • Shoulder injuries – Many people require the regular use of their shoulders at work for reaching, lifting, or engaging in any other kinds of upper-body movement. Shoulder injuries can mean constant pain and limited movement, and they might require surgery and recovery time.
  • Speech disorders – Certain speech disorders, like disfluency or articulation deficiency, can be so extreme that the individual is unable to engage in gainful employment.
  • Spinal cord injuries – Spinal trauma that is the result of a traffic crash or another accident can cause damage to the spinal cord that leads to permanent paralysis. Paralysis stops a victim from walking, and they might lose functioning in their bowel, bladder, respiratory system, upper torso and arms, and more.
  • Stroke-related complicationsStroke survivors can go through many ongoing difficulties that can keep them out of work, including blood clots, brain swelling, speech disorders, muscle tightening and spasticity, chronic headaches, depression, among others.
  • Substance Abuse Disability from alcoholism or drug addiction can be a demanding doing, although our lawyers know how to show that your substance abuse disorder is a contributing element to your disabled state.
  • Surgeries (unexpected) – There are many reasons why someone might suddenly learn they need to have major surgery. Many surgical procedures require lengthy recovery times, which might require bed rest, rehabilitation, or hospitalization, and you would not be able to work during that time and would need to rely on short-term disability.
  • Vertigo and Chronic Dizziness – When you cannot physically move without feeling the world moving around them uncontrollably or feeling light-headed, it becomes almost impossible to concentrate and execute even the simplest job responsibilities.

Success Cases for Disability Claims

At Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, we assist with claims for disability in Ontario, and we always aim for maximum benefits or compensations for our clients. This can be seen through some of our successful past results. Our of hundreds of cases that we have litigated against national disability carriers – here are a few examples of cases where we “lumped out” the long-term benefits for the client:

  • $412,00 for a man with a schizo-effective disorder
  • $520,000 for a very young nurse with a serious disease
  • $250,000 settlement for a man with chronic back pain
  • $250,000 for a young man with serious knee and back injuries
  • $175,000 settlement for a woman totally disabled by scoliosis and dextra-scoliosis
  • $125,000 settlement for a man totally disabled by epilepsy
  • $217,750.00 settlement for a young man with mental disorders
  • $262,500 settlement for a woman with mental disorders who received an initial denial of benefits
  • $277,500 for a young woman with an autoimmune disorder
  • $325,000 for a young mail carrier
  • $224,000 for a young woman who suffered a serious injury.

Since each case is different, these results do not indicate what you might expect in your claim and are meant as an example of what we can do for you. Each case is different. Each claim is different. However, these examples show that our lawyers work hard to get the benefits our clients deserve, even after an initial denial. Ask help from our Ontario disability lawyers as soon as you can.

The majority of people never need to speak to a lawyer unless they buy a house or make a will. It’s completely understandable that you may be nervous about speaking to a disability trial lawyer about your exact situation – but don’t be. Rest assured, we are approachable, easy to speak to, and will speak to you about your particular disability situation at your convenience – at no cost to you.

I’ve been denied my long-term disability benefits – what do I do?

Disability claims are complicated cases with a lot of moving parts. Trying to do it on your own is not at all recommended. Hiring a disability lawyer with experience and expertise in suing every major Canadian disability insurance company is the best thing you can do.

We readily await your telephone call, live chat, email inquiry, or form inquiry 24/7 and we would be happy to speak to you about your particular case.

Remember, our disability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid until we win your case. If we don’t, there are no fees charged to you.

Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers are long-term disability lawyers who have been representing claimants who have been wrongfully denied or cut off their disability benefits since 2003. Please complete the contact form below or give us a call no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local throughout Southern Ontario at 905-333-8888. Otherwise, you can speak to our like chat operator or fill in a contact form and one of our Ontario disability lawyers will get back to you within 24 hours.

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