Last updated Feb. 15, 2018.
Long-term disability benefits, or coverage for lost wages during long-term infirmary, are meant to protect you in the event of an unexpected injury or illness. They are very valuable assets on which many individuals and families rely when unable to return to work.
Unfortunately, many long-term disability claims are denied upon the initial application. Should this occur, it’s important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss how best to handle your application. And, while a lawyer isn’t mandatory for appeals, having one could make all the difference in the outcome of your case and most importantly, the approval of your long term disability claim.
For questions specific to your appeal or legal advice on next steps, contact our disability lawyers at Preszler Law in Ontario.
Our personal injury lawyers can meet with you for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Common Reasons for Disability Claim Denials
Before we get into ways our team can help, let’s talk about why your disability claim may be denied in the first place. Many claims are denied simply because the application was incomplete or the applicant made inadvertent errors when filing out the forms. When you receive a letter of denial, one of the first things to do is carefully re-read your application.
Did you answer all the questions completely? Did you submit all necessary documentation? If you find a discrepancy or missing information, often simply correcting your errors and resubmitting your application will be enough.
Another reason long-term disability benefit claims can be denied is because your condition may not meet your insurance company’s definition of disabled. Your injury may be considered severe enough or may not be expected to qualify as long-term. Have a lawyer review your policy and your medical reports to determine if your application accurately and sufficiently explained your injury.
Finally, disability claims are commonly denied because the applicant failed to submit to the insurer’s request for a medical examination. Obtaining this exam and resubmitting the application can help the claim move forward.
We Can Determine If Your Insurer Acts Unfairly
Private or employer-provided disability insurance policies have a large amount of legal terminology and fine print, making them hard to understand. We will pore over your policy and determine exactly what your rights and responsibilities are.
In many instances, insurers will act unfairly by:
- wrongly denying claims;
- prematurely ceasing benefits; or
- providing fewer benefits to the claimant than they should.
If you are working with our team at Preszler Law, we will be prepared for any speed bumps, call out the insurer if they act unscrupulously and hold them responsible for decisions. We will not allow them to pull the wool over your eyes.
Gathering Medical Evidence in a Disability Claim
Your medical records and expert testimonies are the primary pieces of evidence for your case. A disability lawyer can help gather all the necessary records, obtain medical opinions to fill in any gaps in your history and submit them to the Social Security Tribunal (SST). For some, the lack of documentation might be grounds for the initial denial.
If your original denial was related to a lack of sufficient medical evidence, your lawyer can help you obtain psychological or physical exams to substantiate your claim. Also, your lawyer can enlist the services of a medical field expert to verify the extent of your disability, which may grant credence to your disability claim. Gathering ample and convincing evidence is a challenging task; a disability lawyer will have the resources and wherewithal necessary to handle it.
Completing forms and filing them with the correct information, providing adequate proof of disability, and gathering information about income and expenses can be a long, arduous and complicated process. However, these are the processes that our lawyers are exceptionally adept at. We can help you every step of the way through the legal process in order to obtain your benefits, and take a lot of the burden off your shoulders.
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Help with the Appeals Hearing
An SST hearing provides you with the opportunity to state your side of the case and essentially prove your need for benefits to the Tribunal Member. Hearings may be conducted:
- in writing;
- in person;
- via teleconference; or
- via videoconference.
Because so much is on the line and because the process is uncharted territory for you, hearings can be quite unnerving.
When it’s time for the SST to hear your case, a disability lawyer will be able to prepare you. He or she can explain the hearing process and provide you with sample questions that the Tribunal Member might ask so that you’ll be less apt to make mistakes that might inadvertently hurt the chances of getting your claim approved.
Contact a Toronto Disability Appeal Lawyer Today
Disability lawyers are well-versed in Canadian disability law and are very familiar with appeals procedures. Having a professional working on your behalf who knows how best to approach an appeal and how to present your case in the best light can be advantageous.
Many people who are disabled find that their initial claims are denied. Depending upon the type of disability claim you are filing, there will be a specific appeals process to follow.
Should your claim be wrongly denied, our attorneys can:
- help you through the appropriate appeals process;
- collect ample evidence to demonstrate your disability;
- build a strong case in your favor; and
- ensure your rights are not thwarted.
When you secure a lawyer for your case, you will be able to rest a little easier knowing that you have a professional legal team backing you and fighting for your best interests.
If your disability claim has been denied recently, contact a disability lawyer at Preszler Law in Ontario. Contact us today at 1-800-JUSTICE® or via our online contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation.