When people suffer a serious injury or sustain an illness and are unable to return to work for a period of time, they might have access to several long-term disability benefit options, depending upon the nature of the circumstances.
The following guide serves as a brief synopsis for a few long-term disability benefit options available to Ontario residents. For more detailed information regarding what options might be best for you, or for help in obtaining benefits, consult a local disability lawyer.
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If you are disabled due to a work-related illness or injury, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, administered by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. The benefits consist of wage replacement compensation and medical benefits.
You should be able to qualify for workers’ compensation if:
- your injury or illness is work-related; and
- you cannot work because of your work-related disability.
It’s not uncommon for benefits to be wrongly denied or prematurely canceled. If you find yourself in this predicament, begin the process of Workers’ Compensation Appeals.
Ontario Disability Support Program
Another possible disability benefit for disabled Ontario residents is the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), an income support program overseen by the Disability Adjudication Unit of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
ODSP benefits are part of a social assistance program that helps residents with substantial disabilities pay for necessities such as housing and food.
In order to qualify, you must:
- be an adult;
- demonstrate financial need;
- have a serious mental or physical disability lasting or expected to last more than one year; and
- have difficulty earning a living or participating in community activities, family activities and self-care activities.
It’s also not uncommon for disabled individuals to have an ODSP application wrongly denied. Denied applicants will need to follow the appeals process, beginning with the request for an internal review. You may wish to secure a lawyer before beginning the appeals process to help build your case.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
When people become disabled and are unable to return to work, they may be able to collect long-term disability insurance. Unlike workers’ comp, this type of policy is unaffected by how your injury or illness occurred; it doesn’t matter if it’s work-related or not. And unlike ODSP, your level of financial need does not affect it.
Many Ontario workers either carry long-term disability through their employer’s group plan or through their own individual plan. In any event, these types of policies can be hard to decipher. You may want to consult a disability lawyer to help you determine your rights and responsibilities and to help you secure the maximum amount of benefits to which you’re entitled.
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Call Preszler Law for Help Pursuing Disability Benefits in Ontario
For help determining and obtaining benefits when you’re suffering from a long-term disability, call our team at the Preszler Law Firm. Contact us today at 1-800-JUSTICE®for a free, no-obligation consultation.