Can I Travel on Long-Term Disability?
As long as you have medical clearance and approval from your doctor, traveling is generally allowable for those on long-term disability and should not affect benefits. However, it is imperative that you review your policy and see how the insurance carrier who provides your long-term care benefits addresses traveling before you plan your trip.
Long-term disability insurance carriers—and even plans from the same carrier—may address traveling on long-term disability in different ways. Some may require notification regardless of the length of stay or destination, some only require notification of international travel, and some may limit your ability to leave the province or the length of your stay.
Take Steps to Protect Your Benefits Before You Travel
If you receive long-term disability benefits and plan to travel, it is a good idea to review your policy well in advance of your departure. There may be certain rules you need to follow to ensure your travels do not negatively affect your disability benefits. While each policy may differ significantly—and some may not address traveling at all—others may have stipulations that include:
- How far in advance you may need to notify the insurer
- Where you may travel
- When and for how long you may travel
- Why you may travel
- How often you may travel
- What you may do while traveling
Whether it is directly addressed in your long-term disability plan paperwork or not, you should consider getting medical clearance from your doctor before you travel for any reason, including for a normal vacation with your family. Your doctor may discuss your plans with you and offer a list of things that may or may not be permissible.
When possible, you should get your doctor’s clearance or recommendation in writing. Some plans may have a form for this purpose. Your doctor’s note should include that they believe it is medically safe for you to travel, any stipulations you agreed on, and confirmation that it will not interfere with your continued treatment.
Once you have permission from your doctor, you may need to contact your long-term disability administrator to double-check that the scope of traveling you have planned is sanctioned and to let them know how to contact you during this time.
Be Aware of Your Activities While Traveling on Long-Term Disability
If you are planning a typical family vacation, traveling while on long-term disability is unlikely to cause any problems with your long-term care benefits as long as you follow the provisions listed in your plan. However, it is important that you remain vigilant about following all of your doctor’s recommendations and only engaging in approved activities while you travel.
It is possible that your insurance carrier may consider traveling and your vacation activities as a sign that you are able to handle the duties of your job or engage in other gainful activities for an employer. In other words, they may believe because you are healthy enough to partake in certain activities on vacation, you are healthy enough to return to work.
While on vacation, you should:
- Continue your treatment plan and all therapies as discussed with your doctor
- Follow the limitations and guidelines set by your doctor
- Avoid any strenuous activities
- Carefully consider any potential negative effects of sharing photos and videos of your vacation on social media or with others
Remember that your insurance carrier is likely not on your side—they would love to uncover evidence that you may be well enough to return to work. They may look at your social media accounts, have someone monitor your activities, or take other steps to attempt to do so. Your vacation may provide them with the prime opportunity to challenge your benefits if you are not careful about your activities.
Let Preszler Injury Lawyers Address Your Long-Term Disability Benefit Concerns
The definition of a disability can vary between insurance companies—and can even vary between different insurance plans from the same company. The Government of Canada recommends checking with your insurance plan administrator or insurance agent to learn your plan’s definition of disability.
If you were denied long-term disability benefits or have other concerns about getting the benefits you deserve based on your medical condition and policy, the team from Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help. Our lawyers may be able to review your policy, analyze your denial notice or other communication, and help you with a plan to fight a denial if you qualify.
Reach out to us as quickly as possible following the receipt of your denial notice. Under the Limitations Act of 2002, S.O. 2002, Chapter 24, we only have a limited time to take legal action if necessary.
Contact an Ontario Long-Term Disability Law Firm Today
Our law firm serves all of Ontario. We can come to you if you cannot visit our office because of your medical condition.
Call 1-800-JUSTICE today to discuss your case with a member of the Preszler Injury Lawyers long-term disability benefits team.