In a recent episode of AM 650’s “The Law Show,” Derek Mah and I spent some time discussing disability claims and the legal issues that arise when your insurer refuses to honour a disability benefits policy. Lawsuits arising from disability insurance account for about 10% of the work that we do at Murphy Battista. The loss of these benefits can be hugely detrimental to the lives of injured parties. With this in mind, we decided to write a brief blog post recapping some of the key issues that we discussed on Episode 24 of “The Law Show.”
Many people carry disability insurance as part of their group benefits. Generally, if you’re a nurse, social worker, teacher, or employed through a union you will have access to disability insurance through your employer. Your collective agreement will provide further details. However, if you are self-employed or work on contract for a private employer, you will likely have to purchase your own insurance to get access to these benefits.
If you are simply making a disability claim, you probably won’t need to contact a lawyer. Based on our experience, the vast majority of these claims are dutifully honored. However, if you are not receiving your payments or are having difficulty filing your claim, it’s important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible to understand what obligations must be satisfied to prove your claim.
The first thing to know is that there are different limitation periods for disability claims that depend upon your insurance contract. It is incredibly important to familiarize yourself with these limitation periods in order to make sure you are not unjustly denied benefits that otherwise would be owed to you.
Although your policy might appear straightforward, it is not uncommon for claimants or their doctors to be misled by certain definitions. For instance, the term “totally disabled” seems to imply that an individual is entirely bedridden if not completely paralyzed. However, in many disability policies this term merely refers to the inability to perform your current job or possibly the inability to perform any job. In short, you might be able to hold a conversation with a stranger, be mobile, appear completely normal, and still meet the definition of totally disabled.
It’s important to understand all of the terms of your insurance policy, to make sure that you are not denied benefits that are owed to you.
For more information, please contact a lawyer at Murphy Battista LLP.
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Information provided in our blog posts is not intended to be legal advice.
The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.