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How to Apply for Long-Term Disability in Canada

Date Posted:

March 28, 2024

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    Are you struggling with an injury or illness that’s keeping you from working? If so, you may be entitled to long-term disability benefits. Here at McNally Gervan, we’ve helped a number of individuals who have found themselves in a position like the one you’re in now. Oftentimes, they suspect they should try to secure disability benefits, however, they don’t know how to make a long-term disability claim

    In this blog, we dive into the topic of long-term disability insurance. We discuss what it is, what issues it covers, how long it lasts, how to apply for long-term disability in Canada, and how a lawyer can simplify the process for you.

    What Are Long-Term Disability Benefits?

    Long-term disability (LTD) benefits in Canada are a financial safety net for individuals who are unable to work due to a serious, ongoing medical condition. These benefits are designed to replace a portion of your income to protect your financial stability during these challenging times.

    Medical Conditions Long-Term Disability Insurance Covers

    LTD insurance covers a wide range of medical conditions, including:

    • Chronic illnesses including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
    • Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
    • Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
    • Musculoskeletal disorders that cause chronic pain or mobility issues

    Each policy has specific terms outlining what conditions are covered and under what circumstances. Refer to your policy to know for sure which conditions are covered.

    How Much Money Does Long-Term Disability Give You?

    The amount of money long-term disability (LTD) insurance provides is typically a percentage of your pre-disability income. Most LTD policies offer a benefit that ranges from 50% to 70% of your monthly gross income, but this figure can vary based on your specific policy.

    The exact amount you can receive also depends on your policy’s maximum benefit limit, which caps the monthly payout. For high earners, this means that even if 60% of your income exceeds the policy’s maximum monthly benefit, you will only receive up to the maximum amount specified in the policy.

    How Long is Long-Term Disability?

    The duration of long-term disability (LTD) benefits can vary depending on the specifics of the policy under which they are provided. Typically, LTD benefits can last:

    • Until the policyholder is able to return to work,
    • Until they reach the age of 65,
    • Or for a set period defined in the policy, such as 2, 5, or 10 years.

    The “benefit period,” or the length of time benefits are paid, is determined by the terms of the LTD insurance policy. Some policies may also have provisions for benefits to continue beyond age 65, especially if the disability occurs close to or after that age, but these are less common and specific to the policy’s terms.

    Steps to Apply for Long-Term Disability Benefits

    Applying for long-term disability benefits involves a series of steps. Here’s how it works:

    Step 1: Verify Your Long-Term Disability Coverage

    First, confirm whether you have long-term disability (LTD) coverage and understand the specifics of your policy. This coverage could be through your employer’s group insurance plan or a private policy you’ve purchased. 

    Review your insurance documents or speak directly with your HR department or disability insurance provider to understand your coverage details, including benefit amounts and eligibility requirements.

    Step 2: Consult with Your Doctor

    Your doctor’s support is essential in validating your claim. Discuss your condition and the impact it has on your ability to work. Make sure your doctor agrees that your health condition warrants a long-term disability claim and is prepared to provide medical evidence on your behalf.

    Step 3: Notify Your Insurance Company

    Inform your insurance company of your intention to file a disability benefits claim. This initial notification can often be done over the phone or through a written notice, depending on your insurer’s requirements.

    Step 4: Complete the Application Package

    The application package typically includes a claim form, a medical form that needs to be completed by your doctor, and an employer’s statement. Fill out your portion accurately, providing detailed information about your condition and its impact on your work.

    Step 5: Submit Your Application

    Compile your completed application package, including all required forms and supporting medical documentation, and submit it to your insurance company via the method they specify (mail, email, online portal).

    Step 6: Cooperate with the Insurance Company’s Evaluation

    Be prepared to provide additional information if requested by the insurance company during their disability insurance claims evaluation process. This may include further medical records, a detailed job description, or undergoing an independent medical examination. If all goes well, your claim will be approved and you will be provided with the benefits you need.

    Why Working With a Disability Claims Lawyer is Worth It

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    Disability insurance lawyers can guide and support you through the process of applying for long-term disability benefits. They have the training to decipher complex legal jargon, help you fully understand the terms of your insurance policy, and make sure your application complies with all necessary criteria.

    Having a disability claims lawyer in your corner is also an asset in the event your claim is denied. Long-term disability claims can be denied for various reasons, including insufficient medical evidence, failure to meet policy definitions of disability, or incomplete application forms.

    A disability claims lawyer can critically analyze the reasons for denial and develop a strategic approach to appeal the decision. Their knowledge of disability law enables them to gather the necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and present a compelling case on your behalf. Having legal representation therefore increases your chances of overturning a denied claim and securing the benefits you deserve.

    McNally Gervan – Protecting Your Interests During Tough Times

    Whether you’re trying to apply for LTD benefits, CPP disability benefits, short-term disability benefits, making a life insurance claim or dealing with a personal injury case, McNally Gervan is here to help. 

    As a trusted law firm with a track record of success and a commitment to personalized service, we ensure your rights and interests are protected, no matter what your issue is. So if you’re in need of legal support and representation, contact us for a free consultation.