What Do I Do If My Disability Insurance is Denied?

Innovative Law Firm Serving Greater Vancouver & Areas Throughout British Columbia

Posted: December 30, 2019

Woman in British Columbia reads disability insurance denial letterMillions of Canadians struggle with a disability that impacts their ability to work and perform daily functions. Whether you have a physical ailment or an “invisible illness,” there is short- and long-term disability insurance available to which you’re entitled. Unfortunately, many British Columbians who have an established and valid disability are denied disability insurance coverage. You can appeal the denial, but you have a limited time to do so, which is why having an experienced lawyer to guide you through your claim for “non-payment of benefits” is a critical step. 

Why are Disability Insurance Claims Denied? 

One of the most common reasons a disability insurance claim is denied is a lack of “objective” medical evidence that shows you are unable to work due to your disability. Countless diseases cannot be confirmed or diagnosed through diagnostic testing such as x-rays, MRIs, cat scans, and blood tests. That puts those with invisible conditions, including chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and mental illness, in a vulnerable position because their disability can’t be confirmed through the measures set in the criteria. 

Even if your disability can be objectively established, your employer or the insurance company may still deny you short- or long-term disability for other reasons. Many British Columbians are denied disability benefits because they are not treated by an “appropriate” physician regularly, which is subjective based on your medical condition. A family physician can often treat patients with disabilities, especially if they’re in a rural area with little to no access to medical professionals. However, a disability insurance adjuster may find that enough reason to deny the claim. 

When your claim is denied, you have a limited time frame to sue for “non-payment of benefits.” That period continues to tick by while you appeal the decision. Some Canadians go through the appeals process multiples times on their own and wait to contact a lawyer until they’ve exhausted their options. It’s crucial to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you receive disability benefits and complete the appeal before the limitation period ends. 

You can meet with a lawyer for free at Stephens & Holman, where we offer No Recovery No Fee legal counsel. 

What Can I Do to Strengthen My Disability Claim? 

Disability coverage denials force countless British Columbians to file civil claims and fight for the benefits that they are owed. These benefits are often two-thirds of your regular earnings, and insurance companies have stringent eligibility requirements that are confusing, especially if your disability impairs your cognitive function. Fighting a denied claim is a race against the limited time frame, which is why the first step in strengthening your disability claim is to contact a BC lawyer. Insurance companies typically pay attention when a lawyer is involved in the appeal. 

There are additional ways to build a stronger disability insurance claim, including: 

  • Maintain Your Treatment Plan: You need to take all medications as prescribed, follow your doctor’s instructions precisely, and show that you’re taking the appropriate steps to manage your disability. 
  • Keep Your Records: Your claim relies on accurate medical records and a trail of paperwork that demonstrates the extent of your medical condition, illness, or injury, and the steps you’ve taken to treat it. 
  • Write Down How Your Disability Affects Your Everyday Life: Keep a journal that lists the various ways your disability impacts you and be as detailed as possible. Remember not to downplay or exaggerate symptoms as that will adversely affect your disability insurance claim. 

Contact a Lawyer About Your Disability Insurance Claim for Free 

If you’ve been denied disability insurance benefits and payments, contact Stephens & Holman in BC today at (604) 730-4120 for a FREE consultation. We serve clients in Vancouver and 25 locations in British Columbia.