Millions of Canadians struggle with a disability that impacts their ability to work and perform everyday functions. Whether you have a natural physical condition, physical ailment caused by an injury, or an “invisible illness,” you may be entitled to short- or long-term disability insurance benefits. Unfortunately, many British Columbians with valid, recognized disabilities are denied the coverage they deserve. If you were wrongfully denied, it’s essential to know that you have the ability to appeal the decision and apply for disability reconsideration. However, this time frame is limited, so having an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the process is invaluable.
Why Are Disability Insurance Claims Denied?
Being denied disability coverage forces countless British Columbians to file civil claims and fight for the benefits they are owed. These benefits often amount to up to two-thirds of regular earnings. Insurance companies have stringent eligibility requirements that can be confusing, especially if your disability impairs cognitive function.
In many cases, these claims are denied due to a lack of “objective” medical evidence that your disability precludes you from working. However, there are many diseases or disorders that cannot be either confirmed through diagnostic testing, such as x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and blood tests. Those with invisible conditions, including chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and mental illness, are left in a vulnerable position because their disability cannot be confirmed through standard criteria measures.
Even if your disability can be objectively established, your employer or the insurance company may still deny your short- or long-term disability for other reasons. For instance, you may have your claim contested because you are not being treated by an “appropriate” physician on a regular basis. This could include seeing a family physician rather than a medical professional designated for your type of disability or not seeing a medical professional frequently enough.
You will only have a short amount of time to sue for “non-payment of benefits” once your claim has been denied; this time period continues to diminish while you appeal. Some Canadians carry on through the appeals process on their own multiple times, only contacting a lawyer after all other options have been exhausted. It’s crucial that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you complete your appeal before your opportunity expires.
What Can I Do to Strengthen My Disability Claim?
Fighting for your disability benefits is a race against time and is often difficult to go through that alone. The first step towards strengthening your case is to reach out to a lawyer since insurance companies typically pay attention when legal representation is involved. There are a few other important steps that you should take, too.
Additional Ways to Build Your Disability Claim
Maintain Your Treatment Plan: You need to demonstrate that you are taking the appropriate steps to manage your disability. This involves taking all medications as prescribed and following your doctor’s exact instructions.
Keep Your Records: Your claim relies on accurate medical records that validate the extent of your medical condition, illness, or injury, as well as the steps you’ve taken to treat it.
Document How Your Disability Affects Your Daily Life: Keep a detailed journal that lists the various ways your disability impacts you. Remember not to downplay or exaggerate your symptoms; that will adversely affect your appeal.
Contact a Lawyer About Your Disability Insurance Claim
If you’ve been denied disability insurance benefits and payments, contact Stephens & Holman for a free consultation. We are proud to serve clients across Vancouver and 25 locations throughout B.C. As a No Recovery, No Fee legal counsel, we will not hold you responsible for any legal fees should we be unable to settle your claim or win your case.