Long-term disability (LTD) benefits provide British Columbians who can’t work due to an illness or permanent injury with a crucial financial lifeline.
Instead of worrying about paying bills or putting food on the table, individuals are able to focus on their health and recovery.
Unfortunately, British Columbians are often cut off LTD benefits while they are still disabled – affecting their ability to get better and potentially worsening their condition.
READ MORE: Can my insurance company cut off my long-term disability benefits after I have been approved?
In many cases, insurance companies don’t have a legitimate reason for doing so. The reality is that insurers profit by denying disability claims and keeping your money.
If you have been cut off from LTD benefits in B.C., don’t lose hope. Here are three things you need to do.
1. Ask your insurer to provide their decision in writing
In our experience, insurance companies often tell individuals over the phone that their disability benefits will be, or have been, cut off.
While most insurers send a denial letter after the call, don’t take any chances. Before hanging up, ask your case manager to provide you with the reasons for the decision in writing.
In addition to explaining why you are being cut off from LTD benefits, the denial letter should address the appeals process and the limitation period within which you can pursue a legal claim.
READ MORE: 3 reasons you shouldn’t appeal a denied long-term disability claim
As soon as you receive your insurance company’s decision in writing, contact an experienced disability lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.
Once we are formally hired to represent you, we can use the law to get your insurer to disclose every document relevant to your case. This includes a copy of their file as well as your policy.
With this information, we can inform you of your legal options and help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Even if you don’t have a denial letter, you should still reach out to our firm. We provide consultations at no cost to you and can answer any LTD questions you have.
READ MORE: What to expect when hiring a lawyer to fight your disability claim denial
2. Consult your doctor
Shortly after you receive your insurance company’s rationale for cutting off your access to disability benefits, have your treating doctor review the denial letter.
If your physician disagrees with the insurer’s decision, ask them to clearly explain in writing why your disability prevents you from returning to work.
The more support you can get from medical professionals, the better. If other doctors are involved in your treatment, such as specialists, have them also comment on your condition in a letter or email.
In B.C., a common excuse used by insurance companies to cut off an individual’s access to disability benefits is that they no longer meet the definition of “totally disabled” under their policy. This “change of definition” typically occurs after receiving LTD for two years.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s very important that your doctor clearly outlines in writing why your disability prevents you from doing any job.
READ MORE: ‘Get full support from your doctor’: Disability lawyer’s guide to making insurance claims
An interesting case that our firm recently resolved involved a customer service representative at a bank who was struggling with an anxiety and panic disorder.
After receiving LTD for two years, her insurance company informed her that her benefits were being cut off.
When she asked why this was happening, her insurer claimed that her disability didn’t prevent her from doing other jobs.
However, the employee had strong support from her treating doctors. In their reports, they specifically noted that the severe anxiety and panic attacks she continued to have prevented her from doing any kind of work – even on a part-time basis.
Once she received the denial letter from her insurance company, she immediately contacted Samfiru Tumarkin LLP – confident that she had a strong case.
As our lawyers reviewed the denial letter and the reports from the treating doctors, it quickly became clear that the insurer didn’t consider how the employee’s condition would affect her ability to any job.
READ MORE: The insurer cut off his benefits. Then his lawyer reviewed his medical assessment
After bringing our findings to the insurance company, we were able to secure the proper amount of compensation for the customer service representative.
3. Contact us
Being cut off from LTD benefits can be an overwhelming experience. In many cases, individuals aren’t aware of the options that are available to them.
If you are denied or cut off from disability benefits in B.C. for any reason, speak with an experienced disability lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP before appealing your insurer’s decision.
READ MORE: Insurer being difficult? 3 reasons you should hire a long-term disability lawyer
Our lawyers provide free consultations and we don’t get paid unless we successfully secure the compensation from your insurer that you are legally entitled to.
Cut off long-term disability? Asked if you want to appeal the insurance company’s decision?
Contact the firm or call 1-855-821-5900 for a free consultation with a disability lawyer. We can help individuals anywhere in Canada (except Quebec). Get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.
Sivan Tumarkin and Martin Willemse are disability lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, Canada’s most positively reviewed law firm specializing in employment law and long-term disability claims. The firm provides free advice on Canada’s only Disability Law Show on TV and radio.
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