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Winning Disability Benefits for Knee Disorders

Posted by
David Brannen
on March 24, 2018
Do you need to win disability benefits for a knee disorder? Are the Long-Term Symptoms of Knee Disorders Preventing You From Doing Your Job?


You may be suffering from the painful symptoms of knee disorders, and you may want to learn more about gaining disability benefits to compensate you.

Whether you have already started to apply for long-term disability benefits or are considering beginning the process, you probably already know that winning disability benefits can be an uphill battle and is definitely a process to prepare as meticulously as possible for. Although knee disorders are visible, you will still need to prepare very diligently to win the benefits you deserve. Winning won’t cure your knee disorders, but removing the financial burden from your shoulders and knees will be worth it.

As a former occupational therapist and current disability benefits lawyer, I can help you avoid the extra pain of lengthy bureaucratic nightmares in preparing you for the long-term disability benefits application process. If you are suffering from knee disorders in Canada, I can help you take first steps towards securing the support that you are entitled to.

This article will highlight reminders during your diagnosis and treatment, types of disability benefits you might qualify for, specific challenges in preparing your claim for knee disorders, and final thoughts on approaching the overall process and how to face the possible denial of your claims. This article is part of our series examining medical conditions and disability benefits

Documenting Your Diagnosis: A Key to Winning Disability Benefits for a Knee Disorder


A comprehensive strategy to win payment of disability benefits must take into account three key things: your occupation, the specific disability benefits provider, and your medical condition. In the case of your medical condition, gaining a firm diagnosis is step one.

You could be suffering from a variety of knee pain. Your pain could be dull and achy or sharp and severe. It could be gradually worsening, sudden, or persistent. The location may vary, too. Your pain might be along one or both sides of the knee, behind the knee, around the kneecap, or in the knee joint itself.

The pain could be triggered in various ways. You might be encountering pain in everyday activities, by overuse, or by an actual injury incident. You’ll have noticed if the pain is worsened by moment, rest or inactivity, or by prolonged sitting and standing.

Many symptoms may accompany your knee pain. Bruising and discoloring, locking and catching, a decreased range of motion, popping and snapping, or a feeling of instability could go hand in hand with the pain. Other accompanying symptoms might be skin redness, a grating sensation, swelling, the inability to bear weight, warmth to touch, and joint weakness.

If you haven’t received a diagnosis, now is the time to start working toward that. When you go to your doctor, understanding your pain will help your doctor make the diagnosis. He or she will ultimately diagnose one of many knee disorders. These include:

  • knee bursitis,
  • a torn meniscus,
  • osteoarthritis,
  • patellar tendinitis,
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome,
  • sprains and strains,
  • an ACL injury,
  • Baker’s cyst, fractures,
  • or Osteochondritis dissecans.


As you get this diagnosis, begin to record what potential recovery periods and the likelihood of full recovery might be.

The knee is a complicated area, so be aware this is only a short list of possible diagnoses. You should go to the doctor if you haven’t to help confirm a diagnosis. A knee disorder that prevents you from working is good enough to start the process of applying for disability benefits.

A successful doctor’s diagnosis of a knee disorder is no guarantee your disability claims will also be successful, but it is an important starting point. Be steady and diligent in gaining your diagnosis. The clinical signs of your knee disorder must be well documented in your medical records as you approach the disability benefits claims process.

It can be very difficult to secure a diagnosis, get acknowledgment from your employer, or understanding from family and friends. But once you are properly diagnosed with a knee disorder, you’ve taken a critical step toward winning your disability benefits. The next step is preparing a successful disability insurance claim. You may have spent a long time fighting chronic knee pain and meeting with perhaps multiple doctors to gain the diagnosis—now it’s time to get the financial help you deserve.

You could be up against insurance companies willing to confuse your illness to avoid paying the benefits you paid for. Before I share details about insurance claims specifically related to knee disorders, you should be aware of which disability benefits you qualify for in general.


Determining Which Long-Term Disability Benefits You Qualify For


As a worker, you might be eligible for one of two types of disability benefits in Canada. These are the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits and the long-term disability insurance benefits.


The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits for knee disorders


The CPP program, designed to support you after retirement, also covers disability benefits that start once you become disabled and last until you are 65. After that, these disability benefits are converted into regular pensions. In order to be eligible for the CPP disability benefits, you have to have worked for four out of the past six years and paid payroll taxes. The CPP requires you to prove that your disability is both prolonged and severe, leaving you unable to work.

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Long-term disability insurance benefits for knee disorders


Group disability insurance policies are the most common type of disability insurances in Canada. If your employer has insured you as part of a group, you are receiving your disability insurance through your job. These group disability insurance policies provide both long-term ad short-term disability benefits. If you are suffering from a knee disorder, you can apply for the long-term disability benefits if eligible. If successful, these will provide you with monthly income payments during long absences from work to ease the financial pressure weighing you down.

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Preparing to Apply for Long-Term Disability Benefits for Knee Disorders


There are specific challenges in preparing your long-term disability benefits claim for knee disorders.

I’ve already described the steps you should take to gain a firm diagnosis for knee disorders. Remember, and insurance company or the CPP disability administration will not approve your long-term disability benefits for a knee condition just because a doctor diagnosed you with the condition.

If only it were that easy.

To win disability benefits for a knee disorder, the true challenge is to prove that your symptoms render you unable to function in any workplace while taking into account your age and work experience.

You will have to present a very well organized application that includes well-documented medical evidence. In addition to comments and descriptions made above, here are the main points to consider for knee disorders.

  • It is very common for insurance companies to lack understanding of this condition. Detailed documentation is necessary.
  • Mobility limitations are often the primary cause of knee disorder-related disabilities. Monitoring and recording your difficulties or inability to move adequately will be important in your approach to the claims process.
  • Insurance companies often have an unrealistic understanding of how quickly you may recover from knee disorders, if at all. Having a clear diagnosis will help the insurance companies understand how long you may have limited mobility.
  • Even if you have functioned adequately in a work setting in previous years, your preparation and documentation must include and describe what your work setting is. A clear understating of your job duties will help the insurance companies understand why your limited mobility prevents you from adequately completing those tasks.


Denied Disability Benefits for a Knee Disorder? How You Should Respond


You’ve filled out the forms, and you’ve compiled as much evidence as you could—and yet, the letter you get politely denies you the right to disability benefits, effectively forcing you back to work.

This is a tough time, and I know that – I’ve seen it over and over again with my clients. You don’t know what you’ve done wrong, and a rejection can feel like an unjustified slap in the face.

Being told your condition doesn’t warrant financial support to give you some space to breathe and focus on your recovery adds humiliation and frustration to your knee pain. Having to force yourself back to work on knees that aren’t healthy can have increasingly devastating consequences for your physical and mental health.


The good news is that you don’t have to simply accept that your rightful claims have been denied. You can appeal the insurance company's decision instead. I have accumulated years of experience with disability benefits claims, including cases of knee disorders. It’s unfortunate that insurance companies don’t understand knee disorders very well or carry unrealistic expectations about recovery from knee injuries. But we can help them understand. I know what you are going through, and I’m confident that I can help you. You have a choice. You do not have to let insurance companies get away with denying you the support you are entitled to by law.

Still Feeling Unsure About Your Disability Claim? Sometimes a quick call with us can answer your concerns and help you move forward with confidence.Call us now at 888-732-0470 for a free consultation or click here to request a free consultation.

Tags: Disabling Medical Conditions

David Brannen
Founder & Managing Lawyer, Resolute Legal
David is a former occupational therapist turned disability lawyer. He is the founder of Resolute Legal and author of A Beginner's Guide to Disability Insurance Claims in Canada and The Beginner's Guide to CPP Disability.