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Do you need to win short-term disability benefits? Are you struggling with your appeal? Do you have questions about working with short-term disability lawyers?
If you answered “YES,” then call us toll-free at (888) 732-0470 or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation by phone or email. This evaluation is free.
Fill out this form to request your free consultation
- Fill out this form to request your free consultation
- How we help you
- What to expect from a free case evaluation
- Types of Short-term Disability Claims
- Applying for Short-term Disability Benefits
- Appealing a denial of short-term disability benefits
- Lawsuits for Short-term Disability Benefits
- Why it’s hard to win short-term disability benefits
- FAQs about short-term disability lawyers
- Next Step – Download our free book on how to win short-term disability benefits
How we help you
We represent clients at the appeal stage of the short-term disability claim process when they are also ready to apply for long-term disability benefits.
We deliver 95% of our services remotely from our offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Moncton, and Halifax. In some cases, you will never have to leave your home. We travel to your city or town when necessary. Any in-person meetings are held at our office or other professional conference rooms in your area.
What to expect from a free consultation
Our free consultations are done by phone or email, whichever you prefer. Your conversation starts with one of our disability claim consultants. They are members of the disability support team who are experienced and knowledgeable about all types of disability claims and our services. They will be able to answer most of your questions. We have lawyers on our support team who can be brought in to answer more complex questions or to give legal advice.
Not ready for an evaluation right now? Take a moment to download our guide on How to Hire a Disability Lawyer. Learn the mistakes to avoid. Click on the image below.
Types of Short-term Disability Claims
We represent clients in a variety of short-term disability claims. Below, I review the common situations and explain how we can help.
Short-term disability through group insurance plans
Many workplace group insurance plans include short-term disability benefits. This is the same plan that includes your medical, dental and drug coverage. You file a claim for short-term disability benefits through the group plan. The insurance company that runs the group plan will decide to approve or deny your claim. Our short-term disability lawyers help you in appealing a denial of benefits and the transition from short-term disability to long-term disability.
Short-term disability benefits paid by the employer
Some employers choose to pay short-term disability benefits directly to employees rather than buy a group insurance plan. For larger employers, it can be less expensive to simply pay the short-term disability claims rather than pay the insurance premiums for this type of group benefit.
However, most employers will still hire an insurance company (or benefits administrator) to administer the plan. This can give the appearance that the employer-paid plan is being paid by an insurance company.
From a practical point of view, there isn’t much difference in applying for benefits under an employer-paid short-term disability plan. You will need to fill out forms and will be dealing with an external claims administrator.
Our short-term disability lawyers can represent you in appealing a denial of benefits and the transition from short-term disability to long-term disability.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
The Federal Government pays short-term disability through the Employment Insurance program run by Service Canada. These are called EI sickness benefits and they are paid to people who need to be off work because of an illness, injury or disability. The benefits are paid for up to 15 weeks and cover up to 55% of your weekly pay. This benefit is available to workers who do not have short-term disability benefits available from their employer or group insurance plan.
Our short-term disability lawyers typically do not represent people in EI Sickness Claims. This is because you have a 100% chance of being approved as long as you meet the contribution requirements and you have a doctor certifying you can’t work. Unlike insurance and employer-paid programs, Service Canada will not dispute the opinion of your own doctor.
To learn more, check out our Ultimate Guide to EI Sickness Benefits.
Applying for Short-term Disability Benefits
You apply for short-term disability benefits by filling out the forms provided by your employer, insurance company or benefits administrator. There will be three forms to fill out.
First, there is a notice of claim form that you must fill out. Take care in filling out this form because it is the foundation of your claim for short-term disability and potential claim for long-term disability.
Second, there is a form your doctor must fill out. You are responsible for getting your doctor to complete this form. The best way to do this is to book a medical appointment specifically to review this form with your doctor. Don’t try to fit it in on an appointment focused on other medical issues. Your doctor can give the completed form back to you, or they can send it to the claims administrator. Ideally, you want to have a copy of this report so you know what the doctor has said.
Finally, there is a form your employer must fill out. The employer gives details about your employment, work duties, salary, and last day worked. You must review this form to make sure the information is accurate. Human resources staff often fill these out quickly and get important details wrong.
Depending on your situation, we can handle some short-term disability claims on a no-win, no-fee basis. With this arrangement, we get paid a percentage of your past benefits owed. Otherwise, we handle these claims for a flat fee payable in advance. However, you will know exactly what it will cost, so there are no surprises.
Appealing a denial of short-term disability benefits
If the benefits administrator denies your claim, you can appeal the decision. Your employer or insurance company will have a process for how to appeal. An appeal means that you formally ask the benefits administrator to reverse their decision to deny your claim. You do this by providing more medical information and explaining why the decision is wrong. You need to convince them to change their minds, which is often not easy to do.
Our short-term disability lawyers represent clients in appealing denials of short-term disability. We start by getting the benefits administrator’s claim file so we know exactly what information they have. Next, we identify the key issues causing the denial and gather evidence to support the appeal. We then prepare an appeal letter to send along with the new evidence to support your claim.
We can also handle your application for long-term disability benefits while we are appealing the short-term disability denial. Many people are not aware it is possible to do both things at the same time. This reduces delays and gives you the best chance to get paid all benefits as fast as possible.
Lawsuits for Short-term Disability Benefits
When all appeals fail, the last resort is to bring a lawsuit against the insurance company or your employer. We refer to this lawsuit as doing a legal appeal.
There are several misconceptions about legal appeals. For example, if you have to sue your employer for non-payment of short-term disability, this does not mean that you are quitting your job. Employers understand this is part of the process.
There are many options for how to bring the lawsuit. You must take special care in choosing the right court in which to bring your claim. Choosing the wrong court can have disastrous consequences if you also have to appeal a long-term disability denial for the same work absence. Seek legal advice before starting any lawsuits.
Our short-term disability lawyers can help you by representing you in the lawsuit for payment of short-term disability benefits. Often, filing a lawsuit is enough to cause the employer or insurance company to pay. We can also include this lawsuit as part of your long-term disability appeals or lawsuits.
Why it’s hard to win short-term disability benefits
Winning short-term disability benefits is not easy. Insurance companies approve some claims. But most people get denied. Denials can happen when you first apply. Or, denials can happen months after approval. Most people get denied at some point.
So, why is short-term disability so hard to win? Even if you are legitimately disabled? There is no easy answer. You must prepare your claim properly. You have to convince the insurance company to believe you. Otherwise, they will deny your claim.
For example, common reasons for denial include:
- lack of medical evidence
- your situation has “red flags”
- they think you can do other work
- you’re not getting the right treatment
- they don’t believe you
FAQs about short-term disability lawyers
Next Step – Download our free book on how to win short-term disability benefits
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