- Available in ON, NB, NS, PE, NL, MB, SK, AB, BC
Do you need to win short-term disability benefits? Are you struggling with your application or 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 click on the button below to schedule a free consultation by phone, videoconference or email. This consultation is free.
- How we help you
- What to expect from a free consultation
- Types of Short-term Disability Claim
- 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
Our short-term disability lawyers serve clients across Canada, including Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, PEI, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
We represent clients at all stages of the short-term disability claim process, including the transition from work to sick leave, applying for short-term disability, and appeal a denial of short-term disability.
We deliver 95% of our services remotely from our offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Moncton, and Halifax. With 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.
We can also represent you in any overlapping disability claims, including long-term disability, workers’ compensation, employment disputes, and the disability tax credit.
What to expect from a free consultation
Our free consultations are done by phone, email or video conference. Your conversation starts with one of our disability claim consultants. They are members of the team who are experienced and knowledgeable with 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 a consultation 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 Claim
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 workplaces 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 who runs the group plan will decide to approve or deny your claim. Our short-term disability lawyers help you fill out the paperwork to apply for benefits. We can also represent 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 the transition from work to sick leave, applying for short-term disability benefits, 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 are are paid for people who need to be off work because of an illness, injury or disability. The benefits are paid up to 15 weeks and are for 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 meed 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 long-term disability.
Second, there is a form your doctor must fill out. You are responsible to get your doctor to complete this form. The best way to do this is to book a medical appointments 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 get important details wrong.
When we represent you in a short-term disability claim, we arrange to have all three forms completed. We work with you to fill out your form. We write to your doctor with instructions about filling out the medical report. And we write to your employer to ask for a copy of the form they fill out. So we can screen it for errors.
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, then you will have to 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 benefit 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 misconceptions about what it means to do a legal appeals. For example, if we 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 on 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 the 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 happed when you first apply. Or, denials can happen months after approval. Most people get denied at some point.
So, why is long-term disability so hard to win? Even if your legitimately disabled? There is no easy answer. You must prepare your claim properly. You have 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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