Disability claim denied? need to appeal? Want to learn more about disability lawyers in Ottawa?

We know that getting the denial letter from the disability insurance company or Service Canada was one of the worst days of your life. How can they deny your disability claim, when you know for a fact you can't work?

Disability Appeal Game Plan 300xIf you are like most people , you struggled for months (sometimes years) before finally agreeing to go on an extended sick leave. You worked yourself to the point of almost total breakdown.

Going on disability benefits was the last thing you wanted to do at this point in your life. This is why the arbitrary denial of disability payments is so frustrating. 

The problem you now face is how to do the appeal? What do you need to say or do to convince the insurance company to pay you? What mistakes do you need to avoid?

We have a free service to help you. We call it our Disability Appeal Game Plan. The game plan is a 10-page report that reviews key information about your situation, and then gives an appeal plan to maximize your chances of success.

Easy 3-Step Process:

1. Schedule a free phone consultation with us.

2. Work with our team to create a customized Disability Appeal Game Plan for your situation. This is all done by phone and online.

3. Carry out the plan or get us to do it for you (and only pay us if we win).

Get started now by calling us at 343-700-5788 or by booking you appointment using the calendar below. 

About Us

Resolute legal is a national law firm focused exclusively on helping Canadians win disability payments and compensation from insurance companies, government programs and employers. Disability claims are all all do and our founder and managing lawyer is a former occupational therapist. 

We believe in a Canada where no person is denied disability payments because of legal technicalities or the wrongful actions by benefits providers. Our mission is to give you the education, tools and services you need to win approval of disability payments or compensation. 

 We are unique in that we operate almost completely as an online law firm. We do not have traditional lawyer offices anywhere. Ninety percent of our interactions will be by phone, video-conference and through our online client portal. We file all appeals and lawsuits in the town or city of your choice and we travel to you for important meetings or legal proceedings.  

No. We don't have offices anywhere. At least not the type of office that a client would go to. We use an online legal services model.  All our lawyers work from home and travel to Ottawa when necessary for settlement meetings and legal proceedings.
We are an online law firm so ninety percent of your interactions with us will be by phone, video conference or through our online client portal. You don't need to travel and we file all appeals and lawsuits right in Ottawa or the court closest to you. Our lawyers travel to Ottawa for important meetings and legal proceedings for your case. 
We have different systems in place depending on who good you are with a computer. Most clients are able to take make electronic copies of their documents and upload them to our client portal. If you aren't able to make electronic copies of documents, we send a courier to pick them up and we scan and upload them to the portal. We have designed our services so you don't have to leave your house or apartment to work with us.
Yes and no. Most of our work on your case will not require travel. Our travel expenses are very reasonable and between $500-$1,000 in most cases. If we are successful with your appeal, then the insurance company will be required to reimburse you (us) for the travel expenses on top of any compensation paid to you.
Yes. We will do disability appeals and lawsuits on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means there would be no no-front payments of any sort. You would only have to pay us if we win the case or negotiate a financial settlement. 
Yes. We have successfully represented people in Ottawa and have current clients in Ottawa. 

We meet you where it is most convenient for you. We will meet you at the location of the legal proceeding. Sometimes with will be at the law firm who represents the insurance company. We hold mediations and other meetings with you at Catana Reporting Services, 171 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa. If you live outside of Ottawa or want to avoid the downtown, we can book a conference room at any local hotel.

We focus exclusively in the area of disability benefits claims and disability-related employment disputes. 

We offer:

  • Free consultations
  • 15-Minute Legal Advice Call ($47+HST)
  • 30-Minute Document Review Call ($147 - $397+HST)
  • Disability Application Review ($297 - $397+HST)
  • Disability Appeal Document Review ($297 - $397+HST)
  • No-win, no fee representation in appeals and lawsuits

Service Area

We represent people in Ottawa and surrounding areas

GUIDE TO DISABILITY LAWYERS IN OTTAWA

Dealing with a disability claim or appeal can get overwhelming.

Do I need a lawyer? What is a disability lawyer? How much is it going to cost? These are some of the most common questions I get when speaking with people each week.

Below is our guide to managing your disability claim or appeal.We have created this guide to help you better understand your options and what is involved with hiring a disability lawyer. We have included links to articles and local resources that will be important for you

David Brannen
Founder & Managing Lawyer, Resolute Legal
As Resolute Legal's managing lawyer, David spends his days representing people with disability claims and overseeing other disability lawyers within the firm. David is a former occupational therapist and is among the few lawyers in Canada who focus exclusively on disability-related claims. David is the author of A Beginner's Guide to Disability Insurance Claims in Canada and The Beginner's Guide to CPP Disability. 
Guide to Disability Lawyers in Ottawa

 

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Disability Lawyer?
  2. What does it cost to hire a disability lawyer?
  3. List of disability lawyers serving Ottawa
  4. How to choose the right disability lawyers in Ottawa
  5. How can a disability lawyer help with a disability insurance appeal?
  6. How do disability lawyers help with CPP disability appeals?
  7. Federal Worker Disability Appeals with SunLife and Industrial Alliance
  8. Disability Claim Resources in Ottawa

What is a Disability Lawyer?

It is now common for lawyers to focus on one or two types of legal issues or industries. A disability lawyer is a lawyer who focuses on helping people with disability claims, appeals and disability-related employment legal problems. 

There is no official certification for a lawyer to be a disability lawyer. So, any law firm could refer to its lawyers as "disability lawyers". We believe the term disability lawyer should be reserved for lawyers who focus exclusively on representing people in disability claims and related-employment issues. You will need to do your own research to make sure the lawyer actually has experience with disability claims and appeals.

What does it cost to hire a disability lawyer?

Disability lawyers give legal advice and representation to people who need to apply for and win disability benefits from government agencies or insurance companies. Disability law firms will usually offer a range of free and paid services, including:

  • Free Consultations
  • Paid Consultations and Projects
  • Full representation for disability appeals

FREE CONSULTATIONS

Most disability lawyers  and law firms will offer a free consultation of some sort (there is a free consultation offer on this page). Free consultations are intended to give you general information and advice.

Sometimes free consultations are with a lawyer, but they can also be provided by other members of the legal team. Free consultations are great for getting a better understanding of your rights and legal options, but are not intended for specific legal advice.

Free consultations are always a great place to start if you want to learn more about your legal options and the free and paid help a law firm could give you.

PAID CONSULTATIONS & PROJECTS

Some disability lawyers (us included) will offer affordable legal consultations for a fixed fee. This means you pay a one-time fee for a disability lawyer to give advice or perform a one-time service.

Paid consultations are best if you are handling your own disability application or appeal, but would like to have things reviewed by a lawyer before you send it in. Or, if you get a letter in the mail from the insurance company, and have a questions about what you should do.

For example, at Resolute Legal we offer following services for a fixed fee:

  • 15-Minute Legal Advice Call ($47)
  • 30-Minute Document Review Call ($147 - $397)
  • Disability Application Review ($297 - $397)
  • Disability Appeal Document Review ($297 - $397)

All of these services are delivered by phone or video conference for a one-time fixed fee. 

FULL REPRESENTATION IN DISABILITY APPEALS

All disability lawyers will offer to represent you in appealing your disability denial. The lawyer will prepare the appeal documents and communicate directly with the insurance company or government agency on your behalf.

How you are charged can be different from lawyer to lawyer. Some may charge by the hour and require an up-front retainer payment.

Others may offer a fixed fee for the work to be done, that must  be paid regardless of success.

The most common arrangement is a contingency fee agreement, in which payment for legal services is conditional on success. These are often referred to as no-win, no-fee legal agreements. The fee will either be a fixed fee (payable on success) or the fee will be a percentage of the money recovered from the insurance company.

Like many disability lawyers in Ontario, we will represent people in disability appeals on a no-win, no-fee agreement in appropriate cases. We can explain this to you during a free consultation. 

List of disability lawyers serving Ottawa

It is almost impossible to give you a complete list of all lawyers offering to represent people in disability claims and appeals in Ottawa.

There is no certification to be a disability lawyer, so any lawyer or law firm can call themselves "disability lawyers".

Also, most disability lawyers in Ontario work province-wide, so you don't necessarily have to look only for lawyers based in Ottawa.

We are often asked who are our competitors. Following is a partial list of lawyers who offer to represent people in disability claims and appeals in Ottawa (in no particular order): Raven Law, Howie Sacks & Henry law firm, Share Lawyers, Waxman & Associates, McNally Gervan Lawyers, Auger Hollingsworth, Yegendorf & Associates and Resolute Legal.

This is not necessarily complete list, but is a good starting point.

How to choose the right disability lawyers in Ottawa

Hiring a lawyer is not easy. It's an important decision that you need to make carefully. Unfortunately many people dealing with a disability denial will rush the decision to hire a lawyer.

This is understandable. You are under financial pressure. You can't bear any more phone calls with the insurance representative. You just want someone to take this burden off of your shoulders. A good lawyer can help with all of these things, but you have to make sure you choose a lawyer who is the right fit for you.

While we would love for you to hire us, we realize we're not the right fit for everyone. So, we have written a guide about how to hire a disability lawyer.

You can use this guide to evaluate us, or any other disability lawyers you are considering. It includes seven-step process, which is the same process that many lawyers (including myself) use when they have to hire a lawyer.

I recommend you read this guide before you make a final decision on hiring a lawyer for a disability appeal.

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How can a disability lawyer help with a disability insurance appeal?

If the insurance company has denied your short or long-term disability insurance claim, it is important to understand your rights and obligations. Depending on your situation, there could be many obligations and deadlines that apply to you. It is important that you take action to secure your employment rights while appealing the denial of disability insurance benefits.

A disability law firm can help you in the following ways:

  • Give you a free consultation to explain your rights and options.
  • Show you how to enforce your employment rights so you don't lose your job or medical benefits while appealing the disability insurance denial.
  • Get your claim file from the insurance company and analyze it to identify the "real" reasons your claim was denied and what actions are needed to win the appeal.
  • identify mistakes made by the insurance company.
  • Identify the best strategy and action plan for your situation.
  • Take over communications with the insurance company so you don't have to deal with them anymore.
  • Write to your doctor to obtain a medical report that addresses the key issues need to win your appeal.
  • Write an appeal letter that argues why your claim should be approved
  • File a lawsuit against the insurance company for wrongful denial of disability benefits, infliction of mental distress, and other financial losses.

How do disability lawyers help with CPP disability appeals?

If Service Canada has denied your application for CPP disability benefits, it is critical that you not miss the 90-day deadline to appeal. Your appeal strategy will be different depending on whether you are doing a Reconsideration Appeal (with Service Canada) or a Tribunal Appeal (to the Social Security Tribunal).

You must take special care when appealing your case to the Social Security Tribunal. There are technical requirements you must meet. There are tight deadlines for requesting the appeal and getting in documents before the hearing. Your tribunal hearing is essentially your "last kick at the can" so you have to get it right. Consult a disability law firm early on in the process. If you wait until your hearing is fast approaching, or worse yet after you have lost your hearing, it may be too late for the law firm to help you.

A disability law firm can help you in the following ways:

  • get a complete copy of your CPP disability claim file from Service Canada
  • identify the best strategy and action plan for your situation
  • identify the gaps in evidence that need to be filled
  • obtain medical records, reports and other documents needed to win your appeal
  • prepare a persuasive written arguments (appeal letters and briefs) for why your claim should be approved
  • prepare you to testify at the Social Security Tribunal Hearing
  • attend your Social Security Tribunal Hearing to present the evidence and make oral arguments 

Federal Worker Disability Appeals with SunLife and Industrial Alliance

Federal government workers are covered for long-term disability benefits through the insurance companies Sunlife and Industrial Alliance. Sunlife covers federal unionized workers and Industrial Alliance covers non-unionized workers. Both of these disability benefits plans are common in Ottawa given the high numbers of federal government workers. 

Sunlife - LTD Plan for unionized federal workers

Because of the high number of federal government workers, the Federal Government Public Service long-term disability plans is one of the most common disability benefits programs in Ottawa. This plan covers most unionized workers employed by the Federal Government or its agencies and corporations. Members of PSAC are covered under this long-term disability plan.

The Federal Government disability benefits plan is administered by Sun Life. This is referred to as group policy 12500-G. This is a very good disability benefits plan that includes a disability payment of 70% of pre-disability income after a 13-week waiting period. However, the plan is complicated because there are many unusual mandatory offsets and conditions that are not seen with most other disability benefits plans in Canada.

The federal government has strict policies requiring mandatory retirement for unionzed employees on a prolonged sick leave. This is often referred to as medical retirement under the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA). You must carefully coordinate the mandatory retirement requirements to make sure you maximize your total disability income available form all sources. Failing to coordinate these benefits properly can result in unexpected tax bills in the tens of thousands of dollars. 

If Sun Life denies your long-term disability claim, then you have the right to appeal. The appeal process involves two appeals directly with Sunlife and and final appeal to the Disability Insurance Plan Board of Management (National Joint Council). 

If you are a member of PSAC, they provide free assistance to union members who need to appeal.

While it is not mentioned by Sunlife or the government's information on the LTD plan, you also have the right to do your appeal via the court process. This allows you to hire an outside lawyer. The can seem intimidating, but the process is actually just another form of appeal.

There are deadlines to file a legal appeal. It is important that you not miss these deadlines while you are waiting on an appeal to the Board of Management (Joint Committee).

At Resolute Legal, we have represented many federal government workers in appealing denied disability claims from Sunlife. Like many disability lawyers, we handle these appeals on a no-win, no-fee basis. In Ontario, if we are successful with the appeal, Sunlife will be required to pay up to 50% of your legal fees and all expenses paid to do the appeal.

Industrial Alliance Insurance - LTD plan for non-unionized federal workers

Industrial Alliance provides long-term disability benefits to non-unionized federal government workers. This plan is also called the Public Service Management Insurance Plan. 

If you are denied disability benefits, you have the option to do two appeals directly with Industrial Alliance. You then have the option to appeal to the Board of Trustee; however, this board does not have the power to overturn Industrial Alliance's decision.

To overturn Industrial Alliance's decision you must file an appeal in the court system. Resolute Legal has successfully represented several federal government management employees in appeals against Industrial Alliance.

Like most other disability lawyers, we can represent you on a no-win, no-fee basis with no up-front costs of any kind. If we are successful, Industrial Alliance will need to reimburse up to 50% of your legal fees and all of the expenses we pay to run your appeal. 

Disability Claim Resources in Ottawa

SERVICE CANADA OFFICES

At Service Canada offices you apply for EI sickness benefits,  CPP disability benefits and Veteran Benefits. For EI Sickness, you can apply online using the computers at the Service Canada Offices. CPP disability requires a paper application, but you get application packages from the offices below.

Service Canada (Ottawa Centre)

10 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa

Service Canada (Ottawa West)

Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, Lincoln Fields Galleria Floor 1, 2525 Carling Avenue, Ottawa

Service Canada (Ottawa East)

Beacon Hill Shopping Centre, 2339 Ogilvie Road, Ottawa 

SOCIAL SECURITY TRIBUNAL

The national headquarters for the Social Security Tribunal is in Ottawa. This office handles all  CPP Disability cases that are appealed to the Tribunal. 

Physical Address: 344 Slater St, Ottawa, ON K1R 5Y7 Slater St, Ottawa, ON K1R 5Y7

Mailing Address: PO Box 9812, Station T, Ottawa, ON  K1G 6S3

Phone: 1-877-227-8577 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)

Email: info.sst-tss@canada.gc.ca

SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE

The Superior Court of Justice is the court that handles all appeal lawsuits against insurance companies. If you need to appeal your claim by lawsuit it will be handled by this court. We file all appeal lawsuits with this court. 

Physical Address:  Ottawa Courthouse,161 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 2K1

Phone: 613-239-1054 (this is the phone number for civil litigation cases)

SMALL CLAIMS COURT

The small claims court handles short- and long-term disability disputes where the total potential benefits owed will be $25,000 or less. If you have returned to work, but are till owed a few months of disability benefits, then the small claims court is often your best option.

Physical Address:  Ottawa Courthouse,161 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 2K1

Phone: 613-239-1079 (this is for small claims court only)

Next Step

Still not sure what to do about your disability claim situation? Sometimes a quick call with us and put you on the right track.  Give us a call at 343-700-5788 for a free consultation or use the calendar below to schedule your appointment. 

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Contact

Phone: 343-700-5788

Toll Free: 1-888-732-0470

Fax: 1-888-694-7086

 

Hours of Operation

8:00 am - 4:00 pm (EST)

Open: Monday to Friday

Closed: Saturday and Sunday

 

Services

Free consultations

Paid consultations

Application and appeal reviews

Internal appeals

Disability appeal hearings

Disability appeals by lawsuit (no-win, no-fee)

Disability-related employment problems (wrongful termination, harassment or discrimination)