COVID-19 and Long Term Disability

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It’s difficult to predict the long term impacts of COVID-19 and the international lockdown to contain its spread. As of mid-April 2020, we have no idea when new cases will peak in Ontario, nor when physical distancing measures will be relaxed. What we do know is that this is both a health emergency and an economic crisis. Businesses of all sizes are suffering, to say nothing of working people. Millions of Canadians have filed for employment insurance since the pandemic took hold, and it’s reasonable to expect that short-term and long term disability (LTD) claims will follow. Here’s how a long term disability lawyer can help if your benefits claim has been denied.

What are Long Term Disability Benefits?

 When a person is seriously injured and no longer able to work, they may be able to access long term disability benefits from an insurer. Most employer benefits packages include long term disability, and you can also purchase coverage privately.

LTD benefits generally equal a certain percentage of pre-injury income. The actual amount is determined by the severity and extent of your injuries, the scope of your plan, and the resources required for treatment.

What Sort of Injuries Quality Me for Long Term Disability Benefits?

 In order to qualify for LTD benefits, your insurance provider will require proof that you are unable to work. Any condition that prevents you from working is fair game. This can include physical, psychological, mental, or emotional injuries.

However, some injuries qualify more clearly than others. A person who is severely physically disabled is more likely to be approved than someone suffering from chronic pain or depression. If you are unable to work but have been denied LTD benefits, a long term disability lawyer can help.

What Does This Have to do with COVID-19?

As the lockdown drags on, experts are concerned about an increase in mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Job insecurity, sickness in loved ones, and prolonged physical isolation are all triggers for mental health episodes, which could lead to a spike in claims.

Fully employed individuals are not exempt. In fact, there is concern over widespread burnout as business owners and employees struggle to keep businesses intact.

“You’ve got so many layoffs and reduced workforces happening right now that those people who are still in a job are happy to be in their job, but they’re taking on all that extra workload,” said Lianne Clarke, vice-president of wellness and disability solutions at Cowan Insurance Group, to Benefits Canada. “Historically, what we see when this happens is, … once everything stabilizes, those people who have been working feel burned out, and you’ll start to see them taking disability for other reasons – the stress of all this – which then flows through to LTD.”

We may also see claims related to musculoskeletal issues as people continue to work from home at non-ergonomic work setups.

How Can a Long Term Disability Lawyer Help? 

Unfortunately, insurance providers are known to reject many claims for long term disability benefits, even when the claimant’s doctors have ruled them unable to work. If your claim has been denied, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced long term disability lawyer. Our team will assume responsibility for your claim, giving you the time and energy you need to focus on your recovery.


Image credit: Shutterstock

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein
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