sickness benefits

Long-Term Disability Benefits – FAQs

Suffering a debilitating injury or developing a mental or physical illness is extremely stressful, especially if your condition is severe enough to disable you to the point that you can no longer work. Fortunately, there are supports available. One of the most common is long-term disability (LTD) insurance.

If you need to apply for LTD benefits, consult one of the leading long term disability insurance lawyers in Ontario. They offer free consultations, will guide you through the process and have a long track record of successful claims.

When most people are faced with the prospect of applying for LTD benefits, they often have the same questions and concerns. Below are answers to some of the most common of those questions.

How Disabled Do I Have to Be to Qualify for Long-Term Disability Benefits?

Insurance companies may not all use the same definition for what qualifies as a disability, but, generally speaking, if a physical, cognitive or mental condition prevents you from completing the main duties of your job, this is typically the threshold to qualify for long-term disability benefits. This is commonly referred to as a ‘total disability.’

When Should I Apply for Long-Term Disability Benefits?

Most insurance policies have a mandatory waiting period (also known as an elimination period) between when an insured first becomes disabled and when they are allowed to file a claim for LTD benefits. Find out how long the waiting period is by consulting your policy.

During the elimination period, you can start the application process if your doctor anticipates that your condition will likely be ongoing or requires a lengthy treatment program. Completing the application for LTD benefits often requires seeing specialists, getting tests and scans, etc., which require you to schedule appointments and can be a slow process.

How Do I Prove that I am Disabled?

You need as much medical evidence as you can get to back up what you say in your claim for LTD benefits about your disability. As soon as you or your doctor feel that you will need to go on long-term disability leave from work, have an in-depth conversation about what exactly is required of you at work and specifically how your disability prevents you from completing your tasks.

Your doctor is required to fill out a section of your claim, and the more information and medical proof they can provide in that regard, the stronger your claim will be.

How Do I support Myself Financially During the Elimination Period and While I Wait for My Claim to be Processed?

If you’ve exhausted your paid sick days and/or short-term disability benefits offered by your employer, you can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. If you qualify, you can receive up to 15 weeks of financial assistance. The benefit is 55% of your earnings, capped at a maximum of $638 per week.

How Long Do Long-Term Disability Benefits Last?

Depending on the policy of insurance, LTD benefit payments may be set for a certain number of years or until the client reaches a specific age, most commonly 65.

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