Denied Disability Benefits? Unable to Work?
Top Tips for Managing your Disability Claim
If you are injured or become too sick to work, do not quit your job. Instead, see your doctor for a medical note to give to your employer and look into applying for disability benefits while you are off work recovering.
Most employees are part of a group benefits plan through their employer. To consider your complete contract, you must obtain from your employer a complete copy of the policy workings for your group benefits. Read the entire policy.
If applying for benefits, remember to apply for:
- Short-Term Disability Benefits from your employer, or Employment Insurance benefits for disability if no STD plan.
- If work related injury or illness, apply for Workers Compensation benefits (WCB) and inform your doctors it was a work accident.
- If injured in motor vehicle accident, report claim to ICBC Dial-A-Claim and seek rehabilitation benefits from ICBC (PartVII benefits).
- If you are with a union, make an appointment with your union representative to discuss the disability benefits process in your collective agreement.
- Before STD or EI disability ends, apply for Long-Term Disability benefits whether or not you received other benefits.
- If disability is severe and prolonged, apply for CPP Disability benefits whether or not you have received other benefits.
If you are denied disability benefits at any point or cut off benefits, you must take steps immediately to protect your right to obtain such benefits as there are time limits running against you for:
- Filing an action in court against the disability insurance company;
- Appealing WCB, EI or CPP disability benefits decision;
- Filing a grievance, requesting a claims review hearing or other appeal right to Labour Relations Board if union process governs benefit.
In general, you have one year from the date you should have been paid or were last paid benefits to sue the disability insurance company in court (two years if your disability started after July 1, 2012). If you miss this date, your claim may be extinguished. A union process may have very short time limits to make a claim or appeal. Ask your representative.
If you are invited to appeal a denial and provide more information to the disability insurer, note that the time limits for taking action still apply while you are appealing.