Long Term Disability Claims: Your 7-Step Guide to Filing a Claim

Have you had an accident resulting in permanent injuries? Do you think you are unable to work because of your injuries or disabilities? If you have a current illness or physical disability that will surely impact your regular work performance, you might qualify for disability benefits. If this is your first experience and you want to find out how to get assistance for your condition, read on.
In Canada, settling a long term disability claim has a standard process. We’ll walk you through each step in order for you to file your claim as early as possible.

Step 1: Determine the insurance plans you qualify for.

Our healthcare does a good job in providing benefits to citizens. We have several plans offered for everyone, however, plans have very specific criteria for qualification. An individual does not automatically qualify to all, but there might be some of these that you can look into.

Paid Sick Leaves

Some companies include paid sick leave for employees who have valid health reasons for their absences. It can span from several days to a few weeks, as long as you meet their minimum requirements.

Short-term Disability Benefits

This is almost similar to the above, only with a longer duration. Someone with a major disability that requires short-term recuperation are mostly accommodated in this kind of insurance. Upon hiring, the company will provide you a list of insurance policies that come with your benefits. If your company offers a group health insurance plan, you have most likely access to short term plans as well.

Long-term Disability Benefits

An even longer compensation coverage is given to qualified disabled individuals in the form of long term disability insurance. It can be offered by your company or a private insurance provider of your choice. In the case of denied disability insurance, you need to be very vigilant with the follow-up and negotiation process. There might be a need to take the matter into court if your company refuses to pay for your claim.

Step 2: Ensure the backing of your doctor.

All types of long term disability claims rely 99% on your medical records. It is the main reason why you qualify for compensation, so you need to have all the evidence you can provide. Your physician will be able to prescribe all tests that can support your claim and write a personal letter of recommendation as proof of your condition.

Step 3: Plan your transition from work to being on indefinite sick leave.

You can’t just hurry into taking time off without considering your options. To claim long term disability takes months to process. This means that you will need to live by without income for several months until your claim is approved. If you had your long term disability claim denied, you will be in serious financial hardship.
Expect a little tension from your employer when discussing your options. They will be losing a part of their workforce and will still have to pay monthly wages without productivity. Be very polite and conscientious when discussing what your plans are and how the company might be willing to compromise.

Step 4: Secure the application forms.

Once you have a plan on what to do, secure all the application forms you need. For instance, you will need to file for leave with your company. See your human resources officer for more information. For short-term benefits under a group plan, you can also go to your HR office. If you have private insurance, you will need to get the forms from your insurance provider.
A long term disability form can be taken from your employer or insurance provider. They usually come with a list of requirements, so make sure you have them when you receive the papers. Basic instructions will also be given on how to claim long term disability.

Step 5: Fill out the forms and prepare all the requirements

For the forms, expect to fill out 2-3 pages with 1-2 copies each. Also, make sure to gather the supporting documents. Take note: the information in your forms should match the ones in your supporting documents. Make sure you write legibly and avoid making mistakes as much as possible.
Once you are done with filling out, make a scanned copy of all your documents for personal safekeeping. Keep in mind to do this on all documents you provide to the company or the insurance provider. It will be helpful in long term disability claim denial reviews.

Step 6: Submit your application documents.

Once you have everything ready, send all your documents to the disability plan or program. A person will be assigned to review your application called the claim adjudicator or representative. He will be the point-person in-charge for the entire long term disability claims review and might contact you for further information. Give your utmost support and respond quickly to the best of your ability.

Step 7: Patiently wait for a decision.

The long term disability claim process for decision-making usually takes around 30 days. Some complicated cases may take longer. You will receive a written notification about the verdict. If you have not heard back from them for months, give your insurance company a call. Make sure to talk to someone who can provide you an honest answer about the status of your application and get details for follow-up purposes.