What are some common health conditions that lead to long-term disability?



3 Minute Read from Hamilton Disability Lawyers

There is an array of physical and mental health conditions that can unfortunately lead to claimants being no longer in a position to continue working at their jobs and applying for disability benefits. Prior to reviewing the most common medical conditions leading to total disability, we answer some of the most common disability questions asked by disability claimants when they visit our office.

What type of disability benefits can I apply for?

There are typically 3 types of disability benefits that you can access in Ontario:

Government Disability – which includes CPP Disability Benefits, ODSP, WSIB (Worker’s Compensation) and EI sick Benefits.

Long-Term Disability, Employer Group Plans: – Essentially, this is long-term disability plan available through your employer as a part of your group compensation package. These types of plans offer (more-so) limited protection and at a lower cost to the employer.

Long-Term Disability, Private Disability Coverage – This is a long term-disability plan purchased privately by an individual through a Broker, on a client-by-client basis. These types of private LTD plans offer more protection at a higher cost.

How does long-term disability in Ontario work?

Assuming that you are otherwise not precluded from receiving benefits due to any type of policy exclusion, long-term disability benefits are to help protect you from an unexpected illness or injury that leaves you unable to work and earn an income.  Although no two long-term disability plans are the same, most plans provide that policy holders (you) need to satisfy the definition of “total disability.”

Normally, a claimant would apply and receive short term disability benefits during what we call the “qualifying, elimination or waiting period.”  The qualifying periods are different policy by policy but normally range from 3 to 4 months.  Once the qualifying period has expired the claimant will need to apply for long-term disability. The claimant will be accepted and benefits will be paid if he or she is considered totally disabled as per the policy.

“Total disability” in the first 24 months after the onset of disability (in most policies) means that a person is unable to carry out the duties of his or her own employment.

After 24 months, a total disability is normally defined as a disability that prevents the claimant from engaging in any occupation or perform any work for compensation or profit. Typically the claimant will be considered totally disabled if he is unable to enter into an occupation reasonably comparable to his previous job, in terms of education training and experience.

What are the common types of health condition that lead to disability claims in Ontario?

Several years ago statistics Canada reported that approximately 14% of the Canadian population (approximately 3.8 million) had a disability of some sort that limited them in her activities of daily living.  Prevailing disabilities were those related to pain (10%), flexibility (8%), and mobility (7%). Most persons with disabilities (76%) had more than one disability.  Common disabilities were disabilities related to pain, flexibility and mobility. Close to half of reported adults with disability, were employed –  with women reporting a higher prevalence in disability then men.  The average age at which persons with disabilities started to have difficulty associated with their main condition was 43. Men reported an earlier age of onset than did women: 41.5 years versus 44.5 years.

A report by the Chief Public Health Officer in 2016 – entitled “Health Status of Canadians 2016” report of that cancer continue to be the leading cause of concern.  The report further indicated that most common health concerns in Canada were:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes,
  • Accident and injuries,
  • Mental health disorders, and
  • Multiple sclerosis continued to be the most common.

Common types of Disability Conditions that we see in our Practice

As a part of our practice we typically see clients applying for long-term disability because they have been seriously hurt and are unable to return to any type of regular gainful employment. As a result of serious accident related injuries, we typically see musculoskeletal disorders affecting the back, spine, hips and knees and shoulders.

In addition to representing accident victims throughout the long-term disability claims process, we also represent claimants suffering from other types of common physical and mental medical conditions such as:

  • Cardiovascular and circulatory diseases
  • Mental illnesses that cause alterations in thinking; mood or behaviour associated with significant distress and impaired functioning.
    Injuries such as fractures, sprains and strains of muscles and ligaments
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizo-affective disorder bipolar type
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post surgical complications
  • Breast cancer
  • COPD
  • Lung Cancer
  • Work related HIV exposure
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Long-standing history of trauma
  • Fractures and surgery of the hips and knees
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Nervous System Disorders
  • Overall Chronic Pain

Have your disability benefits been unreasonably cut off or denied?

As Hamilton disability claim lawyers, Lalande Personal Injury lawyers represent disability claimants that have been denied or cut-off long-term disability benefits at all stages of disability from the immediate denial of claim at application, to claimants that have been cut-off disability benefits arbitrarily or at the 24 month change of definition. Our Hamilton lawyers understand that the process of having your long term disability carrier accept your disability as a total disability can be complex, confusing and maddening.  We recommend that you do not try and deal with an insurance company on your own – but instead call us to help guide you through the disability claim process. We have handled hundreds of claims against all major Canadian Disability Insurance Companies.

We handle Long-Term Disability Claims Province-Wide

Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers are a Hamilton based personal injury and disability law firm that not only services clients in Hamilton, but throughout the golden horseshoe, through Barrie, Parry Sounds and throughout Northern Ontario. If you are considering appealing you were denied or cut off long-term disability benefits, please call us at 905-333-8888 for a free consultation with a disability attorney or use our online contact form to request a free consultation. We will call you back at a time convenient for you, to book a time to discuss your long-term disability issue. We do not charge upfront legal fees and we do not get paid, until you get paid.