Heart disease is a major cause of mortality and hospitalization worldwide and a major health burden for Canadians – almost one-third of Canadians die from heart attack and stroke, and approximately 16% of hospitalizations are due to cardiovascular diseases. It is the second leading cause of death in the country, and over 2.4 million Canadians are living with a diagnosis of some sort of heart disease. Every hour, approximately 12 Canadians die from heart disease. Despite these statistics, there is reason for some hopefulness because there has been an inspiring decrease in the mortality rate for both heart attack and stroke in recent decades and, recently, an actual reduction in the number of Canadians dying from CV diseases each year. Unfortunately, medical studies indicate that our future does not look so bright – the prevalence of some of the risk issues for CV diseases is snowballing at an alarming rate. There is a major increase in obesity, particularly among the young, which can be anticipated to result in more diabetes, hypertension and fat abnormalities – in turn, could lead to more heart attacks and strokes.
Heart disease can unfortunately often prevent individuals from being able to work, which can no doubt send an individual or family into crushing debt and financial stress. If you suffer from heart disease, you may qualify for long-term disability benefits either via individual or group policy. If you have been suffered cardiac distress, have had surgery, you’re waiting for cardiac surgery or a heart transplant, you can definitely apply for disability benefits to assist you and your family financially. Unfortunately, claimants may face a delay, denial or be cut-off their long term disability benefits if your insurer believes that you can complete the substantial duties of your employment. Many disability insurance providers believe that you should be able to return to work immediately following a heart surgery, or maintain continual employment if the heart disease symptoms can be controlled by medications, which is not always the case. If you’ve been denied or cut off long term disability and suffer from a heart condition, call our Hamilton disability lawyers, no matter where you are in Ontario. We can assist you if your long-term disability benefits for your heart disease are denied or unreasonably cut off by your insurance carrier. As a policyholder, you have the right to dispute and seek payment of disbilityt benefits if you cannot perform the substantial duties of your job.
We represent claimants who have been denied long-term disability and who suffer from heart and circulatory conditions such as:
Stroke – which is a type of cardiovascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke happens when one of your blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain gets blocked by a clot or bursts. When this occurs, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.
Coronary artery disease – which occurs when a person suffers from arteriosclerosis limits blood to the heart. This deprives the heart of oxygen and causes the heart to slow or stop. The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is chest pain or angina. Other symptoms of coronary heart disease can include fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Congestive heart failure – which is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscles. While often referred to simply as “heart failure,” CHF specifically refers to the stage in which fluid builds up around the heart and causes it to pump inefficiently.
Ischemic heart disease – which is a disorder in which fatty plaque deposits within the narrow artery walls leading to the heart and reduces blood flow. When a clogged artery completely blocks blood flow, a heart attack can happen.
Arteriosclerosis – Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits and other substances on the inner surface of the arteries. Otherwise known as “hardening of the arteries,” Arteriosclerosis refers to a group of heart conditions that occur when fats, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of your arteries. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, sedentariness, obesity and stress.
Peripheral artery disease – which is a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries which carries blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Peripheral” in this case means away from the heart, in the outer regions of the body. Plaque is comprised of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood.
Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, refers to a buildup of plaque, inflammation, fatty deposits, or calcium deposits in an individual’s cardiovascular arteries. As a result, the blood supply to the heart becomes blocked or interrupted and a lack of oxygen may occur. Heart disease may lead to conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and death.
The heart and vascular system provides blood supply to the body’s major and vital organs, including the brain, lungs, and the heart itself. When the blood supply is blocked from heart disease, an individual may lose the ability to breathe, which can cause death. Family history, age, and genetics play a significant role in an individuals’ risk for developing heart disease. However, certain lifestyle and medical conditions may also affect an individual’s risk of developing heart disease. These risk factors include:
As symptoms of heart disease progress and become more severe, the individual is at higher risk of death or heart failure. Heart disease also becomes more prevalent as individuals age.
Heart disease is common both in the population at large but also in the population of working age. It is estimated that heart disease, including stroke and high blood pressure, is responsible for more costs than any other disease or injury in Canada. Individuals who are living with heart disease may be severely impacted by their condition to the point where they are no longer capable of performing the substantial duties of their own job. This is particularly relevant for individuals who work in occupations where heavy lifting, physical activity, or other stressful activities are required. Temperature extremes can also be unhealthy for cardiovascular disorder, as well as work that produces vibration, or requires physical exertion such as lifting, carrying pushing and pulling may also increase risk of myocardial infarction. Shift work is recognised as an occupational risk factor for those with cardiac disorder. Studies also show that that the longer you are off of work, the harder it is to return. Also, if you suffered a heart attack at work, if may be difficult psychologically for you to return to your workplace. Age also plays a factor. The older the cardiac victim, the more unlikely it is that he will return to work, especially if he or she is near retirement. In addition if employment is seen as dangerous or damaging to health, the return will be more difficult for the cardiac survivor. A heart attack survivor may also experience ongoing fatigue, stress in the work environment and side effects caused by heart disease medications.
If you are unable to return to the substantial duties of your employment due to a heart attack or other heart disease and you have been long-term denied disability, it’s important that you contact an experience long-term disability litigation law firm that can advocate for your right to disability benefits on your behalf. We understand that heart disease is not something that strikes and simply goes away. Heart conditions can last for years, involving ongoing medical care, the expense of prescription drugs, alterations to diet and exercise routine. Many heart attack victims go on to suffer from ongoing fear, depression, denial and anxiety which requires ongoing treatment. That is why it is important that you talk to our heart condition disability lawyers as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights if you believe that the effects of any kind of heart ailment are preventing you from working at your job.
At the two-year period of your long-term disability benefits, many Canadian insurance policies undergo what is known as a Total Disability Change of Definition which means that the definition of total disability changes from being unabel to complete the duties of your own job to being able to complete the duties of any job in which you are reasonbly suited by education, training and experience.e. It may also refer to any occupation for which you could undergo new training within a reasonable period of time. Your insurance company may not force you to obtain an occupation below the salary you were previously making and is also not obligated to pay for new training.
If you have been denied long-term disability benefits and suffer from a heart condition that prevents you from working, we can help. Our disability lawyers work with claimants at all stages of denied disability benefits. We understand how complex denied disability claims can be. We take a multi-disciplinary approach, working with top medical, behavioral, and occupational therapists in Ontario to help you with your case and prove that you are indeed disabled and incapable of returning to work.
Our Hamilton disability lawyers have been representing clients throughout Ontario since 2003. We are experienced in helping individuals with heart disease to receive the disability benefits they deserve. We have litigated with the largest insurance carriers in Canada and have successfully recovered millions of dollars in wrongfully disability benefits. We are dedicated to providing top quality, innovative legal representation that addresses each client’s unique circumstances and disability case. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, where we will meet with you and go over your options. Contact our Hamilton disability lawyer at 905-333-8888 or through our online contact form. We will respond to your inquiry within several hours and be pleased to schedule a phone or in-person meeting at your convenience.