What Is Long-Term Disability in Canada?

by | Mar 21, 2023

Disability is a reality for many Canadians, and it can impact every aspect of their lives. If you are unable to work due to a physical or mental disability, long-term disability (LTD) insurance can help you replace your income and provide you with financial security during this difficult time. However, LTD claims can be complex, and many valid claims are wrongfully denied. That’s where a Toronto disability lawyer can help.

What Is Long-Term Disability Insurance?

LTD insurance is an insurance policy designed to offer income replacement benefits to individuals who are unable to work for an extended period due to sickness or injury. The benefits are often provided by your employer or union, but they can also be purchased on your own.

LTD insurance typically covers a portion of your income, usually 60–70%, for an extended period of time, often until you are able to return to work or until you reach retirement age. However, the specific terms and conditions of your policy may vary, so it’s important to review your policy carefully to understand your coverage.

Why Do I Need a Toronto Disability Lawyer?

If your claim for LTD benefits has been denied, a disability lawyer can help you fight to get the benefits you are entitled to. Disability claims can be complex, and insurance companies are often more focused on their own profits than on their policyholders’ needs. A disability lawyer can help you navigate the claims process, gather the necessary documentation, and build a strong case on your behalf.

Our legal team has extensive experience in successfully holding insurance companies accountable to honour their contracts and pay our clients the money they deserve. Our professionals will carefully review your case and its details and tailor the most effective legal strategy for your specific case. We will take all the necessary steps to ensure that you receive the disability benefits you are entitled to.

What Does “Totally Disabled” Mean?

To be eligible for benefits, most LTD claims require that you be “substantially unable” from carrying out the necessary tasks of your own profession. This is referred to as an “own occupation” disability.

After two years, the definition changes, and you must be unable to perform the essential duties of any job for which you are qualified by education, training, and experience. It’s important to note that the graduated “totally disabled” test does not mean that you are in a complete state of helplessness. It means that you are totally disabled from doing any job you are qualified to perform by way of your education, training, and experience.

Why Was My Disability Claim Denied?

There may be no good reason for your claim to have been denied. In many cases, insurance companies deny valid claims in order to protect their own profits. They may use vague language and unclear appeals processes to make it difficult for policyholders to understand their rights and options.

If you are facing a disability that prevents you from working, there are various measures you can take to safeguard yourself and your financial stability. Here are some important steps to consider:

Notify Your Employer

Notifying your employer of your disability is the initial step, and it holds great significance for several reasons. Firstly, it enables your employer to initiate the process of submitting a claim with their insurance carrier in case you possess group disability coverage. Second, it may trigger your employer’s obligation to accommodate your disability under human rights legislation.

Seek Medical Attention

If you haven’t done it already, it’s crucial to obtain medical treatment for your disability. This includes consulting with your family doctor, a specialist, or, depending upon the medical issue, with a physiotherapist or a psychologist. In any LTD claim or appeal, your medical records will serve as a crucial piece of evidence.

File a Claim for LTD Benefits

If you have LTD coverage, you should file a claim for benefits as soon as possible. This procedure usually entails completing a claim form and furnishing medical proof to substantiate your disability. The claims process can be complex, and it is important to provide as much detail as possible to support your claim.

Consider Your Financial Situation

If you are unable to work and do not have LTD coverage, you may need to consider your financial situation carefully. This may include applying for government benefits, such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit or Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. You may also need to look for alternative sources of income, such as savings or support from family and friends.

Consult with a Toronto Disability Lawyer

If your LTD claim is denied, it is important to seek legal advice from a Toronto disability lawyer. A lawyer can review your case and provide guidance on the best course of action. This may include appealing the decision or pursuing legal action against the insurer.


Becoming disabled and unable to work can be a challenging and stressful experience. However, by taking the right steps, you can protect yourself and your financial future. This includes notifying your employer, seeking medical attention, filing a claim for LTD benefits, considering your financial situation, and consulting with a Toronto disability lawyer if necessary. With the right support and guidance, you can navigate the challenges of disability and protect your financial well-being.

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