Month: October 2020

Long-Term Disability Coverage: How Long Will Benefits Last?

Long-Term Disability Coverage

Long-Term Disability Coverage

Some insurance policies issue payments for a certain amount of years, while other policies may stop payments after up to a decade. The question, unfortunately, does not have a definitive answer, as every insurance policy is unique.

When you read over your employer’s group benefits package, or even if you purchase your own private insurance, ensure that you read through the policy carefully to ensure that you understand the long-term disability requirements. Understanding the requirements, application deadlines, waiting periods and duration of benefit payouts is important.

While every insurance policy handles long-term disabilitycoverage and benefits differently, there are certain aspects to these policies that are mandated by law – this depends on your ability to return to work before your injury and your ability to work, period. There are certain policies that will stop benefits indefinitely after 2 years if you are able to return to any full-time work (regardless if it pays the same as your pre-injury job), while some insurance policies will continue paying out benefits at a reduced rate if you end up securing a new position that pays less than your previous employer. If however, you are unable to return to work, long-term benefits could last for a number of years.

What is Long-Term Disability Coverage?

If you become disabled during employment, Long-term disability insurance coverage pays benefits. Under most LTD policies, in order to qualify for these benefits, you would need to prove that you are unable to continue working as a result of a medical condition. These medical conditions can include physical, psychological, cognitive, and emotional – or a combination of any of the above. If you qualify for LTD coverage, the payout for benefits ranges between 60%-70% of your pre-disability income. There are certain policies that cover less, but most policies will pay benefits for qualified individuals up to age 65.

When Does Long-Term Disability Start?

Long-term disability payments are never available immediately and considered a last resort after short-term disability options have been exhausted. Before you can be approved for LTD payments, you must go through short-term options first – even if following a serious, catastrophic injury. Short-term options may include sick leave and short-term disability benefits.

How Do I Know If I Have Long-Term Disability Coverage?

If you are fortunate enough to have an employer that has provided you with a group medical benefits package, it is likely that you have insurance for Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage, which may also grant you coverage if you have been laid off or terminated from your job. If you do not have group benefits through your employer, you have the option of purchasing a private LTD plan.

Meeting Important Deadlines

There are strict deadlines that go along with long-term disability claims, so it is important to carefully read through your policy to understand the time limits. Failure to submit a claim on time can result in your claim being denied.

What if My Long-Term Disability Claim is Denied?

If you submitted an LTD application and your claim is denied, you will not receive any payments and will be expected to return to work. Claims can be denied for numerous reasons, such as incomplete information, unclear or improper medical treatment or diagnosis etc. Keep in mind, diagnosing mental health can be complex, but insurers are very specific in their guideline requirements. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision – an appeal process will commence, which is why it is important that you contact a trusted lawyer that specializes in such long-term disability cases.

How a Long-Term Disability Lawyer Can Help

When understanding the length of your LTD policy, it is important to understand the language and the integral details you should be aware of. At Tim Louis Law, we are experienced with the process of filing long term disability claims and look forward to discussing your unique situation with you. Contact us today for a free consultation by
calling (604) 732-7678 or email


Termination Without Cause While on Long-Term Disability

Termination Without Cause

Termination Without Cause – while on long-term disability

The laws covering whether you can be terminated while recovering from long-term disability are complex.

Ordinarily, in a case in which an employee is absent from work as a result of illness or disability, the employer does not have “just cause” to instantaneously terminate the employment relationship, because a mere absence from work due to illness or disability is not a contractual breach.

Since the medical prognosis for many illnesses and disabilities can be very uncertain, when an employee is absent from work, this uncertainty can create difficulties within the workplace.

As a consequence, there are indeed some instances in which you can legally be terminated whilst on disability leave, but only as long as your employer follows the rules. The question is often asked: “When is an employer justified in terminating employment where an employee is absent from work due to a temporary, but prolonged, illness or disability?”

In fact, this question often arises in matters relating to employees who have been away from work and are receiving long-term disability benefits for protracted periods.

Generally, the fundamental issue for terminating an employee who is on long term disability is whether or not that worker has a reasonable prospect of recovering and returning to work in the foreseeable future.

Frustration of contract

Surely, at the beginning of a contract, it is assumed the employee will be fit and able to report to work. However, where an illness or disability prevents the employee from reporting to work, the contract may be “frustrated”. This means the circumstances, which are not the fault of either party, make it impossible to continue with the employment contract, and therefore the employee is excused from reporting to work, and the employer is excused from continuing to employ the employee.

The employer though will have to establish that the worker is incapable of performing the basic duties associated with his or her post, with or without modifications to accommodate restrictions; is incapable of undertaking any other productive work, and, as noted earlier, has no reasonable prospect of returning to work.

This though is subject to applicable statutory entitlements relating to termination pay and severance, and is also predicated on the type of coverage the employee, has as well as whether or not that employee is unionized.

This is because, within the unionized context, an employer’s right to terminate a disabled employee while on long-term disability will depend on whether the dismissal deprives the worker of continued access to negotiated benefits specifically tied to the illness or disability.

One crucial consideration as it relates to termination is the period of past employment. An employment relationship that is of long-standing is not so easily frustrated. For example, an employee who has been working for an establishment for 30 years and becomes afflicted with an illness, absence for two years would not be considered being away long enough to frustrate the employment contract.

That said, the termination of an employee on long-term disability requires careful deliberation and so, an employer ought to first evaluate an employee’s prospect for recovery and return to work, as well as provisions for accommodating him or her.

When to contact a long-term disability lawyer

If your employment was terminated without cause while you were on long-term disability, you should contact a long-term disability lawyer.

If you are searching for a long-term disability lawyer in Vancouver, contact us at Tim Louis and Company. Our Vancouver long-term disability lawyer has over 25 years of experience and would be pleased to assist with your case.

Call us today to schedule a consultation.

How to Prove Constructive Dismissal in a Case

In employment law, constructive dismissal takes place when an employee resigns due to unwanted changes to fundamental terms of their employment contract, or due to the employer creating a hostile work environment.

Despite no actual firing taking place, the conduct of the employer would have to be of such a scale and scope that the employee is at liberty to regard himself or herself as having been dismissed. In other words, since the resignation was not truly voluntary, effectively, it is considered a dismissal.

Constructive dismissal is, however, often harder to prove than many employees tend to think. The responsibility of proving constructive dismissal rests solely on the employee, who must first provide the requisite evidence to prove that a fundamental breach of contract was committed by the employer, whilst the employer’s only requirement would be to prove that the resignation was not forced.

What qualifies as constructive dismissal?

Among the circumstances which may constitute a breach of contract and enable an employee to leave and claim constructive dismissal are:

  • Unfair and unfounded allegations of poor performance
  • Unexpected reductions in wages/salaries, or not being paid when expected, without reasonable explanation or notice
  • A sudden demotion without reason
  • Unreasonable disciplinary procedures
  • Forcing staff to work in breach of health and safety laws
  • A complete change in tasks/duties without adequate notice or training

Once the employer breaches a fundamental term, under the law, he or she is in breach of the whole contract. The employee is entitled, therefore, to accept the repudiation, thus bringing the contract to an end and thereafter sue the employer for damages.

In order to change a contractual term, both employer and employee have to agree to the new terms, as new terms imposed without agreement and consideration may be unenforceable and may also destroy the entire contract.

There are two types of constructive dismissal. In the first, it must be determined that the employer has implicitly or explicitly breached a term of the employment agreement. Thereafter, it must be determined whether or not the breach was of a magnitude that substantially altered the employment relationship.

The second type of constructive dismissal occurs if the employer’s conduct has shown that he or she intends to no longer be bound by the employment agreement. In this case, there may be a series of smaller breaches of the employment contract by the employer or no actual breach. However, the court may examine the employer’s cumulative treatment of the employee to determine if it demonstrates an intention to no longer be bound by the contract.

In proving constructive dismissal, not only is time is of the essence, but the conduct of the employee after the unfair act takes place is also critical. Due to the fact that when an employer imposes new fundamental terms to which the employee does not agree, the employee can be considered constructively dismissed, the employee must withdraw quickly as continuing to work under the new terms may indicate the employee’s acceptance or condone of the change.

At that point, the law will prevent the employee from making any claim for constructive dismissal.

Do you need help proving constructive dismissal in Vancouver?

If you believe you were the victim of constructive dismissal and are searching for an employment lawyer in Vancouver, contact us at Tim Louis and Company.

Our Vancouver employment lawyer would be pleased to assist with your case on a contingency basis. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

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