The human condition is such that anyone can suffer an illness or become disabled at any time. It can occur suddenly or manifest itself over time. It can impact your life, your employment and in turn, your financial stability. That is why Ontario’s Human Rights Code offers employees some protection under these circumstances. When an illness or disability strikes, your employer must make reasonable efforts to ensure you remain employed. This is known as an employer’s duty to accommodate.
if you are on Long Term Disability Benefits the most volatile period of your relationship with your insurer will happen at the two year mark. Some policies limit their coverage at this stage. And this is also when many insurance companies begin aggressive campaigns to force you back to work into any occupation. Even if your medical situation remains unchanged you may find your disability benefits cut off completely or severely limited.
One in three Canadians will be disabled for 90 days or more, on at least one occasion, before the age of 65. Some workplaces offer their employees disability benefits as part of their compensation package. These are excellent “peace of mind” benefits. Or are they? Anyone who has tried to apply for these benefits will suggest otherwise.
As an ill or disabled employee, you may have tried to access your employment disability benefits. If so, you already know they are not the “peace of mind” contracts you believed them to be. Almost all short term disability benefits are denied by private insurers. Bram Lecker makes the argument for how simple it would be for the Federal Government to implement a National STD Insurance Plan for all Canadians, replacing the current circus playing out through private employment run plans.
Anatomy of Short Term Disability Claims. A majority of short term disability claims get denied. The insurance company will likely determine your condition to be ineligible or not serious enough. It does not matter whether this is completely contrary to a diagnosis by trained medical professionals. What is going on here?
Medical Marijuana is in the news almost daily with legislation underway to legalize it. Canadian physicians are prescribing it with increasing frequency for pain, disability and chronic illness. Accordingly, with easier access to this drug, could workplaces encounter more cases of marijuana intoxication? Under our current laws, your employer can fire you for being intoxicated on duty. And they are not obliged to offer you notice or severance pay in this instance. However, with medical marijuana, the issue is not as clear cut. Your employer must treat this like any other prescription drug.