Canadian media has exploded with a story that broke a couple of weeks ago about a well-known Canadian writer and professor whose disability insurance claim for depression was denied after he took a leave of absence. According to the Toronto Star, the author’s physician informed him that the disability insurer had denied the claim after viewing pictures on social media in which he looked happy and active.
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Employers often provide their employees with access to long-term disability benefits through a group benefit plan. These benefits are usually provided and administered by a third party insurer. The insurer’s role is to manage the disability claim and adjust the file according to the available medical evidence. The employer’s role is to hold the employee’s position and accommodate a return to work as necessary. Ideally, the management of an injured employees return to work should be a collaborative process between employer, long-term disability insurer, and employee. Unfortunately, once an employee is injured and in receipt of disability benefits, misconceptions regarding the parties’ respective roles can expose them to increased risk and liability.
In a recent appeal decision from B.C. called Barta v. DaSilva [2018 BCCA 68 (CanLII)], the court was asked to consider whether the mild traumatic brain injury suffered by a securities trader in a motor vehicle accident caused him to make poor financial investments, to the tune of $5 million in losses.
Connective tissues are made up of two proteins, collagen (a protein found in tendons, ligaments, skin, cornea, cartilage, bone and blood vessels) and elastin (a stretchy protein that is the major component of ligaments and skin). Connective tissue disease causes inflammation to collagen and elastin, harming the proteins and the body parts they connect.
A recent case raises an interesting issue: For the purposes of suing an insurer for ceasing to pay disability benefits, does the right to sue start on the date those benefits are cut off, or only after the insurer definitively advises that the ongoing claim is being denied?
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS), with 1 in 340 people living with MS. The symptoms of multiple sclerosis can be significant and debilitating and affect a person’s ability to work and lead to a short-term or long-term disability claim.
The insurer was found to have failed to act in good faith in the handling of the insured’s disability claim and the insured was awarded mental distress and punitive damages.
The disability tax credit (the “DTC”) is a non-refundable tax credit designed to help defray the unavoidable costs associated with an individual’s disability. The DTC is available either to the person with the disability, or to a person supporting the disabled person. For the 2018 year, the federal disability amount is expected to be approximately $8,235, resulting in a maximum DTC of $1,235 ($8,235 x 15%), while the Ontario equivalent is expected to be approximately $8,365, resulting in a maximum Ontario disability tax credit of $422 ($8,365 x 5.05%).
In 2016, the Canadian federal and provincial governments (with the exception of Quebec) agreed to amend the Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”). The changes to CPP will soon come into effect. In this post, we discuss these changes and the steps that Canadian employers should take to prepare for them.
The Liberal government is spending more than $622 million to bail out the Canadian military's long-term disability insurance plan, newly tabled federal budget documents reveal.
Western Medical Assessments (WMA) provides expert medical assessment services to insurance companies, lawyers (both defense and plaintiff) and employers. Our reputation as one of Canada’s most respected disability assessment companies is premised on our trusted network of thousands of clinical experts — mostly specialists — across all medical disciplines (physical and psychological). We’ve been entrusted to complete 63,000 independent medical examinations (IMEs) as our clients appreciate our medical direction, evidence-based medical opinions and complete independence from any ethical conflicts of interest.