Disability Claims: A Story of Two Women

On March 4, 2012, in Canada, Ottawa, Vancouver, by Rosalie McLachlin

Canadian women with disabilities are having trouble getting the respect they deserve. Increasingly, when workplace insurance is most needed, it’s denied. Here’s a story of what two Canadian women experienced when they found themselves with long-term disabilities.

Fighting for Canada’s Female Soldiers

The recent death of Captain Nichola Goddard serving in Afghanistan underlines that along with new respect for Canada’s women soldiers, they are increasingly exposed to greater risks. Among the risks is increased incidences of depression and other mental health issued. The Vancouver Province reports, “New studies from the Canadian Forces show that 13 per cent of those posted to Afghanistan report suffering from mental health issues within five years of returning; that number rose to 23.1 per cent for soldiers who experienced high levels of combat, the lion’s share showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”. The report goes on to say that female soldiers fare worse with 15 per cent more being diagnosed with PTSD, depression and substance abuse problems than their male counterparts.

Woman Cancer Patient Denied Pay Despite Having Disability Insurance

Receiving insurance payments should not be a problem for Katie Evans, An administrator for Shoppers Drug Mart stores, but when this Ottawa woman she was diagnosed with cancer patient, she had a drastic shock. “I didn’t think I was going to have to fight cancer,” said Katie, 26, “And then fight with this insurance company.”

One would think that disability insurance was created to pay individuals at least a percentage of their salary they would be earning were they not disabled. Apparently not, Evans attributes her disability claim denial to her insurer’s claim that she had a pre-existing condition: three months before her coverage took effect, Evans had gone to her doctor to have a breast lump examined. It turned out not to be cancer at the time, but it was taken as grounds to deny her claim.

While that’s what should be happening in regards to fair disability insurance practices, many insurance companies take advantage of exclusion clauses to dupe Canadians into thinking their insurance will cover them in the event of a long-term disability. With about two-thirds of the 9.6 million Canadians having long-term disability insurance hold policies with exclusion clauses, there’s a strong need for policy holders to get expert advice from independent non biased lawyers who understand disability law AND can help them take on their insurers.

For Evans, she’s thankful that her employer, Shoppers’ Drug Mart, is providing funding through its Shoppers Drug Mart WOMEN health program. Unfortunately, not all Canadian women have employers that offer programs like this, so they need to make sure they know the ins and outs of our group disability insurance policies. And talk to a lawyer.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/2011/10/28/bc-cancerclaimdenied.html

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