The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) is not like other group disability insurance plans. Teachers have unique challenges and considerations when applying for long-term disability benefit and also when appealing or litigating their long-term disability claim disputes. OTIP disability benefit disputes cannot be approached in the same way as other long-term disability benefit disputes and consulting with a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with these OTIP disability claims is essential
Having decades of experience litigating OTIP long-term disability disputes, the lawyers at MK Disability Lawyers understand the nuances of the OTIP/Manulife Plan and how to apply effective legal strategies, tailored to OTIP long-term disability claims, in order to resolve benefit disputes on behalf of our teacher clients.
If you are a disabled teacher located anywhere in Ontario who is either considering submitting a long-term disability claim or if OTIP has recently denied or terminated your disability benefits, we encourage you to contact us. Similarly, if you are a representative of a teachers’ union in Ontario and you have a member who could benefit from our assistance with their disability claim, please feel free to reach out to us on behalf of your member or encourage your member to contact us directly. Please also see our Union Representative Guide to LTD, for more information.
What is the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan and How is it Different from Other Long-Term Disability Coverage?
The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) provides long-term disability insurance coverage for all unionized teachers in Ontario. In the past, OTIP administered long-term disability claims and Manulife insured the benefit; meaning OTIP would assess each claim and if OTIP determined that a member was entitled to the benefit, Manulife would pay the disability benefits to the teacher. There have been some recent changes in how OTIP administers claims however there are a number of claims that still fall under the old regime.
The OTIP disability plan is different from many other long-term disability plans or policies and litigating OTIP claims is complex. Many of the terms and conditions in the OTIP plan are not found in other group policies. Similarly, the approach that OTIP takes in assessing teachers’ disability claims and even in how benefits are calculated, differs from the way other insurance companies or administrators assess claims and calculate benefits.
Unlike other professionals covered under other group policies, teachers have unique concerns and issues with respect to the denial of their disability benefits and also with respect to settling their lawsuits. It is critical that these issues be fully addressed in the litigation and dispute resolution process with OTIP/Manulife.
Some of the issues and considerations unique to OTIP/Manulife long-term disability benefit disputes, include:
- how the denial of a claim or the settlement of a lawsuit will affect the teacher’s retirement pension, their employment and their future coverage under the plan, including life insurance and future long-term disability claims;
- whether the teacher should apply for their disability pension;
- whether the teacher is able to maintain their specific assignment;
- protecting the teacher’s privacy regarding the disclosure of their medical information to their school and others;
- the teacher’s rights and responsibilities with respect to participating in OTIP’s “Early Intervention” and rehabilitation programs;
- whether the teacher must make efforts to return to teaching and/or make efforts to some other type of work;
- the calculation of the teacher’s monthly benefit amount; and,
- whether the plan requires the teacher to appeal the denial or termination of their benefits or whether the teacher can sue OTIP/Manulife if benefits are denied or terminated.
The answers to many of these questions are not only specific to the circumstances of each teacher, but also specific to the OTIP plan.
Why Hire MK Disability Lawyers for Your Dispute with the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan?
MK Disability Lawyers knows the OTIP Plan and knows how to represent teachers and address their unique issues and considerations in their long-term disability claims disputes. Together, our senior partners have over 50 years of combined experience representing teachers from various unions and from school boards across Ontario in their long-term disability benefit disputes against OTIP and Manulife. In addition, Courtney Mulqueen has the unique experience and insight gained from defending OTIP/Manulife long-term disability claims in her former role as in-house counsel at Manulife.
MK Disability Lawyers has the experience, insight, dedication and compassion to effectively represent teachers in their LTD claims.
If you are a teacher and would like to discuss your OTIP long-term disability claim with an experienced disability lawyer, MK Disability Lawyers are experienced disability lawyers dedicated exclusively to the practice of disability insurance litigation. We have represented teachers from school boards and unions across Ontario. To arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced disability lawyers, please complete the online form, call us at 844-697-4600, or reach out to us via our dedicated email address for Ontario teachers here.
If you are a teachers union representative and have a member who could benefit from our services or if you have questions concerning the OTIP LTD plan, as it relates to your role or to your members, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Please also see our Union Representative LTD Guide, on our website.