Addiction and substance abuse can be an especially trying disorder to try to manage while attempting to continue performing one’s job as usual. Addiction, in addition to the addictive behaviour itself impacting one’s work performance, often comes with added considerations such as stigma, guilt, and fear. Given these compounding factors, it may be especially challenging for a person suffering from an addiction disorder to seek the help they need. Treatment for serious addiction disorders often involves intensive rehabilitation, which can be expensive and may take a person away from work for prolonged periods.
At MK Disability Lawyers, we treat all of our clients with the utmost compassion no matter the basis for their claim. We understand that addiction is a disease and not a choice, and we work with our clients to ensure that we put forth a compelling case to dispute a denial or termination of their legitimate long-term disability claim.
Addiction is a relatively new addition to the list of disorders covered by disability insurance, and as a result, some people may not even realize that addiction disorders can form the basis for a legitimate claim for long-term disability under both group and individual policies. Further, some claimants may worry that disclosing an addiction issue to their employer will put their job at risk. However, addiction is a recognized disability under Ontario human rights legislation, requiring employers to make every reasonable attempt to accommodate an employee’s needs in order to treat their addiction, rather than terminating their employment. While some jobs may pose a safety risk if performed by someone with a substance-abuse issue, the law states that such an employee should be allowed to perform other duties whenever possible if their disease may pose a threat to workplace health and safety.
Establishing a claim for long-term disability relating to addiction first requires that the disorder falls within your specific policy’s definition of the term “total disability”. In order to establish this, a claimant will be required to obtain the necessary medical evidence which demonstrates that they are suffering from a disorder that prevents them from fulfilling the requirements of their occupation. It is important that the claimant adheres to the treatment prescribed, as failure to do so could be interpreted as non-compliance, which can jeopardize a claim.
Addiction is a broad term covering a number of behaviours and substances, and not all situations are created equal. It can be a complex undertaking to determine one’s coverage under their specific disability policy, as it is very dependent on the language used. At MK Disability Lawyers, we will review your policy with you in detail and explain exactly what needs to be demonstrated in order to establish a successful claim. If your claim was wrongly denied, we will represent your interests in negotiations or litigation with your insurance provider. Our partners have over 50 years of combined experience representing both clients and insurance companies, and we can anticipate and proactively counter the arguments commonly put forth by providers in denying these claims.
At MK Disability Lawyers, we do our best to take on the stress of dealing with our clients’ long-term disability disputes, so they don’t have to. We understand the difficulty of seeking treatment for addiction issues and we will work to ensure that our clients have every possible chance to take the time they need in order to properly treat this disease and get their life back on track. Facing an addiction is a brave and difficult step. We want to ensure that we do everything in power to allow you to see it through. If you have had a long-term disability claim for addiction denied or terminated, we can help. To arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced disability lawyers, please complete the online form, or call us at 844-697-4600.