Disability Benefits, Employers and Unions:  What is an A.S.O.?

Disability Benefits, Employers and Unions: What is an A.S.O.?

By David Share, President

Share Lawyers

One of the most challenging aspects of representing people in their disability disputes is figuring out whether we can help them in the first place. For most people, all they know is that they are supposed to have these benefits that pay them if they are unable to work, and the rest is merely window dressing. All well and good, but the path to finding a remedy when the benefits are denied is anything but simple.

Is your workplace governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement? Are the benefits paid by an insurer in their capacity as a manager of the benefit plan? When an insurer enters into a contract to manage disability benefits payments for an employer who is financially responsible to pay the benefits? This contract is usually called an “Administrative Services Only” agreement, or A.S.O.

Why is this important? Because, the answers to these questions will determine whether a dispute regarding disability benefits belongs in the courts or must go through the labour relations system.

Disputes that properly arise under a collective bargaining agreement must ultimately be disposed of by way of Arbitration as contemplated by the particular collective bargaining agreement. Where that is the case, the disabled employee will usually have to seek representation through their union, who will provide a lawyer if required.

As there are numerous unions operating in Ontario, with multiple locals and resulting different benefit plans depending on the particular employer, answering these questions can be a daunting task.

In these cases, it is imperative for you to determine the correct path as soon as possible so that you do not harm your chances of successfully pursuing your claim due to the running of time.  Consult a lawyer as soon as possible if your benefits have been denied, as time is of the essence and the sooner these questions are raised, the sooner you can determine whether you are on the correct path to resolving your dispute.

Has your disability insurance claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you.

All initial consultations with our lawyers are free and there are no fees until we win your case.