My Doctor has Suggested that I Take a Holiday out of the Country. Do I have to tell the Insurance Company? How will this affect my LTD Claim?

My Doctor has Suggested that I Take a Holiday out of the Country. Do I have to tell the Insurance Company? How will this affect my LTD Claim?

photo_1Staying active is very important as part of a well-rounded recovery plan. Taking a vacation may be very beneficial, as long as you take the right steps to ensure that your recovery stays on track and you are in full compliance while your claim is being reviewed. Simply going on vacation should not be an issue, but you can cause problems if you attempt to engage in strenuous activities or activities that are outside of the restrictions and limitations given to you by your doctor.

If you’re planning a vacation, you need to contact a Disability Claim Administrator for approval prior to your departure. Reviewing your disability policy before planning any trips is should be step one, as your policy may have restrictions about your right to travel. Taking a holiday is not usually caught by these restrictions, but you should have medical clearance to travel as the insurance company may view travelling on vacation as being inconsistent with being disabled from gainful employment. For longer absences from the country, pre-approval may be required as many policies will not continue payments if you leave Canada.

Your health care professional will need to indicate in writing that your treatment plan will not be affected and that it will be safe for you to travel. You will need to provide them with contact information and it is important that you should check your LTD plan for further details about what may be required for travel. If you feel nervous about going, keep a journal with details about your activities. Talk about what you have done, what you had trouble with, and how your disability affected those around you (i.e. can’t walk long distances, couldn’t play with your children, etc…).This can help show that you needed some relaxation but that your activities were still hindered.

Be wary of the possibility of surveillance as well as monitoring on social media; holidays are likely to produce photos and videos, etc… You may be inclined to post these, which can be misconstrued by the insurance company (i.e having a good time, enjoying yourself) as inconsistent with being disabled. Regardless of the validity of this (everyone needs a break!), it is important to keep in mind so as not to derail your claim.

If you have forms that need to be filled out, or if you have been asked to undergo a medical exam, take care of that before you leave. Keep in mind that any accrued vacation cannot be used to “top up” short term or long term disability benefits.

Above all, use logic and caution in equal measure. If you think your activities may look bad or be misconstrued from the outside, they may require some reworking. As long as you take the proper precautionary measures, a vacation should be within your reach.

Hoping to learn more about Change of Definition or want to read about a Toronto Neighbourhood? Has your disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. We have recently settled cases against The Co-operators, Sun Life, Manulife, Unum Canada and RBC Insurance.

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