Sannah Stewart’s Determination Pays Off

Sannah Stewart’s Determination Pays Off

IBS Chronic Health Problems: Sannah's Story

When her employer held a small party to celebrate Sannah Stewart’s five years of service to the company, everybody praised her dedication and hard work; no one knew how much effort she put into concealing her IBS chronic health problems. Only a few of her co-workers knew that Sannah also put a lot of hard work and dedication into raising her seven year-old daughter. 


Hard work and dedication were characteristic of Sannah, a driven single mother. She had just turned 31 and was determined to stay with the company. She viewed continuing hard work and dedication as the keys to stay on while her employer, a large retail chain, had begun laying off staff as the economy weakened.


Over the past four years, Sannah was diagnosed with and suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS chronic health problems) and migraine headaches. Her doctor referred her to a migraine specialist, but Sannah never made the appointment. Fearing being ordered to take time off work, she never wanted to go, nor did she pursue any leads to treat her IBS chronic health problems that might compromise her availability for work.


Eventually, Sannah’s symptoms grew worse. Her employer continued laying off employees to try to break even, with layoffs affecting her store particularly hard. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could depend on her current employment. She was also reaching the end of her ability to deal with the pain and symptoms of her IBS and migraines in secrecy.

With a mind to access her disability insurance, Sannah finally reviewed the employee benefits booklet from work. Even so, she regarded supporting herself and her daughter as her top priority and still feared losing her job. Though she was sure that she had disability insurance coverage, she felt torn.


Sannah’s sister-in-law told Sannah about Share Lawyers and their specialty in disability insurance law. After reaching out to Share Lawyers, she was told that if her doctor would support her application, she should apply for disability benefits as soon as possible due to her conditions.

It was explained that if she was laid off or her position was permanently terminated, then she would not be able to claim disability benefits; she must be active at work on the date she is not able to continue working. If she were terminated from her job, then it would be too late to apply for disability benefits. She was also warned that her claim might not be accepted. Sannah decided that she would not put off submitting a claim for short-term disability benefits through her employee benefits package. She received her family doctor’s full support and insistence to go to the specialist.


Sannah’s short-term claim was accepted and paid for a full 26 weeks. As she was reaching the end of this time period, she decided to apply for long-term disability (LTD) benefits. After several months of waiting for the insurance company’s decision, her LTD claim was denied on the basis that her symptoms were not considered severe enough to qualify.


Sannah contacted Share Lawyers once again and retained them to pursue her entitlement to LTD benefits. She had some savings put away that helped her get through this difficult time. Her savings would not last long, though, and more employees were being laid off from her company.


A few months later, after gathering all of the necessary information, Sannah and Share Lawyers attended a mediation with the insurance company. This resulted in a lump-sum settlement that would give Sannah enough funds to last for a while longer, allowing her to focus on her health, and to recoup for better days when she could return to her dedicated, hard-working ways.

[All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of all involved.]

Does Sannah’s story sound like something you or someone you know is going through? Find out if you have a case or if we can help you today. Want to hear from us? Our newsletter will keep you in the loop!