[VIDEO] Ask A Lawyer: What If I’m Being Forced Back To Work?

[VIDEO] Ask A Lawyer: What If I’m Being Forced Back To Work?

Knowing when to go back to work after an injury or disability can be tricky. Often people will be cautious about returning too quickly but also eager to get back to life as normal (or at least as normal as possible). In some instances, the insurance company may try to “force” a client back to work before they feel they’re ready, claiming that they seem well enough. So what can you do in these situations?

According to Alison Gilmour, one of our associate lawyers, the insurance company cannot legally force you to return to work before you are able and ready. This usually comes up in the context of a person who has been receiving their disability benefits for a while and the person who’s adjudicating their claim decides that they seem well enough to go back to work. Ultimately, they are just an employee of the insurance company giving their opinion on the situation. No one knows when you’re ready to return to work except you and your doctor.

If you know you’re not ready, whether full time or at all, you need to see your doctor and get their support. They will be able to assess your abilities and give you either the green light or confirm that you’re indeed not ready. Returning to work needs to be done properly. More often than not, this is done gradually in increments.

So what if you do think you’re ready to get back to work? It’s still important to see your doctor. It’s very common to think you’re ready to go back to work part- or full-time only to wind up back at square one. Sometimes, people may be forced back to work by circumstances beyond the insurance companies, such as their own financial limitations.

“If that’s the case,” says Gilmour, “then the advice I give to clients is go and talk to your doctor about whether your belief that you’ve improved enough to return to work is realistic or whether you’re simply being overly optimistic because of your circumstances.”

At the end of the day, rushing back to work before you’re physically ready will cause more harm than good. It will likely set your recovery back, and result in needing more time away from your job. This can give your employer grounds for dismissal if you return to work before you’re ready and are incapable of fulfilling your duties.

If you’re considering returning to work, or are feeling pressured to return by your insurance company, see your physician for an assessment and then call Share Lawyers. You need to take the time to return to work gradually and at your own pace.


Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We have recently settled cases against Standard Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and much more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.