Suffering from Agoraphobia, Long Term Disability Benefits Denied

Suffering from Agoraphobia, Long Term Disability Benefits Denied

Alice generally liked to keep to herself. She enjoyed her role as a data analyst and liked her co-workers well enough. She simply found larger social gatherings to be extraordinarily stressful, and usually tried to keep to a smaller circle of trusted friends and co-workers at her office in Regina. 

For the most part, that seldom proved to be a problem. Alice had no trouble keeping up with her responsibilities at work, and her colleagues understood her anxiety and tried to respect her boundaries.

Everything changed unexpectedly when Alice went through an unusually intense bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder one winter when she was 36. Her anxiety was pushed to a level that she had never previously experienced, manifesting as extreme agoraphobia that made even the smallest social interactions feel terrifying, unmanageable and debilitating, both at work and at home. 

Alice could no longer handle her 15-minute commute to work – she would wake at night worrying about the trip by bus. Conversations that she used to be able to navigate with ease were suddenly cause for panic. Needless to say, this made it much more difficult to continue to do a proper job. Alice stayed away from any area where she might have to speak to a co-worker, and even stopped responding to emails because answering basic questions was enough to trigger a spike in her anxiety. Her performance naturally declined, and she soon stopped going to work altogether.

From that point forward, Alice began barricading herself inside her home and pushing away all of the friends and co-workers who reached out to help. The thought of leaving the house – or the thought of answering the door – became unbearable. It took everything that she had to apply for long-term disability benefits, as recommended by her doctor, but soon she found out that her insurance company was denying her case. They didn’t believe that she wasn’t able to work and wouldn’t give her any of the benefits that she was counting on. 

Alice was miserable, and she was increasingly worried about her lack of income, but she didn’t know how to reverse the spiral, or what resources were available to someone dealing with her condition.

She decided to take a chance when she saw an ad for Share Lawyers while she was surfing the web. Alice had to muster all of her courage before making the call (and she made it on one of her better days), but she was profoundly thankful that she did. She had always thought that lawyers would be rude and arrogant, but the staff at Share Lawyers genuinely understood her condition, and their warmth and compassion immediately made her feel at ease.

Share Lawyers also agreed to take her case, and they were able to explain to her why the insurance company was being so aggressive and what steps she needed to take to assist in getting her benefits.  Alice got the support from Share Lawyers that she so desperately needed to start medical treatment and as a result Share Lawyers was able to build a strong case in Alice’s favour. After a difficult fight, the insurance company agreed to pay the benefits that Alice was entitled to all along. 

“I am truly grateful,” Alice said. “I want to thank the entire Share Lawyers team, and particularly Shira Bernholtz who helped me have the courage to get help. Thank you everybody, for such great work and everything that you all do for us in the most serviceable and kind manner.”

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 Great-West Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.