Workplace Allergies Not Supported by Long Term Disability

Workplace Allergies Not Supported by Long Term Disability

By the time he was 42, Connor had learned to appreciate his job as a warehouse worker in Hamilton. There weren’t many other jobs he could do with his lack of formal training, but he had managed to carve out a place for himself on the floor.  

His world started to unravel when he developed a serious allergy to one of the cleaning chemicals used in the building. He was regularly breaking out in hives and often had trouble breathing, and the symptoms persisted after he started wearing work gloves and a mask. His doctor told him that allergies like this can begin at any time in your life. Connor didn’t find that very comforting. 

The allergy eventually started to interfere with his ability to do his job, so his boss moved him to a different department to see if that would help. Unfortunately, the supplies they used in one part of the warehouse were still used to clean the other sections. For Connor, there was no reprieve to be found anywhere in the building.

Connor started to take many sick days and eventually stopped working altogether. He halfheartedly tried to find another job, but without a high school diploma he had limited options, and he soon cut himself off from his family and his friends. He felt like he had been abandoned by his coworkers and his bosses. The same colleagues who had once respected his opinions were now muttering behind his back and making fun of him for being ‘soft.’ No one was willing to support him. The severity of his condition simply didn’t seem to matter.

Connor applied for EI sickness and was burning through his savings when he realized he could apply for long-term disability through his group insurance. No one at work had mentioned that he could do this, and that made Connor even more angry at his boss. Connor asked his sister to help fill in the forms because he wasn’t very good at writing.  They spent hours filling in the forms and getting a note from the doctor, but the application was immediately denied. The letter said that Connor wouldn’t be paid his disability benefits as he could easily get another job somewhere else. 

Connor tried to rally. He called the HR departments of several different factories across Hamilton. When Connor asked what cleaning supplies they used in their facilities, the answers ranged from unhelpful to incredulous. One person even hung up on him. 

Connor’s anxiety skyrocketed as he became more isolated. He began to feel hopeless, and there was an overwhelming sense of panic at the prospect of supporting himself without a stable job.  He was seriously considering doing something really stupid, but his girlfriend talked him out of it. She knew someone from her exercise class that had needed a lawyer to help with an insurance problem and got the name of a firm.  It was Share Lawyers. Desperate and uncertain, Connor called and was relieved to learn that he was entitled to disability benefits. He felt relief that we see cases like his every day and were confident that we could help. Connor also felt like the Share Lawyers team truly understood his anxiety.    

“They excelled in dealing with my case and also had the patience to help me through and deal with the challenges that came with my condition,” Connor said. “They went above and beyond to help me every time I encountered obstacles and struggled with the completion of the process. They are all helpful, capable, and highly responsive.”

With our help, Connor was able to secure a settlement that made his situation feel far more manageable.

“They were right about the results and they were also right to tell me not to expect any kind of apology,” Connor said. “They combine in an amazing work ethic with compassion.”

For Connor, it was comforting to know that there were people who could relate to his condition. The settlement gave Connor the confidence he needed to re-engage with his community, and he no longer feels quite so alone as he looks towards the future!


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.