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Canadian Armed Forces Veterans & the SISIP Long Term Disability Plan

Canadian Armed Forces Veterans & the SISIP Long Term Disability Plan

In 2018, the Liberal government put aside more than $622 million to bail out the LTD plan for Canada’s veterans, as part of the 2018 budget. Like other Canadians who find out that they must fight to recover their disability insurance benefits, veterans are no different, although they appear to also face chronic funding shortages that appear to contribute to claims being denied or cut off prematurely. SISIP stands for the Service Income Security Insurance Plan. The plan is underwritten by Manulife Financial who administer these claims much as they would any LTD plan...
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Mental Health LTD Claims Frequently Denied

Mental Health LTD Claims Frequently Denied

To his friends and family, Omar was always known as content, somewhat introverted, and unassuming. At 41 years old, he was a business analyst who always showed up to work on time, and put in a solid effort. He lived in a nice apartment with his dog, enjoyed following local sports teams, and spent time with his loved ones on the weekends. What those around him didn’t see was that inside Omar was suffering. In his mid-30s, Omar started to realize that he might be affected by low-grade depression. His gloomy days were getting more frequent, and there were one or two weekends...
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Limitation Periods Revisited – Western Life Assurance Company v. Penttila

Limitation Periods Revisited – Western Life Assurance Company v. Penttila

The Ontario Divisional Court revisited the vexing topic of disability benefits and the applicable limitation period in Western Life Assurance Company v. Penttila[i].  For claimants, the good news is that the principle of “discoverability” is alive and well, which means that the calculation of when the two year limitation period in Limitations Act starts to run depends on the circumstances of the particular case. Here is a brief chronology of the facts in the Western Life case: May 16, 2012 – LTD approved February 19, 2013 – Western advises the claimant that...
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Mental Illness is More Common Than You Think

Mental Illness is More Common Than You Think

Content Warning: This article deals with sensitive subject matter around the topic of suicide. Mental health issues are far more common than many people realize. The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem in any given year, with a full 50% of the population going through some form of mental illness by the time they hit 40. Unfortunately, the prevalence hasn’t done much to erase the stigma. Half of those battling anxiety or depression have never sought any form of treatment, and it’s easy to see why...
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Social Media Surveillance Leads to a Denied Claim

Social Media Surveillance Leads to a Denied Claim

From the outside, Felicity’s life looked perfect. She had always been an avid user of social media, and now that she was in the cosmetics industry, she worked even harder to hold up the façade. Her Instagram made it seem like her days were filled with one adventure after another, a series of posts featuring amazing beauty products and smiling faces.    However, her followers never saw the anxiety that lurked beneath the surface. Felicity worked as a visual merchandiser in a beauty supply store, and while that had seemed like an exciting job in her 20s, she was beginning...
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How to Find the Right Mental Health Specialist

How to Find the Right Mental Health Specialist

Mental health often manifests without any physical symptoms. This can make it difficult to diagnose, which in turn can make it even more difficult to get a long-term disability claim recognized. Unlike a broken arm or a torn ACL, there’s simply no way to make an irrefutable mental health diagnosis based on an x-ray or an MRI. That’s why getting the support of a medical professional is absolutely essential when filing a long-term disability claim related to your mental health. A trained therapist will be able to corroborate your experience and verify that you have a...