Success Stories

Success Story: Mohammed Ibrahim

Mohammed Ibrahim was the owner of a small drywall company. He started the business before either of his sons was born and took great pride in its success and the success of his family. So, when his eldest son became a father, Mohammed was delighted to say the least. He even smoked a cigar to celebrate the arrival of his first grandchild. Little did anybody know that this gesture would come back to haunt him.

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Success Story: Elizabeth Harris

Once her five-year-old daughter began school, Elizabeth Harris re-entered the workforce. Elizabeth got a job at an insurance company’s call centre in Toronto. Poor ergonomics and job stress plagued her from the beginning, as in prior work experience, and eventually became too much for her. Share Lawyers successfully advocated for her when her disability benefits were cut off.

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Success Story: Deepak Hayer

Deepak Hayer and his wife Sunita came to Canada from India when he was 29 years old. Already a civil engineer specializing in water supply management, Mr. Hayer had to fulfill Canadian requirements before he could work as an engineer in Canada. In the time it took to gain Canadian credentials, he drove a taxi.

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Success Story: Jennifer Bailey

At age 27, Jennifer Bailey became the first doctor in her family– a Doctor of Dental Surgery. Her only living grandparent, Grandma Pearl, was so pleased that she purchased a dental practice for her. Jennifer could begin treating her own patients right away.

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Success Story: Bruno Da Silva

Bruno Da Silva is a Toronto-area stone mason. For 18 years, he operated as a single-person company, employing only on-call workers. Also a family man with a young grandchild, he got an important referral from a relative after his injured back led to the denial of his disability insurance claim and he needed legal help to secure benefits.

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Success Story: Lily Chin

At the company summer picnic, Lily, an administrative assistant with a small Ontario manufacturer, got a surprise. Her tenth anniversary with the company was announced and applauded. Everybody knew that Lily loved macaroni salad, so she was presented with a platter of her favourite picnic food. Obese and diabetic, she enjoyed it anyway, happily sharing in the celebration. That’s when it all started.

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Success Story: Baxter Kerr

As a bank teller, he took new tellers under his wing. As a bank manager, he gained renown for good training. Once a Certified Human Resources Professional, he focused on training for his region. By age 32, Baxter Kerr had become a sought-after trainer in financial services. Then his peers lost their jobs to cutbacks.

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Success Story: Kaitlyn Blake

Training young athletes eight hours a day, five days a week definitely encouraged 39-year-old Kaitlyn Blake, a former gymnast herself, to lead a healthy lifestyle. That is, until lingering pain from an injury caused her to develop an addiction to the powerful painkiller, OxyContin.

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Success Story: Amir Khan

Independent agent Amir Khan sold a variety of insurance policies to businesses and professionals on behalf of insurance companies.
He educated his clients about how insurance provided a financial safety net in case of unfortunate events such as illness or injury.
One day, Amir found himself in need of that very same safety net he had touted to his clients during his 19-year career. You can imagine his great disappointment when he put in a claim for disability benefits only to be denied by his insurer.

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Success Story: Ethel & James Wrightman

Happily married couple, Ethel and James Wrightman, both 62, were thrilled when their children surprised them on their 40th wedding anniversary with tickets to the beautiful city of Mérida, Mexico.

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Success Story: Annette Campbell

Annette Campbell, 52, had worked as a receptionist in a downtown Toronto high school for almost 27 years. She was known by students, parents and colleagues as a warm and friendly face in the prinicipal’s office who made everyone feel welcome.

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Success Story: Charles Robinson

39-year-old truck driver, Charles Robinson, was preparing a meal in his kitchen one evening after work when he suddenly blacked out. He hit his head on the granite countertop before falling to the floor and came to almost an hour later, disoriented and in pain. A few weeks after the accident, his seizures began.

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Success Story: Callum Quinn

Twenty-three years ago, Callum Quinn moved to Canada from Ireland as a young man in search of work. His search led him to Sudbury, Ontario, where he secured a job as a miner. It wasn´t his dream job and it wasn´t an easy job by any means, but it paid a good salary.

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Success Story: Alexander Kim

When Alexander Kim passed away at the age of 47 due to cancer, he left behind a wife and young daughter, but he didn’t leave them without financial protection.

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Success Story: Annie Martin

Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) wasn’t something she openly discussed with others, but family, friends and colleagues always had the sense that Annie Martin wasn’t well.

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Success Story: Yuki Watanabe

Yuki and his wife, Angel, purchased life and critical illness insurance shortly after they decided to start a family.
16 years, thousands of premium dollars and four kids later, the Watanabe family was devastated when Yuki was diagnosed with a serious illness and—to add insult to injury—denied benefits by their insurance provider.

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Success Story: Samuel Rosenberg

When severe back pain halted Samuel Rosenberg’s 16-year nursing career, it left him with no other recourse than to apply for long-term disability benefits through his insurance plan. When his insurance company responded to his claim with a resounding “no,” he contacted Share Lawyers for help.

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Success Story: Chloe Baros

Chloe Baros had worked with a district school board in the Greater Toronto Area for 23 years. She took great pride in her job as a Sign Language Interpretor and enjoyed helping bright and talented high school students enhance their educational experience and improve their communication skills.

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Success Story: George Christopoulos

As a single father of three teenage girls, George Christopoulos was a hard-working entrepreneur who took his financial responsibilities seriously. He ran a successful automotive shop in Aurora, Ontario, that provided well for his family.

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Success Story: Anthony Caproni

Anthony Caproni’s earliest memories involved spending time in his family’s barbershop. As a young man, he learned how to cut and shave hair from his father and began to work as a full-time barber after graduating from secondary school. When his father retired, Anthony inherited the shop, and it became his pride and joy. Thus, he embarked on what would become a forty-year career as a barber.

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Success Story: Jayne Williams

As a busy dance teacher, mother and wife, Jayne Williams had many responsibilities to fulfill on a daily basis. Maintaining good health and a balanced life were important to her, as was having a reliable financial protection plan in case she became ill. She purchased life and critical illness insurance coverage when her first child was born – about seven years prior to receiving a life-changing diagnosis.

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Success Story: Mia Wright

Mia Wright was a successful employment recruiter and loving mother of two young boys. At 37-years-old, she was vibrant and in perfect health. Being a single mother had its challenges, but Mia was grateful to be divorced from her abusive ex-husband and to have a fresh start in life.

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Success Story: Ahmed Mehrani

As a retired nurse, 60-year-old Ahmed Mehrani had often been witness to the emotional, physical and financial challenges faced by patients who had lost their independence, not to mention the heavy toll placed on their families. He did not want his wife, Betsy, and their children to struggle if he was ever in need, so he purchased a critical illness insurance policy for $250,000.00—hoping, as everyone does, that he would never have to use it.

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Success Story: Vera Karlova

Vera Karlova’s life-long depression came to a head when she graduated from her Masters Program at the age of 29 and began a stressful career in Public Relations. When her depression began to affect her ability to work, she made the responsible choice to take sick leave to receive medical treatment; however, when she applied for disability benefits through her group insurance coverage in order to start her road to recovery, she was denied.

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Success Story: Jey Rupasinghe

54-year-old Jey Rupasinghe was an accomplished ophthalmologist, proud husband and father whose family meant everything to him. In order to protect his family financially, he purchased comprehensive health insurance that included a critical illness benefit in the amount of $250,000.

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Success Story: Andrew Holmes

Andrew Holmes, a 58-year-old Operations Manager from Windsor, Ontario, was found deceased on March 12, 2013, by his wife, Marie. Autopsy and toxicology reports concluded that the cause of death was a lethal combination of pain killers and anti-anxiety medications, which caused an unintentional overdose.

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Success Story: Ana Villanueva

If Ana knew that her decade-long journey fighting an unknown illness, and her eventual diagnosis with Lyme Disease, was only the prelude to an even bigger battle with her insurance company, she may have given up. Luckily, she persisted every day to find answers and get help.

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Success Story: Gianna Colombo

38 year-old Gianna Colombo lived in her cozy home town of Lindsay, Ontario. After college, Gianna was hired as an Administrative Assistant for the local high school, and was seen as a well-respected member of her community. Gianna’s family and friends all lived close by. Life was great, that is, until her father suddenly passed away followed by her mother six months later. Her life was turned upside-down.

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Success Story: Danielle Rivera

Long-time florist Danielle Rivera was an artist. Danielle could craft beautiful flower arrangements for any special occasion. Although she loved the beauty she was surrounded by each day at the flower shop, 56 year-old Danielle was planning to retire at 65. Everythingwas on track until Danielle began to experience widespread chronic pain that kept her from doing the things she loved.

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Success Story: Ashley Strong

Forty-three year old Ashley Strong was on top of the world. She had found her dream job in publishing, had an apartment in the city and an active lifestyle, Ashley was looking forward to the holiday season and a bright future. On top of the long hours at work, Ashley also ran in long-distance marathons. It was during one such marathon that Ashley noticed she was getting dizzy, and incredibly tired. This had happened to her before in races, but this episode seemed more severe.

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Success Story: Jim Brooks

Forty year old Jim Brooks was not a stranger to hard work. A foreman at a cement mill operation, he had been working in construction since he was eighteen.

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Success Story: Amanda Reynolds

Though it was rare, Amanda Reynolds had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in her late twenties. The diagnosis alarmed Amanda, but she quickly got to work learning how to properly care for herself and manage the symptoms of her new condition.
Now in her early thirties, Amanda Reynolds felt like her life was finally on track. She seemed to be in good health, had a new fiancé, loads of friends and family, and she enjoyed working as a Bank Sales Representative for the branch close to her home. Amanda’s supervisor allowed her to take short breaks whenever she felt like she needed to check her blood sugar levels or have a snack. Sometimes, her symptoms were harder to manage, but she tried to focus on doing her best every day.

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Success Story: Tim Henry

At 57-years-old, Tim Henry still enjoyed his work immensely. After 27 years driving a delivery van, he thought he’d hate taking the same routes so often, and seeing the same customers everyday – but he didn’t. Tim liked his routines, and took comfort knowing what each day would bring. That is, until an accident on his icy front walk-way left Tim unable to work for many months.

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Success Story: Maria D’Urso

42 year-old Maria D’Urso has been self-employed for more than fifteen years as a freelance graphic designer. Maria worked with not-for-profits to help create and execute marketing promotions, and she loved her job. Since she worked from home and only had contracted work, Maria decided to purchase her own private disability insurance policy through a broker to cover any issues she might have due to illness or injury. Aside from some previous sports-related injuries, Maria has never had a serious medical issue.

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Success Story: Tamar Adler

After Tamar’s twin sons left home for university, her world was turned upside down. Now living alone, she found that her job as a financial planner was not fulfilling enough of her social needs. She began going to the gym and joining groups to meet people, but quickly fell into old negative habits.

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Success Story: Rodrigo Neves

31-year-old Rodrigo Neves had always had steady work in construction. He had been fortunate enough to be hired by a large, reputable construction company that offered benefits for himself and his family, and he had liked the flexible schedule the job allowed. While safety on the job had always been a concern given the “high risk” nature of his work, after more than ten years “accident free”, Rodrigo had felt like he had nothing to worry about.

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Success Story: Tarinder Singh

45-year-old Tarinder Singh had been driving his own transport truck as an owner/operator for more than 10 years. Even though he was self-employed, he did most of his driving for a large haul company transporting all sorts of goods from manufacturers to retailers throughout Ontario and other parts of Canada too. It was recommended to him by the transport company that as he was an owner/operator, he should arrange his own insurance as he would not be covered under the usual Workers’ Compensation laws. Tarinder arranged to get his own disability insurance to cover him in the event that he could not work due to illness or injury.

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Success Story: Amina Gabol

Amina Gapol truly had it all. After college, Amina landed her dream job as a Physiotherapist and met the man of her dreams too! Now, at 45-years-old, Amina was just as happy. She liked getting up everyday to help people with physical difficulties and pain, and she loved coming home to her amazing family. 

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Success Story: Walter Wade

Walter Wade was an upstanding member in his community. Walter was responsible, he was kind to his neighbours, paid his bills on time and always did the best he could for his family. Now, for the first time, Walter finally felt like he had his finances on track and was looking forward to spending some of his hard-earned savings on a trip to Europe with his wife and kids in just a few short months. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. 

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Success Story: Jae-eun Ko

42 year-old Jae-eun Ko was the glue that held her advertising firm together! Even though she worked long hours and felt like she was always busy running errand and fielding calls, Jae-eun had always enjoyed her work as an Executive Assistant, and knew that the tasks she did for senior executives were incredibly important in keeping the business on track!

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Success Story: Wei Zhao

For several months, Wei experienced some unusual symptoms that he could not explain. The 42-year-old shipper receiver had been working for the same company for over seven years and had been energetic and active during that time. This made it all the more strange when he found that he had extreme fatigue and numbness in his toes. It was after several weeks of experiencing these symptoms that he realized he had the same bruises on his arms and legs for many weeks.

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Success Story: Vik Khatri

One Sunday morning, Vik woke up and set about his usual Sunday routine. He kissed his wife Priscilla who slept in on Sundays, freshened himself up then proceeded to start making breakfast for his family of four. Vik’s job as head of IT at the local college kept him busy during the week so Vik, a stickler for good work-life balance, tried to make the most of the weekend.

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Success Story: Francois Girard

Francois is a 36-year-old Canadian Armed Forces member who returned to Canada a few years ago after completing two tours in Afghanistan. Like many members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Francois risked his life every day. Unfortunately, these daily risks would eventually take a toll on Francois. As a result of his experiences, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, insomnia, anxiety and depression, and was unable to continue working. He decided to start attending programs through Service Income Security Insurance Plan in hopes of getting back to normal. He also started receiving some long-term disability benefits through SISIP.

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Success Story: Derrick Sideris

The short answer is yes – even if you have a medical diagnosis. Here’s a story very similar to a case that we recently won for a client.

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Success Story: Connor Payne

By the time he was 42, Connor had learned to appreciate his job as a warehouse worker in Hamilton.  His world started to unravel when he developed a serious allergy to one of the cleaning chemicals used in the building.

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Success Story: Evan Walsh

As a 34-year old Collections Specialist in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Evan spent most of his day on the phone with people in tight financial circumstances. That made for a lot of awkward calls. In most cases, he could hear the anxiety in people’s voices as they tried to figure out how they were going to find the money to pay their bills, but he was good at navigating those conversations to find a solution that was agreeable to everyone.
Of course, the regular talks with financially strained account holders still took a toll. Some of their stress inevitably carried over into his own life, but Evan had always been able to brush it off once he left the office.
 
That started to change when management raised the budget goals for the entire department. Evan now had to generate much more revenue in the same amount of time, and there just didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. He soon found himself staying late to meet his goals, all while facing more pressure to work overtime and close as many accounts as possible.
It wasn’t long before Evan started to break down. He was having panic attacks in the middle of calls and hyperventilating in the break room during lunch, then going home and grinding his teeth while he was asleep. He always managed to make it to his desk, but Evan could tell that his performance was suffering. It was getting more and more difficult to meet the relentless demands that were creating his anxiety.
Thankfully, Evan’s partner saw what the job was doing to Evan’s health. She advised him to speak to a therapist, who diagnosed Evan with anxiety and depression and encouraged him to file a long term disability claim. He was approved benefits for nearly two years, largely because his condition was directly related to his job and prevented him from carrying out his regular responsibilities.
Evan was grateful to have some time away from work to focus on his mental health, but two years wasn’t enough time to make a full recovery. His anxiety only got worse when his disability claim was cut off at the “change of definition” point. While his condition still made it impossible to return to his previous role, his insurance provider argued that he should be able to move on to another job and was no longer willing to pay his benefits.
That’s when his in-laws recommended Share Lawyers. Evan scheduled a free consultation and Share Lawyers told him that he should still be entitled to disability benefits. Typically this means that to qualify for LTD benefits in the any occupation period, you must be totally or substantially disabled from the duties of any occupation for which you have the requisite education, skills or experience.
Share Lawyers gathered evidence that proved Evan was unable to work. They were then able to negotiate a settlement agreement during mediation that provided Evan with future benefits.

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Success Story: Charlie Brenneman

Charlie had been forced to stop working as the front desk concierge at a condo building in downtown Calgary, and his condition was yet to improve more than a year after filing a long term disability claim. His doctors had diagnosed him with arthritis – their expertise had allowed him to get his claim approved – but so far they hadn’t found a way to reduce his symptoms.
On most days, he could barely make it downstairs without suffering excruciating pain. The thought of doing the rounds at a high rise condo was unthinkable with or without an elevator, and long overnight shifts didn’t sound much better.
His wife and children – and in particular his daughter – brought him groceries and took care of many of his day-to-day needs. Charlie hated relying on other people, but their support was invaluable as he worked to regain his independence.
But he didn’t think twice about getting on a plane for his daughter’s destination wedding. The date had been picked and the tickets booked two years in advance, long before Charlie’s disability claim, and he would never let his arthritis keep him from celebrating such an important day with his family. When the time came, Charlie managed to get himself onto the plane and made it to the resort in the Dominican Republic.
Though Charlie couldn’t enjoy the trip as much as he originally hoped, the ceremony itself was beautiful, and he did get to spend a few days lying on the beach instead of a hotel bed.
The insurance company found out that he had been to the Dominican after family members posted the wedding photos on social media, many of which featured a smiling Charlie.
They immediately terminated his disability benefits, telling him that if he was healthy enough to go on a tropical vacation, he was healthy enough to work. They ignored Charlie when he told them he’d actually spent most of the week in excruciating pain and that he was only in the Dominican for the sake of a once-in-a-lifetime family event.    
Needless to say, Charlie was distraught. He still couldn’t work and he didn’t know how he was going to keep his life together without his disability benefits. The whole thing felt patronizing and unfair, as if he was being punished for celebrating with his daughter.
He was thrilled when Share Lawyers told him they could help to get the disability benefits he was entitled to, going back to when he was cut off and into the future.  He met with the team and they quickly went to work collecting medical documentation and sifting through his insurance company’s policy on taking a vacation while receiving benefits. The lawsuit was filed, and Share Lawyers was able to get Charlie his benefits and back to focusing on the road to recovery. 

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Success Story: Chris Pace

As a child, Chris always wanted to help people. So it was only natural that, as an adult, he’d become a personal support worker (PSW). He loved his job and relished going to work every day. But working as a PSW at a hospital in Winnipeg meant Chris spent most of his days on his feet. It’s a physically demanding job, but he loved it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Sometimes, he’d notice some back pain from having to lift residents throughout the day. Chris knew the risks and always took precautions but he also understood that all it takes is one bad twist to throw out your back. So when he started having chronic back pain he didn’t overthink it. At 39 years old he was convinced he was too young for it to be anything serious, and as a PSW, he figured he knew all the tricks in the book in order to get himself back to good health. 
But the at-home remedies weren’t helping and as he worked through the pain he started to experience back spasms. He continued to push himself through the spasms and the pain, taking short breaks when he could, but by the end of the day, he could barely move. He started taking sick days to rest and put himself through physio techniques he knew from work. Unfortunately, they didn’t help, and he decided to see a physiotherapist. 
In constant pain at this point and unable to do his job, both Chris’s doctor and physiotherapist encouraged him to apply for long-term disability benefits so he could take time off to deal with his constant pain. The paperwork was filled in, the medical documents were submitted, and everything was sent to the insurance company on time. Despite his diligence throughout the application process, his claim was denied, and he was left with no more sick days and no benefits to support him. 
One day while in his physiotherapist’s waiting room, another patient noticed Chris was googling “denied disability claim” and offered some advice. They mentioned that a friend of theirs had turned to Share Lawyers when their claim had been denied and suggested he try reaching out. 

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Success Story: Leona Campbell

As a mother of two teenagers and a receptionist for a large dental office in Vancouver, Leona was no stranger to stress. At 46 years old she felt like she finally had a handle on life’s stress, despite it never slowing down. No matter what, she could handle anything that was thrown her way. That was until the headaches started.
Initially, she didn’t think anything of it. They weren’t severe and they were infrequent enough that they didn’t worry her. But while she was coping with them, her company made some major structural changes that put more responsibility on her shoulders. She could handle it, she thought. She always did.
Then the headaches started to get worse. They were more frequent and harder to shake, and in the midst of it all, she started to suffer blurred vision and substantial anxiety. Eventually, it got so bad that she had a hard time seeing the screen of her computer at work. She made an appointment with her doctor who made quick work of her diagnosis – she had hypertension and was at risk of a heart attack. It seemed her sedentary lifestyle was a contributing factor on top of a less than ideal diet and the high levels of stress in her daily life.
As with any other challenge, Leona knew she could handle this head-on; it was time to make some changes and get her health back on track. The problem was that while her blurred vision made work difficult, the headaches made it impossible and the anxiety made it unbearable. She needed to take time off work in order to improve her health but she couldn’t afford the loss of income. She went off on Short-term disability which was paid by her employer, and then applied for her Long-term disability benefits.  Her insurance company felt she should be able to continue working even though her employer and her doctors all felt that she could not perform her job.
After appealing twice, Leona was referred to Share Lawyers by her doctor’s office. We were able to help her cut through all the legal jargon to determine how we could assist her with her claim.  The main problem was that Leona had not seen any specialists, most of her appointments were booked several months into the future. We requested records from her doctors and obtained supportive medical evidence to get her the benefits. Leona learned she would require surgery to repair a heart valve problem that the specialist had diagnosed. Share Lawyers was successful in getting Leona the benefits going back to when she was denied and into the future.
After almost four years off work, Leona was able to work with her doctor on her diet and changes to her medication and to work with a therapist to develop tools to manage her stress levels. She was thankful to Share Lawyers and she was ready to return to work on a gradual transition.
Hypertension affects 1 in 4 Canadians and is considered one of the leading global risk factors of death. It’s earned its name as the silent killer because it’s entirely possible to not present any symptoms which can increase the risk of a heart attack. Most often, people simply don’t know what to look for, so it goes undiagnosed. To be safe, have your blood pressure checked regularly. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms of hypertension, see your physician immediately. 

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Success Story: Everett Tomas

For Everett, stomach pain was nothing new. He was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 14. By the time he was 39, he had been through several surgeries and countless doctor’s appointments. He felt like he had spent half of his life in a waiting room or a recovery bed but for the most part, he was able to manage well enough to go about his business as a Fund Manager with a firm downtown.
Unfortunately, some days were worse than others. When his symptoms flared, the pain could be debilitating, and the diarrhea only added to his embarrassment. He often called in sick to avoid sharing his condition 
with his coworkers because the pain and regular bathroom visits made it nearly impossible to concentrate on work.
That put him in a difficult situation when his Crohn’s took a turn for the worse. In the past, his relapses seldom lasted more than a day or two and were rare enough to avoid any awkward conversations. Now he was flaring up with far more frequency, which kept him out of the office for days and weeks at a time. He tried working remotely when he could but he was running out of sick days and people in the office were beginning to notice.
Meanwhile, Everett had no idea when the symptoms would subside. The tricks he used to mitigate the effects of the disease no longer seemed to be effective. Until he knew why – and he might never know – he had no timetable for his return to work.
Out of desperation, Everett filed a long term disability claim after he used his final sick day. Everett had been reticent to take such a drastic step but it seemed like the only way he’d get the time he needed to get his condition under control.

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Success Story: Sophie Gartner

Sophie, 43, is a senior investigator at a research institute. She loves her job, as it challenges her on a daily basis to think critically. An avid reader, fan of word puzzles and math problems, her mind is her livelihood as well as her pride and joy. That’s why it was so heartbreaking when she hit her head.

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Success Story: Omar Aydin

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.

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Success Story: Sonny Costa

Sonny was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was just 14 years old. He spent his whole life being careful, a necessity given concerns around the long-term ramifications of the disease. Despite his best efforts, by the age of 42, he started to develop diabetic nephropathy, also known as kidney disease.

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Success Story: Lorraine Stanley

Lorraine started working as a postal worker when she was in her early 20s. She loved the job – she had a flexible schedule, the job was physical, and it kept her up and moving where other desk jobs didn’t. Lorraine had lived with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for most of her life. She appreciated that her job helped her spend more time outside, active, and on her feet. The increase in physical activity truly helped her cope with her SAD, and made life infinitely easier. The condition still persisted, but she felt in control of it.  

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Success Story: Carrie Epstien

As a retail manager, Carrie was used to spending long days on her feet. She was also used to a little bit of pain. Something always felt like it was slightly off, but as long as she got some rest (and took the time to stretch), the problem would usually resolve itself within a couple of days. 
 
That’s why she didn’t think too much of it when her pain first cropped up. She’d had a pinched nerve before, and that’s exactly what this felt like. There was some faint tingling and some numbness in her arms and legs. The pain that went with it was discomforting but manageable.
 
She became more concerned when the problems didn’t go away. If anything, the tingling and the pain became more intense, though that was not as troubling as the other symptoms that started to appear. Sometimes her vision became blurry and the world seemed to lose some of its colour. She also felt like she was becoming more forgetful. She often found herself struggling to find the right words during conversations, as if there was a disconnect between her brain and her mouth when she was talking to customers and other employees.
Then things came to a head when she lost her balance and collapsed during the company’s holiday season. The left side of her body suddenly felt like it stopped working. She fell to the floor and was not able to get back up until two of her employees helped her. 
That’s when Carrie finally went to see a doctor. After multiple visits (and several MRIs), her neurologist eventually diagnosed her with Multiple Sclerosis MS is a degenerative disease that attacks the nervous system and can cause memory issues and mobility impairment. All at once, she finally understood what had been happening to her.
 
Though she tried to carry on, her pain and balance issues made it impossible to continue working on a spacious retail floor. She filed for (and received) short-term disability benefits, but when it became clear that her symptoms were not getting better, she realized that she would have to come up with a more permanent solution. She filed for long term disability and was shocked when her claim was rejected by the insurance company. Their response said that because she had recently been diagnosed and her condition had not significantly progressed, she was strong enough to continue working.
 
She started to lose hope. Then she saw an ad for Share Lawyers on TV. When she put in a call, Share Lawyers assured her that she was entitled to long-term disability.  They were confident that they could help her get the benefits that she deserved so that she could get back to her independent life.
 
Now Carrie is once again optimistic about her future. She’s no longer working in retail, but thanks to Share Lawyers, she knows that her MS doesn’t have to feel quite so intimidating!

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Success Story: Linda Pomelo

Linda had grown up a child of the late80s. While she’d watch her mother get ready to go out to parties, she’d admire the perfumes she’d lavish on herself; Poison by Christian Dior; Opium by Yves Saint Laurent; Obsession by Calvin Klein; even the classic Chanel No. 5. They all stuck in her mind as the ultimate symbols of femininity. As she grew up, her infatuation with perfume continued to grow.
 
All her life, Linda had been prone to migraines. She could never seem to predict what would bring them on. Doctors and specialists alike couldn’t seem to pin down precisely what the problem was. She simply resigned herself to the idea that they were a part of the fabric of her life. She went to university, and things started to get worse. She’d miss classes, struggled with labs and assignments, and frequently found herself having a hard time keeping up. But she pushed through, got her degree, and entered the workforce. 

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Success Story: Jane Mazur

Content Warning: This article deals with sensitive subject matter around the topic of sexual assault and sexual abuse of children.

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Success Story: Paul De Luca

Paul was a Share Lawyers client who struggled with opioid addiction for a number of years. It’s estimated that roughly 6 million people in Canada suffer from chronic pain, a condition that is often treated with prescription opioids.

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Success Story: Ginette Walsh

When we think of a debilitating condition, we often think of something physical. As a result, mental illnesses often go unattended, ignored, maligned, and sometimes even brushed aside. But according to CAMH – the Center for Addiction and Mental Health – in a given year, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience some form of mental illness. By the time they reach the age of 40, it’s estimated that 1 in 2 Canadians have, or have had, a mental illness. Those numbers are staggering, and cannot be ignored.

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Success Story: Quinn Veloz

All too often when we think of disability we have a static image in our minds of someone with an assistive device like a cane or a wheelchair. However there are many unseen disabilities and illnesses that can have all kinds of effects and consequences in an individual’s life and which create barriers in one’s ability to function as an able-bodied person would.

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Success Story: Faith Simpson

Everyone feels tired sometimes. With busy work and life schedules, it can be easy to overwork. But for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), this feeling of being fatigued and tired doesn’t go away with a good night’s sleep. This condition is also known as systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Sometimes it’s abbreviated as
ME/CFS.

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Success Story: Thava Ayoub

Thava worked as a labourer at a manufacturing plant in Scarborough, Ontario for over 20 years. Nearing his mid-forties, he considered himself to be relatively healthy – however when he started experiencing chronic chest pain and indigestion, he went to his GP to get checked out.

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Success Story: Cassandra Zhao

Cassandra had always been a very active person, having played varsity volleyball in university. Cassandra’s team spirit extended into her work and social life, and she was always easy to get along with and generally very cheerful. By the time she was in her mid-30s, Cassandra had worked her way up to management at a major bank in Kingston. She led an active lifestyle, playing sports evenings and weekends.

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Success Story: Terry Novak

Terry, aged 41, suffers from Crohn’s disease. Although he he was able to work for many years, his condition worsened and he couldn’t handle his position while trying to manage his disease anymore. After his insurance claim was denied, he came to Share Lawyers for help.

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Success Story: Heather Abram

Waiting for a diagnosis when you know you are sick can be a stressful ordeal. Experiencing physical symptoms that seemingly have no medical reason can be a psychological and emotional roller coaster.

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Success Story: Robert Janssen

Robert always thought he was a lucky person. He married his high school sweetheart, and had three beautiful children. He worked for over 20 years as an actuary for a large company, and was happy with his life on the east coast. He and his wife Deb were always outdoorsy and they enjoyed many different hiking, fishing, and canoe trips as a family.

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Success Story: Jonathan Ecker

Millions of people worldwide experience unexplained pain. When managing the physical and emotional effects, focusing on insurance claims can be an enormous challenge. 

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Success Story: Stacey Tran

People suffering from Fibromyalgia experience debilitating pain that prevents them from performing even the simplest task. Since every day life becomes a constant struggle, victims will often rely on insurance benefits as they learn to manage life with a chronic illness.

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Success Story: Lester Murphy

Lester, 31 years old, grew up suffering from ADD and cluster migraines. His symptoms were manageable throughout childhood and even adolescence, however they got more difficult as he aged.

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Success Story: Cindy Tomas

Cindy has had Type 1 Diabetes since she was a child, but her illness has always been well under control.

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Success Story: Alessandro Moretti

Alessandro is a 41 year old tailor who worked at his family’s business – a high-end suit shop – ever since he was a teenager. As soon as he graduated high school, he began to work full-time at the shop.

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Success Story: Alicia Garcia

Alicia had just turned 49 and was living alone for the first time. When her only child went away to university, Alicia moved to a small 2 bedroom house in a nice neighbourhood with high hopes for the next chapter in her life.
In the middle of the night, she awoke to the sound of noises and footsteps in her house. It took her a few seconds to realize that hearing noises within her home at night was not normal. Before she knew it, she was quietly moving down the stairs to the ground floor – and came face-to-face with a man and a gun.
Her home intruders tied her up and locked her in her basement furnace room while they stole many of her cherished possessions. Across the street, one of Alicia’s neighbours saw flashlights moving around in the dark house, and called the police. He watched out his window as the two intruders eventually ran into a van waiting outside.
When the police arrived 15 minutes later, they searched the house and found Alicia in the furnace room, in distress.
Alicia was taken to the hospital to be checked out. She was obviously shaken, but had no physical injuries. After talking to the police and filing her report, an officer made an off-the-cuff remark – that some people who have gone through situations like this might want to take some time off work to recover. When Alicia saw her family physician two days later, the doctor agreed – taking some time off could be beneficial. Alicia’s doctor was specifically concerned that Alicia had been having some difficulties sleeping since the robbery, but advised her that these symptoms should eventually pass.
Alicia followed her doctor’s advice and took a short term leave, just a few weeks off work to recover. Her employer, was very understanding about the time off.
When it was time to return for work, Alicia was unable to leave the house, overcome with fear about what could happen to her and to her home. She called in to work in a panic, and her boss assured her it was okay – she could try again tomorrow. The next days saw the same fears and inability to leave the house.
Alicia’s doctor sent her to a specialist, and, after listening to the story and analyzing her behaviour, the doctor determined that this attack had caused psychological damage.
She was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was recommended more time off work and talk therapy to help her deal with her condition.
Alicia was distraught but glad to be told that what she was feeling was somewhat normal. She informed her employer that she would be taking a longer term leave and gathered the necessary documents to apply for long-term disability.
Her insurance company called her – her claim had been denied. They stated that there wasn’t enough medical evidence to support her PTSD diagnosis – that she was unharmed by the robbery and should have gotten over her incident enough to go back to work. Alicia was shocked. She had consulted with a doctor and a specialist and thought she had a proper case.
Alicia got in touch with Share Lawyers because she saw a TV commercial. The lawyers listened to her story and worked together with Alicia’s medical specialists to build a strong case against the insurance company. They were able to get her the benefits that she was entitled to and win her claim.
Alicia was glad to have gotten in touch with Share Lawyers. I truly trusted them with my case and they didn’t disappoint me. Thanks to them, she could now take the time she needed off work to prioritize her therapy sessions and recovery. She is determined to learn to cope with her PTSD so that she can one day return back to her old job. I will definitely recommend Share Lawyers.

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Success Story: Joel Miller

Joel is a 41-year-old former warehouse manager and part-time DJ. For years Joel burned the candle at both ends, working hard on weekdays and DJing regularly at weddings and parties on the weekends. After pulling a number of late nights, Joel was so tired that he slipped in the shower and hit his head. Luckily for Joel, his employer let him take a month off to recuperate. After taking some time to rest, Joel returned to work. Three short months later, Joel had a seizure while working late. His doctor ordered an MRI and an EEG but both examinations came back negative.
After his seizure, Joel decided to put his passion as DJ on hold and use his free time to recuperate. He returned to work after a short-term disability leave of two months. Weeks after he returned to work, he had another seizure. His doctor ordered a second MRI scan. This time the scan revealed that Joel had suffered a serious head trauma and as a result was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Joel was crushed by the diagnosis and unsure of how he’d return to work with his ongoing debilitating symptoms. Faced with a new illness that he didn’t know how to manage, Joel filed for a longterm disability claim. His insurance company denied the claim saying that his disability does not prevent him from doing his job. They argued that working in a warehouse in a managerial position did not require him to be on any heavy equipment and that he could perform the essential duties of his job. Joel disagreed and more importantly his doctors disagreed because it was common for Joel to have to get onto the equipment regularly either to fix a problem or fill in for another worker.
Joel was determined to get his claim approved and went to see another neurologist who wrote another supportive medical report. Despite assembling what seemed like a strong case, the insurance company still denied Joel’s claim. Joel was devastated and unsure of what to do next. He needed to start earning money again and considered going back to work, even if it wasn’t best for his health.
One day, Joel saw a TV commercial for Share Lawyers. He reached out to the firm to see if they could assist him to fight for his claim. Share Lawyers listened to his story and worked together with him to build a solid case. With the support of his doctors and the experienced disability lawyers at Share Lawyers, Joel’s claim was settled for a lump sum. The payment included benefits from when he had stopped working and several years into the future.
Thanks to Share Lawyers, Joel can manage financially while he figures out his next move. He is seeking more rigorous treatment and education to learn more about how to deal with epilepsy. He is researching going back to school to be retrained into a field that will allow him to work within his restrictions.

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Success Story: Nadira Persaud

Nadira is a 40-year-old mother of two, currently managing a beachfront restaurant in cottage country. After getting pregnant with her third child, Nadira planned to get by on both her husband’s’ salary and the maternity benefits she would be receiving through the Ontario government’s maternity program. She was set to receive these benefits for twelve months.
During the fourth month of her pregnancy, Nadira noticed a tiny freckle on her tummy for the first time ever. A month later, she noticed the freckle was growing as her stomach grew. Nadira’s mother had had skin cancer, which taught Nadira to look out for any irregular occurrence and to bring it up with her doctor. After taking a look, Nadira’s doctor assured her that she had nothing to worry about – that the growth was due to her skin stretching. The doctor even mentioned that pigment changes are a normal part of pregnancy.
After recovering from her childbirth, Nadira booked a routine physical check up with her doctor. She was concerned that her freckle had still not reduced in size, even though her stomach size had already decreased significantly. Her doctor agreed that the freckle should have reduced and conducted several tests.
Nadira’s freckle biopsy did not come back clean. She was diagnosed with skin cancer – specifically melanoma. After waiting almost twelve months since first noticing the freckle, the cancer had spread into her bowels. She would need to have surgery before undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Following her surgery, Nadira determined that she would need to take more time off, as she only had three months left in her maternity leave. Her employer told her she could take as much time as she needed to recover and would be able to assume her position again in the future.
Relieved, she gathered the necessary documents to apply for short and long-term disability benefits. To her surprise, the insurance company declined her claim, accusing her of wanting to stay home and spend time with her baby. Nadira went back to her cancer doctor and got her to write a detailed report about the surgery and other treatment that she needed. The insurance company again denied her claim. She was thinking of giving up, but in a last-ditch effort, she did some research online and stumbled on the Share Lawyers Facebook page. Nadira called for a free consultation and the intake team at Share Lawyers answered her questions and arranged a consult with one of the lawyers. It was important to get the insurance company’s decision reversed as quickly as possible so that Nadira could focus on taking care of both herself and the baby. The lawyers explained that these cases take time and that Nadira and her husband would have to manage for a while until they could help her resolve the case.
Nadira and her husband agreed that the insurance company should not be allowed to get away with denying her the benefits that she is entitled to and decided to fight. With the Share Lawyers team behind her and great doctors helping her with her treatment, Nadira felt that she was on a good path. After a big fight with the insurance company, a mediation was scheduled, and Nadira received the back benefits that the insurance company had refused to pay and benefits going into the future to give her time to recover and regain her strength. Nadira may not be able to return to managing the restaurant for quite some time, but she knows that she didn’t let the insurance company walk all over her. She stood up and fought for her rights with a great team of lawyers by her side.

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Success Story: Jason Campbell

Jason is a 49 year old sous chef who has worked hard at a local 4-star restaurant for over 10 years, gradually rising through the ranks. The restaurant’s executive chef is planning to retire in the next year. When his boss retires, Jason has been informed that he will take his place as executive chef of the restaurant – a goal he’s worked towards his entire career.
Jason started experiencing some pain in his joints a few years ago. The pain began one night several years earlier when he stayed at work late to fix the oven. He began to experience knee pain the next day; his feet felt like they were on fire and he began to get tired much earlier than usual. For a long time, painkillers and alleviating creams helped, but now, Jason’s hands and feet started to ache consistently and his wrists began to swell.
Jason had a consultation with a specialist and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Because it was in its early stages, his Rheumatologist advised Jason to take some time off work and undergo treatment. Jason planned to use his time wisely, take care of himself, and seek treatment, so that he could hopefully return to the kitchen. His goal was to come back to work healthy and ready to take on his promotion.
To take the time off he needed to seek treatment and prevent joint damage, Jason applied for short-term disability and started receiving benefits. However, as time went on, Jason was finding it hard to hold onto things. He had no idea how he would go back to work in his condition, let alone take on the executive chef role.
It was then that Jason applied for long-term disability benefits. Jason’s insurance company denied his claim because he had mentioned in the past that he planned to go back to work in the near future. Jason was devastated and unsure of how he would support himself financially during his absence from work. Jason’s sister recommended that he contact Share Lawyers. She had heard about the firm from someone she knew who had been in a similar situation and had also recently seen their TV commercial. Jason hired Share Lawyers and together they fought to get his claim approved. Share Lawyers made him feel that he was being listened to and that he had a legitimate case against the insurance company. A settlement was reached which would help him take care of himself as he learned how to manage his arthritis. Jason will never go back to being a chef, but he is now able to think about other options for his future.

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Success Story: Jade Gonzales

41-year-old Jade was a nurse in the emergency department of a major hospital in North York. Things at work were stressful – the hours were irregular and she was constantly on her feet. Jade lived alone and was often too exhausted to cook for herself when she was done a shift at the hospital. She relied on take-out and frozen dinners for most meals.

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Success Story: Ariane Moffat

Ariane is a single mom of two, and she has always been fully responsible for taking care of her kids. As her household relies on one income, she takes her job as a government vaccine coordinator very seriously. She also takes pride in the position, and likes helping people stay safe and healthy.
Being a single mom comes with a certain level of stress. While Ariane had always lived with symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety and Depression, the stressful nature of her professional and home life exacerbated her condition, causing constant worrying over seemingly simple tasks, such as packing her kids’ school lunches. 

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Success Story: Diana Sutter

Diana Sutter was a hard-working woman who loved her job. Having worked in the Mental Health field for over twelve years, Diana had dealt with many different people and situations. Not much could upset her anymore. She loved her co-workers and enjoyed going to work every day. Unfortunately, Diana suffered from severe chronic migraines, and had been diagnosed with chronic depression and fibromyalgia. She had to call in sick frequently, requiring days off to deal with the issues and symptoms…

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