Invisible illnesses are mired in stigma – from both the general population as well as insurance companies.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an often misdiagnosed and heavily misunderstood invisible illness that frequently leads to denied disability claims. Though studies suggest it affects at least 7 in 100 Canadians, we have limited data on just how many Canadians have PTSD but aren’t receiving help or support.
Sam, a 43-year-old member of the Canadian Armed Forces, had PTSD symptoms that took her by surprise. After years of working in the field, helping her community, and working abroad, she started to experience some confusing symptoms: depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping mixed with full-on insomnia. She brushed it off as just a part of the job and continued working as usual.
However, as she continued to push on without looking into the initial symptoms, she started to experience flashbacks to various traumatic incidents while on duty, feelings of profound guilt and shame, increased anger and aggression, and even frequent recurring headaches, dizziness, and digestive issues. Sam couldn’t understand what was causing all of these seemingly unrelated issues, so she went to her physician.
After a thorough assessment of all of her symptoms, her physician referred her to a psychiatrist with military experience who diagnosed her with PTSD. Her boss, concerned for her well-being, took her out of the field for her well-being and gave her an in-office position to try and alleviate the symptoms while she was seeking treatment. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. Because the cause of her PTSD was likely several unresolved incidents that happened early on in her career, her condition was worse than initially expected. She needed to take time off work.
Sam filed for long term disability benefits and, despite the support from the Armed Forces and multiple physicians, her claim was denied. Because PTSD is an invisible illness, and the exact cause could not be specified, her case was deemed to have insufficient medical evidence.
Feeling defeated, Sam wasn’t sure what she could do – but she knew she had to fight somehow. She attempted to fight the denied claim herself but realized that her symptoms prohibited her from the necessary level of focus required to contest a denied claim. One of her coworkers jumped in, suggesting she find a disability lawyer to help; they had been denied disability benefits years earlier for a similar claim and said they couldn’t have done it without help.
Sam started researching disability law firms and quickly found Share Lawyers. She shared all of the necessary documents, which provided us with a base on which we would build her case. We were able to sue her insurance company for the non-payment of past payments and benefits into the future.
After a long fight, we were able to get Sam the insurance benefits she was entitled to in a lump sum payment.
If you have had your claim for long term disability denied, contact the long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of long term disability (LTD) lawyers can help. We have recently settled cases against Canada 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.