At the start of 2020, Cheryl was perfectly healthy. She worked a full-time job, had an active social life, and went running on the weekends with her partner. When news about COVID-19 broke, Cheryl was not too concerned. She wanted to avoid getting others sick, sure, but she assumed that even if she became infected that it would pass quickly because of her good health and she would be fine.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other ideas. While she and her partner both took precautions, Cheryl’s work as a personal support worker in a long term care facility left them both vulnerable. When Cheryl received news that there was an outbreak at her workplace, she figured her household would soon be infected. Within a matter of days, both her and her partner were sicker than they had ever been before. Cheryl has had the flu a few times, but this felt like the worst flu of her life, including pounding headaches and knockout fatigue.
Within two weeks, it seemed as though the worst was over, or so they thought. Cheryl’s partner had recovered sufficiently enough to return to work full time without issue. Yet when Cheryl tried to do the same a few days later, it took every ounce of her strength just to get in the car, which forced her to turn around and retreat to bed. Her entire body continued to ache, she had tremendous chest pain from even walking upstairs in her home, and the lingering brain fog left her feeling ‘spaced out.’ Despite public health telling her that she was clear to return to work, and her realizing that her support would be desperately needed by her employer and her patients, she had absolutely zero strength left.
Cheryl took 15 weeks of EI leave, which she figured would allow her the time to sufficiently recover her strength. During that period she watched the news stories as COVID swept through her workplace, leading to numerous patient fatalities and serious illness amongst her coworkers. Yet come the summertime, when Cheryl thought she would be ready to return to the front lines, she still found herself suffering from incredible pain and fatigue.
At this point she felt stuck. She loved her hands-on patient work, and was dependent upon her job as a source of household income. Instead, she was unsure how she could continue in her role when she was barely able to get through the day. She recalled that there was supposed to be LTD benefits at work, but wasn’t sure how to go about applying for them. Her employer was swamped with trying to manage the workplace and weren’t very responsive to her requests for the forms needed to apply for LTD. She eventually received the forms and applied for the benefits, but she was denied because the insurance company said her application was filed late and also that her doctors said she could return to work.
Lost at what to do, she remembered an advertisement that she had seen for Share Lawyers, and picked up the phone to request a consultation.
After reviewing her situation, the team at Share Lawyers determined that Cheryl would be a strong candidate for LTD, since it was unclear as to when she may be able to return to her duties. Given the position taken by the insurance company, Share Lawyers filed a lawsuit claiming LTD benefits, disputing that any late-filing of her application should result in her claim being denied, and furthermore, obtaining additional medical records and reports to support her claim.
Ultimately Cheryl’s claim was settled successfully at mediation. While the possibility of a lump sum was explored, in her case settlement was reached on the basis of claim being approved with payment of the benefits owed and recovery of her legal expenses. This settlement allowed Cheryl to now focus solely on her recovery, without having to worry every night about losing her job or being too ill to perform at work. If you have lingering COVID symptoms that are making your job next to impossible, a Share Lawyers long term disability lawyer can work with you like they did with Cheryl to navigate the disability insurance process.
Share Lawyers is home to some of the best long term disability lawyers in Toronto who fight every single day to help clients like Cheryl get the benefits that they need to get well. We regularly assist clients on disability leave to make sure that they are covered. In cases of LTD denial, we work tirelessly to make our client’s case, either to the benefits provider or a judge, to make sure that they can focus on putting their health and recovery first.