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Disability Benefits Denied:
What To Do When The
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IN PERSON: Annette Campbell,
School Receptionist

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.

Annette loved her job and had hoped to continue working at the high school until retirement, but unfortunately, pain caused by her rheumatoid arthritis had become progressively worse in the last couple of years and Annette found herself struggling to perform her basic job duties. Her doctors recommended that she stop working in order to prevent further aggravation of her condition.

Annette made the tough but inevitable decision to go on sick leave. She applied for long-term disability insurance provided to her through work and her claim for benefits was approved.


Annette continued to be under the regular care of her specialists to help manage her pain. She had been on long-term disability benefits for almost two years when, one day, she received upsetting news in the mail from her insurer. The letter stated that they were cutting off her disability benefits due to a change in the definition of ‘total disability’ in her policy.

Ethel & James

Annette couldn’t believe what she was reading. How could her insurer cut off the benefits that she relied on every month to survive, especially when her medical condition was worse than when she had first stopped working?


Annette needed help understanding what this change of definition clause meant and how it affected her future. She began searching for a lawyer with expertise in long-term disability claims and found Share Lawyers through a friend’s referral.

After speaking with a law clerk over the telephone, Annette was booked in for a free consultation with a lawyer. She met with Associate Lawyer Leanne Goldstein, who helped Annette to understand her policy.

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