I have borderline personality disorder, and though I haven’t told any of my colleagues or my manager, it is significantly affecting my ability to do my job. I need time to seek help and get back on track. If I make a claim to my insurance benefits, will they disclose my diagnosis to my employer?

Any claim that is submitted to an insurer is supposed to maintain your confidentiality with respect to sensitive personal and medical information. You can discuss your concerns in this regard with the claims representative at the insurance company. Unfortunately, there is no iron-clad guarantee that your privacy or confidentiality will be totally respected but your employer is not, strictly speaking, entitled to full disclosure of your medical problems, although they are entitled to information to confirm your inability to work.

Last year, I was under so much stress at work that I had a complete breakdown. My psychiatrist said it is anxiety and depression. Manulife denied my claim for disability benefits because they say this is a work-related issue. I am still unwell. What should I do?

We see many claims that are denied on the basis of the problem being work-related. What they are really saying is that disability insurance is not designed to provide benefits for a pure workplace dispute or conflict, however, if the workplace situation has resulted in a medically diagnosed mental health condition, coverage should be provided under the terms of most group disability plans. We have been very successful in fighting and winning benefits for people in these circumstances. SP

If the insurance company has denied your long-term disability claim, you may be confused about what to do -- give up, appeal the decision or hire a lawyer.

Giving up is never an option, and it’s exactly what the insurance company wants you to do, so cross that option off the list.

Deciding whether to appeal or hire a lawyer depends on a number of factors that our lawyers can review with you during a free consultation.

Generally, unless you have new medical evidence that is remarkably different than what was originally submitted with the claim, the appeal process is often a waste of time and effort. You should consult a lawyer well-versed in disability insurance law before starting your appeal.


A wife sends her husband to the market to buy snails to make escargot. At the market, he bumps into an old friend who he hasn’t seen in a long time. The friend invites the husband to grab a quick drink, and the he agrees to ONE drink, but then he must be on his way.

Three hours and several drinks later, the husband realizes how long he’s been gone, grabs the snails and runs home.

He makes it to his front door, but he trips, sending the snails scattering across the ground. Hearing the commotion, his wife throws open the front door and starts shouting, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? YOU’D BETTER HAVE A GOOD EXCUSE!" Thinking quickly, he gets on his hands and knees and says, "Come on, boys! Five more feet and we’re there!". SP