ISSUE 34, JULY 2013

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Disability Benefits Denied:
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IN PERSON: Annie Martin, Real Estate Agent

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.

Annie was diagnosed with the disorder at age 18, after suffering from the symptoms her entire life. As Annie grew older and entered the workforce, she had a difficult time adapting to conventional work environments, even while she received ongoing treatment from her family doctor and psychiatrist.

FLEXIBLE CAREER

She became an independent real estate agent because the job offered moments of respite to manage her disorder. She worked only during periods when she felt well. In order to protect her children financially, Annie purchased life insurance from Empire Life at the age of 34, as well as longterm disability coverage.

DISORDER AFFECTS ABILITY TO WORK

A string of personal tragedies caused Annie’s BPD symptoms to spiral out of control, including intense mood swings, panic attacks and an addiction to alcohol. Consequently, her work suffered, and her client-base began to dwindle. Annie’s doctor referred her to an addiction specialist.

Kim family

Annie stopped working and filed a claim with her Empire Life for long-term disability benefits while she waited to start treatment. Unfortunately, she had a long wait ahead of her. There weren’t many addiction specialists in her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, so she was put on a waiting list for a specialist in Toronto.

CLAIM DENIED

Empire LIfe took months to review her medical records and requested numerous updates throughout that time. They finally came back with a denial. According to them, Annie had failed to seek appropriate treatment for her addiction.

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Annie was in a fragile state and she knew she needed help.

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