Share Perspectives : Issue 45, July 2014 - page 1

IN PERSON:
Tomas Halkias
Herniated Discs Cause
Chronic Pain; Insurer
Wants Evidence of Total
Disability
Tomas had a home-based business for 15
years and he enjoyed his work very much.
Although the hours were long, his schedule
was flexible, which enabled him to spend
time with his wife and children. Life was
good.
LONG HOURS AT THE COMPUTER
CAUSES LONG-TERM PAIN
Unfortunately, Tomas began to suffer
severe pain in his lower back and down his
right leg. Sitting was so painful he could
not work at his computer the usual 8-12
hours a day he had in the past. In fact, he
couldn’t spend any time sitting. He wasn’t
even walking; he was crawling from his bed
to the bathroom. There was no escaping
the pain, except for powerful pain killers
prescribed by his family physician, which
impaired his cognitive function. Tomas’
doctors told him he had a herniated disc, an
injury caused by Tomas’ long days working
at his computer.
UNABLE TO WORK, HE APPLIED
FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS
Tomas thought he had a guaranteed safety
net in the form of disability insurance to
protect his family, but when he applied for
benefits, he was told he would require more
medical evidence than his doctors’ letters.
Six weeks later an MRI revealed the L5-S1
disc was not only herniated but was now
sequestered. A large herniated piece of
the disc had broken off and was press-
ing against his sciatic nerve. Tomas sent
the insurance company the MRI with an
additional letter from his doctor. He was
told he would require additional medical
evidence—a report from his physiothera-
pist. Finally, 4 months after the initial injury,
his disability claim was approved.
Tomas underwent surgery to help reduce
his chronic pain, but sitting and standing
continued to aggravate his sciatic nerve.
However, he continued to push forward
with physiotherapy and rehab, hopeful that
he would be able to return to work some-
day. A week after the surgery the insurance
company cut off his benefits. The safety net
for his family was yanked out from under
him.
Tomas was surprised when his benefits were
terminated after undergoing back surgery.
ISSUE 21, AUTUMN 2011
THIS ISSUE
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Call (416) 488-9000 for your
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Denied: What To Do When The
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ISSUE 45, JULY 2014
SETTLEMENTS
We have recently settled cases
with:
BMO Life
Teachers Life
SSQ
Manulife
Sun Life and more
1 2,3,4
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