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To his friends and family, Omar was always known as content, somewhat introverted, and unassuming. At 41 years old, he was a business analyst who always showed up to work on time, and put in a solid effort. He lived in a nice apartment with his dog, enjoyed following local sports teams, and spent time with his loved ones on the weekends. What those around him didn’t see was that inside Omar was suffering.
In his mid-30s, Omar started to realize that he might be affected by low-grade depression. His gloomy days were getting more frequent, and there were one or two weekends per month when he would spend all day watching television, avoiding plans with friends. Depression was something that was never spoken about in his household growing up. He was raised to believe that negative emotions were not to be shared or lingered on, and carried this mindset with him to adulthood. With these ideas ingrained in his psyche, he generally chose to ignore the possibility that he might be suffering from a diagnosable medical condition. He pushed on and pushed through.
When Omar suffered a tragedy, everything changed. His uncle suddenly passed, and Omar did not have the tools to cope with this loss. In the weeks and months following, he found it difficult to get out of bed most days. While he adored his niece, he made an excuse to skip her 7th birthday party. He used up his sick days for the year within 2 months and received a notice of concern from his employer. When his sister finally confided how worried she was, he realized that his mental health concerns went deeper than he had let himself accept. Through her recommendation, he began seeing a psychotherapist. He also went on an extended unpaid leave from work.
Omar thought that losing his uncle would be one of the hardest things he would ever have to do, and he was proud of himself for taking the right steps toward self-care and personal health. What he didn’t expect was the financial toll that these decisions would take. When he went on leave, he immediately received documentation from his family doctor and his therapist to start the process of claiming for EI Sickness Benefits (Employment Insurance) and then his Long term disability insurance. Just in case, Omar kept records of everything related to his disability case, and even took notes of his conversations with both his doctor and the insurance company.
He received his 15 weeks of EI Sickness Benefits(Employment Insurance) but his claim was denied for his Long term disability for lack of substantial medical evidence or a long enough period of disability to make a claim. He was given the opportunity to “appeal” the decision by providing additional information for the insurance company to review, but once he sent in more information, Omar was denied again. At this point, he knew he had to speak with a lawyer. He did an online search and contacted Share Lawyers right away.
What he learned was that claims on the basis of mental illness face unique challenges because they are invisible disabilities. Omar was also confused about what the insurance company wrote in their letter about “own occupation” and “any occupation”.
Amidst all of this confusion, he realized then and there that he had made the right decision in choosing Share Lawyers. They were with him through to the very end, successfully helping him in making his claim and receiving his long term disability benefits.
*All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of all involved.