Vaccines: Impact on Disability Insurance Claims

As vaccines are very slowly being put into Canadians’ arms a hot topic of debate is: Can an employee be required to be vaccinated before being allowed to return to work, in-person?

For those who have made a long-term disability claim in Canada, and have an underlying heightened risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19, fears, misinformation, and uncertainty surrounding getting a vaccine is sure to cause anxiety over the impact this may have on a disability claim.

For employers, the concern is bringing people back to work without putting co-workers at risk of contracting a potentially deadly virus. So far, it appears that employers are being told that they can strongly urge employees to obtain the vaccine but if a particular employee does not wish to get the vaccine, then an employer will be asked to consider providing accommodated work, usually working remotely from home. Of course, there are many jobs that still cannot be performed in that manner, and in those workplaces where attendance in person is the only way the work can get done, there are bound to be disputes over whether or not an employer can insist upon an employee being vaccinated. For more information contact a long-term disability claim lawyer.

If you are off work because of disability, how will it impact your Disability Insurance Claim?

We are in uncharted territory when it comes to how insurance companies will deal with a long-term disability claimant’s refusal to get a vaccine. We can anticipate that insurance companies will use all means at their disposal to reject or cut off a disability claim. Their business model is to collect premiums and then to pay out as little as possible in claims. We expect that an insurance company may argue that you would be back at work except for your failure to obtain a vaccine. Most disability insurance policies contain a clause indicating that you must be receiving appropriate care and treatment for your medical condition, so we can anticipate that they will use the clause to deny claims in these circumstances.

Your medical condition and personal circumstances are unique to you. However, if you are uncertain about how this issue may impact your claim, or your claim has been cut off or denied, we strongly urge you to contact our long-term disability claim lawyers to discuss your options.

While the pandemic is something that none of us has encountered in the past, based on our over 30 years of experience with insurance companies, we cannot rely upon their compassion or empathy as they apply their policies and procedures to this unanticipated situation.     

NOTE: The question of whether you should get a vaccine or not is something you should discuss with a qualified healthcare professional if you have any doubt about the impact it may have on any underlying health condition that you may have.

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