Markham & Toronto Short-Term Disability Lawyers

In Canada, employers are generally not required by law to provide disability benefits to their employees. However, many employers choose to provide such benefits as part of their employee benefits package to attract and retain talented workers.

If your short-term disability (STD) benefits have been terminated, or your STD/LTD benefits have been denied due to something your employer did or failed to do, Mulqueen Disability Law can help. The firm’s founding partner, Courtney Mulqueen, draws on her “insider” experience from defending OTIP/Manulife LTD claims. Courtney leverages her valuable insights and perspective to provide unparalleled advocacy for disabled clients in their short and long-term disability cases.

What are employer-provided short-term disability benefits?

Employers who choose to provide disability benefits may offer long-term disability coverage under an insured policy and also short-term disability (STD) benefits to cover periods of illness or injury that prevent an employee from working for a limited period of time, before the employee is entitled to LTD benefits.

Often STD benefits are paid as by the employer as “salary continuance” and claims are administered by a third-party administrator who may be an insurance company (sometimes the same insurance company that insures the employer’s LTD policy). The administrator will assess the STD claim and if the claim is approved, benefits are paid by the employer. Typically, STD benefits are paid for all or part of the period leading up to when LTD benefits start. Provincially funded Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits may also bridge the gap between STD and LTD periods.

Short-term disability benefit denials

If an employer fails to pay STD benefits under its STD plan or if the administrator of the STD plan denies or terminates STD benefits, we will need to include the employer (as the payor of the benefits) in the litigation. Some of our clients are concerned about suing their employer, particularly when they have a good relationship. In many cases, the only reason we bring the employer into the court action is for the payment of the STD and for no other reason. Our more serious claims are against the administrator for failing to properly assess and decide the claim and the LTD insurer who may have relied on the STD assessment of the claim.

Sometimes however, when we bring the employer into the court action, we are not only claiming for payment of STD benefits, we also claim damages for interfering in our client’s LTD claim (see below) and for other employment and human rights damages.

Litigation against employers in disability claims

At Mulqueen Disability Law, we find ourselves including employers in our disability insurance court actions for various reasons. Some of the most common reasons for including our clients’ employers in their LTD court actions include:

  • Payment of short-term disability / salary continuance;
  • Failing to properly enrol our client in the LTD policy/plan;
  • Failing to support our client in the LTD claims process (advising our clients that they are entitled to make a claim, that they have the coverage, providing forms, completing the Employer’s Statement and completing it with accurate information; or
  • Failing to maintain our continue our client’s LTD coverage during a leave of absence or as part of at termination / severance package.

Contact Mulqueen Disability Law in Toronto & Markham for innovative advice on short-term disability benefit claims

If your short-term disability claim has been denied or terminated, it is critical to contact us right away to discuss next steps, including submitting a long-term disability claim to the insurance company, irrespective of the denial of the STD. LTD insurers are required to assess claims in accordance with their policy and not rely on the reasoning or decision of the STD claim. If LTD is approved, STD will likely become payable as well.

The talented team at Mulqueen Disability Law is dedicated to advocating for disabled clients in Markham, Toronto, and across Ontario, particularly those suffering from invisible disabilities such as mental illness and chronic pain. To schedule a free, confidential initial consultation, please contact us online or by phone at 416-900-0368 (or toll-free at 833-363-3LAW [3529]).