Long Term Disability

What is long term disability coverage?

Long term disability insurance is meant to protect employees in situations where they are unable to return to work for an extended period of time due to some kind of injury or ailment. Long term disability insurance provides employees replacement income during recovery. It allows the employee to undergo rehabilitation if possible and to gradually return to work. Employers looking to assist employees on long term disability may accommodate them and allow them to return to work on modified duties.

Short term disability insurance often goes hand in hand with long term disability insurance. The long term disability coverage usually starts when the short term coverage ends. There are many instances when employees sustain injuries or ailments away from their workplaces such that worker’s compensation does not cover them.

For example, if a person suffers a heart attack or a stroke, that person may be disabled and unable to return to work for a long time. One of the worst things that can happen to an employee is to suffer an injury that prevents them from earning an income. In these situations employees have to rely on short term and long term disability coverage.

Are employees dismissed while on long term disability?

There are many instances when workers on long term disability are dismissed. The employer rarely notifies the employee directly  that they are dismissed. Nonetheless, the actions of the employer may amount to a constructive dismissal.

The employer may notify the employee that their position is no longer available or that the position would no longer be available when they are able to return to work. Instead of focusing on rehabilitation and full recovery, the employee may be put in a precarious position by having to look for work and return to work before full recovery.

An employment lawyer can assist you with your long term disability claim and ensure that your rights are protected should your employer decide to dismiss you while you are on long term disability. You may be able to start a wrongful dismissal action.

On the other hand employers have to be very careful how they approach individuals on long term disability. Companies are ofter concerned that insurance premiums may increase if long term disability claims are filed by employees. This is especially true if the particular insurance plain is paid for by the employer.

Although a company may be unwilling to keep a position and available for the employee it may be prudent to do so. Furthermore, employers and insurance providers alike may be suspicious of the legitimacy of the employees claim for disability and may be tempted to engage in surveillance or to engage in medical re-assessments. It is important to note that employers are not allowed to discriminate in offering or administering benefits plans for employees as indicated in the Benefits Plans section of the Employment Standards Act guide.

Employers should seek legal advice from an employment lawyer before engaging an employee on long term disability with the intent of dismissing the employee or reducing or cancelling payment of benefits.

The information on this website is for informative purposes only. It is not legal advice. A lawyer can only be retained after a consultation. If you need a wrongful dismissal lawyer or if you have any other employment law issues, call me at: 416 323 3614