Are you considering applying for long-term disability insurance in Ontario but feeling overwhelmed by the process and wondering “When should I apply for long-term disability?” We have prepared a comprehensive guide that will walk you through everything you need to know, from understanding the different types of disability insurance policies to choosing the right disability lawyer. Let’s get started on securing your financial future!

Short Summary

  • Understand long-term disability policies and their associated financial benefits.

  • Be aware of the deadlines when applying for long-term disability insurance to avoid forfeiting potential benefits.

  • Seek legal advice if a claim is denied or terminated in order to protect your rights during the appeals process.

Understanding Long-Term Disability Benefits

A person in a wheelchair with a laptop, researching about long term disability benefits

Long-term disability benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability, helping them to cover expenses and sustain their quality of life. However, understanding the intricacies of long-term disability policies can be challenging. It is essential to know the difference between short-term disability benefits, which provide coverage for a limited period, and long-term disability benefits, which can extend up to age 65. Moreover, the amount of long-term disability benefits is contingent upon the policy and can equate to between 50%-85% of monthly income.

A person is usually regarded as totally disabled if, due to an injury or illness, he or she cannot perform the major functions of their job during the first 24 months of disability. It is a legal requirement that total disability should be determined within 24 months. The definition of “totally disabled” changes after going through 24 months of disability. It means that the individual is unable to do any kind of job, for which they might have had education, training or experience.

Types of Disability Insurance Policies

There are four primary types of disability insurance available in Ontario: income protection insurance, critical illness insurance, accident insurance, and long-term disability insurance. Short-term disability (“STD”) insurance may be available to provide coverage at the onset of an illness or injury, while long-term disability insurance is a form of income replacement that may necessitate the application and receipt of Employment Insurance Disability benefits prior to applying for LTD.

It is essential to comprehend the type of policy you have and the extent of coverage you are provided. A “change of definition” refers to a shift from the insurer’s definition of disability as “own” occupation to “any” occupation. Income protection insurance provides financial assistance in the event of illness or disability that prevents you from returning to work, helping you cover living expenses, medical treatment, and rehabilitation costs.

Eligibility for Long-Term Disability Benefits

To receive long-term disability benefits, you must demonstrate that your injury or illness results in “total disability” as defined by your insurance policy. The common requirements for receiving LTD benefits involve paying the applicable monthly premiums, verifying full-time employment at the time of disability, observing the elimination period, affirming that the illness or injury is not excluded under the policy, and in certain cases, confirming that the medical condition was not pre-existing.

You should assess if the disability certificates from your doctor are adequate and if they demonstrate that you fulfill the criteria. The most critical element for obtaining LTD benefits is demonstrating that your ailments or sickness caused ‘total disability’. The LTD benefits last up to age 65. That is the maximum duration these benefits can be provided for.

When to Apply for Long-Term Disability

A person in a wheelchair with a laptop, representing applying for long term disability

Understanding the waiting periods and deadlines for filing a long-term disability claim is crucial. The waiting periods and deadlines for filing a claim for long-term disability insurance in Ontario can vary depending on the insurance policy. Additionally, gathering the necessary medical evidence, such as medical records, physician statements, and other relevant documents, is a vital part of the application process.

As you navigate the application process, be aware of the importance of adhering to deadlines. Missing a deadline could result in the forfeiture of your benefits. Therefore, being proactive and keeping track of all deadlines is essential.

Waiting Periods and Deadlines

The waiting period for long-term disability benefits in Ontario varies depending on the insurance company’s terms and conditions, but it generally takes 90 to 120 days for long-term disability (LTD) to commence due to the elimination period stipulated in Ontario’s LTD insurance policies. Adhering to deadlines for your insurance company is essential to ensure that you do not forfeit your benefits.

This means that you should not delay in filing your claim once you become aware of your disability. It is also essential to be proactive in gathering all the necessary documentation and submitting it in a timely manner to avoid any issues with your claim.

Gathering Medical Evidence

To apply for long-term disability insurance in Ontario, medical evidence such as laboratory tests, medical opinions from licensed providers, medical records, and evidence from non-medical sources may be necessary. Medical evidence must be provided to the insurance company in order to be taken into consideration, which can be accomplished by submitting copies of medical records, laboratory tests, and other evidence to the insurance company.

If your claim is denied or terminated, you may have the option to appeal the decision. It is recommended that you contact a disability lawyer to discuss your options and assist you with the appeals process.

The Application Process for Long-Term Disability

The application process for long term disability

To acquire a claim form for long-term disability insurance in Ontario, you must contact the insurance company and request the form. You must also obtain a medical report from your physician that outlines your medical condition and its effect on your ability to work. The application process may vary depending on the insurance company but typically includes a plan member or employee statement.

Once the application is completed, it must be submitted to the insurance company. It is essential to ensure that all required documents are included in your application, as incomplete applications may result in delays or denials.

Completing Application Forms

The application forms for long-term disability insurance in Ontario may differ depending on the insurance company. To acquire the relevant forms and information on how to complete them, it is advisable to contact the insurance company directly. The components necessary for submitting a full application for long-term disability benefits may differ according to the policy but usually involve providing recent medical information and engaging in treatment/rehabilitation.

It is essential to provide accurate information when completing the application forms, as errors or omissions can result in delays or denials of your claim. Be thorough and truthful in your responses to ensure the best possible outcome for your claim.

Submitting Medical Records and Physician Statements

Submitting medical records and physician statements is a crucial part of the long-term disability application process. Objective evidence, such as X-rays, MRIs, surgical documents, or other medical records, can help demonstrate the extent of your disability. A written statement from your doctor or physician must accurately outline the cause and extent of your injury.

Ensure that all relevant medical records and physician statements are included in your application, as incomplete or insufficient documentation may result in delays or denials of your claim. It is essential to work closely with your healthcare providers to gather all necessary evidence to support your claim.

Navigating Denied or Terminated Claims

An illustration of denied or terminated claims

If your application for long-term disability benefits is denied or your benefits are terminated, you will be notified in writing by the insurer and informed of the process to appeal the decision. Some common reasons for the rejection of applications for long-term disability benefits include inadequate medical documentation, not meeting the criteria for disability, and not meeting the pre-existing condition exclusion.

In such situations, it is advisable to seek legal advice to comprehend your rights and possible alternatives. An experienced disability lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in protecting your rights throughout the appeals process.

Common Reasons for Denial

An image illustrating the question 'When should I apply for long term disability?'

Many valid claims for long-term disability benefits may be denied by insurance companies in Ontario. Some common reasons for denial include difficulties in demonstrating eligibility for benefits, discontinuation of benefits following a predetermined period, procedural errors, incomplete application documents, or incomplete medical documentation sent to the insurance company.

Claimants may also be denied if they do not meet the criteria for total disability if misrepresentations were made on the insurance application, or if the claimant is considered able to return to work.

Understanding the reasons for denial can help you address these issues and improve your chances of a successful appeal.

Appealing Denied or Terminated Claims

The success rate of appeals for denied long-term disability claims is regrettably low. However, this should not deter you from pursuing your rights. It is important to note that the appeal process for denied long-term disability claims is not conducted in the same manner as a legal appeal in front of a board of arbitrators or judges. The insurance company will make the decision. It is the same one that initially denied the claim and possibly the same group of individuals.

An experienced disability lawyer can provide assistance in gathering medical evidence to demonstrate that the claimant meets the definition of total disability in the insurance policy and can negotiate with insurance companies on the claimant’s behalf to secure not only past-due benefits but also future benefit payments.

Choosing the Right Disability Lawyer

A person choosing the right disability lawyer

Selecting the right disability lawyer is essential to ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the benefits you are entitled to. When selecting a disability lawyer, it is essential to consider their experience in disability law, their track record of success, and their commitment to advocating for your rights.

The disability lawyer you choose should be well-versed in Ontario’s long-term disability insurance laws and have a proven history of successfully representing clients in similar situations. They should also be attentive to your needs and dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Qualities to Look for in a Disability Lawyer

An effective disability lawyer for long-term disability insurance in Ontario should possess a comprehensive understanding of Ontario insurance law and have experience in handling disability cases. Excellent communication skills, the ability to attentively listen to their clients’ narratives, and a strong commitment to advocating for their client’s rights are also essential qualities to look for in a disability lawyer.

By choosing a disability lawyer with these qualities, you can feel confident that your case is in good hands and that your rights will be protected throughout the process.

How a Disability Lawyer Can Help

A disability lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in protecting your rights throughout the long-term disability application and appeals process. They can provide guidance regarding your rights, facilitate the application process, and assist with appealing denied or terminated claims.

An experienced disability lawyer can also help you gather medical evidence to demonstrate that you meet the definition of total disability in your insurance policy and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to secure past-due benefits and future benefit payments.

By enlisting the services of a skilled disability lawyer, you can ensure that your case is handled professionally and that you receive the best possible outcome for your long-term disability claim.


In conclusion, understanding long-term disability benefits, eligibility, and the application process is essential for those in need of financial assistance due to disability. Navigating denied or terminated claims can be challenging, but with the help of an experienced disability lawyer, you can protect your rights and secure the benefits you deserve. By following the guidance provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently navigate the complex world of long-term disability insurance in Ontario and ensure a brighter financial future for yourself and your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifies for long-term disability in Canada?

To qualify for long-term disability in Canada, you must be suffering from a medical condition or injury that prevents you from working, and be employed with an Ontario employer that is covered by the WSIB.

Other criteria may also apply, such as the type of employment, duration of employment, and severity of the illness or injury.

What is the qualifying period for Ltd?

The qualifying period for LTD is typically 90 to 180 days, beginning from the date an employee is unable to work due to injury or illness. During this time, the employee will not be eligible to receive benefits but may be able to access short-term disability payments if they are enrolled in a relevant policy.

Employees should check with their employer to see if they are eligible for LTD and what the qualifying period is. They should also check to see if their employer offers short-term disability insurance, as this can provide some financial support during their employment.

How much does long-term disability pay Canada?

Long-term disability benefits in Canada generally provide between 60% and 75% of your salary, paid on a monthly basis. Depending on the policy, there may be a maximum amount you can receive.

Furthermore, it may take several months for payment to begin as many plans require a period of continued disability before they are activated.

How much does Ltd pay Ontario?

Ltd pays a monthly benefit to Ontario citizens who are unable to work due to a disability. This benefit typically ranges from 60-80% of the individual’s salary, with a maximum amount also outlined in the policy.

Overall, Ltd pays generous disability benefits to Ontario citizens.

How do you qualify for long-term disability in Canada?

To qualify for long-term disability in Canada, you must meet certain criteria set out by your insurance provider or government program such as a permanent disability caused by an illness or injury that prevents you from working.

Additionally, you may need to have an active insurance plan through your employer or be enrolled in a government program.

author avatar
Daniel Badre Founder, Partner
Daniel Badre is a distinguished personal injury lawyer based in Ottawa, renowned for his unwavering commitment to justice and advocacy for those who have suffered from accidents or negligence. With a legal career spanning over two decades, Badre has established himself as a compassionate and tenacious advocate for his clients.
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