Will I Still be Employed in Newmarket While on Long-Term Disability?
Yes, you can work while on long-term disability (LTD) in Canada. You have the same employment rights while on long-term disability that you do when you are working. And, while employers can typically fire an employee at any time, it is illegal to lose your job or be discriminated against because of your handicap – or suffer any reprisals (retaliation) for inquiring about or applying for LTD. Furthermore, your employer has a duty to accommodate your disability (up to the point of undue hardship), which can include providing you with modified hours and/or duties, special equipment or tools to assist you in completing your work, and/or allowing you time off if you and your healthcare provider(s) believe that continuing to work will jeopardize your health.
If you are fired after applying for LTD payments or going on long-term disability, or if you believe you are being discriminated against because you are on disability, consult with a Newmarket employment and disability lawyer. Employers who discriminate against and/or unlawfully fire an employee due to a disability may suffer serious repercussions, and you may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation (known as damages). Indeed, if you’ve been fired for any reason, you should always consult with an employment lawyer, as employees are frequently underpaid for the severance compensation to which they are legally due.
This post will teach you about your employment rights while on long-term disability in Newmarket, your rights if you are fired while on disability, and what happens to your benefits if your employment is terminated while on disability.
Long-Term Disability and Employment Rights in Newmarket
Apart from the right not to be discriminated against because of your disability (or race, sexual orientation, creed, or any other protected ground), you also have the right to return to the same position, or a comparable role on the same level, if and when you return to work. In other words, you will not be demoted if you are forced to take long-term disability leave.
Your employer may contact you while you are on long-term disability to inquire about your health and when you intend to return to work. An employer may inquire about your prognosis, a timetable for your return, and limitations in your capacity to do work responsibilities in order to identify ways to accommodate them.
They are not allowed to inquire about the cause of your handicap, your therapies, or your diagnosis. They are also not permitted to phone, harass, bully, or threaten you into returning to work on a regular basis. If they do, speak with a Toronto employment and disability lawyer who can advise you on the best way to handle the matter based on your circumstances and level of desire to continue working for this business.
Furthermore, because you are still an employee, although being on long-term disability leave, you are entitled to a continuation of your length of service; in other words, the clock on your time with your employer is still ticking. This is an important employment right because the length of time you work for an employer affects your vacation and salary entitlements, as well as the amount of severance you may be entitled to if/when your employment ends. If you’ve ever wondered what a severance payout may look like for you, use our Newmarket, Ontario severance pay calculator to find out.
If you wish and depending on the policy, you may also continue to get benefits such as a pension plan, medical insurance, dental care, and so on.
While you may be fortunate to have an understanding employer that respects your space as you navigate your condition, your insurance provider may not. With most LTD policies, if you’ve been collecting long-term disability benefits for more than two years, the insurance company is going to conclude that you no longer qualify for long-term disability benefits.
A Definition Change and How It Affects LTD Benefits and Your Employment
To be eligible for long-term disability benefits, an insured employee must meet the criterion of “completely disabled” under most long-term disability plans. A ‘complete disability’ in insurance words simply indicates that a medical condition prevents an employee from doing the necessary activities of their job, or, as it’s classed in insurance terms, their “own vocation.”
Many LTD insurance policies, however, shift the condition for eligibility for LTD benefits after two years from a disability that prohibits you from performing your “own occupation” to one that stops you from performing “any occupation.”
A persistent physical illness, disabling accident, or mental health handicap that prohibits you from performing the duties of any occupation you are fairly fit for, even if training is required, is considered a “any occupation” disability.
The insurance company may frequently request that you participate in one or more Independent Medical Examination(s) (IME) to be evaluated by one of their evaluation agents immediately before the two-year mark. From the insurance company’s perspective, the goal of the IME is to produce a report claiming that you are now healthy enough to return to work, possibly with accommodations, but that, at the very least, you are able to perform in a job that would reasonably suit your previous training, education, or current abilities.
You cannot refuse to attend the IME since doing so would give them legal grounds to discontinue your benefits. Instead, contact your LTD attorney and attend the IME.
Of course, if the IME report is used to justify terminating your LTD payments, you will receive a letter informing you of the termination. Call your Newmarket ltd lawyer as soon as you receive it, since they must initiate a case. It takes several months to prepare a strong case, and you only have two years from the date on the letter to submit it with the court.
What If I’m Fired While on Long-Term Disability?
Employers have the right to fire any employee, even those on long-term disability, at any time and for any reason. However, if you were receiving LTD payments prior to the termination, you will continue to be eligible for them as long as you remain eligible for the LTD programme in accordance with the insurance policy.
If you are fired without cause, you are also entitled to reasonable notice, money in lieu of notice, or an amount agreed upon in your employment contract if you are fired without cause. Before taking a severance settlement, always consult with an employment lawyer. You may be entitled to more than what you are being offered, and regardless of what your employer tells you, you are not required to take it right now.
Because of your impairment, you may be entitled to a greater severance compensation. However, your benefits will almost certainly be cut by the amount of the severance compensation. Before making the best financial option, you should consult with your lawyer.
Can I Apply for LTD After Being Terminated?
If your impairment occurred while you were still employed and actively working, you may be eligible for LTD compensation after your employment was terminated. You are still entitled to benefits after your termination, but if you are not “currently working,” you may not be eligible for long-term disability benefits. In that case, you must review the insurance policy’s provisions on LTD eligibility.