Customers deserve same compassion insurer shows employees

Disability insurers should show as much compassion for their customers as they do for their employees, says Toronto personal injury and disability lawyer
Nainesh Kotak.

Benefits Canada magazine recently reported that a major Canadian insurer saw a big drop in its mental health-related short-term disability claims after increasing the benefits available to its own employees two years previously.

According to the story, the firm boosted its maximum mental health benefit from $1,000 to $10,000 per person per year in January 2017, and also extended coverage to employees’ family members. Since then, the firm says its return-to-work rates for employees have spiked, jumping from 55 per cent to 86 per cent.

Kotak, principal of Kotak Personal Injury Law, says the company deserves credit for recognizing and reacting to the increasing prevalence of mental health conditions in society, which the Canadian Mental Health Association estimates affect approximately 20 per cent of the population at some point during their lifetime.

“I have to commend them for the commitment they’re showing to their own workers who are going through mental health issues by increasing the benefits available to them when they need assistance,” says Kotak, whose own practice frequently involves him representing clients affected by conditions such as depression, anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s a very good step in the right direction,” he tells

However, Kotak says there is still room for improvement, especially when it comes to those non-employees seeking coverage from the same providers for similar ailments.

“Most of the disability carriers have some sort of policy in place to at least pay lip service to support mental illness, but the real question is whether it translates into the fair adjudication of claims on the front line,” he says.

According to Kotak, many of these claimants are already facing a tough time because of the enduring stigma associated with psychological conditions and other invisible injuries.

While he’s hopeful that the latest developments will prompt disability insurers to improve their treatment of claimants with mental health issues, Kotak retains a healthy skepticism.

“I still represent many clients who have had their disability claims terminated or denied by various insurers, including this one, where the principal complaint is mental illness,” he says. “Being off work is not a good place for anyone who is on disability because you’re not making the same money and you’re dealing with an often-hostile insurance company.


We understand that being denied short-term disability benefits or long-term disability benefits can be frustrating and devastating. Your time to fight your disability insurance company is limited. Please do not delay in calling a disability claim lawyer at Kotak Law. We have successfully sued numerous disability insurance companies including Manulife, Sunlife, Desjardins, Great West Life, Canada Life, London Life, Blue Cross, AIG, SSQ, RBC, Industrial Alliance and more.

Call your trusted long term disability lawyers at 1-888-GOKOTAK (Toll Free for all of Canada), or (416) 816-1500 (Local Number for Ontario Residents), (403) 319-0071, (587) 414-1010 (Local Numbers for Alberta Residents). Our consultation is free and we don’t get paid until you do. We can meet you at our offices, a coffee shop, your home or a local court house. We can meet electronically though Skype, Zoom or WebEX. We represent disabled people throughout Ontario and Alberta, including Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Orangeville, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, St.Catharines, Niagara Falls, Stoney Creek, Kitchener/Waterloo, Cambridge, London, Windsor, Markham, Pickering, Oshawa, Peterborough, Keswick, Kingston, Ottawa, Banff, Brooks, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Jasper, Lake Louise, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Saint Albert and other locations.

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