How will COVID-19 Affect Short-term Disability Claims In Ontario

The labour market disruption caused by COVID-19 will have considerable effects on short-term disability and long-term disability claims in Ontario. A sharp increase in disability claims post COVID-19 is expected, primarily due to the increased pressure on essential workers, employee burnout and changing nature of work.

In Ontario, the unemployment rate has reached record levels at 6.7%, while millions of Canadians across the country have applied for jobless related benefits, such as Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) since mid March. Canadians that are fortunate enough to keep their jobs during COVID-19 are taking on the additional duties of their former co-workers, due to the sudden and large scale layoffs from businesses to reduce operating costs. The increased workload, combined with pressure to maintain employment will have serious effects on mental health, ultimately leading to higher instances of employee burnout once the crisis is over.

An increase in disability claims from front-line workers is expected, due to greater workloads and an increase in workplace stressors, which they are subjected to every day. Front-line workers can be defined as physicians, nurses, paramedics, personal support workers, long term care home staff, as well as other health care professionals who are exposed to COVID-19 in their line of work. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), front-line workers are the most susceptible to experiencing negative mental health, due to the level of exposure they have with the virus on a daily basis. The elevated risk of contracting the virus on the job can create feelings of anxiety, since there is an overlapping fear of passing the virus to family members and vulnerable people. Once the pandemic is over, many frontline workers may experience burnout from taking on greater workloads for extended periods of time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the nature of work, as the entire country has rapidly transitioned to working from home. Working for home creates a new set of challenges for employees, as makeshift workspaces or home offices may not be conducive to working long hours. Using workspaces that are not ergonomically designed can be uncomfortable and strenuous on the body, especially the back, neck and shoulder. An increase in claims relating to certain musculoskeletal injuries are expected post pandemic, which is the result of improper work environments.

Stressors related to quarantining can perpetuate mental health disabilities, as depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can arise when experiencing disrupted routines and isolation, coupled with financial losses and fear of contracting the virus. If you are experiencing negative physical or mental health be sure to track your symptoms, as you will need this information if you are planning to file a short-term disability claim. If you are unable to see your doctor in person due to COVID-19, telemedicine is an effective method of getting help.

At Kotak Law we are experienced disability lawyers and have successfully sued many insurance companies for unpaid short-term disability benefits and long-term disability benefits. Call us for a free consultation.




We understand that being denied insurance claims can be frustrating and devastating. Your time to fight the 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.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to supply general information to the public. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, as laws change quickly, the reader should always ensure the accuracy and applicability of such information with respect to their particular case. The information contained in this article cannot replace a thorough and complete review of the reader’s situation by competent legal counsel who has had an opportunity to review all of the facts.