Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, by putting their lives on the line to defend Canadian values, ideals and sovereignty. The CAF consists of air, land and sea units, being the Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF), Royal Canadian Army (RCA) and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). CAF members are often exposed to stressful and hostile environments in the line of duty, which can negatively affect their physical and mental health. Service members face an elevated risk of severe injury from being deployed in combat, as well as training, traveling and serving in Special Duty Areas and Operations (SDA/SDO). Workplace injuries can also occur on bases and vessels, due to hazardous working conditions and the physical nature of required duties. Service members may be required to engage in heavy lifting, strenuous training, repetitive movements and prolonged standing. Injuries sustained in deployment and in the workplace can prevent service members from maintaining gainful employment with the CAF, which may constitute as a long term disability.
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members experience one of the highest levels of stress and mental health disorders out of all occupations, due to the adverse conditions they must face in the workplace. According to Statistics Canada survey conducted in 2013, 1 in 6 full-time Regular Force members have reported symptoms of at least one of the following disorders, being major depressive episode, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, and alcohol abuse or dependence (Statistics Canada, 2013). Regular Force members had higher rates of depression and generalized anxiety disorder compared to the general Canadian population (Statistics Canada, 2013). Rates of PTSD and panic disorders were significantly higher for Regular Force members who had been deployed to support missions in Afghanistan (Statistics Canada, 2013). Mental health disorders brought on by stress or traumatic events can lead to a long-term disability (LTD), which may prevent service members from maintaining employment in the Armed Forces.
The Department of National Defence defines total disability as “clear and objective medical evidence, which confirms that the member is incapacitated by an active, medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which is preventing him/her from performing any and every duty of any substantially gainful occupation or employment for which he/she are reasonably qualified by education, training or experience” (Department of National Defence, 2020).
If a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member is released medically, or departs voluntarily due to injury or stress they may be eligible for long-term disability (LTD) benefits. LTD benefits are administered by the Service Income Security Insurance Plan Financial Services (SISIP FS), while the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the policy owner and Manulife Financial is the insurer. Members in the Regular Force and Reserve Force on Class C service, as well as Primary Reserve Force on Class A and B service are eligible for SISIP LTD benefits. In most cases, the LTD benefits for eligible service members is equal to 75% of monthly salary.
If you are a Canadian Armed Forces member that is experiencing severe mental or physical stress that has affected your ability to work you should initiate a long term disability claim. You can contact your Union and SISIP representative who can help guide you through the process.
Many of our clients at Kotak Law have been surprised and frustrated when Manulife has denied or terminated their disability insurance claim. Sometimes they are told that there is insufficient medical evidence or that the test for total disability has changed and there is some other job that they can do.
At Kotak Law our disability insurance lawyers have been successful in suing Manulife, while securing large lump sum settlements for our clients who suffer from illnesses such as chronic pain, PTSD, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, colitis, cancer or even stress alone.
KOTAK PERSONAL INJURY LAW/DISABILITY LAWYERS CAN HELP YOU
We understand that being denied short term disability or long term disability benefits can be devastating. Your time to fight your disability insurance company is limited. Please do not delay in calling a short and long term disability claim lawyer at Kotak Personal Injury Law. We have successfully sued numerous disability insurance companies including Manulife, Sunlife, Desjardins, Cigna, Great West Life, Equitable Life, Empire LIfe, London Life, Blue Cross, AIG, SSQ, RBC, Industrial Alliance, Canada Life, Fenchurch, Teachers Life 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 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.