Supporting group disability insurers and their disabled plan members for a smooth CPP-D process, and being committed to social responsibility for vulnerable and hurting Canadians once they are deemed disabled.
It’s an extremely stressful and scary time for thousands of Canadians who become disabled, whether it’s as result of an illness, injury or an accident. When we have no control over our financial well-being, we are left feeling very vulnerable. To add to this stress is often a lack of understanding how LTD benefits work together with federal programs like CPP-D.
The claimant is often skeptical about why the insurance company wants them to apply for federal disability benefits...
Case Managers working for group disability insurance providers are often asked many questions by the disabled about the process of applying of Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits. This is especially true if the claimant has had to appeal or challenge the insurance company on their disability claim. The claimant is often skeptical about why the insurance company wants them to apply for federal disability benefits and only sees it as a means of reducing their LTD benefits.
Group insurers continue to request that claimants apply for CPP disability benefits as these benefits are almost always a direct offset to LTD. Without understanding the benefits of CPP-D, it can increase stress and anxiety for the claimant and the case managers often don’t have time in their day to manage their incoming mail, calls and caseload as well as these types of questions.
The confusion and frustration is further escalated when the claimant’s CPP-D application is denied:
- The claimant isn’t sure where to turn, or what else to do, and the idea of figuring out how to appeal the CPP-D denial with Service Canada is completely overwhelming. Note that the insurers disability case manager does not get involved in this CPPD Appeals or Tribunal Hearing process. Thus, the claimant is left on their own to battle the government and prove their disability.
- The Case Manager continues to follow up and ask the claimant to appeal.
- All stakeholders are pulled into an ongoing cycle of stress without a solution.
There is a better way.
We are CPPD case management specialists with more than 18 years of experience filing Appeals and representing claimants at Tribunal Hearings. Before we take on a case, we ensure that the disability meets all legislated criteria for eligibility. If it does not, we do not take on the case. We have a near perfect record of succeeding on appeal because or our ability to predetermine eligibility. This benefits the insurance company as they can offset the LTD benefit with the CPP-D benefits and as a result, release their disability reserves. It also helps the employer/plan sponsor by lowering group insurance premiums. More importantly, we support the claimants successfully get through a very difficult period in their lives.
Why do insurers want claimants to apply for CPP-D?
When an insurance company is paying out a long-term disability claim, they need to reserve funds to pay that claim potentially until the claimant is age 65. From a financial perspective, the insurer benefits if the claimant is approved for CPP-D as it reduces their liability.
It’s common for insurers to require LTD claimants to apply for CPP-D. This is a standard policy provision.
When you begin receiving CPP-D, your LTD payments will likely be reduced by an amount equal to your CPP-D payment. Complicating matter for claimants is the fact that CPP-D payments are taxable, while LTD payments may or may not be taxable, this depends on who has paid premium. Additionally, the insurance provider receives the retroactive money that was paid to the claimant however, the claimant is responsible for paying taxes on that money as well.
What are the benefits of CPP-D?
There are also some advantages. Once approved, CPP-D benefits are locked in until age 65 and are very rarely terminated. And if you don’t apply for CPP-D, the group insurer may estimate and reduce the LTD benefits.
Also being approved for the CPP-D will allow your contributions into CPP to continue. When you turn 65 your regular pension won’t be less because you stopped making contributions when you started your LTD.
What happens when people are denied CPP-D?
People are denied CPP-D benefits all the time regardless of the validity of their claim. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. We find CPP-D is often denied because people do not know how to complete the application in such a way that identifies that their disability meets the criteria established by legislation. They may not understand what the program is looking for, or perhaps their doctor has made an error. We also find that government medical adjudicators make errors in denying claims.
On one side, the insurance company may be threatening to reduce the payments and on the other side, the government has denied them benefits.
In these instances, we find the person with the disability is often emotionally drained and overwhelmed. They don’t know where to turn. On one side, their insurance company may be threatening to reduce their payments and on the other side, the government has denied them benefits. Their only recourse is to appeal the CPP-D decision if they don’t give up at that stage of the process.
Individuals who find themselves in this squeeze are often also fighting depression and anxiety. The financial pressure is likely contributing to additional life stresses. It’s unpleasant all around.
That’s where Brematson comes in.
We work with individuals to help them appeal denied CPP-D benefit applications. We are also retained by group insurance companies who recognize that there’s a better way to manage their LTD claims.
With our years of experience appealing CPP-D claims, we can identify very quickly if a case stands a good chance of winning on appeal. We have a near perfect record of success because we know what can win and what can’t.
We’ll take over the case on behalf of insurer and work directly with their claimant to help them through this difficult period.
Our goal is to ensure the individual is given excellent representation when they are at their most vulnerable. It’s a win for the claimant and insurer.
If you have a question about CPP-D and how we work with individuals and insurers, give us a call at 1 844-661-7900. We’d love to hear from you.