Making sense of long-term disability benefits: Law firm joins Parkinson’s support group

Parkinson’s disease is the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world and affects one in every 500 people in Canada.

Due to the progressive nature of Parkinson’s disease, those diagnosed with the condition at a relatively young age are likely to experience symptoms that interfere with their ability to work well before retirement age. The symptoms can affect both their careers and their decision to apply for long-term disability benefits.

My firm, Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, has tried to educate Canadians about long-term disability benefits through the Disability Law Show on TV and radio, as well as our website. But in our disability law practice, we’ve found that many people don’t understand their benefits or how to apply for them.

READ MORE: What to know about your long-term disability rights in the age of COVID-19

That’s why we were happy to get a call from the National Young and Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease support group (YOPD) in early September. Someone from the group had heard the Disability Law Show and asked Samfiru Tumarkin LLP to join their monthly online meeting for a Q&A.

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YOPD provides support for individuals in their 50s or younger who are living with young-onset Parkinson’s disease. The group provides a forum to discuss health, employment and family matters.

Our Q&A was set up as an open session where YOPD members could have direct access to our disability lawyers and ask questions about any part of the disability benefits process.

READ MORE:Most common mistakes people make when they are denied long-term disability

Over the session, we answered questions from 30 people across the country. The participants varied widely both in their progression of Parkinson’s and where they were in the disability benefits claim process. Our lawyers addressed some of the misinformation around disability benefits for those just beginning their claims and were able to provide more nuanced and directed information for those further along in the process.

The session was an eye-opening experience for us as disability lawyers and presenters. While we have had several clients with Parkinson’s in the past, numerous questions were raised about situations that we had yet to face in our practice.

Following the session, several members have reached out for ongoing assistance. Plans are also under way to have our disability group attend an information session led by YOPD.

READ MORE: Can your long-term disability insurer force you back to work?

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If you have questions about the disability benefits process or would like to arrange for a group Q&A session with disability lawyers, please contact Samfiru Tumarkin LLP directly.

Has your long-term disability claim for Parkinson’s disease — or any disability — been denied?

Contact the firm or call 1-855-821-5900 to secure assistance from a long-term disability lawyer in Ontario, Alberta or British Columbia. Get the advice you need — and the compensation you deserve — from the most positively reviewed disability law firm in the country.

James Fireman is a disability lawyer and partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, one of Canada’s leading law firms specializing in employment law and disability claims. He provides free advice as a host of Canada’s only Disability Law Show on TV and radio.

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