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Burnt Out At Work? It'll Soon Be High Season For Long-Term Disability

Long days, late hours, never-ending deadlines - if this describes your work existence during the economic ups and downs of 2016, you may soon be reaching the end of your rope. At least, that's what analysts at RBC Insurance are predicting for Canada's overall employment scene.

Number crunching has revealed a link between the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and the incidence of long-term disability (LTD) claims. With the latter half of 2017 looking brighter, we can expect to see more employees draw on their LTD benefits. Are you one of them?

Why Claims Rise During A Strong Economy

Seasonal trends in LTD claims are nothing new. But after poring through hundreds of thousands of pieces of data, the RBC think tank saw a definite correlation: as Canada's GDP rises, so do LTD claims - and when the economy sours, the number of LTD claims also decline.

The link seems counterintuitive, but here's the theory behind why it occurs. During a shaky economy, job loss is a looming spectre. As a worker, you're scared. You want to do whatever you can to keep your job. The pressure to perform increases your stress.

As the months and years go by, you begin to experience wear and tear - physically, mentally and emotionally. Once the economy experiences an upswing, you think you can finally slow down and recalibrate. But then it hits you - the long-term adrenaline rush that was keeping you afloat finally gives out. That's when you start paying the price for stress and illness begins to emerge. Workers who take time off to recuperate may find their situation turn into a long-term disability. Is that your case?

The Challenges You Face In A LTD Claim

Your group insurance package may provide some income replacement benefits during illness or disability. But being off on long-term leave often brings stressors of a different kind.

Insurers have a mandate to keep their payout to a minimum. So, when filing an LTD claim, you may face a number of roadblocks:

  • Your claim is denied outright
  • Your insurance policy contains technical loopholes or ambiguities
  • Your short-term disability benefits are cut off even before you can claim LTD
  • After two years, your LTD is cut off due to a change in policy definition

What You Can Do To Help Yourself

In the best of scenarios, you may be able to turn to in-house company programs for support. If your company has such, take advantage of them before disability results. Programs may include assistance to manage stress, handle personal finances or gain help with personal issues. If, in spite of your best efforts, you succumb to illness, making an LTD claim may be your only recourse.

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