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A cancer diagnosis can be extremely challenging, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. If you have cancer and are unable to work, you can apply for long-term disability benefits provided through your employer’s group benefits plan or an individual plan you have purchased. These benefits will provide income replacement while you take the time needed to pursue treatment and recover.

Read on to learn more about cancer, and how you can get the help you need if your long-term disability claim for cancer is denied.


Is Cancer a long-term disability?

Yes, cancer is considered a long-term disability.

Like other long-term disabilities, in order to qualify for long-term disability benefits through your insurance provider, you must provide evidence of a disability or disabling symptoms. Whether you qualify will depend on eligibility requirements, the severity of your illness, and how your illness interferes with your ability to perform your job. It is important to be able to prove that you are unable to carry out your regular duties at work and need disability benefits for income replacement.

Why are long-term disability claims for cancer denied?

Insufficient evidence of an inability to work

Long-term disability policies require that for benefits to be granted that policy holders cannot work due to their illness or disability. Although cancer and its treatment can cause debilitating symptoms, an insurance company may claim that an individual can do sedentary work, or similar work to your current occupation. But if you can’t work, and your doctor confirms this, then you are entitled to long-term disability benefits.

There is a pre-existing condition

Many long-term disability policies have an extensive pre-existing conditions clause that may invalidate certain claims. This includes denying benefits for individuals who are seeking benefits for a condition that they may have been diagnosed with initially (one to two years prior to the current claim) but did not become critically ill at the time.

Claims can be denied if early detection tests identified the cancer prior to the beginning of the enrolment period for your current benefit plan. Be sure to check your policy for it’s pre-existing conditions exclusion clause.

How to improve your chances of getting benefits approved

Keep records of your medical tests, treatment, and specialists seen

Objective medical evidence is by far the most important part of your disability claim. It is important to keep a record of all the diagnostic test results as well as any medical imaging that is done (MRIs, CT scans). You can also include the record of your treatment, thorough treatment notes, lists of any medications you are taking, and any additional reports from your doctor.

Provide evidence of disabling symptoms

In some cases, it may not just be your illness that is preventing you from working, but also the side effects of the treatment. Some cancer treatments can cause nausea, fatigue, dizziness, infection, and pain. Some individuals may continue to experience these symptoms even after treatment has stopped.

It is important to detail the disabling symptoms and how they are preventing you from working. Wherever possible, have your doctor record your symptoms and side effects in their treatment notes. Keep your doctor(s) informed of any changes in the way you are feeling, before, during, and after treatment, and how this might affect your ability to work.

Present a narrative of your illness

Your doctor can write a report that shows the overall arc of your illness and treatment. This detailed statement will demonstrate your diagnosis, what treatments you have undergone, and how it has affected you. You can also write a personal statement detailing how your illness is affecting you. You can explain how it has hindered your ability to work, the side effects of your treatment and medications, and any lingering physical or cognitive symptoms that you are coping with.

Was your long-term disability claim for cancer denied?

If you can’t work due to cancer or the side-effects of cancer treatment, contact our team immediately. Our long-term disability lawyers once worked for large insurance companies, but not advocate only for individuals going up against those companies. We know how the system works, and we have the knowledge and insight required to help our clients get the money they deserve when their benefits are denied. We will fight for you and deal with the insurance company on your behalf.

Don’t walk way from your rights. That is what the insurance company wants you to do. They may also encourage you to appeal the denial. Do not go through the insurance company’s appeals process! In most cases, your appeal will be unsuccessful, and your insurer will use this tactic to run out the clock on your time limit to file a claim for full compensation.

If your disability claim is denied in Canada, you need to contact the experienced long-term disability lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP immediately at 1-855-821-5900 for a FREE CONSULTATION. We will review the facts of your situation, tell you if you have a case, and take the fight to the insurance company on your behalf. Don’t let them walk away with the money that they owe you in your time of need.

Get the advice you need, the compensation you deserve.

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Why Choose Samfiru Tumarkin

  • Respected and Trusted Team

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  • You Don't Pay Unless We Win

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  • Focus on Customer Service

    Our lawyers are very responsive and keep their clients updated during every step of the process.
  • Reduced Stress

    Our lawyers fight on your behalf. We deal directly with your employer or insurance company so you don't have to.
  • Understand Your Rights

    We will tell you what your legal rights are and the steps we will take to enforce them so that you are confident in your case.

We Produce Results

Our disability law team is dedicated to securing maximum compensation for our clients. Due to our firm's leading reputation as effective and tenacious advocates, insurance companies are more likely to pay you what you are rightfully owed. Read below for some of our successful cases that have been followed closely by various media outlets.


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Areas Served in Ontario

Below are just some of the regions where our Ontario long-term disability lawyers can help. We assist individuals across the entire province.

Ajax Aurora Barrie Belleville
Brampton Brantford Burlington Cambridge
Georgetown Gloucester Guelph Hamilton
Kanata Kawartha Lakes Kingston Kitchener & Waterloo
Lindsay London Markham Milton
Mississauga Nepean North York Oakville
Orleans Oshawa Ottawa Peterborough
Pickering Richmond Hill Sarnia Scarborough
Sudbury Toronto Vanier Vaughan
Whitby Windsor

Areas Served in Alberta

Below are just some of the regions where our Alberta long-term disability lawyers can help. We assist individuals across the entire province.

Airdrie Banff Beaumont Brooks
Calgary Camrose Canmore Chestermere
Edmonton Fort McMurray Fort Saskatchewan Grande Prairie
Lacombe Leduc Lethbridge Lloydminster
Medicine Hat Okotoks Red Deer Spruce Grove
St. Albert Wetaskiwin

Areas Served in BC

Below are just some of the regions where our BC long-term disability lawyers can help. We assist individuals across the entire province.

Abbotsford Burnaby Campbell River Chilliwack
Coquitlam Courtenay Cranbrook Delta
Kamloops Kelowna Langley Maple Ridge
New Westminster North Vancouver Port Coquitlam Port Moody
Richmond Surrey Vancouver Vernon
Victoria West Vancouver

Advice You Need. Compensation You Deserve.

Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

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