Can I benefit from a homeopathic treatment covered by the invalidity pension?

THE QUESTION

I recently applied for disability benefits because I was unable to work at work due to anxiety. I prefer to use homeopathic remedies prescribed by my homeopath. The insurer denied my claim because it does not recognize natural medicine as a prescribed treatment. What are my options with my application because natural medicine works for me and is this my preferred treatment?

THE FIRST RESPONSE

Nainesh Kotak, Founder, Kotak Personal Injury & Disability Law, Mississauga

We have seen an increasing tendency for our clients to turn to natural medicine or alternative therapies as the choice of care to treat injuries and illnesses. Disability insurers frequently deny claims on the grounds that there is insufficient medical evidence or the claimant is not seeking appropriate treatment. If your family doctor is aware of the homeopathic treatment and has not told you to change it, this will help. In Ontario, there is case law that provides that non-compliance with treatment prescribed by a physician is only one factor to consider when reviewing a claim, but it is not the only one. Sometimes people have tried conventional treatment, including pharmaceuticals, and have had side effects.

Disability insurers often shut down or deny legitimate claims. You can challenge the decision. You may be offered to appeal using the insurer’s internal appeal process, but our experience shows that it is not worth it. These local remedies can drag on and are rarely successful.

The best approach is to hire a disability lawyer to file a statement and collect evidence to support your case. The insurer will entrust the processing of the case to a senior specialist and a lawyer. Often the case will then be resolved through a mediation process in a timely manner.

THE SECOND RESPONSE

Susanna Caille, partner, Allevato Quail & Roy, Vancouver

Your question seems to confuse two types of insurance benefits: disability insurance, which replaces your income if you are unable to work due to a disability, and extended health benefits, which cover the cost of various medical treatments that are not publicly funded, like prescriptions. drugs, medical devices, physiotherapy, psychologist services, etc.

If you can keep your disability insurance (which you need to be careful not to compromise) but change your extended health insurance, you can explore this option. Your insurer has no obligation to cover anything you want to be covered, only to cover what you have purchased insurance to cover.

If your extended health benefits are provided by your employer, you can contact your employer to ask if they will extend this coverage, but they are under no obligation to do so. If you work in a unionized workplace, your union might pursue this matter through collective bargaining, but again, your employer is not obligated to agree to extend coverage in this manner.

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About Antoine L. Cassell

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