How Do Lawyers Get Compensated on Disability Claims?

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As we discussed in the last article, there are a variety of reasons why an insurer may deny or terminate your long-term disability (LTD) benefits. Sometimes, the situation can be reversed by your own efforts. More often than not, however, the circumstances are complex, requiring the help of an experienced LTD lawyer who can secure approval of benefits and compensation on your behalf.

How can I afford to pay for a lawyer when I’m not working?

At Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP, we only charge a fee when we recover benefits for you. We work on what is known as a Contingency Fee basis. This means that when we’re successful in obtaining benefits on your behalf, we only charge a fee at the end of the case.

We adopt a contingency fee arrangement for our disability clients because it allows anyone, no matter their financial circumstances, to pursue a claim when benefits have been wrongfully denied. After all, having to cover a lawyer’s upfront and ongoing legal costs is often difficult for someone already struggling financially as a result of being unable to work due to disability. The approach also makes it easy for anyone to calculate and understand their legal fees.

What’s more, at HSH, we don’t charge an upfront retainer and there are no fees for the initial consultation. In general, LTD cases are resolved either on a lump sum basis or by way of a reinstatement of benefits. A legal fee is charged at the conclusion of the case when settled on a lump sum settlement, and we make sure the insurer covers part of your legal bill. If we resolve your matter for a reinstatement of benefits, we generally only charge on the arrears (calculated from the date benefits were denied to the date benefits are reinstated).

Rest assured, we’re here to help

If you’ve been denied disability benefits, you are likely frustrated, exhausted and typically suffering physically, mentally and/or emotionally. The last thing you want to worry about is fighting the decision of a large, often intimidating, insurer.

The good news is you don’t have to. Now that you understand how we charge legal fees at HSH for the work we do on your behalf to overturn a wrongful denial, you can rest easy that the process won’t prove to be financially taxing. You can also be comforted in the knowledge that, when we take on your case, it’s because we believe you have a right to be compensated. You can feel confident that we will use all of our resources and expertise to get you the best result possible, no matter what it takes.

For more information or to speak about a denial of short- or long-term disability benefits, please contact Brad Moscato, Past Chair of the LTD Section, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, at 416-646-7655 or

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