Claiming Disability Benefits in Burlington, Oakville and Milton

Claiming Disability Benefits in Burlington, Oakville and Milton

Disability benefits can help see you through an otherwise difficult period in your life. Claiming disability benefits, however, is not always as simple as you might expect. If you are preparing a claim or your disability benefits have been turned down or are less than expected, then it may be time to contact our team of lawyers for a free, personal consultation.

Martin & Hillyer Associates has been helping those with disability claims in Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills, and Georgetown for over 40 years. With four decades of experience behind us, Bruce Hillyer, Stephen Abraham, David Hayward, and Claire Wilkinson, know what to expect during the claims process, including some of the most common reasons claims get denied. We can use that experience to your benefit and help you maximize the chances of your own claim succeeding.

Other Disability Claims

We also offer assistance with other types of disability claims, including short-term disability (STD). STD claims are typically available to claimants whose disability takes them out of their job for up to a year. If you have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), then you may also be entitled to CPP disability benefits if your disability meets specific CPP criteria. You may also have private disability insurance through an insurer, which can provide extra protection in the event of a serious injury.

We are the Experts in Long-Term Disability (LTD) Claims

We are the Experts in Long-Term Disability (LTD) Claims

Assisting clients with their long-term disability (LTD) claims is one of our firm's main focuses. LTD claims are for those who are unable to return to work for a significant period of time, including, in some cases, for life.

Because LTD benefits last for an extended period of time and can cover major expenses, proving that you have a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to work can be challenging. You will need to provide sufficient documentation, including medical records, to prove that your disability makes it impossible for you to return to either your own occupation or any occupation. We know what insurers look for in determining whether a claimant has a long-term disability and we can help you when you are filing a claim or appealing a denied claim.

Don’t Give up on Your Claim!

  • We may be able to help you mount an appeal that puts you in the best position to ultimately succeed in receiving compensation for your disability. At Martin & Hillyer we have long served clients throughout the Halton Region and we understand what it takes to successfully claim disability benefits.

  • We can assist you with your own disability claim, including gathering evidence and testimony that could help prove the extent of your injuries so that you will stand a better chance of getting the financial assistance to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today to find out how we can help you succeed in making your benefits claim.

Meet Our experts in Disability Claims

Frequently Asked Questions

Insurance & Disability Claims

My insurance company says I’m not “disabled.” What’s the test that I have to meet to qualify as “disabled?”

My insurance company denied my benefits. How can a lawsuit help?

How much does a lawsuit cost? What is a contingency fee? What are disbursements?

It’s important for you to understand how your lawyer will be paid. During your initial consultation, we will speak with you in detail about how our legal fees and expenses will work in your specific case so that you understand all your options before deciding if and how you would like to proceed.

Lawyers usually charge fees in one of three ways:

  1. A contingency fee is usually used in personal injury and insurance litigation. Under a contingency fee, you do not pay your lawyer’s fees until the end of your case, and the fee depends on the result obtained in your case. Typically, the lawyer’s fee will be a fixed percentage of any amount recovered on your behalf. This means that if nothing is recovered, the lawyer will not charge you a fee. In this way, the risk of litigation can be shared between the client and the lawyer.

    When you see headlines in advertising such as “no win, no fee” or “you don’t pay unless we win,” a contingency fee arrangement is what is being referred to. But these headlines can be misleading: what counts as a “win?” Do expenses still have to be paid? How is the fee calculated? We believe it’s important that you understand exactly what a contingency fee is, and what it is not.

  2. In most other cases, where a contingency fee is not available, lawyers will charge an hourly rate. When charging on an hourly basis, the lawyer and his or her staff bill you at a set hourly rate for all the time they spend working on your file. Hourly rates are used in most non-litigation work, including real estate, estate planning, corporate and commercial transactions, business law, family law, etc. Hourly rates may also be charged in litigation cases where a contingency fee is not feasible.

  3. A final option is a flat rate fee, which is only used for routine legal services such as notarizing a document or drafting a simple will or power of attorney.

In addition to fees, lawyers will charge for the disbursements they have to incur when working on your file. Disbursements are expenses that must be paid for over the course of your case and include things like paying court fees, paying doctors for copies of their records or for medical opinions, paying for administrative expenses such as photocopying, couriers and long distance calls, and so on. Disbursements are separate from the lawyer’s fee for the services they provide.

To find out more about the legal fees and expenses that would apply in your case, get in touch with us to arrange a consultation.

How long can I wait to start a personal injury lawsuit? Is there a time limit?

Limitation periods restrict how long a person has to start a lawsuit for most types of lawsuits in Ontario. In most (but not all) cases, a person has 2 years from the date of an injury or loss to start a lawsuit against someone. If someone does not start a lawsuit before the limitation date, in most cases they are unable to ever do so – even if they had no idea a limitation period existed.

Sometimes it is tricky to determine a precise limitation date, particularly if your injuries weren’t (and could not have been) clear right away, or if the incidents that caused your injuries took place over an extended period.

Since the consequences of missing a limitation period are so serious, it is important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after you have suffered a loss so that he or she can tell you what limitation period applies. Even if you think you might have already missed the limitation period, you should speak with a lawyer to confirm, since there are sometimes exceptions and ways around the deadline that could save your claim.

In some cases, in addition to a limitation period, you need to worry about a notice period. This is a period of time within which you need to warn the defendant that you are going to sue them in the future. They usually apply when governments are the defendants.

Notice periods are usually much shorter than limitation periods – for example, in most cases you only have 10 days to warn a municipality if you are going to sue it for a dangerous condition on a sidewalk.

Missing a notice period without a very good reason can prevent you from starting your case at all, so again – make sure you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure no time limits are missed.

In most long-term and short-term disability cases, the limitation date is the second year after a claim was denied, but there are some exceptions. It’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer who specializes in disability claims right away if you believe your insurance company improperly denied your claim, so that they can help you determine when the limitation period in your case is.

Should I try to go back to work?

Absolutely – if your healthcare providers are in agreement with your decision. A return-to-work attempt will not necessarily jeopardize the payment of wage loss benefits. Before making an attempt to return to work you should speak to a lawyer in order to ensure that your wage loss benefits remain available to you.

Do I have to apply for CPP disability benefits?

You may be entitled to receive a monthly disability benefit from the Canada Pension Plan if you have suffered a severe and prolonged disability. We encourage clients to apply for this benefit. Many disability insurance contracts require the injured person to apply for this benefit.

Can I force the insurance company to pay me a lump-sum?

What are the main stages of a lawsuit?

Will my case settle, or will I have to go to court?

The vast majority of lawsuits in Ontario settle before they go to court. A settlement is where both sides in the lawsuit voluntarily agree to a compromise in order to resolve a dispute without the costs, risks and delays that come with taking a case to court. If your case is settled, the defendant will agree to pay you some amount of money for your damages, and in exchange, you will agree to drop your lawsuit.

While you won’t have to go to court if a case settles, there are other preliminary stages your case might go through that you will have to participate in.

A settlement has to be voluntary for both sides, and we can't force a defendant to settle. Even if a defendant makes an offer to settle, if the offer doesn’t adequately compensate you for your losses, it may be our advice that you not settle your case.

If a case does not settle, you can go to court to have a judge or jury make a final decision. Going to court increases the costs and risks in your case, but sometimes, where a reasonable settlement is not possible, it is the only way to reach a fair outcome.

We will be there to advise you and represent your interests throughout any settlement negotiations, and throughout a court case if one is necessary. In all cases, the decision about whether to settle your case or to take it to court will be yours to make.

My claim was denied by CPP, ODSP, WSIB or another public disability benefits provider. Can you help me?


If your matter is urgent or of a sensitive nature, please call us at (905) 637-5641 to arrange a meeting. Otherwise, complete the form below and we will contact you within 1 business day to arrange your consultation. Questions about what to expect from a legal consultation? Click here for more information about the process.






Martin & Hillyer Associates
2122 Old Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON L7R 1A3




Martin & Hillyer Associates
2122 Old Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON L7R 1A3


The information on this site is not legal advice, and you should not rely upon it as such. If you have a legal question, you should always consult with a lawyer.
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