Parkinson's and LTD

I am a 60 year old woman diagnosed with Parkinsons at age 36 following birth of my second child, who is now 22, in college, and dependent on me financially.
Employed as an office manager full-time, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to fulfil my duties at work due to “off” periods when meds are ineffective, periods of extreme fatigue, significant tremor on one side of my body, dyskinesia. and difficulty with fine motor skills especially writing skills. My job duties include taking detailed meeting minutes in writing, a task near impossible at this stage.

I am under the care of neurologist one-hour away from my town,whom I see once per year to adjust my medications.

I have not yet asked for accommodating to reduce my hours at work, but every day is a challenge and I am starting to struggle more and more just to get through my work day. I do have benefits through SSQ and have been at this job for 10 years, with little to no sick time taken.
My benefit provider does not make it clear in our booklet whether my pre-existing condition of Parkinsons would be eligible for LTD. I find the jargon in my employee booklet very difficult to understand.

My question is can I bypass my insurance company and go straight to CPP disability benefits (I am thinking not from what I have read). My biggest worry is to be without benefits of any kind, since I do have a mortgage and my daughter to continue supporting. Or, as I am understanding, do I to first exhaust my work benefits, even if SSQ deny my claim for LTD.

I appreciate any advice as to how to proceed at this point.

Welcome to the forum.

I don’t think you want to do that yet.
LTD is usually based on your salary.

I don’t think that is a problem.
Especially if the condition is not curable and all they can do is treat the symptoms.

Some do, some don’t.
I would apply and see what they say.
Read the articles at before you apply.

I don’t know.

Your policy might cover you for 2 years with the definition of disability being “unable to do your current job”. Then after 2 years the definition of disability charges to “unable to do any job” (it’s not really “any”). The only drawback would be if your policy doesn’t cover preexisting conditions.
CPP-D takes 5+ months to get apparently.
Your ltd might have a waiting period too before coverage starts but your company might have STD (short term disability).
There is also EI Sickness benefits you can get from the government.
Good luck.

Thanks so much for the advice.

You could ask HR if your insurance covers preexisting conditions.
I think most big companies do cover preexisting conditions but I wouldn’t count on it.

Thank you Jammer I will do that. I appreciate your feedback.

I think the first thing you want to do is make sure you have a doctor that says you are totally disabled under the definition of your plan or the CPP-D plan.

Your LTD plan through work likely has a less strict definition of total disability then the CPP program.

Also, your company LTD plan will likely (I would think) pay you more then CPP-D.

I don’t see why you couldn’t apply for CPPD first but it would be unusual. Did you read somewhere you couldn’t

Regarding pre-existing conditions I found the following on Resolute Legal’s website:
"You may not be eligible to apply for long-term disability benefits if you have been employed for less than a year and the illness or disability is something you’ve received treatment for in the months leading up to starting employment. This is called a pre-existing condition exclusion clause. If you are applying for disability benefits and have been employed for less than a year, you can be certain the insurance company will carefully examine whether you are caught by the pre-existing condition exclusion clause. "
Here’s the link-

Thanks for the great advice. I was just under the impression I had to exhaust my work disability benefits before applying for CPP-D benefits. I have been with the same company for 10 years, during all of which my pre-existing condition was in effect.
I will inquire with HR on clarification of my benefits, since the booklet is difficult to understand. Many thanks again.

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The insurance company wants to lower the payout by getting you to apply for CPP-D.
You don’t have to get CPPD to get LTD but it helps with keeping LTD in my opinion.
The insurance company might not ask you to apply for CPP-D until ~4 months before the change of definition (of disability) to you can’t work at any job (not “any” :-)). If you think you’re not going to work again, I would apply for CPP-D before being asked because it takes so long.
You will pay taxes on CPPD and your LTD may be taxable (depending on if you or your company paid the premiums; your pay stub might say).

Don’t post personal information on the forum.

Thanks, will take that advice into consideration.

Every LTD policy is different, but in my policy, disability due to a pre-existing condition only counts for the first 15 months on the job. Hopefully your policy will be the same.

Also, you will probably want to apply for the Disability Tax Credit as well as CPP.

Thank you Caro for your reply.