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Canada Life and Great West Disability Benefit Lawyer Claim Tips and Help

Disability claimants are often seeking information about Great West long term disability reviews. We have created this page where insurers can post reviews and comments about Great West disability claims. Our attorneys respond to most comments posted by our visitors.

Great-West Life Assurance Company was founded in 1891 in Winnipeg. Great-West provides group retirement savings products and services, individual life & disability insurance and annuities, and business-owned life insurance products to millions of Americans. The companies programs are offered through two business segments, Retirement Services and Individual Markets.

Great-West Life is currently a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, which is itself a joint-stock corporation traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:GWO). Great-West Lifec o also owns London Life Insurance Company, The Canada Life Assurance Company, and The Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and is the largest insurance provider in Canada. The majority owner of Great-West Lifeco is the Power Corporation of Canada which administers Great-West through the Power Financial Corporation.

Great-West Life sold its health insurance USA division to Cigna for $1.5 billion US in a November of 2007.

As disability insurance attorneys, Dell & Schaefer have represented numerous clients with their long-term disability claims against Great-West and its affiliated companies. Most disability claimants with Great-West disability policies are dentist. Disability Attorneys Dell & Schaefer have provided and offer the following legal services for disability claimants that have a long-term disability insurance policy or disability income policy purchased from Great-West:

Comments (39)

  • I made a disability claim for depression from work to GWL at the beginning of March 2022 and as of May 8, 2022, my claim has still not been approved. I have not seen a psychiatrist for almost 2 years or more as the doctor informed me that my condition has become treatment-resistant, this is why I stopped seeing the psychiatrist. I did make an earlier claim a year or two earlier for the same reason to GWL and there were no problems with the claim. For this current claim, GWL keeps asking for more information from my family doctor who is the only one I have seen regarding my depression, and since I thought he was not necessarily qualified to treat my condition I never really spoke about my depression with him, except for refilling my depression medication. So, I don’t how to explain to the insurance agent what led me to decide to make the claim and what factors there were that brought on my increase in depression systems, this seems to be what is holding up the approval process. Any advice?

    Roger May 8, 2022  #39

  • I have a great West Life claim open but they are denying me. I was also assaulted at work. I can send you the file particulars if someone would contact me. Thank you in advance

    Henry Feb 9, 2022  #38

  • Paul, unless your policy contains a Cost of Living Adjustment provision or a Cost of Living Adjustment Rider, which you would have had to purchase at the time that you purchased your policy, you would not receive a cost of living increase to your benefits. You should refer to your disability policy and contact your disability insurer and ask whether your policy contains a cost of living increase.

    Cesar Gavidia May 20, 2021  #37

  • I have been on long-term disability with great West for 17 or 18 years now. The dollar amount I receive has always been the same and every year it gets a little bit harder to get by with paying rent and bills etc. I am only now hearing about a ‘cost of living adjustment’. How do I go about trying to get one of these and will it be applied retroactively? Thank you.

    Paul T. May 20, 2021  #36

  • Benjamin: Are you located in Canada? Buy-outs vary from one company to the next. You can contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to discuss the specific circumstances of your situation.

    Jay Symonds Jun 22, 2020  #35

  • Can I get bought out?
    Age 35. 4000 per month payments until 65. Canada Life as insurance company. 2 years past first payments. Systemic Sclerosis or Diffuse Scleroderna. Will not get better. Even after stemcell transplant. Modern medicine can keep me stable and living until then.

    Benjamin Jun 22, 2020  #34

  • Jackie, is your coverage with the ADA policy? If so, we have extensive experience dealing with GWL on claims under that policy. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 13, 2019  #33

  • I am currently on ltd with G WL my benefits run out in november i have been in close contact with my work and they are unable to meet my restrictions and therefore i am unemployable. I have had 5 surgeries on my hands and have limited use. GWL reason for not extending my claim is “u can work somewhere” i have been employed in my current job for 19 years and they cant find anything. Where do they expect me to work with limited hamd use.

    Jackie Aug 13, 2019  #32

  • Lisa, this was a CFE arranged by GWL so they cannot simply disregard the results. The medical consultant interprets the findings in the CFE and provides a report to the claims examiner based on those specific findings. The any occupation definition of disability is a much lower standard for the carrier to meet to enable it to deny further benefits. If your claim is denied I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address your specific questions regarding your situation.

    Jay Symonds Nov 3, 2018  #31

  • I completed a Cognitive Function Evaluation a month ago, which was arranged by GWL. The testing recommendations were that I was not able to perform “any” occupation. I have waited for an update from GWL for almost a month, only to be told today that the assessment report is now having to be reviewed by a “Medical Consultant”. What does this mean and can this “consultant” disregard everything that was recommended by the cognitive function tester? I have completed the end of the “own” occupation for LTD and GWL is reviewing my claim to see if I am eligible for the “any” occupation part of the LTD claim. This all just feels like one big game.

    Lisa Nov 2, 2018  #30

  • Khoi, as we are not licensed to practice law in Canada, I would have to ultimately defer to a Canadian lawyer who could best answer your question. That being said, in the United States disability insurance policies do not offset for increases due to COLA due to a source of “Other Income” (most commonly SSDI).

    Stephen Jessup Sep 14, 2018  #29

  • Hi, I am on Great West Life LTD since Sept 2001 From My Employer Group Disability Benefits and GWL pays me $882 per month plus original CPP Disability amount of $711 per month. Every year My CPP Disability increase due to inflation, now 2018 my CPP Disability is at $948. My questions, does Great West Life crawl back my CPP inflation increases?

    Every year when I submitted the LTD form update I only report the original CPP amount $711 when CPP approved me in 2002.

    Please respond thank you.


    Khoi H. Sep 13, 2018  #28

  • Char, there are time limits that insurance companies must adhere to when an appeal is filed. It may in fact be time for a lawsuit to be filed. Please contact us so that we can evaluate your claim and hopefully assist you in filing the lawsuit. You can certainly have a lawyers help even with a union.

    Alex Palamara Jun 17, 2018  #27

  • Hi, I am disabled and cannot work for 3 years now, because of spinal stenosis, facet joint and spondolythesis with sciatica. I had finally a surgery june 2017, had metal implant in my lumbar are, and havent recover since then, in my 2 years being in longterm with Greatwest life. By the way I was also approved by cpp disability one year after I didn’t work and while I’m on disability with Greatwest, and after 2 years all of a sudden Greatwest terminated my longterrm inspite of my family physician and surgeon gave a letter that I still can’t work and don’t know when I can be able to start working and if I am still can go back to working stage again. My ltd benefit says Greatwest will suppose to pay me untill age 65 if I will not able to go back to work or get paid longterm till I will be able to go back to work. I appeal once and they decline, now my second appeal is my Union is handling it, its been 3 months and my Union haven’t received any response or call from Greatwest, my question is, can I sue them? For making my life messirable financially, emotionally? Can I get lawyers help even I have Union? Thanks.

    Char Jun 16, 2018  #26

  • Steve, I am sorry to hear about your predicament. You can certainly inquire about a buyout but your diagnosis may keep GW from discussing same. I am assuming that you also reside in Canada and would encourage you to consult with a Canadian attorney regarding questions you may have if GW does want to negotiate.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 21, 2017  #25

  • Hi, I am currently on LTD with Great-West Life (Canada) for the past 14 months. I have cancer and won’t be able to return to my original job (bus operator) due to the limitations caused by cancer and the need to take medication for life (gabapentin). I have just recently finished physiotherapy and vocational rehab (career interests, abilities, resume writing, etc) and I am now awaiting for GWL and the City to decide upon any accommodation offer of employment. My abilities, training and experience far exceeds that of a bus operator (prior career as a military officer) but the policy does state jobs of similar comparison/abilities as my current occupation.

    I am 58 so 7 years remaining until 65. I have zero intention of accepting a job offer that is a beginner level, low paying job with this city. I also have a low survivability rate with respect to my cancer. I am considering asking for a lump sum buy-out if they will entertain such a request. What are your thoughts on this and if a 2 year buy-out sounds reasonable? Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.


    Steve Nov 20, 2017  #24

  • Micelle, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim if you are interested in representation on a monthly claims handling basis so as to avoid some of your much deserved aggravation.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 28, 2017  #23

  • I have been on long term for 6 months with cronic pain and dignosed with fibromyalgia. I now use a cane to walk. The progession of problems have worsen to the point I h Since the start of my claim the case manager dose not return or answers my calls. I had placed a complaint with the ombudsman. Now several months later he is doing it again. In one day I called 6 times. When I changed the phone calling from he answered. He scheduled an interview for March 1 and told me he call. There was no call. He called me once a week ago, returned the call with leaving a message. He called the alternate number and hung up on my husband. Now I received a letter saying he has called me with no response. My stress factor has gone through the roof. How is this helping.

    Micelle Mar 27, 2017  #22

  • Kelly, unfortunately, we are not authorized to practice law in Canada so we would not be able to assist you.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 20, 2017  #21

  • My story is above. I’m Kelly. I’m in Canada. Can I call your office? Or do I have to deal with lawyers in Canada. I’m having a had time finding a lawyer in Canada to take my case. There are only two firms I can find that sometimes negotiate lump sum buy outs. One said no because he was afraid I was making a quick decision without thinking about my future. It’s all I’ve thought about!!! I’m ready to do this. I need to do this for a couple of personal reasons. Any advice? Do you think I could approach GWL myself?

    Kelly Mar 19, 2017  #20

  • Kelly, each insurance company has a different criteria for negotiating lump sum buyouts. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim and the potential for a buyout in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 8, 2017  #19

  • I have been on LTD with gwl for six years. A lump sum buyout is the best case scenario for me at this point. I have had so much therapy, long hospital stays out of province, and medical appointment and assessment over and over again. It’s exhausting and I’m not getting any better. In fact, I think I far worse off medically today than I was six years ago. My diagnosis has changed four times. The meds and in particular med changes have left me with memory loss, heart problems and more anxiety and stress than I can handle. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I just to crawl away and be done with this. I have two children in university and I just want to stay at home and deal with my disability, but without the worry of debt. I want to negotiate a lump sum buy out to benefit me and my children. How do I approach this very delicate process without prejudice.

    Kelly Mar 4, 2017  #18

  • Christine, as indicated in a comment above- GWL doesn’t negotiate buyouts on all of their policies. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your policy and claim to see what we may be able to do for you in securing one.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 20, 2016  #17

  • Robert, Great West does not negotiate lump sum buyouts on all of their policies. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim further to see what options may be available to you.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 20, 2016  #16

  • I have been on LTD for 3 years with GWL.I tried to return to work but was not successful. Needing to update GWL and fill out forms causes more stress and increases PTSD and depression symptoms. I want to be done with insurance company for good. I am 44 yrs old and would received ltd until 65. Could I just ask for buyout? I know it would probably be 50% or less of what would get over 20 years, but my mental health cant take dealing with them.

    Christine Sep 17, 2016  #15

  • I have been on LTD for 3 years with GWL. I am being paid monthly. However constant contact and need to fill out forms causes me more stress and anxiety which does not help recovery.

    I am 45 and not likely to go back to work. Can I ask GWL for lumpsum buyout so I dont have to deal with them constantly.

    I know I would get probably 50% or less of what I would get if I stayed on monthly payments until 65, but I cannot deal with stress of constant phone calls, letters and more information.

    Robert Sep 15, 2016  #14

  • Darrrn, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in detail to see if there is something we can do to assist you in securing disability benefits with Great West.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 20, 2016  #13

  • I have been fighting for 10 months and had to go back to work and now been off for going on give five months and they keep asking for more stuff and then declining me and ask for more. I’m sick of this, I have now lost everything because of them and cannot go back to work until programs finished. I need that money.

    Darrrn Jun 15, 2016  #12

  • Trent,

    Please feel free to contact our office with a copy of your LTD policy and any correspondence from Great West as it relates to the offset they are trying to apply on account of the COLA increase.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 19, 2015  #11

  • In December of 2011, they sent me a letter saying I am only recieving half of my disability,had no money to pay my lot rent or mortage, even though my specialist said I’m unable to work, I lost my house, and after five or six months, they started paying me again after letters from my specialist were sent on a few occasions. Started receiving benefits again after I’ve lost everything. What can be done about that? Now I’m having further issues with them regarding my cpp disability, cpp child benefits… I thought this was a private company I paid into, which I had no choice to pay into through my work, through a group insurance. As far as I’m concerned this should not affect my cpp. Cpp raises my cost of living… yet they (great West Life) are trying to take it away.

    Trent Aug 18, 2015  #10

  • Gthang,

    That is highly unusual to go that long. Is your benefit still being paid monthly? I would recommend you attempt to contact them via certified mail or some other service that requires signature confirmation of receipt of the letter.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 16, 2015  #9

  • Gthang,

    That is highly unusual to go that long. Is your benefit still being paid monthly? I would recommend you attempt to contact them via certified mail or some other service that requires signature confirmation of receipt of the letter.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 13, 2015  #8

  • Are Great West life disability case managers paid to not return clients phone calls. I have been trying to contact my case manager fro over 6months without a return call.

    Gthang Jun 12, 2015  #7

  • Zac,

    You will need to contact an attorney in Canada to discuss your rights.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 11, 2015  #6

  • I was on WCB and also on Great West Life through my employer. Due to my injury I had to retire at at age 63 years due to injury at work. WCB said they will pay 50% of my claim till age 65. On phone I was told that my claim will expire in November of this year by Great West. But I could be reviewed and be paid till age 65. So I retired.

    As soon as I retired Great West said since I retired my claim of long term benefits and coverage has ended. My question is can they do it and can I appeal their decision to be paid till age 65 as I have now retired.

    I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada.

    Zac Apr 10, 2015  #5

  • Sarah,

    Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim with Great-West in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 28, 2014  #4

  • Great West Life does not want to pay me for the whole month of August 2014. I am on Long Term Disability.

    I have been shunned, argued with, made as mockery, and making me look bad with my disability.

    I have no money to survive on and had to go to food banks in order to keep myself alive. My hydro bills, gas, Auto-pac and other bills are left behind because Great West does not want to pay me. They are making excuses not to pay me. I have migraines, anxiety attacks, panic attacks and shaking of my arms and cannot be able to return to work in this condition.

    I have 17 more months of Long Term Disability supposed to be covered for me, and they’re blackmailing me.

    Sarah Aug 27, 2014  #3

  • Charlotte,

    You can certainly request same. I would caution you, however, that Great West wishing to have a phone interview could signal the start of a claim review looking to deny the benefit.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 4, 2014  #2

  • A Great West Claims adjuster is now wanting a “phone” interview with them. No where in my contract do I see that I am required to participate in this kind of interview. Can I not ask them to put any questions that they may have regarding my claim to be in a “written” format to assure the accuracy with my answers?

    Charlotte Moore Feb 3, 2014  #1

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Questions About Hiring Us

Do you handle ERISA Great West appeals?

If your disability income claim has been denied by Great West and your disability income policy has been offered through your employer, then federal ERISA law requires you to file an appeal with Great West. Our law firm has handled thousands of ERISA appeals against Great West and we will prepare a very strong appeal on your behalf.

Do you help with Great West applications?

The application for disability benefits with Great West is the foundation of your claim. One mistake can result in your claim for disability insurance benefits being denied by Great West. Our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and make sure you are in the best possible position to have your claim approved by Great West. We welcome you to contact our attorneys to discuss important information about applying for disability benefits with Great West.

Do you file Great West lawsuits?

If Great West has denied all of your ERISA disability appeals, then you have the right to file a lawsuit in federal court against Great West. An ERISA disability lawsuit is different than any other type of lawsuit and you should hire a attorney that has handled thousands of disability denial lawsuits against Great West. Our disability insurance lawyers know what to expect with the challenges filing a federal lawsuit against Great West.

Can you help with a Great West disability Insurance denial?

We have helped thousands of individuals collect long term disability benefits from Great West and we know the unreasonable denial tactics used by Great West to deny disability insurance benefits. Our experienced attorneys know the many options available to get your disability benefits paid by Great West.

Do you manage Great West monthly claims?

Monthly disability insurance claim management is a unique service we offer. Our goal is to make sure your Great West disability benefits continue for as long as you need them. Many claimants either don't trust or experience aggravation dealing with Great West. Disability Insurance Attorneys Dell & Schaefer manages every aspect of your claim for disability income benefits from (Great West. Great West only interacts with our law firm. Contact Disability Insurance Attorneys Dell & Schaefer to learn how we can manage your disability claim.

Can you negotiate a Great West lump sum buyout?

Lump sum buyouts and disability buyouts are occasionally offered by Great West. Our disability lawyers have established relationships with the people at Great West that make the decisions on disability buyouts. We have negotiated hundreds of lump settlements with Great West. Our goal is to get you the highest buyout possible.

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Eric S. (Ohio)

Cesar and his paralegal Vanessa were always engaged and went above and beyond taking a case I had trouble finding help with until I met them! After the lengthy appeal failed Cesar continued to work hard and he won a very satisfying settlement for me!

It’s a shame that we consumers look to insurance companies to provide for us in our time of need, yet they consistently do just the opposite when counting their premiums and holding on to them just as long as possible. The fact they reward their claim specialists with variable bonuses each year instead of paying them a straight salary tells the story most effectively. Of course those bonuses rise when beneficiaries lose. So sad. Thanks to Cesar’s negotiating skills it wasn’t as painful as the insurance company would have preferred…

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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