102 – 90 Garry St. Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H1 - Phone: (204) 478-6644, Fax: 204-478-6677 - info@indep.ca

Posts Tagged ‘Independence Incorporated’

What’s In a Form?

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What’s In a Form?

— Zanna Joyce, Financial Information Specialist

A couple of days ago I saw an anguished post on Twitter, about someone who had applied for a study grant and missed getting it because of one piece of documentation. Taken as a whole, the information in that document was generally available across the application.  But the funders were firm.  They needed that particular notice.

Image of tools all arranged by size and location, with painted tool-shaped spots where tools are missing.
Methodical and complete responses to questions on the forms, along with supporting information, helps to create a complete application.

Completing the Disability Tax Credit or Canada Pension Plan application can be like that as well.  While on their surface the newly edited forms seem pretty straightforward, careful reading and consideration of the meaning of word choices used by the application writers, as well as the ability to understand the particular purposes of requested supporting materials will lead to greater likelihood that when the application is reviewed it is not rejected due to incomplete information.

What are three crucial features of the best application possible?

  1. Focuses on the key purpose of the benefit or credit for which you might be eligible:
    1. If it is the Disability Tax Credit, it must demonstrate how you are impacted in activities of daily living, even if you have some sort of technical aid such as a hearing aid or speaking device, or mechanical aid such as a wheelchair or crutches.
    1. If it is the Canada Pension Plan disability, you must demonstrate how you cannot do any job that would garner you a minimum of a year’s worth of their maximum benefit, which in 2019 is about $15,000.  So, this is not your previous employment, or your previous salary.  While these figure into insurance company benefits, for at least the first part of a claim, Canada Pension Plan has no such distinction.
    1. Caregiver benefits focus on what assistance people in your life provide to you, such as assistance with daily activities, taking you shopping for necessities, helping you manage your money, etc.
  • The application contains clear, objective information from your medical professional. 
    • There is a range of medical care providers authorized to complete the forms for you.  You should choose from among those whose services you access the one who knows your disabling conditions or health issues the best.  That may not be your primary care physician, though if he or she is taking a case manager role in coordinating your care it might.
    • While of course your medical care provider knows what the diagnostic terms they might use to describe your situation mean for you, in completing the forms they must expand their explanation of those conditions to make it clear where you fall in the continuum of severity of the condition. For example, if they use the word anxiety, they have to describe how it manifests itself in your life.
    • The medical report must include details as to treatments tried and abandoned, and why, as well as information on treatments, including therapies, medication, devices, etc., that are being successfully implemented.  If there are any lab reports or professional consultations which underscore the diagnoses or the choice of treatment these should also be included. 
    • If you have experienced barriers to care, such as living in a remote location or experiencing a new medical diagnosis that influenced the care you received (such as being diagnosed with cancer, meaning that certain medications could not be used while on chemotherapy), or pregnancy, these should also be noted in the report.
  • You include a narrative report of your own experience.
    • In your narrative, it is important to be very focussed.  While your situation may have its precedents in things that happened long ago, it is important to concentrate on the present conditions. While all disability-related benefits and credits are based on the condition continuing for a period of time extending more than a year, when the applications are assessed they will mainly be focussed on whether you qualify at the time of the application, and then once that is established they will review the history to see when your health issues reached the point that it began to influence your activities of daily living (DTC) or work life (CPP-D).
    • You might find it effective to work with someone else in writing your narrative, who can help you pull out the most salient and relevant facts of your circumstances that can help to paint a picture for the application reviewer, bringing life to your medical care provider’s report.
    • You share this narrative with your medical care provider and point out the places that their objective information or knowledgeable observation might help to bolster your application.  It is important to work together with your medical care provider on this, if at all possible.  Some providers like to be very independent, some welcome patient contributions – you are in the best position to assess what will be best in your unique relationship.
    • If possible, you obtain a copy of the medical report submitted.  Again, some medical providers are very forthcoming with this, and will let you review it before it is sent, others prefer not to have that oversight. You have a right to your medical information, but if it is uncomfortable to request it from your provider keep in mind that if you are not approved for the application you can ask for a complete copy of what the relevant authority has on file for you, at which time they will send you your application, any reviews done, and any documentation supporting your file they have received, so you can look it over at that time.

While for the Disability Tax Credit application reviews are typically done using the information submitted, for Canada Pension Plan Disability they will call you to discuss your application.  Remember that you can ask for a phone appointment time so that when you talk to them you will have all of your information at hand.  Either program may also call your doctors.

Unfortunately, rejection rates for first applications are very high, but there is no data on the completeness or quality of the applications submitted, so don’t be discouraged by that.  If you are not approved initially, the relevant authority will send you a detailed letter identifying what information they used to make a decision, and what the rationale is for your decision.  Once you receive this letter, you will have a specified number of days to respond. Don’t be offended or upset.  Just address their concerns in a stepwise fashion, and be sure to submit your response within the timeframe provided.

While the benefits are large, it can be daunting to go through these applications.  Independence Incorporated has highly experienced personnel who can help you from the beginning of the first application though to the appeals process.  Call us at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca to be connected.

Describing The Importance Of Independence

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I'm free! senior man get up from wheelchair and throw away his walking caneThere’s a reason that our company is named Independence Incorporated. It wasn’t a name that we just settled on because we thought it sounded “official” or “prestigious”. And it also wasn’t a decision we fell upon because of its cool use of alliteration. At Independence Incorporated, we are firm believers in everyone’s right to be independent. And being united in this belief is what really helps to make our company name so apt.

Take a look at Merriam-Webster’s definition of “Independence”: “Not dependent: as 1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent (2) : not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood)”. Now take a look at Merriam-Webster’s definition of “Incorporate”: “To unite or work into something already existent so as to form an indistinguishable whole: to blend or combine thoroughly: to give material form; to embody.”

The way we see it, our work incorporates the appropriate programs and services that promote statuses of independence among the clients that we serve. Our company’s specialty is vocational rehabilitation. We provide a long list of helpful services that focus on enhancing the overall independence of our clients at both their homes and workplaces. In many cases, we assist those with making transitions from states of illness or injury to comfortable returns to the workforce.

As a result, disability management is a major component to the help that we provide. At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to fully implementing the human approach to all that we do. And that’s because we’re focused on helping people. There is an emotional side to rehabilitation that is as important – sometimes more so – than the physical rehabilitation that often requires assistance.

We are also sensitive to the fact that many of our clients are faced with limited financial resources. Again, considering the emotional side of every client’s situation allows us to manage rehabilitation in ways that are uniquely considerate. We’re happy to report that our services benefit a wide range of people. They include clients, referral sources, family physicians and treatment providers.

Clients. Naturally, our clients are very important to us. We understand that during their time periods of illness or injury, it is imperative that they focus on improving their health. At Independence Incorporated, we make it our duty to assist with this process in the most helpful and attentive manners possible. Our clients greatly benefit from the individualized attention that they each receive.

Referral Sources. We also service insurance companies and employers. Naturally, they each have obligations that they are contractually liable for. Under their contractual agreements, they are required to provide medical and vocational rehabilitation services to their policy holders and employees during their times of need. Our involvement allows for appropriate services to be offered in order to enhance recovery rates and maximize states of independence.

Family Physicians and Treatment Providers. We also must ensure that we are openly communicating with the family physicians and treatment providers that are involved with our clients. With the permission of our clients, we provide progress reports to their doctors and other health care professionals who are involved in the rehabilitation processes. It’s all about promoting their independence together!

For more information about our company, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

The Importance Of Rehabilitation

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Mature Woman having ambulatory therapyIf life was meant to be easy, we wouldn’t have to put much effort into anything we do. Clearly, life can’t always be a breeze, right? Perhaps, the point of going though hardships is so that we can better appreciate the many good times we’ve experienced with our families and friends. Naturally, it’s important to never take such good times for granted. It’s also important to remember that experiencing good times takes effort.

In other words, we have to work hard to have fun. Sounds like bit of an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But when we get to points in our lives when we become ill, injured or victimized by substance addiction, we need to work harder than ever. We also need all the help we can get. And there’s absolutely no shame in that. This is why the process of rehabilitation is so integral to our overall health.

The very definition of “rehabilitation” is the restoration of one’s health and ability to function normally through a variety of methods. At Independence Incorporated, we know the importance of getting people back in tip-top shape. When a person becomes disabled from doing his or her job, we know that this takes more than just a physical toll on his or her body.

As you can imagine, there is a significant emotional component to the entire rehabilitation process. Although there are a variety of rehabilitation types, counseling and family support are always necessary to assist patients with getting to healthy mental and psychological states. Returning to work, after all, will take a lot more than an able body. A positive and confident mindset is necessary as well.

This is why, at Independence Incorporated, we go through a comprehensive and thorough process before assessing whether or not a client is ready to return to work. We achieve this through a three-step Vocational Rehabilitation Assessment program. It is through this process that we are able to accomplish a number of important requirements that benefit both the client and the employer.

Firstly, we make sure that the patient has received or is receiving the care he or she needs. Secondly, we assess the physical or emotional limitations and restrictions affecting the employee’s ability to meet the demands of his or her job. That way, employers are always welcoming back a member of their staff who is truly work ready – the very meaning of being rehabilitated.

The three-point assessment process, by the way, involves a client interview that includes a visit to the injured or ill employee. This is followed up by corresponding with the primary caregivers involved in the employee’s recovery process. Finally, a visit to the work site to communicate with the employer is made. Of course, there is a lot more to each step that we’d be happy to discuss with you in greater detail.

Please feel free to contact Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 at your earliest convenience. We’ve excitedly started up our new blog to better inform you about our many services and how they many benefit your company and the valued people who work for it. In the most respectful and professional way possible, we are committed to assisting both you and your clients with attaining the true meaning of rehabilitation.