Our mission is to give you the most transparent and comprehensive information about disability benefits in Canada. We have organized our information into various disability benefits topics, including disability benefits plans and programs, medical conditions and disability benefits, disability insurance companies, and employment rights and disability benefits. Within each disability benefits topic you can click on links to read more specific information:
There are several disability benefits plans and programs in Canada, in both the private and public sectors. Private sector plans include individual and group disability insurance policies for workers and self-employed people. The public-sector programs include both provincial and federal programs that cover workers in a range of situations. These programs include Employment Insurance Sickness payments, disability tax credits, workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries, and Veteran’s Affairs Canada disability benefits for members of the Canadian Forces who suffer service-related injuries or illnesses. The public and private sector disability plans often overlap and interact with one another. This interaction is often a source of stress for disabled workers. We review all the plans and programs to explain how they work and interact with each other so you can learn how to avoid mistakes, demands for refund and other stressful situations.
There are many disabling medical conditions that can allow you to qualify for disability benefits from insurance companies or the various government programs. It is important to appreciate that administrators of disability benefits plans and programs do not approve benefits based on your medical diagnoses or condition. Rather, they approve disability benefits based on the severity of your impairments and disability arising from your medical conditions.
While administrators of disability benefits programs focus on impairment and disability, your medical condition or diagnosis is still important. If you plan to apply for disability benefits, or need to appeal a denial of disability benefits, your medical condition or diagnosis is an important factor in developing the optimal strategy for success. There are different strategies and approaches to take depending on your medical condition. A failure to align the strategy with the medical condition is often a reason for a denial of an otherwise valid disability claim.
Disability insurance companies pay a key role in the administration and payment of short and long-term disability benefits in Canada. Disability insurance companies can play two different roles in a disability benefits plan or program. Sometimes the insurance company is the provider and administrator of disability benefits through group and individual disability insurance plans. This is the classic scenario of benefits being paid under an insurance policy. In these situations, the insurance company administers the insurance policy and pays the benefits to approved claimants. On the other hand, insurance companies can serve only as the administrator of a disability plan on behalf of a public sector or non-profit payer of benefits. In this situation, the insurance company is in an administrative role only, and the disability benefits are paid by another organization – typically a public sector or non-profit organization.
If you are experiencing disability at work, is important to understand the interaction of your employment rights and disability benefits. Unfortunately, it is common to experience conflict with your employer when going on sick leave and applying for disability benefits. This could be because your work performance suffered for months or years leading up to you taking an extended sick leave. This poor performance can lead to conflicts with your managers and employer because of a lack of understanding about your disability or because of inappropriate conduct by your employer, including improper discrimination. Sometimes harassment in the workplace can contribute to your illness and need for a medical leave. Another point of potential conflict is when the insurance company wrongly denies your disability claim and your employer then demands you return to work, when you are still medically unable to do so. When going on short or long-term medical leave it is important to understand the legal rights and obligations of both you and your employer.