Disability or any severe medical condition puts any person into uncertainty. Besides their daily living, it hampers their ability to work, leading them towards an economic crisis. In this regard, as part of the responsibility, the Canadian government provides financial help to citizens with disabilities that hinder them from working.
But you might be wondering whether anyone can claim disability benefits. Or how to claim disability benefits in Canada? Let’s discuss this in detail in the following section of this article.
What are Disability and Disability Benefits?
Let’s first understand what is considered a disability in Canada.
Simply put, disability refers to any injury, illness, or medical condition due to which a person can not perform his usual work. It can either be physical injuries or psychological issues like anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, etc.
On the other hand, disability benefits refer to the financial support the government provides to a person with a disability. Disability benefits can be permanent or temporary. It helps a person return to a normal life or lead a decent life, while there’s no way for them to manage their cost of living and other expenses or face difficulty.
Disability Benefits by the Canadian Government
The Canadian government has initiated different programs to support people with disabilities. Let’s get an overview of disability benefits in Canada for various conditions.
Employment Insurance or EI benefits
When a person loses their job because of an inability, while they are not responsible for that, this benefit applies to them.
A person may get this facility for the highest 15 weeks as s/he is absent from their work due to sickness, quarantine, or injury.
CPP (Canada Pension Plan) Disability Benefits
Only people contributing to the CPP during service years are eligible for this benefit. There are some additional criteria for that, such as:
- Age should be under 65
- Contribution to the CPP was for a certain duration of time
- The person has had a mental or physical disability for a long time
- The person cannot attend to the regular workforce due to the disability
Children are also associated with this matter, and the payment increases with their presence.
CPP children’s benefits (dependents under 25 years)
This monthly payment is received when there is any dependent child of the beneficiary. Even if the person is deceased, the payment process continues.
Disability benefits for veterans
The people from Merchant Navy and Canadian Armed Forces who are experiencing disability from their services are also eligible for this.
In some cases, the authority provides lump-sum money to the beneficiary. To ensure the best use of the amount, they can take help from a financial advisor. Even the fee for the advisor could be included in the amount.
Disability Benefits from the Territorial and Provincial Authority
The authority of a region also may have benefit programs to help. Some are discussed below.
The payment from this benefit depends on how much is the household income, investments, and savings of the beneficiary. Also, other health-related supports include medications, medical aids, devices, dental services, etc.
There’s also a workers’ compensation board to help you if your illness or injury resulted from work-related practices or incidents.
Remember one thing. There might be an impact of it on employment insurance.
Benefits from Employer
Some benefits you might get from your employer are as follows:
Health care benefits sponsored by an employer
An employer may have plans covering the employee’s different medical costs, such as drugs or physiotherapy.
There might be an insurance policy for disability, and the employer may pay for that. This insurance may cover the salary if the injured or disabled person cannot attend the workplace for the injury. Don’t forget to contact your employer if you ever face any situation.
An employee can be retired from their job earlier because of disability or illness. That will naturally reduce the pension amount. Employees associated with employer-sponsored pensions might be eligible to receive disability benefits.
Disability Insurance Benefits
This insurance helps you carry the expenses incurred by unexpected illness or inability to work and earn. It is provided for the two conditions below.
- A person being away from work temporarily due to injury or illness.
- The person is permanently disabled due to injury or illness.
A person can expect to receive benefits from the insurance company or the employer for a specific period. It can also be receivable from their insurance policy. But, one matter must be considered – understand a policy properly before buying your insurance.
Also, remember that your benefit can be reduced by receiving income from other benefits. The term used here is the ‘offsetting of the benefits.
Other benefits include credit and loan insurance, taxes and disability benefits, etc.
The points discussed above are all applicable throughout Canada.
What Service Can You Get in Alberta Regarding Disability Benefits?
Alberta authority provides below services, supports, and information sources regarding disability.
- Advocates for the people with disabilities– This office represents the interest, well-being, and rights of the people in Alberta who’re suffering from disabilities. They build and keep relationships and communication among community members and get updates on people’s issues. They inform, educate and help resolve those issues and challenges.
- Advisory forum– Their work is to maintain a good collaboration among the community members with a disability, government, and stakeholders. Also, increasing awareness and sharing knowledge about the programs.
- Financial assistance– There are several programs in financial assistance services such as AISH, Aids to daily living, Residential Access Modification Program, and other financial help.
- Premier’s council– it’s an advisory agency that helps people with guidance about opportunities so that they can participate in society equally and completely.
- Service dogs– Service dogs are specially trained and can help a disabled person to move normally in public places. You can get this service in Alberta.
- Other supports– These supports include FASD, brain injury, FSD, parking placards, special needs housing, and other services related to disability.
How to Claim Disability in Alberta (Canada)?
Follow the steps below to claim your disability.
- Step 1- There are multiple types of disability benefits. Each one has different eligibility criteria. Check and figure out which one matches your case.
- Step 2- Ensure your doctor is aware of it and supports your claim.
- Step 3- Take sick leave through a smooth process.
- Step 4- Collect and fill up the application form.
- Step 5- Gather supporting documents.
- Step 6- Apply and provide other necessary documents if necessary.
- Step 7- After submitting the application, wait for the claim representative’s decision. It normally takes 30 days. The time might be extended a little more.
Permanent Disability in Alberta
There are various definitions for long-term disability. However, it usually refers to a long-term disease or injury that keeps you from working. To be considered “long-term,” your absence from work must be 17 weeks or more. On the other hand, short-term disability often lasts 17 weeks or less.
Various disability benefits programs might also be referred to as long-term disabilities. Each of these programs has a different set of requirements. However, they all call for a serious, permanent disability that prevents you from working.
How Much is Disability in Alberta?
Depending on the plan or program, you may receive a long-term disability payment in any amount. But what you may assume from each benefit is as follows:
|Types of Benefit||Amount Paid (2023)||How Long Paid|
|Group LTD Insurance||60 to 70% of your wages||To age 65|
|Private Insurance||The fixed monthly amount is stated in the Policy. Amount varies. (e.g., 5,000 per month)||To age 65 or more|
|CPP Disability||$1,064 (Average) and $1,457 (Maximum)||To age 65|
|WCB||90% of your net income is payable to the maximum ($98,700 in 2021).||To age 65|
|AISH||$1,685 per month for the standard living allowance (basic benefits)||To age 65|
So, what do you think now? Will it be easy or tough to get disability benefits? One thing is certain: it’s essential for the person who has experienced a significant injury and going through disability.
If you or anyone close to you need disability benefits, don’t delay. Take an expert’s suggestion and legal help. Also, study yourself. Knowledge always helps better.
How to get disability benefits?
First, fill up an application form and submit it. It's possible to do that online. Then you may have to attend an interview with a representative. Provide necessary documents if necessary. After submitting your application, you'll have to wait for nearly a month for the final decision. A lawyer's help in this process will always be a good option.
Should a person quit their job to get disability benefits?
It would be better not to quit the job before claiming disability benefits. Doing that will require you to present several proofs and points, such as your exemption was due to the disability.
What are the conditions to qualify for disability benefits?
Serious medical conditions such as heart disease and nervous system disorders are among the situations that most certainly qualify for disability benefits.