What is disability insurance?

Disability insurance is designed to replace a portion of your income if you become disabled and are unable to earn an income. A disability can result from a number of causes, including an injury, a serious illness or a mental health issue.  And the duration of a disability can be either short- or long-term.

There are different kinds of disability insurance coverage, including individual insurance plans and group insurance plans, as well as government plans such as workers’ compensation and benefits provided under the Canada Pension Plan.

  • Total Disability Benefits: Receive a specified monthly benefit if illness or injury completely prevents you from working.
  • Partial and Residual Disability Benefits: Makes your transition back to work easier if, as a result of injury or illness, you are only able to work part-time.
  • Choice of Benefit Periods: Receive benefits for two years, five years, ten years or until age 65.
  • Return to Work Assistance Benefits: Receive services that can help you get back to your job.

In addition to the above, depending on the carrier you choose, some disability plans in addition to the above, will also offer the following:

  • Non-Cancellable: The insurer cannot change the policy or premiums, or cancel the policy without your consent, up until you turn age 65. (Rates and benefit periods are subject to change after age 65.)
  • Recovery Benefit: Pays a portion of your monthly benefit for up to four months during your initial return to full-time work after a total or residual disability (two months for a partial disability), if you have a 20% or more decrease in earnings.
  • Medical Service: Receive faster access to care and treatment by appropriate physician specialists, a more accurate diagnosis, one-on-one support from a Registered Nurse and more.
  • Long-Term Care Conversion Option: From age 55 to 65, you can convert all or some of your coverage to long-term care insurance, without providing evidence of good health.
  • Waiver of Premium During Disability: Your premiums will be waived if you are disabled and being paid monthly benefits.
  • Health Care Profession Rider: If you are a qualified health care professional, you will receive this rider at no additional cost. If you become HIV-impaired or hepatitis-impaired and, due to your impairment, you meet one of the conditions of the rider, you will be considered disabled.
  • Portable: You can keep your policy if you change jobs.

CLHIA Guide to disability is an excellent resource, please Learn More.

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