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The basics of Canada’s disability insurance plan


Many residents of New Brunswick enjoy having benefits provided through their jobs. However, some Canadians may not realize that they may also be covered for any disability that may arise in their lives, including a long-term disability. Often a condition severe enough to cause long-term disability will strike out of nowhere leaving patients at a loss for how to access their benefits. The following information will answer some of the questions you may have about Canada’s disability insurance plan.

What is disability insurance?

It is a program to provide those who have become temporarily or permanently disabled with a monthly income benefit. It is administered by a central insurer but citizens typically access these benefits through their employer-provided insurance plan.

Am I covered?

It depends upon your specific employment details, but you probably are covered. Most full- and part-time Canadian workers are automatically enrolled into and covered by the plan.

Do I have to pay for the insurance?

You should be making contributions to disability insurance through your payroll deduction. Your employer is probably making the largest share of the required contribution on your behalf.

How much compensation will I receive?

The insurance usually replaces 70 percent of your annual insured income.

How can I access long-term disability benefits?

You must notify your employer’s Compensation services or the government’s Public Service Pay Centre. From there you must make a claim by submitting the proper forms as well as documentation of your disability.

Can my claim be denied?

Yes, sometimes through errors made in the filing process and other times because your disability is in question. If denied you have two options: File an internal appeal or file a lawsuit. The latter is useful when the insurance company denies that you are disabled. If your long-term disability claim has been denied because your disability is in dispute, you should consider consulting with a lawyer right away.

Source: Government of Canada, “Disability Insurance Plan – member booklet,” accessed Feb. 10, 2016

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