Government Disability Income Plans

Disability income is available from private plans and four government plans

  1. Canada Pension Plan
  2. Veteran Affairs
  3. Employment Insurance
  4. Workers Compensation

Veteran Affairs

  • for veterans of World War I, World War II, Korean War or a Special Duty Area
  • if permanently disabled from injury or disease
  • survivor may receive benefits for one year
  • surviving children may receive benefits

Employment Insurance

  • benefits for
    • sickness (including illness, injury or quarantine): 15 weeks
    • maternity leave: 15 weeks
    • parental leave: 35 weeks
  • second payor after other government or group plans
  • can top up another plan
  • benefits from individual plans don’t jeopardize EI benefits


Premiums are based on earnings

Employer-paid Premiums Employee-paid Premiums Benefits
tax deductible nonrefundable tax credit taxed as income


  • your regular weekly earnings decrease by more than 40%
  • you have at least 600 "insured hours" accumulated since the last claim or in the last 52 weeks
  • medical certificate shows the expected duration of your illness
  • you file a claim within two weeks of becoming disabled or sick


  • 55% of your average earned income to a maximum
  • second payor after employment income, workers compensation, group insurance, pension income, benefits from some accident policies
  • not reduced by individual disability insurance (can receive both at the same time)
  • benefits are taxable
  • the elimination period is 2 weeks

Workers Compensation

Ontario: called the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

  • government mandated but not government-funded
  • for on-the-job injury or sickness
    • excludes incidents occurring when not at work
  • elimination period: 1 day


  • funded by employer contributions
Employer-paid Premiums Employee-paid Premiums Benefits
??? none tax-free


  • up to 90% of the net pre-disability take-home pay
  • tax-free
  • lump sum if permanent or death
  • ongoing if due to disability
  • usually integrated with individual or group disability insurance (i.e., their benefits are reduced by benefits from Workers Compensation

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