Full Disability Coverage (Benefit Tips ® - © 2014)

Disability benefits should continue the paycheque when an employee is not able to work. But what does “not able to work” mean?

Most Canadian contracts provide benefits once an employee has been “totally disabled” for four months and terminate benefits as soon as an employee is no longer “totally disabled”. While such a restrictive definition saves the insurer money, it doesn’t help the employee who experiences a progressive disability or gradual recovery. Furthermore, it forces the employer to “accommodate” the partially disabled employee who is pressured into returning to work prematurely.

Good quality disability insurance includes a “partial disability” benefit that provides proportional benefits for employees who choose to return to work. This is not the same as a “rehabilitation benefit” that insurers use to force disabled employees back to work. Ideally, the partial disability benefit would provide coverage from the first day of disability through to the employee’s 65th birthday.


  • Decide on the level of coverage that is important to your organization.
  • Work with a benefit broker who understands disability insurance and is connected to suppliers that provide a broad range of quality.