What Types of Disability Benefits are Available in Ontario?

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      What Types of Disability Benefits are Available in Ontario?

      What Types of Disability Benefits are Available in Ontario?

      If you have an illness or sustained an injury that prevents you from attending to normal work-related tasks for a prescribed period, you may be ready to pursue a claim for disability benefits.

      This guide will provide you with a quick overview of the variety of benefits and financial support that may be available to you to determine the best path forward.

      Types of Disability Benefits in Canada

      When you’re unable to work, there are several ways to obtain federal financial support and disability benefits in Canada. These include Employment Insurance (EI), the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefits, and Disability Benefits for Veterans.

      Employment Insurance

      Consider applying for sickness benefits from EI (Employment Insurance) if you are disabled for a short time due to illness, injury or quarantine. You could receive up to 15 weeks of benefits to act as a short-term financial relief.

      Canadian Pension Plan Disability Benefits

      CPP Disability Benefits are the major government funded long-term disability benefits available in Canada. If your disability is going to cause you to leave the workforce long-term, typically more than 2 years, and you have contributed to CPP during your work life, you may qualify for these benefits. This type of disability benefit is geared towards individuals with a medical condition that has reached the point where you will no longer be able to work.

      To qualify, in general, you must have worked 4 of the last 6 years, and you must have your doctor’s medical assessment proving you have a “severe” and “prolonged” condition making you unable to work.

      Should you consider the help of a lawyer? A CPP disability lawyer can help you build a strong application or successfully appeal a denial.

      Disability Benefits for Veterans

      Individuals who have experienced disability from service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy may be able to receive disability benefits. There are several different programs under which a disabled veteran or active military service member may qualify. There are many aspects that can cause or extend a soldier’s disability both physically and mentally.

      Understanding the legal intricacies and your possible recourse can be complex. This may be the time to talk with a disability lawyer who is well-versed in military disability law.

      Types of Disability Benefits in Ontario

      There are 2 provincial programs available in Ontario to assist individuals who are facing a disability that keeps them from returning to the workplace. Types of disability benefits in Ontario include benefits available through WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board) as well as the ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program).


      If you are hurt on the job or suffer a work-related illness, worker’s compensation is available to help you through your recovery and provide services to enhance the likelihood that you will be able to return to gainful employment.

      Benefits under WSIB depend upon your particular situation but can include healthcare expenses, medical equipment and supplies, services to help you return to work, and replacement of lost income and/or retirement income.

      Healthcare expenses can include:

      • Doctor or dental bills
      • Surgical expenses
      • Medication
      • Orthopedic devices
      • Travel expenses
      • Medical equipment, and more


      The Ontario Disability Support Program is available in Ontario to assist individuals who suffer a disability with their living expenses. Eligibility limits benefits to individuals who suffer from substantial mental or physical impairment for a year or longer and who meet certain financial need requirements.

      For those who qualify, benefits can include:

      • Help with essential living expenses
      • Medical benefits for entire family (vision care, medication, etc.)
      • Employment assistance

      The benefits available to individuals who qualify for this type of long-term disability benefits in Ontario are substantial, but the requirements to qualify are complex.

      Private Disability Insurance

      Some employers in Ontario may offer their employees private disability insurance.

      Anyone who has access to private insurance through their employer may find this disability benefit offered on a group health insurance plan. Since each insurance company’s plans and benefits are different, you should thoroughly review the terms of your insurance policy’s coverage to determine how it applies to your specific situation. The policy should also explain the application process.

      Remember, each case of disability is unique. While you might not be eligible to all types of benefits, you want to make sure you apply to all possible support available that applies to your situation, within the right deadlines, and in a way that maximizes your chances of securing these benefits. An experienced disability lawyer is able to guide you through these steps, provide some stress relief by handling the legal and administrative process, and build a winning claim for the benefits you are entitled to.

      Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.