Fewer Canadians have disability coverage through workplace benefits

One-half forced to go back to work because of finances: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/30/2018
benefits, disability management
The number of Canadians with disability coverage through workplace benefits has declined significantly since 2015, according to an RBC Insurance survey. Shutterstock

The number of Canadians with disability coverage through workplace benefits has declined significantly since 2015, according to an RBC Insurance survey.

Fewer than half (48 per cent) of workers said they have disability coverage through their workplace benefits, compared to 57 per cent in 2015. Of those without disability coverage through their workplace, 84 per cent have not bought coverage themselves, leaving them at financial risk if unable to work due to a disability.

A majority (68 per cent) of working Canadians acknowledge the possibility of serious financial implications for them and their family if they were to become disabled and unable to work for three months.

In fact, when faced with a disability, 45 per cent of working Canadians would have liked to take time off due to disability but could not because of finances, and 51 per cent said they were forced to go back to work earlier than they wanted because of their financial situation.

Increasingly, where and how Canadians find work are strong barriers to accessing disability insurance coverage. Those without coverage say:

  • their workplace doesn't offer group benefits or disability insurance (35 per cent)
  • they work part-time or on contract and aren't eligible for benefits (25 per cent)
  • they're self-employed or freelance (22 per cent).

Cost is another key barrier — one in four (26 per cent) workers without disability coverage feel they cannot afford it, found the survey of 1,505 employees.

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