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An RBC Insurance survey has uncovered a growing inverse relationship between disability coverage and the need for time off due to a disability among Canadian employees.
It is becoming increasingly imperative of Canadians to be aware of, and understand, whether or not they have disability coverage, what that coverage looks like, and to have a plan in place should the employee or a family member requires a period of time off work due to a disability.
The survey found 50% of Canadians would have liked to take time off for a disability but feel they aren’t able to do so. A significant part of the problem is that half of this segment of the population has no such coverage—down five points from 2018 when 55% stated they had coverage.
Taking on a position without coverage opens an individual up to potential financial risk, should they require long-term leave with minimal or no coverage.
Most surveyed (67%) stated they were aware of the risk that they would experience serious financial implications of their work was impeded for three months. Of those who actually took the time off, 56% were forced to return early due to financial reasons—up five points from 2018.
Moreover, 91% of those surveyed indicated that proper financial support was necessary when recovering from their disability.
It is clear that there is a need to have proactive financial planning, with less than 43% of respondents saying they’ve discussed how they would handle the financial impact of not being able to work over an extended period of time.
These statistics beg many questions—how could myself or my family handle a long-term disability? During long-term disability, would I have the financial resources to fully recover? How long will I be paying for the impact of my disability?
While an employer has a duty to accommodate an employee, should they need time off due to a disability, and Employment Insurance sickness benefits may provide some relief from the financial burden, these are typically only pieces of the larger puzzle that an employee needs in order to avoid negative financial consequences when taking time off due to an unforeseen absence from work.
Should you have questions about accommodation in the workplace, disability leave or denied disability benefits, contact Monkhouse Law today.
About the survey: Between April 9 and 11, 2019 Ipsos conducted a survey of 1,501 employed Canadians aged 18 and over for RBC Insurance. Weighting was used to ensure the survey sample reflected census data. More information can be found: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/number-of-working-canadians-who-need-time-off-for-disability-on-the-rise-820335777.html
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