Short Term Disability Benefits Canada

DEFINITION:Short-term disability benefits in Canada refer to a type of financial assistance provided to employees who are unable to work due to an illness, injury, or medical condition. These benefits are typically provided by employers or through government programs and aim to partially replace the employee’s lost income during their temporary incapacity.


1. How long does short-term disability benefits last?
Short-term disability benefits generally cover a temporary period of absence from work due to illness or injury, typically ranging from a few weeks up to several months. The exact duration of the benefits may vary depending on the specific policies and programs in place.

2. Are short-term disability benefits available to all employees?
In Canada, eligibility for short-term disability benefits may vary depending on the employer’s policies or the government program. Typically, employees must meet specific criteria such as having a minimum employment tenure or meeting certain medical requirements to qualify for these benefits.

3. What percentage of income is usually covered by short-term disability benefits?
The percentage of income covered by short-term disability benefits can vary, but it is generally around 60-70% of the employee’s pre-disability earnings. The specific coverage percentage may be determined by the employer’s policies, collective bargaining agreements, or government program rules.

4. Is there a waiting period before short-term disability benefits start?
Yes, many short-term disability benefit plans in Canada have a waiting period, commonly known as a waiting period or elimination period. This refers to a specified period of time that an employee must be unable to work before becoming eligible for benefits. Waiting periods often range from a few days up to a few weeks.

5. Can I apply for short-term disability benefits retroactively?
It depends on the specific policies of the employer or the government program. Some programs allow retroactive applications for a limited period if the employee was unable to apply for benefits immediately due to exceptional circumstances. However, it is generally advised to apply as soon as possible to avoid any potential issues or delays.

6. Are short-term disability benefits taxable in Canada?
Yes, short-term disability benefits are generally considered taxable income in Canada. The benefits received are subject to income tax deductions unless specifically exempted under certain circumstances. It is recommended to seek advice from a tax professional or consult the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for more detailed information.

7. Are there any other types of benefits that may accompany short-term disability benefits?
Depending on the employer or the government program, short-term disability benefits may be accompanied by additional benefits such as supplementary health coverage (e.g., prescription drugs, medical supplies), workplace accommodations, rehabilitative services, or access to programs aimed at facilitating the employee’s return to work. These additional benefits may vary and should be clarified with the relevant provider or program.