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Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Benefits

By: Jordan Thompson, Associate Lawyer

Short-term disability benefits are insurance benefits that cover a loss of income due to disability from work for a short period of time (i.e.: 17 weeks) after a disability. They are usually provided through a benefit package at work. The benefits are based upon your income and typically cover a percentage of pre-disability income. The percentage varies depending on the short-term policy. These benefits become payable after a certain period of time known as the “elimination period” or “qualifying period”. Usually before benefits become payable, you go on EI disability.


If you are still disabled from work after your short-term disability benefits expire then you can apply for Long-term disability benefits. Short-term disability benefits do not automatically change to long-term disability benefits, so you have to make a separate application to apply for long-term disability.


Long-term disability (“LTD”) benefits are insurance benefits that cover a loss of income due to disability from work. They are usually provided through your benefits package at work. The benefits are based upon your income and typically cover a percentage of pre-disability income. This percentage varies depending on the LTD policy. It you are in receipt of Canada Pension Plan Disability (“CPP-D”) benefits then these are deducted from what the LTD insurer pays you.


Short-term and LTD insurers have a ‘duty of good faith’ to the insured. However, may people who live with subjective chronic conditions find that their benefits can be terminated or denied even if their family doctor and specialist they have seen support the disability.

If you have been denied short-term disability or LTD benefits and your doctor supports your ongoing disability, please call us for a free consultation. Many insurers state that they cannot pay benefits because there is “no objective evidence” of a disability (e.g.: evidence that can be seen on an x-ray or MRI). The majority of the times the wording of the insurance policy does not require “objective” evidence and Courts have held that chronic subjective pain can disable a person.


The Mike Murphy Accident Team is happy to set up an appointment or consultation to review your case.

If you believe you have a claim and would like to set up a free consultation, please give us a call.



DISCLAIMER: The publications on this website are intended to provide information of a general nature and not legal advice. The information contained in this publication is current to the date of the publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.

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