Workplace disability is more common than Canadian workers believe, according to a survey.

An RBC Insurance survey finds that 45% of workers believe that disability occurs infrequently; however, disability is more common than Canadians realize.

In fact, one out of seven Canadians is currently disabled, and one in three working Canadians will experience a period of disability lasting longer than 90 days during their working lives.

When it comes to defining what a disability is, the majority of Canadians consider physical accidents (72%) and workplace-related accidents (64%) to be a disability.

Only 45% of Canadians surveyed consider depression to be a disability, and less than one-third believe that anxiety (30%) and diabetes (21%) are a disability.

“There is a mistaken perception that disabilities tend to be catastrophic in nature—caused by one-time, traumatic events,” explains Mark Hardy, senior manager, life and living benefits, with RBC Insurance. Most Canadians don’t recognize that common chronic conditions such as mental illness cause the majority of disabilities. In fact, less than 10% of disabilities are caused by accidents.”

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