Most Canadian workers would suffer severe financial hardship if they were forced out of work with a disability.

In fact, 76% believe that should they become disabled and unable to work for three months, there would be serious financial implications for their family, such as significant debt or an impact on retirement plans, finds an RBC Insurance survey.

Despite the concern, only 27% have discussed how a disability would financially impact their family. This number does not increase substantially among workers who’ve indicated that they’ve taken time off in the past because of a disability (33%).

Read: Disability costs: The rocky road ahead

“Industry research shows that 26% of Canadians say they could not pull together $2,000 over the next month if an emergency expense arose, and more than half of Canadians believe they would find themselves in financial difficulty if their pay was delayed by even a week,” adds Mark Hardy, senior manager, life and living benefits, with RBC Insurance.

Additional findings include the following:

  • 16% have individual disability insurance outside of any workplace coverage;
  • if they became disabled, 34% would dip into personal savings to pay for essential living expenses; 29% would rely on their spouse/partner’s income; 19% on government support; and 16% on cash in investments.

“The average length of a disability over 90 days is between two to three years,” notes Hardy. “Canadians should ask themselves, ‘Do I have enough money saved to cover living expenses and healthcare bills throughout the entire length of my disability?’”

This story originally appeared on our sister site,

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See all comments Recent Comments


The average disability isn’t 2 to 3 years. The average length of payment before LTD benefits are suspended is. Disability absence from work is significantly longer.for disabilities over 90 days.

Tuesday, January 20 at 12:28 pm | Reply


a more interesting statistic would be the average length of disability LTD payments, compared to the total loss of time before returning to gainful employment . Claimants? If for example the claimant receives payment of 65% of their earnings from the 120th day to the 1000 th day of disability and the disability absence from work is 1825 Days (5 years). I suspect no one is prepared for that.

Tuesday, January 20 at 1:55 pm | Reply

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