Number of working Canadians requiring time off for disability rising

Though only half (50 per cent) of Canadians have disability coverage, 68 per cent have required time off work because of a disability, according to a survey by RBC Insurance Services Inc.

The study, which looked at Canadians with coverage through their workplace benefits or personal insurance, found 67 per cent of working Canadians said if they suffered a disability that meant not being able to work for three months they’d encounter serious financial implications.

Read: Long-term disability claims expected to fall in 2019: research 

“It’s troublesome to see an inverse trend between the number of Canadians who need to take time off for a disability, and those who have the coverage in place — or the finances — to do so,” said Maria Winslow, senior director of life and health at RBC Insurance. “With half the working population without disability coverage, many Canadians are exposing themselves to financial risk.”

When faced with recovery for a disability, Canadians said the keys are support from family and friends (92 per cent), having proper financial assistance (91 per cent) and workplace support (87 per cent).

However, more than half (56 per cent) of respondents said they were forced to go back to work sooner than desired because of financial reasons, and 45 per cent said their workplace pressured them to go back earlier, a significant increase from the 33 per cent who said the same in last year’s survey.

Read: Workplace disability coverage drops significantly from 2015