Workplace disability coverage drops significantly from 2015

Less than half of working Canadians have disability coverage provided through their workplace benefits, according to a survey by RBC Insurance Services Inc.

The survey, which queried 1,505 working Canadians, found the percentage of people who had disability coverage through their work has dropped to 48 per cent from 57 per cent in 2015.

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The survey also found that among workers without workplace disability benefits, 84 per cent hadn’t bought independent coverage for themselves. Of those without coverage, 26 per cent felt they couldn’t afford it, 35 per cent said their workplace doesn’t offer group benefits or disability insurance, 25 per cent said they’re part-time or contract workers who aren’t eligible and 22 per cent said they were freelance or self-employed workers.

“With the majority of employed Canadians indicating that they do not have disability insurance through their workplace benefits package, workers need to review what coverage they do have and take immediate steps to ensure that they are well protected in case something were to happen,” said Maria Winslow, senior director of life and health at RBC Insurance.

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“Without the proper financial protection in place, Canadians are putting themselves and their families at risk if they are faced with a disability and have to take time off work.”

Of those who have faced a disability, the survey found 45 per cent of respondents would have liked to take time off but couldn’t because of their financial situation. In addition, 51 per cent said they had to return to work earlier than desired due to financial reasons.

“When confronted with a disability, the last thing that should be on your mind is worrying about finances,” said Winslow.

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