If you’re looking to file a long-term disability claim, you likely have a lot of questions about disability benefits and the application process. Read on for answers to common questions about disability claims in Alberta and Saskatchewan. For more information or legal advice tailored to your situation, we welcome you to call Ludwar Law Firm at 403-670-0055 to schedule your free initial consultation.
1. What is the maximum disability payment in Alberta?
The maximum disability payment in Alberta depends on the terms of your specific disability insurance policy. It may also depend on your pre-disability income. Most group disability insurance plans (i.e., coverage through your employment) will pay a percentage of your pre-disability income. For example, your long-term disability benefits plan may state that it will replace 70% your pre-disability gross earnings, subject to a maximum monthly dollar amount. The applicable percentage varies from policy to policy.
Many individual insurance plans (i.e., coverage bought personally from a private insurance company) pay a fixed amount, for example, $3,000 per month, or $5,000 per month. Each plan is different, so you must review your specific LTD policy to determine your maximum disability payment.
Our experienced LTD disability law firm can review your policy to help you understand how your pre-disability earnings will be calculated and the maximum disability payment you are entitled to receive.
2. How much do you get on disability in Saskatchewan?
The answer to how much you get on disability in Saskatchewan is the same as the answer to FAQ #1 on maximum disability payments in Alberta. The maximum disability payment depends on the terms of your specific disability insurance policy and may also depend on your pre-disability income.
3. How long can you stay on long term disability in Alberta? In Saskatchewan?
How long you can stay on long term disability in Alberta or Saskatchewan depends on the terms of your disability insurance policy and the nature of your illness or injury. Most long-term disability plans provide LTD benefits for the first two years when the claimant is unable to work in his or her “own occupation.” The courts have defined own occupation as meaning the inability to do the essential duties of one’s own occupation.
When a long-term disability claim is approaching the two-year mark, the policy’s definition changes. To continue to receive benefits, the claimant must provide evidence to prove they are unable to return to work in “any occupation.” In a long-term disability policy, “any occupation” means totally disabled from working in any occupation within his or her field, education, income level, or experience.
So, long term disability benefits can last until you are well enough to resume working, or, if you continue to be totally disabled at the two-year mark, you are eligible to stay on LTD until the end of the coverage period—usually to age 65, though some LTD policies have defined periods for payment of LTD benefits (e.g., benefits are paid for a maximum of five or ten years.).
4. What is the number one cause of disability in Canada?
Mental illness and substance use disorders are the number one causes of disability in Canada. The term mental illness covers a wide range of psychological issues including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, ADD/ADHD, and Alzheimer’s.
See here for an article from our experienced LTD disability claim denial lawyer on how disability claims for depression and anxiety work, and see here for an article on long term disability claims for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It's worth noting that in both Alberta and Saskatchewan drug and alcohol addictions are generally considered to be an illness that can support a long term disability claim, though it may depend on the terms of the applicable LTD insurance policy.
5. What is the highest disability payment in Canada?
As of 2023, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit is a maximum monthly payment of $1,538.67, while the average monthly CPP disability payment is $1,132.55. You are eligible for the CPP disability benefit payment each month if you meet these three requirements: under the age of 65, have made enough contributions into the CPP, have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work, and have a disability that is long-term and of indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death.
6. What is the most common type of disability in Canada?
Chronic pain is one of the most common types of disability in Canada. This is because a wide range of conditions can lead to chronic pain, including headaches/migraines, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, back issues, digestive disorders, autoimmune disorders, bacterial or viral infections like shingles, arthritis and other joint conditions, endometriosis, and chronic illnesses like cancer and lupus. Nearly 8,000,000 Canadians live with chronic pain If pain lasts longer than three months, it is considered chronic pain.
7. What are four hidden disabilities?
There are several medical conditions that are considered “hidden” or “invisible” because they aren’t immediately noticeable and can’t be diagnosed with any objective evidence that is currently accepted by the mainstream medical community. Four examples of hidden disabilities are fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, and mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Diagnosis of these invisible disabilities is based on the patient’s symptoms as told to their doctor and how those symptoms develop in the future. Insurance companies often unjustly deny the initial disability claim due to insufficient medical evidence or deny the claim because they think the claimant is malingering.
Need an Experienced Disability Claims Lawyer in Alberta and Saskatchewan?
At Ludwar Law Firm, we understand how traumatic disability claim denials can be. With our disability claims lawyer on your side, you don’t have to go through the LTD application process or LTD appeals process alone. You can count on Ludwar Law Firm to pursue your case so that you can obtain the benefits the insurance company owes you. If you'd like to schedule an appointment with us or learn more about any of our services, we welcome you to contact us.