How to Apply for Short Term Disability in Canada?

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Suffering from short term disability? But don’t know how to apply for short term disability? Many Canadians tend to feel intimidated by the entire application process due to a lack of knowledge.

Well, the procedure is extremely easy. This blog provides complete details on how to apply for short-term disability in Canada.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is Meant by Short Term Disability?

Short term disability refers to a person’s medical condition after encountering an accident. It can be either any illness or wounds due to which one cannot function properly as like before.

This form of disability can disrupt your entire world by bringing changes in your daily activities. Such as, you cannot regularly work as you used to, and the doctor suggests you complete rest till complete recovery.

How Long Can be a Short Term Disability?

Short term disability usually stays for a maximum period of 1 year. So, if you are still facing the same problems after 1 year, it will no longer be considered a short term disability. Instead, it will be treated as a long term disability.

What Do Short Term Disability Benefits Cover?

Short term disability covers a wide range of the medical conditions if the authority finds you eligible for the benefits. It mainly includes back injuries, chronic pain, heart-related diseases, ongoing severe migraines, depression, anxiety, or any form of painful health condition that restricts your workability.

Based on your insurance policy, some may cover you for 15 to 20 weeks, while others offer a full-year income replacement. So, check the policies properly if you have one.

Generally, employment insurance companies usually cover you with 5 weeks of benefits if you cannot work due to the short term disability, such as you will get 55% of your income to a max of $595 a week.

However, if you have sick leave or have this disability through your company, you can get those benefits first. In this case, you can’t get EI short term disability payments.

Again, for qualifying for these disability benefits, you must show your medical reports as evidence to prove how severely this illness or wounds have affected your ability to work and other activities.

The process is a bit complex; hence, check your coverage properly before applying for one.

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Things You Will Require for Applying Short Term Disability

While applying for the short term disability insurance through your employer, there are a number of things you need to keep ready beforehand.

Employee statement

It describes the nature of your wounds or sickness and the main reasons why you cannot work as before.

Physicians Statement

These are the medical documents that a doctor must sign, outlining the existing medical condition that is refraining you from doing your regular activities properly.

Employers statement

This statement must be given by your employer, explaining your normal employment responsibilities and why you are unable to work.

After analyzing all these things, the insurance company may assign a case manager based on your file to find out whether you are legible enough for the benefits or not under the policy.

In some cases, they may take help from a medical consultant. Also, they can get an opinion from another physician to be completely sure of your health condition.

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How to Apply for Short Term Disability in Canada?

You must apply for short-term disability as soon as possible, right after you stop working. If you apply after 4 weeks from the last day of your work, chances are high you will lose the benefits.

Visit the Employment Insurance website of the Canadian government if you want to apply for EI sickness benefits. The website also contains information on short-term disability benefits and eligibility for EI.

So, how to apply for one? Just follow the below steps as instructed:

Step 1: Collect essential information

As part of the application method, you will have to provide the required information and papers. However, if you don’t have the needed document immediately, don’t wait for them.

Instead, submit your online application and when they are ready, send them after appealing for the benefits.

Papers to collect:

  • Personal information
  • Medical certificate
  • Records of employment

Step 2: Complete the online application

An online application takes around 1 hour to complete. If you cannot complete the application all at once, you can come back within 72 hours (3 days) and begin using your password from where you left it.

Otherwise, if you come back after 72 hours of passage, you will have to begin from scratch with a new application. Note that all the previous records will get automatically deleted after 72 hours, counting from the time you started.

Step 3: Provide required documents

Once you have completed your online application, submit the required documents by mail or drop them off at a Service Canada Centre.

Step 4: Receive benefit statement and access code

After your application is successfully received, the Service Canada Centre will mail you a benefit statement containing a 4-digit access code. Keep it properly, as you will require the code and SIN to process the application further.

Note that: Receiving an EI (Employment Insurance) benefit statement does not mean that you are entitled to the benefits. Instead, it will point out that your application is being processed and reviewed by the authority.

Step 5: Check your application status

Finally, you will be entitled to these benefits by doing everything properly and fulfilling all the eligibility criteria. To check your status, you can either sign into your MSCA account or can directly contact Service Canada.

Note: If you are registered with MSCA, make one account using the benefit statement and the access code you received from the service center.

What to Do If My Claim Gets Denied?

Many people’s short time disability insurance claim gets rejected. However, there is nothing to feel upset about as you can again appeal to the insurance company. They will probably assign a second person for reviewing your file and thus will find out whether the manager’s decision was fair enough.

In case your appeal fails, you can sue the insurance company anytime if you truly deserve the claim, but due to their negligence, your application got rejected. But before going ahead with all of these, it’s better that you consult and have a talk with an experienced lawyer. Along with ensuring a high chance of success, the entire process will become smoother for you.

Is There Any Way to Recover My Lost Income Due to Short Term Disability?

Yes, indeed. In fact, there are several ways with the help of which you can replace your lost income while you are away from work due to a short term disability.

You can apply for sick leave based on your company’s leave policy. If they have any benefits for the sick employee, you can also appeal for them based on your current condition.

Short term disability insurance

Depending on your short term disability leave, your employer can give you this benefit by doing a replacement from 50% to 100% of your earnings.

Employment Insurance sickness benefit

Here, the government of the Canada’s unemployment insurance protection may offer some benefits and coverage pertaining to your condition.

Long Term disability insurance

As the name goes by, this insurance is applicable for those people who cannot work properly for an extended period of time due to the incident.

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How much money is paid for short-term disability?

It depends on the policies of your company. For a limited length of time, between 15 weeks and a year, typical short-term disability rates will replace between 60 and 100 percent of your income.

The benefit of some initiatives decreases over time. You might get paid 100% of your regular salary for the first six weeks, then 75% for the next six, and finally 55% for the remaining 40 weeks (for a total of 52 weeks).

Once more, review the specifics of your employer’s short-term disability insurance to determine the benefits you are eligible for.

To Wrap Up

Short-term disability benefits in Canada is certainly one of the crucial components of your financial plan that ideally lets you to secure your earnings even when you cannot work.

Hopefully, after reading the blog, you understand how to apply for short term disability in Canada. So, if you are having a short term disability, make sure to check with your employer to see what kind of coverage you are entitled to. If you are self-employed, discuss it with your insurance broker regarding buying the coverage.

However, before going ahead with the process, the smart call is to have a talk with an experienced lawyer. With their expertise and guidance, you will always be on the right track and will get what you truly deserve.


Have a look at the most commonly asked queries below:

How much does EI pay for short-term disability?

You can get a maximum payment of $638 in EI (Employment Insurance) a week. As per the latest stats, for 2023, the short term disability plan must offer at least 55% of an employee's normal weekly insurance income, which ultimately equals to a maximum amount of $638 in Canada.

How does short-term disability work in Canada?

Short term disability coverage offers benefits up to 6 months from the time you are sick or severely injured. In case your employer has a short term disability plan, it must be made based on your disability plan.

What medical conditions qualify for disability in Canada?

Some of the medical conditions that ideally qualify you for disability in Canada include osteoarthritis, poor circulation, limited upper body mobility, depression, breathing problems, cognitive issues, etc. It can range from physical to emotional, depending on your condition.

How much do EI sickness benefits offer?

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits can offer you with up to 15 weeks of financial aid in case you cannot work pertaining to any medical reasons.

Can a doctor deny filling out short term disability forms in Canada?

Yes, they can refuse you to fill out your disability forms. However, there is nothing to be disheartened about as you can still fight for your justice. An experienced disability lawyer can help you. A lawyer can be your savior from the beginning to the end, from fighting with the doctor's decision to help you get your rightful compensation and make the process smoother.



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