Instead of being able to focus on their health, Canadians who are off work due to disability are faced with financial hardships.

In fact, 78% say finances were tight when they were off work, finds an RBC insurance survey. Further, 48% were not financially prepared to be off work.

“Canadians want to work and live healthy, productive lives, but with one-in-three experiencing a period of disability lasting longer than 90 days during their working lives, Canadians need to take steps to ensure they’re prepared and protected,” says Mark Hardy, director of Living Benefits, RBC Insurance.

Here are some additional findings.

  • 76% say the situation was stressful for their household;
  • 31% say that their able partner had to find extra work to make ends meet; and
  • 29% had to dip into savings to pay for expenses, 17% had to take on more debt, 17% borrowed money from family and friends, and 9% cashed in their RRSPs.

Tips to help disabled workers

  • Investigate the coverage clients have through their employer plans. Help them understand how the plan defines a disability, and what is and isn’t covered. Ask about employee assistance programs.
  • Tell clients to be proactive and formulate a return-to-work plan with their employers.
  • Help them explore any ‘Return to Work Benefits,’ such as job search and retraining, and rehabilitation.

Read more:

Overcome objections to Critical Illness offers

Providing benefits is a significant cost for employers

Help clients understand qualified disability trusts