The Best Disability Insurance in Ontario (Updated 2023)

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Are you disabled, or do you know anyone in Ontario who is no longer able to work? If so, or you want to protect against that possibility, this guide is for you.

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and private disability insurance can help guarantee you an income if you are no longer able to work. This guide will introduce you to some of the government programs that offer support in Ontario and some private options that can supplement or replace social aid.

Keep reading to learn how ODSP works, whether you qualify, how much you could receive and why you may also want private disability insurance in Ontario.

How does disability insurance work in Ontario?

There are two types of disability insurance to know about in Ontario. There is the public Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and private disability insurance. Disability insurance is a benefit for those who have become incapacitated as a result of a sickness or an accident and are no longer able to work.

The Ontario Disability Support Program, also known as ODSP, provides financial help and health benefits to qualifying people in Ontario who are unable to work due to a disability. This public disability insurance scheme replaces a portion of their income.

Private disability insurance, on the other hand, offers important income protection and is purchased before it is needed.

If you became disabled and you want to apply for disability in Ontario, your payout will be determined by two factors:

  • How much coverage you purchased at the moment of contracting the insurance;
  • The approval by the insurance company at the moment of application.

Insurance companies typically agree to cover between 60% and 85% of a client's previous monthly salary. And that's without considering whether your salary was lost due to an unexpected accident or a degenerative sickness.

Long-term disability insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, but it can help guarantee you a steady income should you be unable to work.

Are you seeking an insurance company to provide you with Ontario disability benefits? Using our comparison tool, you can compare the pricing and coverage options of the best disability insurance in Ontario. You may compare the top disability insurance options in seconds without sharing personal information.

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How much does disability insurance cost in Ontario?

The price of disability insurance in Ontario will typically range from 1% to 3% of your annual income. In some cases, it may range higher than that. The following elements can influence the cost:

The younger you are, the less you will pay for this and many other health items and risks. Because younger people are less likely to suffer from a disability, the cost of insuring them against it is minimal.
According to studies conducted in recent years, women are more likely to file disability claims, which are also likely to be more expensive. As a result, women may pay more for disability insurance, whereas they pay less for life and auto insurance.
Your occupation type has a greater impact on the cost of your Ontario disability program than your income. As a result, the riskier your job, the more expensive your insurance can become. For example, a high-paid office worker may pay less than a manual labourer.
Insurance companies, like any other life and health policies, look at your health history to determine whether or not to offer you Ontario disability insurance, and if so, how much it would cost.
Smoking status
In Canada, smoking (or tobacco use) is a primary cause of disability and early mortality, accounting for 45,000 fatalities per year. As a result, a non-smoking lifestyle offers significant health benefits as well as lower insurance prices and/or bigger insurance benefits.
Criteria affecting the cost of Ontario disability insurance

Long-term disability is affordable income protection. Here is what one leading provider quotes for different profiles:

Age of insuree Monthly salary insuredMonthly premium
Disability insurance quotes in Ontario by age and coverage

The above are only guidelines and your quote will be different. Ready for a personalized disability insurance quote? You can compare providers and get a quote below.

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What is ODSP?

The ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) is a government-funded program that provides financial support to people living with disabilities above the age of 18 who live in Ontario, Canada. It was established by the Ontario Disability Support Program Act in 1997.

The Ontario Disability Benefits can provide financial and employment help to people with impairments.

Financial Assistance:

The Ontario Disability Insurance provides financial assistance in the form of an income supplement to assist you in case you become disabled from a sickness or an accident and are no longer able to work.

If you are qualified for ODSP income support, you will get a monthly payment. The amount you receive will be determined by your living situation and will be aimed at meeting your basic needs and providing a shelter allowance.

Employment Assistance:

If you have a disability, the ODSP employment assistance program can help you find work or start your own business. And to help you find and keep a job through the Ontario Disability Program you will engage with a community service provider to determine what types of services you require. For instance, there is assistance available in the following areas:

  • Assistance with work preparation
  • Assistance in locating a career that is suitable for you
  • Assistance in preserving a job
  • Coaching on the job
  • On-the-job assistance
  • Assisting you in progressing to the next level of your profession
  • Technology that adapts to your needs to assist you in your work (for example, accessibility software)
  • Accommodation and assistance on the job
  • Services of an interpreter or an intervenor
  • Assistive technology and instruction on how to use it (for example, mobility devices or visual hearing aids)

Is important to know that to be eligible, you do not need to be receiving ODSP financial assistance.

How much are disability benefits in Ontario?

You might be wondering how much ODSP is, how much a couple gets on ODSP or even how much ODSP pays for rent. And the best answer is: it depends.

The maximum amount of ODSP income support a single person can receive per month is $1169, which will be adjusted depending on your circumstances. And when is ODSP paid? That is entirely up to you, you can choose to get it monthly, quarterly or annually.

Whether you rent or own a home, your monthly payment will be split into two parts:

NeedWhat is itWhat influences it
Basic needs
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Other necessary personal items
  • The number of people in your family
  • Whether or not your spouse also has a disability
  • The age of your family members
Shelter allowance
  • Your rent or your mortgage payment
  • Heating
  • Utilities
  • Property taxes
  • Home insurance
  • Condominium fees
  • The shelter allowance is calculated based on your actual shelter costs, up to a maximum amount determined by the number of members in your family.
Ontario disability benefits

The table shows ODSP disability benefit amounts:

Benefit UnitBasic NeedsShelter AssistanceTotal ODSP
Single parent + 1 child
Single parent + 2 children
Couple – 1 child
Couple – 2 children
How much OSDP pays

When is ODSP paid?

ODSP is paid once monthly, at the end of the month. Here are the ODSP payment dates for 2022.

MonthODSP Payment Date
January 31, 2022
February 28, 2022
March 31, 2022
April 29, 2022
May 31, 2022
June 30, 2022
July 29, 2022
August 31, 2022
September 29, 2022
October 31, 2022
November 30, 2022
Not yet announced
Ontario disability payment dates

How to apply to ODSP?

If you become disabled and would like to apply to ODSP, keep in mind that the application procedure may take several months, but it can be done online by following the steps below:

  1. Fill out your and your family’s personal information such as full legal names, dates of birth, citizenship status in Canada, address, email addresses, total monthly income, available assets, housing costs and your bank account information;
  2. Wait for the ODSP to review your application, and a caseworker from your local ODSP office will contact you within 15 business days to set up an appointment;
  3. To sign and validate your application, visit the ODSP office. Keep in mind that the caseworker may request further information from you, such as copies of invoices or other papers, so that we can verify the information you provided in your application;
  4. A disability determination paperwork will be sent to you if you are financially eligible for ODSP (DDP). This document must be completed by an approved health care provider, such as your doctor, and mailed to the Disability Adjudication Unit using the addressed envelope provided;
  5. Your disability determination package will be reviewed by ODSP, and you will get a letter within 90 days stating whether or not your condition qualifies;
  6. If you qualify, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment to discuss how to best assist you and when your first payment will be made

If ODSP determines that you are not financially eligible for ODSP, you will have 30 days to request that ODSP review your information again.

Am I eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program?

If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for ODSP benefits:

  • you are 18 or older
  • and you are resident in Ontario
  • and your assets do not exceed the allowed limits
  • and you are defined as disabled under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act
  • or if you have already been determined eligible for services and support by another program, such as the Developmental Disabilities Act and others.
  • or if you are a resident of a psychiatric hospital or an addiction clinic
  • or if you have been awarded damages by the English and Wabigoon River Systems Mercury Contamination Settlement Agreement Act, 1986
  • or you are 65 or older and not eligible for Old Age Security (OAS)

Your financial condition will be reviewed first, followed by an evaluation of your disability. If you meet the financial requirements, you will be given a set of documents to fill out with your doctor or other health care provider to inform us about your disability. This information will be used to determine whether you are medically eligible for ODSP.

How to apply for short-term disability in Ontario?

Multiple can be the reasons why you might need a temporary disability in Ontario, it can be a short-term disability stress leave for example or unbearable back pain. But regardless of the reason, you should ask for your rights. Follow these steps to apply for short-term disability:

  1. You must request the application forms from your employer or the insurer directly.
  2. Complete the employee's statement, have your doctor complete the physician's statement, and your employer must complete the employer's statement. To avoid delays in the application process, all three components of the application must be completed.
  3. When the insurer receives your application, they will decide on your claim.
  4. You will most likely be contacted by phone to discuss your symptoms, any points in your application that require clarification, your treatment plan, and any drugs you are taking.
  5. They will either approve or deny your application for short-term disability.

How long is short-term disability in Ontario?

Short-term disability in Ontario typically offers benefits for up to 6 months, but this varies depending on the insurance policy. Some plans even offer benefits for up to 52 weeks. Unlike long-term disability insurance in Ontario, which has a two-year occupation period, although it may be less or longer depending on the policy.

Don't have short-term disability insurance coverage? You can compare the best disability insurance providers and plans in Ontario.

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How to qualify for disability in Ontario?

You can apply for ODSP online from the Ontario government portal. You only need to submit one application for each household.

To apply for ODSP you will need your and all of your dependents' identification documents including:

  • social insurance numbers (SIN)
  • OHIP cards
  • birth certificates
  • immigration papers
  • tax returns
  • banking information

Once you have all of these at your disposal you can head to the application portal.

Here you will fill out your name, address, total income, household expenses and bank information. Once you have completed filling out your information it will be processed and you will be invited to a meeting at your local ODSP office.

Next, you will receive a disability determination package (DDP). This must be filled out by a medical professional and returned on your behalf. This package will give the ODSP office all the proof it needs regarding your disability and inability to work.

Once the DDP has been returned you will be contacted by the Disability Adjudication Unit within 90 business days.

Watch out!

A first-time application may take months to process. If you are unable to support yourself or your family apply to Ontario Works in the meantime.

How much money can you have in the bank on ODSP?

If you own assets worth more than $40,000 you will automatically be disqualified from receiving ODSP. If your situation changes while you are already receiving ODSP and your assets rise in worth to above ODSP then support will be suspended and will only restart if your assets fall beneath the $40,000 threshold.

What types of disability does ODSP cover?

To qualify for disability in Ontario you must have a physical or mental condition, usually expected to last one year or longer, that prevents you from working. Ontario recognizes some mental health conditions as disabilities if they are severe enough to prevent the sufferer from working, for example, you can receive ODSP for depression and anxiety can be considered a disability in Ontario if they are preventing someone from supporting themselves.

How to get the disability forms in Ontario?

The forms that you must fill out to apply for ODSP can be found at the ODSP application portal. These forms will ask for financial details. Subsequent forms will ask for medical details.

On these forms, you will provide information regarding yourself and your dependents including your names, your combined income, and your outgoing expenses (such as food, rent and medical bills). You will need to provide documentation to substantiate your claim as well as to have a medical professional fill out your disability determination package (DDP).

What is the child disability benefit in Ontario?

The child disability benefit (CDB) is a tax-free monthly payment for families caring for a child under the age of 18 who suffers from a serious and long impairment of physical or mental functions.

The number of qualifying children, adjusted family net income (AFNI), and marital status are used to compute your CDB benefits. For each child who is eligible for the DTC, you might get up to $2,985 ($248.75 per month) from July 2022 to June 2023.

When a family's net income exceeds $71,060, the benefit begins to be reduced.

What is the disability tax credit in Ontario?

The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax benefit that assists people with disabilities and their caregivers in lowering their tax obligation. This program's goal is to increase tax equality by providing some relief for disability costs, which are inevitable extra expenses that other taxpayers do not have to deal with.

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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

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