Short Term Disability in Alberta: What You Need to Know

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Short-term disability means limited injuries that enable a person to get benefits. In Canada, there are specific short-term disability plans and programs to support a person with such problems. It is a common and important concept for many jobholders.

If you seek short-term disability benefits, you will need to know a few basic things about them. This involves understanding the term more in-depth, knowing about the benefits, and gaining knowledge on key topics of short-term disability in Alberta.

What is Short Term Disability?

So, the first question is- what is a short-term disability? Short-term disability means a period of disability that lasts for less than a year and qualifies for income replacement payments.

Depending on the plan, the incapacity term can be anywhere from 17 to 52 weeks. You must be unable to perform the essential functions of your own work to be eligible for short-term disability.

What is Short Term Disability Insurance?

A short-term disability lasts less than a year and qualifies a person for income replacement compensation. The period of incapacity might range from 17 to 52 weeks, depending on the plan. To be qualified for short-term disability, you must be unable to perform the fundamental responsibilities of your job.

Eligibility for Short-term Disability Benefits

No short-term disability compensation for most Canadians. You must have a short-term disability plan to be eligible. Many jobs lack these workplace perks.

Working people are frequently covered. If you have group benefits, you may be eligible for short-term disability. To be sure, check your benefits booklet.

Self-employed people face unique challenges. You’ll need your own policy. A broker or a professional organization can provide one. Most individual plans only cover long-term disability, but some do.

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Short Term Disability?

People frequently inquire about short-term disability. Any circumstance qualifies. You only need to be totally disabled. However, each policy’s definition varies. Above all, short-term disability is based on symptoms, not illness. So, it matters if the symptoms prevent you from completing your work. But your diagnosis is vital! Because a diagnosis allows for a strategy. Nobody can cure you if your diagnosis is uncertain. Instead, you’ll need to test for a variety of circumstances. Insurance companies dislike undiagnosed or untreated patients. If they don’t see you trying, they’ll deny your claim or halt your payments. Some claims are often dismissed. For example, stress leave, burnout, and pregnancy.

So, in these cases, you need a diagnosis. Such as stress leave and burnout. But you may have sadness or anxiety. Pregnancy isn’t a handicap, although complications may prevent you from working.

Benefits You Get for Short Term Disabilities

Bi-weekly payments are made under a group insurance policy for short-term disability compensation. Alternatively, an employer-run benefits plan. It’s a form of income replacement benefit given to qualified workers. To be eligible, you must meet both work and disability requirements.

So, how to apply for short-term disability?

You apply by submitting a form to the insurance company or the benefits administrator. They will next evaluate your claim and approve or deny it. You will receive bi-weekly payments for 17 to 52 months if you are approved. Your plan determines the duration of your benefits.

There are 2 types of short-term disability benefits. Here is a brief discussion on them.

Read More: What are the Disability Benefits in Alberta

Employer funded plans

Some employers pay for their employees’ short-term disability insurance. Some of them are really straightforward. For example, they will continue to pay you with merely a sick note.

Some are more difficult to understand. They may take longer to decide. Some people are brought in to assist with your recovery.

Work-sponsored plans can resemble group plans in appearance. An insurance firm may be responsible for determining and paying claims. However, the employer is the one who plays in the background.

Group insurance plans

Employees at some jobs have access to group perks. Medical, dental, and prescription drug coverage are frequently included. They may also offer short-term disability compensation. If you have group benefits through your employment, you may be eligible for short-term disability.

3 Things You Should Understand about Short Term Disability in Alberta

If you cannot work due to a medical or mental problem, you must file for short-term disability. Unfortunately, many Canadians are frightened by the process of qualifying for these benefits.

However, getting the short-term disability experience off to a good start can be a crucial step toward recovery. Thus, here are 3 things that can get you started with the process.

Know the timeline of recovery and treatment

Knowing the timeline means how long for short-term disability. Consult your doctor to determine the length of time you will be unable to work.

Your insurance policy determines the length of your short-term disability benefit, but it can typically provide you with economic help for up to six months.

If your doctor advises you to stay off work for more than six months, you may be forced to file for Long Term Disability benefits if you have this coverage.

It would be crucial to prepare a transition plan to get back to work. To ensure that you have a safe return to work, consult with your doctor or treatment team as well as your employer. This may entail returning to light tasks or returning to part-time employment.

Know the dates of your preference

Some of your application papers must be filed within a specified length of time after you begin your leave of absence from work – often within the first 30 days.

Your eligibility for benefits may be jeopardized if you submit your application late. Your insurer may take some time to examine, adjudicate, and process your claim: the adjudication procedure typically takes at least 10 working days.

Know all the short-term disability benefits coverage

It’s critical to understand your insurance coverage before applying for Short Term Disability. If your workplace provides group disability coverage, get in touch with your plan. To learn more about the scope of coverage, speak with the administrator or Human Resources personnel, or examine your benefits booklet. If your company offers this coverage, you will be required to file a claim through the group plan.

You may claim Employment Insurance payments even if your employer does not provide short-term disability coverage as part of their group plan. Check out the government of Canada’s website for further information on whether you qualify for EI.

Your coverage amounts, which relate to benefit amount and timeline, are also vital to grasp. If the benefit is taxable, you’ll also want to know when you’ll start getting it and if your plan offers third-party claims management services like the Disability Management Institute (DMI), which most GroupHEALTH plans do.

Understand your Recovery and Treatment Timelines

Work with your doctor to determine your time apart. The length of your short-term disability compensation depends on your insurance coverage, but it is usually up to six months. If your doctor advises you to be off work for more than 6 months, you may be compelled to apply for long-term disability benefits if you have them.

Making a strategy for returning to work might help you understand your timetable. Consult your doctor or treatment team and your employer to ensure a safe and successful return to work. This might involve returning to light tasks or part-time work.


Being unable to work due to a disability can be stressful, and the process of applying for Short-Term Disability Benefits can add a burden to that. Understanding your options, timeline, and needs will make you feel more at peace and properly send you for help.

It can be very difficult to perform office work when you cannot move due to some short-term medical conditions. But you also wouldn’t want to leave a stable job for it.

That is where short-term disability benefits in Alberta can save you from a lot of trouble. You can get benefit amounts without having to show up to work. And once you recover, you can again get back to the office and continue regular office tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does short-term disability pay in Alberta?

You can claim a maximum of $638 per month as a short-term disability benefit in Alberta. This also means that the plan must give you at least 55% of your weekly income, with the maximum amount being $638.

What qualifies as a disability for short-term disability?

Short-term disability, as the name implies, is used to cover accidents or diseases that last for a short period. If you are unable to perform office work for several weeks or months due to medical reasons may be eligible for benefits.

How many weeks is short term disability in Alberta?

Short-term disability benefits cover a period of time when you cannot work. The length of time varies by plan, although it usually ranges from 17 to 52 weeks.

How do I ask for short-term disability?

You must acquire application forms from your employer or the insurer directly to apply for short-term disability. The forms are frequently made available on the benefits provider's website.

What are examples of short-term disability?

Some common examples of short-term disability include pregnancy, surgery rehabilitation, or serious sickness.



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