What are the Disability Benefits in Alberta?

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In Alberta, suppose anyone suffers from a chronic or terminal disease or a long-term disability and struggles to pay their basic daily expenses or medical bills. In that case, they might be able to start on disability benefits from several sources that help people care for themselves and support them financially.

The disability benefits application processes take time for approval. Hence, it’s essential that you apply for disability as early as possible. Several months might go by before you get any payments for disability benefits.

One of the main disability benefit types, AADL, is designed to assist people in Alberta with covering their medical equipment and supply expenses. This is a form of health and financial benefit for Albertans eligible due to a permanent medical condition or disability preventing or obstructing their income and daily life.

Disability Benefits

An eligible candidate might be able to get disability benefits from many sources. Let’s look at some major sources and types of disability benefits in Alberta, Canada:

From the Government

Following are the government offered programs that help supplement any other income sources you might have:

Employment Insurance Benefits (EI)

People who lost their jobs or means of income though they were not at fault, can become eligible for employment insurance payments. In case a person is unable to attend work due to injury, quarantine, or sickness, they can become eligible for EI sickness benefits for up to 15 weeks.

Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)

People who contribute to this plan in their working years can later redeem monthly payments after they are retired and of a certain age. The eligibility criteria for CPP benefits are as follows:

  • You have made contributions to the CPP funds over a specified number of years
  • Your age is less than 65 years
  • You have a record of prolonged and severe physical or mental disability
  • You are limited or unable to work on a regular basis due to your disability

Payment to children of a disabled person is also included in this benefits program. You should apply as early as possible if you think you meet the eligibility criteria for the CPP disability benefits program. You can even ask to have your application reconsidered or reviewed if you were somehow considered ineligible for the CPP benefits.

Additionally, your CPP disability benefits will automatically be switched to regular CPP payments. Note that the regular CPP payments are less compared to the CPP disability benefits. You can also consider applying for an Old Age Security Pension or Guaranteed Income Supplement.

CPP Children’s Benefits (Dependents Under 25 Years of Age)

This is a monthly benefit payment for dependent children born of a recipient for CPP disability benefits or a deceased person who contributed to their CPP funds.

Veteran Disability Benefits

If you have served in the Canadian Merchant Navy or Armed Forces, you can be eligible for this disability benefits program. The payments may be lump-sum in some cases. You can consult with your financial advisor to help you manage the money. The financial advisor’s expenses might also be covered by the benefits program. Of course, you need to prove eligibility for that too.

Territorial and Provincial Disability Benefits

There are many territories and provinces that provide programs and benefits for people living with a disability. Following are some examples:

Social Assistance

Following are the providers of payments for social assistance:

  • Your first nation
  • The municipal government
  • The province or territory

The recipient’s investments, savings, and household income would all be considered to determine these payments.

Health Benefits

Many provinces and territories also provided health-related benefits to the eligible candidates. These benefits usually cover the following expenses:

  • Medications
  • Medical aids or devices
  • Dental services

Workers’ Compensation

In case you are a victim of a work accident or have been suffering from an illness caused by the nature of your work, the Workers’ Compensation Board might be providing compensations for you if you are proven to be eligible.

However, these payments may affect and adjust the Employment Insurance (EI) benefits if simultaneously available.

Employer Benefits

Your employer might be sponsoring some benefits apart from the others described so far. Following are some benefits you might get from your employer:

Healthcare Benefits

Many employers provide healthcare plans that partially or fully cover some medical expenses, including physiotherapy, prescription drugs, and minor procedures.

Disability Benefits from Employers

These types of benefits and plans are becoming more common nowadays. Some employers pay for disability insurance. These insurances and benefits cover a part of the salary if the employee is unable to work due to any injury or sickness. Such benefits should usually be discussed and agreed upon at the beginning of employment.

Employer-Sponsored Pension

You can get employer-sponsored disability benefits or pension payments if you pay into the pension plan. These plans might also allow you to take early retirement if you are unable to work due to disability or illness. However, early retirements cause reductions in the pension payment amounts.

Insurance Benefits

Following are some of the benefits your insurance might provide:

Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work due to an unexpected accident or illness, you might be benefitted significantly from disability insurance. Disability insurances typically provide payments replacing a portion of your regular income if the following apply:

  • If you’re temporarily unable to work due to illness or injury
  • If you become permanently disabled due to any illness or injury

Note that insurance benefits are only paid for a specific time period. Your employer might provide disability insurance payments so that you can pay for the insurance policy yourself. Make sure you clearly understand the insurance policy if you bought one yourself.

Offsetting Benefits

If you’re getting income from other benefits, some insurance companies might reduce the disability benefit payment amounts. This is referred to as offsetting benefits. In other words, if someone has multiple insurance policies for disability, they will end up getting the same total amount paid in disability benefits.

Disability Benefits and Taxes

Some of the disability benefits are considered taxable income. You might have to pay income tax after you get payments from such a benefit plan. It’s important that you save enough to be able to pay for taxes at the end of the year.

Benefits from the Canadian Government and Taxes

Any payments from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit and Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are considered taxable income. You have the option to have the federal income tax deducted from your monthly CPP or EI disability treatment.

Insurance Disability Benefits and Taxes

If your disability insurance policy premiums were partially or fully paid by your employer, you would be required to pay income tax on any benefits payment you get. On the other hand, if you pay the premiums yourself, you won’t be required to pay any income tax on the benefits.

Read More: Are Legal Settlements Taxable in Canada


Disability benefits are very helpful when it comes to a situation where someone cannot work for any unfortunate and unexpected reason. However, it’s important to know which benefits you are eligible for and how you can make the best use of them. You should also look into any associated responsibilities or formalities. Hopefully, all the information described above has been able to clarify disability benefits significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much do you get for disability in Alberta?

For the CPP benefits plan, the average monthly payments are $1031.55, with the maximum at $1457.45. The post-retirement payments are considerably adjusted, however with the average at $524.64.

How do you qualify for disability in Alberta?

If an Albertan has a psychological or physical impairment and is limited from regular daily activities or working, they can apply and qualify for disability benefits.

What conditions qualify for disability in Canada?

Any physical or psychological conditions obstructing or limiting any Canadian resident’s daily activities or ability to work is considered a disability, and the affected person can apply for disability benefits.

Is disability getting extra money?

In contrast to this popular misconception, disability benefits are not, in fact, extra money. Disability benefit payments are there to partially recover the affected person’s regular income so that they can support themselves and their dependents even if they’re unable to work to earn.



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