Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are funds provided from public or private sources to a person who is ill or who has a disability.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom disability benefits are covered by Department for Work and Pensions, and include:

United States

In the United States, disability benefits for most Americans are covered and paid for by the Social Security Administration (a government agency). There are two main programs administered by the SSA; Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. There is also a specific program for children with disabilities.

Social Security Disability Insurance provides benefits to individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes. Insurance eligibility is dependent upon Quarters of Coverage (QCs), commonly called "work credits". These are allotted based on the earnings for each quarter the individual has worked.[1] Work credits ensure coverage until they "expire" on the individual's Date Last Insured (DLI). Medical evidence must prove that the onset of disability was before their DLI to receive benefits.[2] SSDI recipients become eligible for Medicare after two years of SSDI eligibility.[3]

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides benefits to low-income individuals who are disabled and unable to work, regardless of whether they have worked in the past. Individuals must meet income and resource requirements.[4] SSI also provides benefits to children under 18 years old, who are disabled and whose parents or guardians have limited income.[5] The monthly SSI payment is calculated based upon the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), and the individual's income.[6] Most SSI recipients are immediately eligible for Medicaid[7] and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),[8] though program requirements vary by state.

Some individuals are eligible for both SSI and SSDI.[9]


In Canada, there are a variety of public Disability Benefit Programs. The largest programs are the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits, and provincial workers' compensation and social assistance programs. Some individuals, in addition, have private disability insurance coverage, purchased either individually, or through an employer.[10] Different programs use different rules to decide whether or not someone is eligible for benefits.[11]

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) / Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) Disability Benefits

To access Canada Pension Plan or the Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits, an individual needs to have a disability that is "severe and prolonged", and which prevents them from working on a regular basis. As of 2018, CPP disability benefits are a minimum of $485.20 a month. Individuals who have contributed more to CPP or QPP during their working career receive higher benefits. The average monthly CPP disability benefit was $971.23 in 2018 and the maximum monthly amount was $1,335.83.[12]

People receiving CPP disability benefits may earn up to $5,500 a year without losing their benefits.[13] Benefits stop when an individual has the ability to work regularly, or is no longer disabled. When an the individual reaches the age of 65, CPP Disability Benefits are replaced by a Retirement Pension.

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit (EI Insurance)

Employment Insurance is a benefit plan that offers temporary financial assistance to those individuals who cannot work due to sickness, injury, or quarantine. [14]

To be eligible to receive EI sickness benefits:

  • The individual's earnings have been reduced by at least 40%
  • He/She is employed in insurable employment
  • A minimum of 600 hours has been accumulated in the qualifying period [15]

People are only eligible for these benefits if they are unable to work due to their sickness, injury, or quarantine, but would be able to work otherwise. To receive EI sickness benefit a medical certificate signed by the doctor is required.[16]

To qualify for EI you must have a required amount of insurable employment hours, which are used to calculate your benefit period, these insurable employment hours must be accumulated throughout the qualifying period.

The qualifying period:

  • 52 week period before the EI claim date
  • Start date of previous EI benefit period to the start of the new date [17]

It is important to note that each individual's case is different and requirements may vary from case to case. But a general way of calculating EI benefits is 55% of the average insurable weekly earnings. The maximum amount you can be eligible for as of January 1 2018 is $51,700. Typically EI sickness benefits can only be paid for up to 15 weeks, but can vary depending on how long the individual is unable to work.

Weekly EI sick benefits are calculated based on income before its been deducted during the individuals "best weeks". Best weeks are the weeks in which the individual earned the most amount of amount, including any tips and commissions, the best weeks are chosen out of the qualifying period.

In Canada areas with high rates of unemployment will use the best 14 weeks, and in areas with low unemployment rates will use the best 22 weeks.

The weekly amount is calculated:

  • Calculating total earnings amount from the accumulated best weeks
  • Based on the region the individual is in the number of best weeks to use will be decided
  • Divide the total earnings by the number of best weeks
  • The result is multiplied by 55% to get the weekly benefit [18]

If you are considered a low income family you may be eligible to receive the EI Family Supplement. An individual can be considered to be a part of this category if the yearly family net income is $25, 921 or less, has children, and if the individual or their spouse receives Canada child tax benefit. If both the individual and their spouse claims EI sickness benefits only one of them can be eligible for the family supplement. [19]

For more information on Benefits and eligibility, please visit the Government of Canada website.


  1. ^ "Quarter of Coverage". Social Security Administration. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Program Operations Manual System (POMS): DI 25501.320 - Date Last Insured (DLI) and the Established Onset Date (EOD)". Social Security Administration. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Original Medicare (Part A and B) Eligibility and Enrollment". Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 3 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)-- SSI Eligibility". Social Security Administration.
  5. ^ "Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)-- SSI for Children". Social Security Administration. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)-- SSI Income". Social Security Administration. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability & Medicaid coverage". HealthCare.gov.
  8. ^ "SNAP Special Rules for the Elderly or Disabled". Food and Nutrition Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "The Red Book - Overview of Our Disability Programs". Social Security Administration. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Canada, Financial Consumer Agency of. "Disability benefits - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Canada, Financial Consumer Agency of. "Disability benefits - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Canada, Employment and Social Development. "Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit - How much could you receive - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  13. ^ https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-disability-benefit/while-receiving.html. Retrieved 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Canada, Service. "EI Sickness Benefit - Overview - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Canada, Service. "EI Sickness Benefit - Eligibility - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Canada, Employment and Social Development. "EI Sickness Benefit - Eligibility - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  17. ^ Canada, Employment and Social Development. "EI Sickness Benefit - Eligibility - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Canada, Employment and Social Development. "EI Sickness Benefit - How much could you receive - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .
  19. ^ Canada, Employment and Social Development. "EI Sickness Benefit - How much could you receive - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Retrieved .

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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