Dealing with a disability can be emotionally and physically taxing. Beyond the direct medical implications, there’s a shadow often cast on the individual’s financial health. While the emotional and health-related challenges are immediately apparent, understanding the financial implications can be a daunting task in itself. This article delves into the financial burdens borne by those with disabilities and illuminates the rights and legal avenues available to alleviate some of these pressures.


  1. The Real Cost of Disability

Disabilities can come with significant costs, both direct and indirect:

  • Medical Expenses: These might include medications and therapy sessions which are typically not covered by provincial health systems and often have limited coverage under group insurance plans 
  • Assistive Devices and Home Modifications: Wheelchairs, hearing aids, home renovations for accessibility—such adaptations can be very costly.
  • Loss of Income: Many individuals with disabilities might find it challenging to work, leading to decreased or lost income altogether.
  • Increased Day-to-Day Expenses: Additional help, such as caregivers or daily assistance, can also add to the financial burden.
  1. Understanding Disability Benefits and Compensation Rights

When your long term disability claim has been denied, it is important to note that in Canada, various programs can provide financial support to individuals with disabilities:

  • CPPDs: Most people equate CPP with retirement, however programs like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit offer financial assistance to those who have made sufficient contributions to the CPP and have a severe and prolonged impairment that prevents them from working in any occupation. 
  • ODSP: Programs like the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) offers financial support to Ontarians over 18 who require assistance with living expenses due to disability. Financial support may be available for food, rent, prescription medication and vision care. It is a means-tested and government funded program.  
  • Legal Compensation: If the disability was caused due to someone else’s negligence (e.g., in a car accident), the individual might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
  • WSIB: If a worker suffers an injury on the job or develops an illness that is workplace related, there may be an ability to pursue compensation if their employer is a WSIB covered employer 
  • Disability Tax Credit: The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a tax credit that helps individuals with disabilities or those families supporting an individual with disabilities to reduce the amount of income tax they have to pay and to offset certain costs associated with their disabilities.  
  1. Seeking Legal Assistance  in Disability Matters

Legal counsel can play a pivotal role in navigating the financial implications of a disability:

  • Claim Assistance: Lawyers can guide individuals through the intricate process of filing for disability benefits or compensation claims, ensuring all documents are appropriately presented and increasing the likelihood of initial approval
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies might be reticent to provide the full benefits or might contest a claim. An experienced lawyer can negotiate on the client’s behalf.
  1. Financial Planning for the Future

A proactive approach is critical when facing the financial implications of a disability:

  • Budgeting: Adapting to a new financial situation might require a reassessment of one’s budget, prioritizing essential expenses.
  • Exploring Additional Avenues: It’s worthwhile to research additional governmental or non-profit programs that offer financial support or resources to those with disabilities.
  • Consider Long-Term Costs: Disabilities can lead to long-term or evolving expenses. Planning for these can mitigate future financial stress.


A disability’s financial implications are multifaceted, encompassing both immediate and long-term expenses. Knowledge is empowerment, and understanding one’s rights, the available legal avenues, and planning for the future can significantly lessen the financial strain. Many individuals feel that they are forced to return to work even though they may be struggling with their physical and mental health. With the right resources and support, individuals can navigate these challenges and ensure they receive the compensation and benefits they rightly deserve.

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