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If you’re facing a temporary health issue in Ontario, knowing how to navigate the short-term disability benefits landscape is crucial.

This blog will help you understand the qualifications for short-term disability benefits, the process, and what’s needed to access the support required during a temporary setback in your health. 


How To Be Eligible for Short-Term Disability 

Your Job Counts: Your connection to the workforce matters. Typically, your eligibility is connected to your job, either via your employer’s group insurance plan or through a private policy you may have. Check your benefits package to see where you stand. 

Health Matters: At the heart of eligibility is a medical condition that keeps you from your work duties. This could range from illness and surgery recovery to injuries that impact your job performance. 

The Waiting Game: Often, there’s a waiting period before your benefits start. This could mean a week or so off work before you can access your benefits. It’s all in the fine print of your policy. 

Doctor’s Note: Solid medical documentation is non-negotiable. You’ll need a detailed report from your healthcare provider outlining your condition, treatment, recovery outlook, and why you can’t work. 

Give Notice: Keeping your employer in the loop is key. Inform them promptly about your condition and how long you expect to be away. This kicks off the claim process. 


Navigating Your Claim 

Get Your Papers in Order: Stay in touch with and follow the advice of your doctor to treat and document your condition. 

Know Your Coverage: Understand the ins and outs of your short-term disability plan, like how much you’ll get paid and for how long. 

 Dot the i’s and Cross the t’s: Fill out all claim forms with care and attach your medical documentation.  

Submit Your Claim: Hand in your forms and documents to the right place, on time. Keep copies for yourself. 


Qualifying for short-term disability in Ontario means ticking all the boxes related to your job, your health, and your policy details. By understanding these requirements and taking the right steps, you’ll be positioned to manage the process smoothly and secure the support you need while you get back on your feet. And remember, if you hit a bump in the road, professional advice is always a smart move to ensure everything goes as planned. 


This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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