Financial Resources for Canadians
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Financial Resources for Canadians Dealing with a Serious Illness
Introduction to Financial Resources
There is little doubt that a sudden serious illness is devastating at several levels. Unfortunately, one of these levels is often financial. I cannot emphasize enough the need to seek out and apply for every insurance benefit and every government program you may be entitled to right away.
If you are working, it is important to discuss the impact of your illness on your work with your doctor. If you are finding that your productivity is dropping off, there is the temptation of reducing your hours. However, this may have more long- term financial implications than you think. Please consider:
Will a reduction of hours affect the amount of Employment Insurance (EI) Sick Benefits, that I can collect if I have to leave work all together?
Will a reduction of hours affect my disability benefits if I have to leave work all together?
Do I risk being fired if my productivity decreases and I have kept my illness to myself? (If you are fired with cause, you may not be entitled to EI or Disability benefits).
Do I understand all of the financial implications if I stay at work and try and cope vs. leave work for health reasons?
Before or when you leave work, consider taking the following steps.
Step 1 – Inform yourself
The three major rules are: Read the policy, Read the policy, Read the policy!
Check all of your personal insurance policies and see what benefits you have paid for. Some will be in the fine print. Independent disability insurance
Critical illness insurance
Mortgage health insurance
Check clauses in all your other insurance policies
See what benefits you have at work. These may include:
Extended health plan
Short term disability
Long term disability
Critical Illness insurance
Look for other clauses in the fine print of your insurance plans
Step 2 – If you reduce hours or leave work, empower yourself.
Apply for all of the Federal and Provincial programs for which you may be eligible.
Get out a black pen and get ready for a form filling marathon!
Many Government programs may work in coordination with your personal and work group insurance plans. For example, many employment group disability plans require that you apply for Canadian Pension Plan Disability Benefits (CPP – D). If you do qualify, the amount from CPP – D, may be deducted from your employment group insurance benefit.