Alberta long-term disability laws to know

Know more about the different long-term disability benefits in Alberta, their eligibilities, and how to claim such benefits
Alberta long-term disability laws to know

If you’re injured at work and are employed in Alberta, you may be eligible for Alberta’s long-term disability benefits. This will help you recover, support you financially while you’re not working, and help you return to work safely.

What is Alberta’s long-term disability benefits?

Generally, disability benefits will replace a certain portion of your salary or net wage. It will also provide you a certain amount in monthly support after becoming temporarily or permanently disabled.

These benefits are provided through a private insurance company or federal or provincial programs on disability and benefits. Premiums from employers and/or employees will have to be paid for these plans or programs.

Each program outlines conditions such as who qualifies, what illnesses or injuries are covered, and what the process involves.

Alberta’s long-term disability programs

Employees and their employers – including self-employed persons – may look at the different disability programs that are offered throughout Alberta, such as:

  1. Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits
  2. Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta (WCB Alberta)
  3. Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
  4. Private insurance providers or companies

Employers should know that some of these programs are mandatory. This means that premiums will have to be paid, provided that their employees are eligible under that particular program.

While a person may be eligible under various programs or disability benefit sources in Alberta, the overlapping of these benefits may affect the amount that a person may receive. In this case, it’s best to consult with a long-term disability lawyer in Alberta.

1. CPP disability benefits

CPP offers various benefits such as retirement pension, old age pension, and survivor's pension. These benefits are administered by the federal government through the Canada Revenue Agency and Employment and Social Development Canada.

CPP’s disability benefits may be divided into two, and each has its own qualifications:

  • CPP disability benefit
  • CPP post-retirement disability benefit

Payment of premiums to CPP is mandatory for all workers above 18 years old. These payments are equally shared by both employers and employees.

2. Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta

Worker’s compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer from a work injury or disability, such as:

  • wage replacement benefits
  • medical benefits
  • return-to-work support

These benefits are administered by the Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta (WCB Alberta) as empowered by Workers’ Compensation Act.

Premiums based on the pricing formula of WCB Alberta will have to be paid by employers for the benefit of their employees. These payments are also mandatory for most industries. Certain exempt industries can go for voluntary coverage.

WCB Alberta operates a no-fault insurance system. This means that employees and employers are protected from any potential lawsuit arising out of the workplace injury that resulted in an employee’s disability.

Alberta’s long-term disability benefits under the WCB Alberta also include severe injury support. Watch this video to learn more:

To know more about these benefits, contact any long-term disability lawyer in Alberta as ranked by Lexpert.

3. Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)

The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) is a provincial program in Alberta for persons with a permanent medical condition that prevents them from working.

AISH provides financial, personal, and health benefits. These are administered by the Department of Human Services.

Unlike the above-mentioned disability benefits, AISH states that the handicapped person’s income and assets must not exceed a certain limit.

The handicapped person is also required to apply with the CPP disability benefits, WCB Alberta, and employment insurance before they can apply for AISH.

4. Private insurance providers or companies

As part of company benefits, employment insurance benefits may also be provided by employers. This may be considered as a voluntary submission where employers (or company unions) connect employees to private insurance companies.

These private insurers are governed by the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance, under Alberta’s Insurance Act.

What qualifies you for disability in Alberta?

Under the different plans or programs that offer Alberta’s long-term disability benefits, some of the common qualifications are:

  • must be 18 years old and above
  • must have contributed enough according to its prescribed length of time and amount

Each plan or program will outline what disabilities are qualified i.e., if your disability should result from an injury, accident, or sickness, or if it must be work-related or not.

CPP (common eligibilities):

  • must have contributed to CPP in 4 of the last 6 years, must have contributed for at least 25 years (including 3 of the last 6 years), or qualifies under the late applicant provision
  • must have a mental or physical disability that prevents a person from doing any work
  • disability is long-term in character, has indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death

for CPP disability benefits:

  • must be below 65 years old
  • must not be receiving CPP retirement pension

for CPP post-retirement disability benefits:

  • must be above 65 years old
  • must have been receiving CPP retirement pension for more than 15 months or became disabled after they started receiving retirement pension

WCB Alberta:

Any enrolled worker who suffers personal injury by an accident or occupational illness which was caused by, or made worse by, work


  • must be 18 years old
  • must not be eligible to receive an Old Age Security pension
  • must have a permanent medical condition limiting a person’s ability to earn a living
  • must not have income or assets that are higher than what the AISH program allows under its financial criteria

How much does Alberta’s long-term disability benefits pay?

Payments under Alberta’s long-term disability programs will usually depend on how much you or your employer have contributed.

For instance, payments from CPP disability benefits would be C$558.74, in addition to the amount you’ve contributed to the CPP.

The maximum amount for CPP disability benefits would be C$1,538.67 as of 2023.

As to wage replacement under WCB Alberta, it will be 90% of your net earnings, up to the maximum amount set by WCB Alberta for that year.

How do I claim under Alberta’s long-term disability benefits?

First, you will have to report any work-related or workplace accident or incident to your employer. Medical treatment must be given to you and to anyone who was injured.

Afterwards, you and your employer will have to process your claim according to your insurance provider. For example, a claims process for WCB Alberta would be as follows:

  • Employer reports to WCB Alberta within 72 hours
  • Employee’s medical doctor reports to WCB Alberta within 48 hours
  • Employee submits a report of injury online or through any WCB Alberta office

Read more: Can you collect LTD benefits and other benefits at the same time?

Want to know more about Alberta’s long-term disability benefits? Contact any of the Lexpert-Ranked long-term disability lawyers in Alberta.