COLUMN: Supports available to individuals, families after injury or death

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Following an injury, an individual often finds themselves in a difficult financial situation because they are unable to return to work. This article will cover some of the income replacement options available for injured workers in Ontario and how to apply for them.

Sometimes you may have to appeal an unfavourable decision before you are successful. While this may be disheartening, it is important to be persistent and know that there is help available.

You may be eligible for assistance with your appeal from offices such as the Chatham-Kent Legal Clinic, or another legal clinic in your local community (if outside Chatham) for free, or by hiring legal help.

EI top ups

EI sickness benefits provide financial assistance if you are unable to work for medical reasons. A medical certificate is required to prove your inability to work and the approximate length of disability. Medical reasons include illness, injury, quarantine, or other medical condition that prevents you from working.

Some employers provide additional money to employees on sick leave. This is called a top-up or “SUB”. Check with your employer to find out if they offer a top-up.

EI sick benefits offer 55 per cent of your earnings up to a maximum of $650 a week. The number of weeks of benefits you receive depends on the date your claim began. It’s up to 15 weeks for anything before Dec. 18, 2022, and up to 26 weeks after.

Apply as soon as possible after you stop working. If you apply more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.

You can apply online by visiting the Service Canada website or clicking here.

You can also receive paper forms by calling Service Canada’s toll-free number 1-800-206-7218.


The CPP-D disability benefit is a monthly payment if you are under 65 years of age, have contributed enough to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work, and have a disability that is long-term and of indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death. Eligibility is based on contributions, not financial need.

CPP Disability offers:

  • Basic monthly amount of $558.74 + more based on how much you contributed to CPP.
  • Typically, the average monthly payment is $1,132.55 and the maximum is $1,538.67.
  • Additional $281.72 monthly payment for each dependent child under the age of 18 (or 25 and if attending school full time).
  • If you had lower earnings because you were the primary caregiver of a dependent child, make sure to indicate that in your application to take advantage of the child-rearing provision.
  • There are also separate CPP benefits for spouses and children of deceased individuals.

Apply by filling out the correct form (Form ISP-1151 if you have a non-terminal illness or Form ISP-2530A if you have a terminal illness).

You can apply online by clicking here or by calling the toll-free number 1-800-277-9914.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

To be eligible for ODSP, you must be at least 18 years of age, be an Ontario resident, have limited assets, be in financial need, and meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability or member of a prescribed class.

ODSP offers:

  • Up to approximately $1,228 a month if you are single, and may be adjusted based on your situation.
  • Money to help you and your eligible family members with living expenses, including food, and rent.
  • Health benefits, including prescription drugs and vision care.
  • Employment supports to help you find and keep a job or advance your career.
  • Transportation to medical appointments.

Apply online here or by contacting your local ODSP office (find the office closest to you clicking here).

Chatham ODSP office:

1023 Richmond St. W. PO 685, Chatham, N7M 5K8
Phone: (519) 352-5040 | 1-800-265-2705

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

If you were injured at work, or a survivor of someone who died as a result of a workplace injury or illness, you may qualify for WSIB benefits. For more information read the following Chatham Voice article on injured workers and the WSIB.

WSIB offers:

  • Lost wages, up to 85 per cent of your net earnings.
  • Health care coverage for treatment by doctors, prescription medication and assistive devices.
  • Lump-sum payment for any permanent effect of the workplace injury.
  • Re-employment and retraining.
  • Retirement benefits.
  • Survivor benefits.

Apply online by submitting your WSIB Form 6 through the online portal here or by fax 1-888-313-7373 or by mail:

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

200 Front Street West

Toronto, ON

M5V 3J1


Make sure to submit your claim within six months of the injury.

Short-term and long-term disability (private insurance)

You may have health benefits through a private insurance company paid for by your employer. It is important to check whether you have coverage for short-term or long-term disability. If you do, typical coverage includes income replacement for a period if you are unable to return to work. Depending on the circumstances, it may even provide coverage if you were let go from your job.

Union agreement or contractual paid sick leave

Your union or employment agreement may include paid sick days. Sometimes these agreements allow you to carry over your paid sick days to the next year. Contact your local union representative to find out if you have this benefit, or, if you are non-unionized, contact your human resources office.

Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD) Program

This program provides financial support for eligible families to cover some of the extra costs of caring for a child who has a severe disability. If you are a parent or a guardian of a child who is under 18 years of age (17 and under), lives at home and who has a severe disability, you may be eligible to receive funding from the ACSD program. Your eligibility and the amount of assistance you receive is based on a combination of factors such as income eligibility, size of family, severity of child’s disability, and extraordinary costs related to your child’s disability.

ACSD offers:

  • Eligible parents and guardians between $25 and $580 a month to help with disability-related costs such as
    • travel to doctors’ appointments, hospitals and other appointments related to the child’s disability;
    • special shoes and clothes;
    • parental relief such as respite; and
    • costs related to assistive devices, batteries and repairs for mobility devices, prescription drugs through OHIP+, dental care through Healthy Smiles Ontario program, and hearing aids and vision care, including eyeglasses.

Apply online by clicking here or by calling and submitting the forms to your local ministry office here.

The toll-free number for the Chatham-Kent ministry office is 1-800-419-4919.

Trillium Drug Program (TDP)

The Trillium Drug Program (TDP) is intended to help Ontario residents who have high prescription drug costs.

You can apply for this program by visiting your local pharmacy, online, or by calling the toll-free number 1-866-532-3161.

You can also submit the forms by fax to 416-642-3034 or by email to

Equipment and supplies

The Assistive Devices Program (ADP) provides financial assistance to pay for equipment and supplies such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, respiratory supplies, prosthetics, and much more. You may need your health-care provider to confirm your medical eligibility. ADP is available to all Ontario residents with a valid health card who need the equipment or supplies for six months or longer, regardless of their income or assets.

Find the application form online or by calling Toll-free: 1-800-268-6021. Scan and email the form to

Other government benefits and programs

There are other programs available, beyond the ones listed above. It is worth learning about other supports by filling out the Ontario government’s questionnaire here and pressing the “Get Started” button.

The content in this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind.

  • Ilija Dimeski is an employment and human rights lawyer. Do you have a workplace issue or question about your rights at work? Write to us. Click hereto begin.


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