Disability benefits in Canada
October 1, 2012 9:08 PM Subscribe
In Canada, what kind of (government) disability benefits can a separated, self employed person qualify for and how?
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The individual in question has been separated from an abusive partner for a couple of years. She is the parent of two young children, both who have health issues. She also has long-term health issues that are sometimes debilitating. In spite of all this, she has soldiered on with her business. However, this year, her earnings have dropped to below $10,000 -- they have plummeted and that's before she even takes out expenses, let alone stuff like childcare. She keeps thinking that her health will turn around, but it seems to be one thing after another.
She receives both child support and spousal support from her former partner. From what she can tell, she couldn't get provincial disability benefits, because her child support and spousal support would be too high.
The spousal support was calculated based on her earnings a few years ago. She knows she needs to go back to a lawyer and also discuss spousal support with her ex. However, she has asked what her options are for disability from the government.
She's not currently opted into EI through her business, but wonders if it would make sense to do so for this year (although her income is incredibly low and there's probably a one-yer waiting period anyway).
Also, she wonders if she would have to give up her business to get disability. This is frustrating, as she sometimes is very healthy for days, weeks or months. Sometimes, she can still do a small amount of work. And she's hopeful that she can turn things around. Normally, she earns far more than $10k a year and suspects that there is no sort of government disability that would be worth giving up her business for. A friend suggested she could incorporate and keep the earnings in the business and collect disability that way.
To be clear, she is not trying to scam the system. She is just someone dealing with long-term health issues and a lack of benefits (she has had one of her major illnesses since teen years and can't get typical disability through self coverage). She knows she can't get welfare, since she has assets. She just doesn't want to find out that there were options she didn't know about. It would be emotionally devastating to walk away from a business that, in many ways, is very successful, given all the health issues she has worked through.
Thanks for your time. I'll be posting in the thread for her.