Disability Income Insurance

Because your ability to earn a living is your greatest asset.

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Overview - Engineers Canada Disability Income Insurance

Engineers Canada-sponsored Disability Income Replacement Insurance helps to replace a portion of your income if you become ill or injured and can't work. It provides monthly benefit payments, based on a percentage of your monthly earnings, while you are disabled and unable to perform your occupation.
New Enhancement! The maximum monthly benefit payment has been increased from $10,000 to $15,000.

Plan Details

Why might I need it?

Because your ability to earn a living is your greatest asset

You insure your home and your car - your earned income is an asset that should be insured, too.

The reality of disability

Disability strikes working people far more often than death. If a disability lasts at least 90 days, it is likely to last 2.8 years for a 35-year-old, 3.1 years for a 40-year-old.1

Who will take care of the bills?

When you're disabled and unable to work, your income stops but the bills don't.

  • Mortgage or rent
  • Utilities
  • Loan repayments
  • Personal care
  • Transportation
  • Medical/dental
  • Childcare, education
  • Retirement savings
  • Groceries

Potential sources of income. But...

Government benefits
CPP/QPP only pays for severe and prolonged disability. EI only covers employees and only pays a short-term benefit. Workers' Compensation primarily covers work-related injury.
Even a relatively short disability can wipe out years of savings. And if you have to use your RRSP savings to cover your expenses, don't forget you'll have to pay tax on the withdrawals, which will deplete your savings even faster.
Borrowing and/or selling
Do your family and friends have the money to spare? Would a bank lend to you if you were not working? Would you be forced to sell your home? Will you receive fair market value?
  Employee group disability
If you're eligible at work, how much are you covered for? Does your plan provide the level of coverage you need? Will you be covered if you change employers or become self-employed?

What's covered?

This comprehensive disability insurance covers six different types of disabilities:

Type of disability Definition Benefit

1. Total

  • Unable to do the regular duties of your job;
  • Not working in any other occupation; and
  • Under the ongoing care of a physician.

Paid for as long as totally disabled, and may continue for life if disability is due to an accident, or to age 70 if due to an illness.

2. Residual

  • Able to do your regular job in a limited capacity with at least 20% loss of earnings;
  • Or unable to return to your regular job but working in another job with at least 20% loss of earnings; and
  • Must start before age 60.

Pays a percentage of the benefit to age 70 if disability is due to an accident or illness.

3. Partial

  • Unable to do one or more of the important duties of your regular job.
  • Or unable to do them for more than half the time usually required.
  • Or unable to work more than 20 hours a week at another gainful occupation.

Pays 50% of regular benefit for up to six months following a total disability that starts on or after age 60 but before age 70.

4. Presumptive

Even if able to work, will be considered totally disabled if loses the entire use of:

  • both hands
  • both feet
  • one hand and one foot
  • sight in both eyes
  • hearing in both ears, or
  • speech

Pays total disability benefits for illness whether loss was due to an illness or accident.

5. Recurring

If, upon returning to work, becomes total disabled again due to the same illness or accident within six months.

Benefits will resume without having to satisfy another elimination period.

6. Catastrophic loss

  • Satisfies minimum criteria in one of four categories - Self Care, Transfer and Mobility, Cognitive Ability, or Terminal Illness;
  • Under the regular care of a physician; and
  • Not gainfully employed.

Pays 125% of monthly disability benefit if totally disabled because of a catastrophic loss.

Special Benefits

These extra features are included at no extra cost:

  • Compassionate care benefit
    Provides three times your monthly benefit amount in one lump sum if a family member (spouse or child) is injured, or diagnosed with a terminal illness, and has 12 months or less to live.
  • Automatic Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)
    Your monthly benefits will be adjusted according to the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (up to 5%) after 12 consecutive months of disability.
  • Future increase option  
    Once insured, you may be eligible to purchase additional disability insurance (up to 15% of your original coverage) without providing proof of good health.
  • Waiver of premium
    Your coverage continues at no charge to you while receiving monthly benefit payments if your total disability continues for 3 consecutive months (or the elimination period, if longer).
  • Guaranteed re-entry
    After being insured for 2 consecutive years, if you cancel to join an employer group plan, you can rejoin this program later and reinstate your original coverage - without having to provide proof of good health - as long as you reapply within 10 years of cancellation and 90 days of leaving the group plan, and are under age 55.
  • Coverage between jobs
    If you become disabled within 12 months of your last employment, your benefit payments will be calculated using your average monthly earnings during your most recent 12 months of employment.
  • Death benefit
    If you die before age 70 while receiving monthly benefit payments, your beneficiary will receive a lump sum equal to three times your monthly benefit (up to $45,000).
  • Conversion provision
    If the contract between Engineers Canada and Manulife terminates, you may be eligible to convert your coverage to a current Manulife individual guaranteed-renewable disability policy, without providing proof of good health.
Do you have disability coverage at work but think it's not enough? You can top it up by finding the difference between your group plan at work and any benefit room available based on your earned income, then purchase Disability Income Replacement to cover that difference.

What's excluded?

Disability Income Replacement Insurance does not cover:

  • self-inflicted injury, while sane or insane;
  • war or any act of war;
  • active full-time service in the armed forces of any country or international organization, or
  • committing or attempting to commit an assault or criminal offence.

Rates and pricing

Step 1: Determine your earned incomeEarned income means wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, professional fees, net earnings from self-employment and other remuneration received for personal services actually performed during the period for which computation is being made.
This is income earned from your employment or profession, after business expenses but before income taxes. If you have fluctuating income, your average monthly earnings before disability is the greater of:
a)  your average monthly earnings during your last taxation year, or
b)  the average of the previous 24 months

Step 2: Check the maximum benefit amount you can apply for
Use the table below to find your earned income on the left and match it with the maximum monthly benefit available on the right.

Monthly earned income Monthly maximum benefit
$5,000 $3,300
$6,000 $3,900
$7,000 $4,400
$8,000 $4,900
$9,000 $5,200
$10,000 $5,700
$12,000 $6,500
$13,000 $6,800
$15,000 $7,600
$18,000 $8,400
$20,000 $9,000
$21,000 $9,200
$25,000 $10,400
$30,000 $11,300
$35,000 $12,100
$40,000 $13,200
$46,666 and up $15,000

Step 3: Find the rates that apply to you
Use the table below to find rates based on each $100 of monthly benefit amount.

Benefit payments begin following the elimination period you choose when you apply - from 7 days up to 365 days. The longer the elimination period, the lower your premiums.

Monthly premium*
Per $100 of monthly benefit
Age Elimination period**
7 days 14 days 30 days 90 days 119 days 180 days 365 days
Under 30 $2.14 $1.35 $1.06 $0.97 $0.92 $0.84 $0.73
30 to 34 $2.82 $1.97 $1.63 $1.18 $1.12 $1.03 $0.91
35 to 39 $3.20 $2.47 $2.13 $1.74 $1.65 $1.55 $1.38
40 to 44 $3.65 $3.08 $2.73 $2.53 $2.42 $2.25 $2.00
45 to 49 $4.23 $3.67 $3.33 $3.03 $2.91 $2.72 $2.40
50 to 54 $4.98 $4.50 $4.13 $3.42 $3.33 $3.11 $2.73
55 to 69*** $5.34 $4.90 $4.52 $3.64 $3.47 $3.21 $2.75

Who's eligible?

You must be a Canadian resident under age 65. You must also fall under one of the following:

  • Members of the 12 provincial and territorial engineering licensing associations, including members in training. Also, student engineers who are members of a student section (in those associations where a student section exists) and who are within 24 months of expected graduation from a program accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.
  • Members of the 8 participating provincial associations of technicians and technologists.
  • Members of l'Ordre des Geologues du Quebec.
  • Members of Geoscientists Nova Scotia.
  • Members of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario.
  • Members of l'Ordre des architectes du Quebec.
  • Members of the Manitoba Association of Architects.
  • Members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Architects.
  • Members of the Architects' Association of New Brunswick.
  • Members of the Nova Scotia Association of Architects.
  • Members of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.
  • Members of the Reseau des ingenieurs du Quebec.
  • Members of the Architects Association of Prince Edward Island.
  • A full-time employee of Engineers Canada, or of one of Engineers Canada provincial/territorial constituent associations, or of one of the participating organizations, or of Youth Science Foundation Canada.
  • Limited licensees.

No family coverage is offered under the Disability Income Replacement Plan.

What's involved?

You can apply for Engineers Canada insurance coverages a number of ways:
  1. Apply Online using Garrett Agencies online applications
  2. Download an application for completion and submit back to Garrett Agencies
  3. Contact Us and an advisor can assist you with completion of the appropriate applications

In all cases, you will be contacted, and a professional advisor will review your application to ensure proper completion.

After the application:

Once the application has been completed, a medical professional from a third party paramedical service may call you to arrange a home visit at your convenience. The insurance company may also contact your doctor to request medical records.

Throughout this process, Garrett Agencies will be communicating with you to keep you up to date on progress and may request additional information from you.

Once the insurance company has received and reviewed all the information required, they will issue an offer for insurance which you may choose to either accept or decline.

To apply for Disability Income Insurance, please choose one of the following options:

Case Study

Robert is a 45-year-old senior engineering professional. Here is the breakdown of his total annual income of $132,000.






Robert's company-paid group long-term disability plan covers 50% of his salary - but all benefit payments are taxable as income, and the plan does not cover his bonus or commissions (which are a significant portion of his annual income).

When Robert investigates his group disability plan, he also discovers that his policy certificate contains a limited definition of disability. Robert's benefit payments for Total Disability will be discontinued after 12 months if he is able to perform any other occupation.

Robert is also planning to leave his employer within the next two years to begin his own consulting firm, at which time he will automatically lose his group disability plan.

With the Engineers Canada-sponsored Disability Income Replacement Insurance, Robert will have longer and more comprehensive coverage. With a pre-disability income of $132,000, he can apply for up to $6,100 in disability benefits per month.

The table below shows how the Engineers Canada-sponsored plan and Robert's group long-term disability plan could work cohesively to provide adequate benefits should a disability occur. This example assumes that benefit payments under both plans begin after a 90-day elimination period and that under the group disability plan, after the first 12 months, the Total Disability definition changes to an Any Occupation provision.

After a 90-day elimination period, Total Disability monthly benefits payable:

Robert's example Robert's pre-disability income Eligible monthly benefit amount Total Disability coverage ends

Robert has only basic group disability coverage at work

= $7,916 per month

Only 50% of salary = $3,958

(Could be taxable as income;
may not have COLA adjustments)


  • The Any Occupation provision applies, starting 12 months after the disability occurs.
  • Insured is not considered Totally Disabled and would stop receiving benefits after 12 months if he is deemed able to perform any occupation.

Robert has basic group disability coverage through work plus Engineers Canada-sponsored Disability Income Replacement Insurance

$132,000/12 = $11,000 per month


Robert applies for the maximum amount of Engineers Canada-sponsored disability insurance to top up his employer group coverage.

To add to his employer group plan benefit payments, he chooses a 90-day EP and applies for a $3,330* non-taxable benefit.

For additional savings on premium rates and so that the Engineers Canada-sponsored plan benefits will begin after the first 12 months of his employer group coverage, Robert chooses a longer EP of 365 days, for a $6,100 non-taxable benefit with annual COLA adjustments up to 5%.

  • For illness: coverage ends at age 70.
  • For eligible injury: coverage is lifetime.
  • Regular Occupation provision would apply. Insured is considered Totally Disabled and would continue to receive benefits until coverage ends if unable to perform their regular occupation.


When will the disability benefits be paid out?
Disability benefits could be paid after only 7 days or after an elimination period of 365 days. The longer you wait before beginning to receive disability benefits the lower the premium cost will be.

When will the disability benefits end?
Disability benefits could be paid out until age 70, and a disability due to an eligible accident or injury will not terminate at all during the lifetime of the insured.

What is "earned income"?
Earned income means wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, professional fees, net earnings from self-employment and other remuneration received for personal services actually performed during the period for which computation is being made.

I already have disability coverage at work. Why would I need additional coverage?
A recent study reveals that those who understand and know that their employer offers some group long term disability coverage also overestimate the amount of group coverage that they have.* Coverage under a group employer contract usually has more restrictive and limited benefits. Do you really know how much of your earnings your group long-term disability insurance would cover if you became disabled?

How could I fill the gaps in my group disability coverage at work?
If your existing insurance is less than what you're eligible for based on your earnings, you can top it up to get maximum coverage. You can buy coverage equal to the difference between (1) the benefit provided by your current plan and (2) the additional amounts available through this Disability Income Replacement Insurance.

Are disability benefits taxable or non-taxable?
It depends. If your employer currently pays for your coverage under your employee plans, any benefits actually paid to you during a disability leave will be taxable as income (under current tax rules). By paying for your own coverage under this Disability Income Replacement Plan, you can select the additional coverage you want - and any benefits you receive would be tax-free income.

What happens to my disability coverage at work if I become self-employed?
Most employee group disability coverage is not portable; it will end when you are no longer an employee. If you become uninsured in your later years, you may not qualify for individual disability coverage due to your age or deteriorating health. If you purchase coverage under this Disability Income Replacement Plan while you are still employed, you can take this coverage with you if you leave to become self-employed.

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