Manns B, McKenzie SQ, Au F, Gignac PM, Geller LI, for the Canadians Seeking Solutions and Innovations to Overcome Chronic Kidney Disease (Can-SOLVE CKD) Network. Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease. 2017;4:2054358117703986. doi:10.1177/2054358117703986.

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Many working-age individuals with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) are unable to work, or are only able to work at a reduced capacity and/or with a reduction in time at work, and receive disability payments, either from the Canadian government or from private insurers, but the magnitude of those payments is unknown.


The objective of this study was to estimate Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit and private disability insurance benefits paid to Canadians with advanced kidney failure, and how feasible improvements in prevention, identification, and early treatment of CKD and increased use of kidney transplantation might mitigate those costs.


This study used an analytical model combining Canadian data from various sources.

Setting and Patients:

This study included all patients with advanced CKD in Canada, including those with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <30 mL/min/m2 and those on dialysis.


We combined disability estimates from a provincial kidney care program with the prevalence of advanced CKD and estimated disability payments from the Canada Pension Plan and private insurance plans to estimate overall disability benefit payments for Canadians with advanced CKD.


We estimate that Canadians with advanced kidney failure are receiving disability benefit payments of at least Can$217 million annually. These estimates are sensitive to the proportion of individuals with advanced kidney disease who are unable to work, and plausible variation in this estimate could mean patients with advanced kidney disease are receiving up to Can$260 million per year. Feasible strategies to reduce the proportion of individuals with advanced kidney disease, either through prevention, delay or reduction in severity, or increasing the rate of transplantation, could result in reductions in the cost of Canada Pension Plan and private disability insurance payments by Can$13.8 million per year within 5 years.


This study does not estimate how CKD prevention or increasing the rate of kidney transplantation might influence health care cost savings more broadly, and does not include the cost to provincial governments for programs that provide income for individuals without private insurance and who do not qualify for Canada Pension Plan disability payments.


Private disability insurance providers and federal government programs incur high costs related to individuals with advanced kidney failure, highlighting the significance of kidney disease not only to patients, and their families, but also to these other important stakeholders. Improvements in care of individuals with kidney disease could reduce these costs.