Long-Term Disability (Support Staff)
The Long Term Disability Plan (LTD) provides you with income in the event that you become totally disabled due to illness or injury.
The Long-term Disability Plan provides for 70% of the employee’s pre-disability gross salary and has an elimination period of 26 weeks.
Understanding Your Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits - Frequently Asked Questions
I need to apply for Long Term Disability - what happens next?
You will receive an application package for Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits from Organizational Health and Effectiveness. Please note that your 26 week elimination period (waiting period) and General Illness Leave Benefits may not end at the same time.
What if my LTD elimination period and General Illness leave end at different times?
There may be other options available to you such as using accrued vacation time or requesting a leave with or without pay. Both options must be agreed to by both Organizational Health and Effectiveness and your department. Please contact your HSC (Health Support Consultant) or LTD Administrator to discuss what option may be right for you.
What forms are in the application package and who needs to complete them?
There will be a form that you must complete and another that your doctor(s) must complete. If you are being seen by more than one doctor, give each of them a copy of the physician’s form. Ensuring that these forms are completed and any payment for the completion of these forms is your responsibility.
How will I know when the decision has been made for LTD?
When a decision has been reached, you will receive a telephone call from the Disability Claims Administrator in Organizational Health and Effectiveness. A summary of the decision will also be sent to you in a letter. If your claim is approved, the letter will also indicate the effective date and benefit amount.
What if my application for LTD has been declined?
If your LTD application is declined, the reason for that decision will be provided. Following that, you may appeal the decision in writing within 30 days of the decision. Any additional medical information you would like considered must be submitted within 90 days of the initial claim decision.
If my claim is approved, how much will I be paid on LTD?
You will receive 70% of your pre-disability income, based on your regular monthly salary on the last day of your elimination period (waiting period). The benefit also pays your portion of the Support Staff Pension Plan contribution.
Will my pension be affected?
Your pensionable service will continue to accrue while you are receiving LTD.
What if I have other income?
Depending on the source of the income, there may be an offset applied against your LTD benefit, such as the case with CPP disability benefits. This means your disability benefit may be fully or partially reduced by the amount of your additional income. You must declare all income/benefits.
What about my other benefits? Does anything change while I am receiving LTD?
While receiving LTD all of your benefits will continue. NASA dues are waived. You will not accrue vacation unless you return to rehabilitative employment.
Can I leave the country or take a vacation?
You must contact your HSC for approval prior to leaving. Your health care professional will need to indicate in writing that your treatment plan will not be affected and that it is safe for you to travel.
Will I need to provide additional medical information in the future?
Updated medical information will be required on a regular on-going basis to assess your continued eligibility for LTD. Medical updates will also provide opportunities to identify other services your HSC can facilitate to assist you.
Do I have to participate in recommended medical treatment?
Yes. The expectation is that while you are receiving LTD you will participate fully with treatment recommendations made by health care professionals.
Will I still be able to work with a Health Support Consultant through my recovery process?
Yes. During your recovery you will continue to work with an HSC. You and your HSC will work together to develop and implement a personal action plan and return to work plans. The HSC will also communicate with your health care professional to facilitate any medical recommendations.
What is a personal action plan?
A personal action plan is developed by you and your HSC to assist you in organizing your needs and goals and to support you in your recovery. The plan will identify your priorities and help you focus on goals. In discussion with your HSC, the plan will also outline the resources and programs to help you accomplish your goals and priorities. The plan may involve return to work planning and treatment implementation. The plan is there to maximize your abilities, based on medically supported goals and timelines to assist you both at work and in your personal life. Personal action plans are reviewed on a regular basis and may be adjusted as needed.
Can I be retrained to do something else?
The initial goal is to return you to your own occupation. However, if you are not able to return to your previous job due to permanent medical restrictions, your HSC will work with you and your department to discuss what other options may be available within your department that meet your medical restrictions. Retraining may be considered if all other options have been exhausted.
Will volunteer activities affect my LTD?
No. However, please discuss these activities with your HSC. You are encouraged to maintain activities that will enhance your well-being and recovery, but it is important that volunteer activities do not interfere with your recovery.
What about personal and family commitments and activities?
Your HSC will encourage you to be active and will support you in staying active as part of your recovery plan. Social support is an important part of personal well-being and you are encouraged to maintain your regular routine as much as possible, without impacting your recovery.
What if I can only do part of my job?
Together with your doctor’s recommendations you, your HSC and your supervisor will create a rehabilitative plan which may be part of your personal action plan. Please refer to the rehabilitative employment FAQs for further details.
If I can’t return to work, what about improving my quality of life?
There are various resources available to assist you in gaining control over your quality of life. These resources include a holistic approach, which can assist in establishing your daily routine, improve your overall well-being, facilitate any required aids to daily living, increase social supports, etc.