Hi, I have been on LTD from work for 5 years. My work place has gone through major reshuffling and I think I was lost in their system. I was in regular contact with my direct supervisor. Now they have asked for a prognosis letter from my Dr l, which I know they have a right to do. I am suspecting I will be medically terminated or retired shortly as my diseases are chronic and deteriorating.
What I would like to know from people here is what do I need to do on my part to make sure I a not ‘screwed’ out of any benefits or suffer financially where I do not have to because I did not ask the right questions or fill out the correct forms. Unfortunately my work place HR is not know for getting things correct or for not telling employees things and then you suffer post. I do not want my family to suffer.
Do I take my pension? Does Sunlife cut me off completely? Can I buy back my pensionable years? Can I negotiate how much I pay each month? Do I have to do anything with the federal government? Are they steps I should take to be better prepared?
So if you have been on LTD for the past five years I do not understand what this has to do with your previous employer. I am assuming you were on STD for about four months followed by LTD. After twenty eight months employees are usually terminated. Your medical insurance with your employer is usually terminated at the twenty-eight month mark I believe. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge can clarify this.
It is very individual to the employer. My employer has had an employee on disability for twenty years after a traumatic injury.
Kirsten, is SunLife your LTD insurer? Your LTD will continue whether or not you are an employee until you are no longer disabled or until you reach the maximum length of insurance (age 65 in my case but you will need to check your policy).
I don’t have much advice to help you other than to make sure you get extended health benefits things taken care of now.
Most LTD policies in Canada continue until you are 65 years old, regardless of whether or not you are an employee.
Some employers (union) are REQUIRED to keep employees employed as long as the individual is on LTD. They cannot fire them. My employer is one of those. I will remain an employee until I am 65. This is pretty rare though.
My experience is around the 5 year mark most employers will try and terminate employees on LTD mainly because they want to save on the paperwork and costs of keeping employment active. The only downside to being fired is if you do recover from your disability you have to find a new job.
If you are a federal public service worker then you are in a unique situation and will have options not available to most people. if this is the case, then consult your union for advice. You will have options to do a medical retirement that will be paid in conjunction with your LTD payments. You can keep your medical plan, etc.
If you are NOT in the federal public service LTD Plan, then things can be less rosy. Your medical plan may terminate along with your employment termination. You may have an option to convert it to an individual policy, but that is often not a great option because of the high costs. You have the be VERY cautious of accepting any type of “retirement” because it can trigger your LTD to end.
So, be honest and have your doctor give a reasonable prognosis. However, know that if the prognosis is permanent disability with no possibility of return to work any time soon, then it does set things up for you to be dismissed because of frustration of contract or by an equivalent requirement in a collective agreement.
Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal
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Adam is correct on this, the only other downsides of being fired is you can lose your employee group medical plan coverage, group life insurance coverage and sometimes right to contribute to the workplace pension (but often that right continues if you are approved for LTD).