Moving out of province on LTD

Hello ,
I live in Ontario , currently on LTD past 2 year mark. I read some post about this subject but still not sure , so I will ask in my own words.
I would like to move to another province as life is very expensive here. I also know that my old position was deleted although the employer did not terminate me and would take me back.
Will my move affect the LTD benefits ? I would keep seeing my specialist here until I find a new one .
I do not know what my plan has to say about it, the only copy I received from HR is very simplified and at this point I would rather not ask the insurer or employer for a full policy booklet as not to provoke any questions of interest in my file. Could anyone share experience or have some advice? Maybe anyone knows what are standard requirements with Manulife?
Thank you.

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I think you can move as long as you can still get good medical care.

This is a question for anyone else.
If a person moves out of commuting distance to the employer, is there an increased chance of being fired?

I am with GWL and my policy clearly indicates that whenever I want to leave the Edmonton area I must advise my employer and GWL. I always advise them whenever I am out of the Edmonton area on vacation, etc. This has never been an issue with them. They simply ask that my family physician is ok with my travel plans. Point is, check your policy. It most likely will have a clause pertaining to leaving your area of employment.


I would ask Manulife.
There is no need to ask for the full policy and try to interpret it yourself.
Just explain the situation and what you want to do.

I appreciate your responses, but my point is that I do not feel comfortable asking for a full policy. I am afraid that it will remind them about me and point the magnifying glass on my case. So second question remains if anyone here has access to Manulife policies and could share ?

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Maria, Jammer gives good advice. Don’t ask for the full policy simply ask the question that needs answering. If you are in a union ask the union the question or your HR department. They will also have the answer. In my particular situation, my policy states that before leaving the area I must contact the insurer and my employer for approval. I have done this numerous times and they have always approved my plans and thank me for respecting the terms of the policy. Ask the question.


Do you have your employee booklet? My employee booklet was identical to the policy for material details. Strangely (at least based on my expectations) the policy was less wordy than the employee booklet. My policy (not Manulife) doesn’t mention anything about moving.

I found one example of a Manulife employee booklet that doesn’t mention anything about moving but of course your booklet and/or policy may be different.

I was going to suggest asking HR to ask for you or ask a former colleague to find out but I think you might get current information (that may or may not be the same).
I doubt the current policy is less restrictive so if it doesn’t mention moving then the old policy probably doesn’t either. :slight_smile:
Your policy is likely different than anyone else 's.

I can download the current benefit booklet for my employer from the insurance company website and the current one is different from the one I saved from when I went on LTD.

Without asking the insurance company, I think you would just be getting a guess.

I would ask a coworker to ask to find out about their coverage.

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Here is the clause in my LTD insurance coverage. As you can see, I must inform both my employer and insurer of any absence from the Edmonton area. Not a big deal as whenever I leave, I inform them and they have approved all of my travel plans.

“An employee/member who is in receipt of benefits from the Income Protection Plan, Long Term Disability Plan or the Supplementation of Compensation Plan shall ensure that they are available at all times during receipt of benefits to perform any reasonable obligations required by the City or a Plan Adjudicator to substantiate and/or justify any claim for benefits. An employee/member who leaves the Edmonton area while in receipt of Income Protection Plan benefits, Long Term Disability benefits, or Workers’ Compensation supplementation without obtaining prior approval from the City or the appropriate Plan Adjudicator shall not be entitled to receive such benefits for the whole of the period which the employee is outside of the Edmonton area.”

Moving is normally different then travelling or vacation. In my experience the claimant advises of a move and the claim would likely be transferred to the local office for handling. The problem arises when people are not up front with their carrier. There is nothing wrong with asking for basic info on this from your case manager, you’re on reduced income and your trying to save money. I have had this scenario many times over the years and it was no big deal. But I have also had people lie about what province they are living in. Never a good idea just as you want to be treated respectfully, case managers do as well. If you are assessed as disabled in Ontario you are not automatically well because you moved.

Hi, Taz,

Do you know if moving has any effect on the extended health coverage of the group policy of the employer?
Ie. Is the employer more likely to terminate you because you’re “out of range” for working for them.

Many things are policy specific so you would have to understand your disability contract. You can always contact your hr or occ health rep about extended health care questions. They do not fall under the disability area. I always defer to the employer contact when people ask about ther*ir *health and dental. Any questions about what merits termination. Grounds would likely be contract specific. The second question may be answerable by your case manager as they handle the contracts. Generally speaking as per my previous answer as long as you are meeting the criteria for disability you can relocate and stay on claim, but again always ask the case manager the contract perimeters.

hey Taz,
Cuz you’re working in the insurance field, maybe you can giver us all advice…if the plan text doesn’t mention anything about moving, does that mean it’s okay? Also, as Steve 1959 says, what about if someone wants to go on vacation or given the examples above (Edmonton area)…if people are a little older and winter is brutal for people to be able to safely get around or managing with snow, can people go to a warmer climate for a few months in the winter or is that something that would be frowned upon by insurers and lead to a dismissal of benefits?

I have had many people regularily go on vacations, however you need approval from the case manager, if your in a rehabilitation plan they would expect you to work with your rehab program in some capacity (I.e. doing your counseling over the phone/getting your physio to provide an exercise plan while u are away) if your not in rehab then appropriate treatment for condition is still expected. Some contracts indicate the period should be blacked out for benefits while you are on vacation. ( some people will get a vacation pay out when this happens but just ensure it is not an offset if you do this)

Some policies do not allow out of country travel, some you also need approval from the employer rep for for travel outside the province. So again always just check.

If it’s an emergent matter like someone is ill etc. That is normally not an issue just advise your case manager.

Moving as I said is normally not an issue if you”re still considered disabled but you have to advise your case manager as it may effect which office your claim runs out of. Bottom line is generally if you are just honest we usually do our best to work with people. Like any field there is lots of good people and some not so good. In my experience most of us truly want to help people get back to normalcy, but their are bad apples everywhere. If you think your case managers response is unreasonable, I would always encourage people to ask to speak to their supervisor.

well said…from comments above, it appears not all policies even address the issue of travel, vacation, etc., and agree 100% that best approach (because people are in a binding contract with the insurer), onus is to ask/seek out answers to such questions regarding vacations, etc. I do think, however, case managers get their directions from their supervisors!

I don’t agree with policies that punish people who may have an opportunity to get away from the stresses and pain conditions they are living with, not to mention the family members who are under their own type of pressures and likely in a dual relationship role to the person on LTD (they are often family member & caregiver at the same time)…a tough role to be in 24/7, 8 days a week.

In my opinion, insurance companies should be encouraging vacation breaks. Those that do punish reminds me of the way people on social services were often looked at and stigmatized. It wasn’t too long ago when a single mother on welfare benefits would be cut off when it was discovered she had a boyfriend that spent overnights at her home.

I’d think it’s a tough job working in the insurance field (depending on what department) and what type of pressures people are put under, especially when/if encouraged to employ draconian tactics against people with obvious & legitimate claims.

We often forget that the main interests of the insurance companies are not always with the insured (who are often forced into a contract through their employer to make monthly contributions) ; the insurance companies interests most often lie with increasing profits for shareholders who are driven by increased profits of the company.

You mentioned in an earlier post to me today that surveillance is very expensive and for people like me already receiving LTD, it’s unlikely that it is occurring. Well, I think, given my personal experience, this is a perfect example of how an insurance company will strategize and spend exorbitant amounts of money in their efforts to discontinue having to pay money to someone who is chronically ill and no longer able to work. I can only guess they are hoping to see me cut & stack my firewood (a task I once advised I was no longer able to do).

Bottom line, the insurance companies are often willing to take extreme measures even in some cases, to go so far as to violate the law.