Tricky situation - leaving the country

I have a tricky situation that I’m wondering if anyone else has navigated.

I am leaving the country later this year. It will be for a currently undetermined period of time, possibly permanent. The reason for my move is frankly I cannot afford to live in Canada on my LTD income and I have family supports in another country that will be beneficial during my disability. In case it is relevant, I am leaving for a less developed country in a different continent.

I have been on leave since July 2022. I have been in LTD since January 2023 and change of definition will occur in January 2025.

During my leave I was assessed by a psychiatrist arranged by by insurance provider and they stated my prognosis for return to any employment is “very poor”.

I understand that if I permanently leave the country to raise elsewhere I cannot continue to receive LTD payments. I do have a few questions though.

  1. My contract states that LTD payments are not payable if I do not reside in canada for a minimum of 6 months in a 12 month period. At what time would my benefits cease? My insurance company says they will cease as soon as I leave the country. Should it not be when I have been out of the country for more than 6 months in a 12 month period, assuming I meet all other eligibility requirements?

  2. I remain employed with my employer. Am I obligated to quit when I leave the country? If I somehow became well enough to work again, I would likely return to Canada so I would prefer to not have to quit and maintain that tie to my position.

Thanks for any insight that can be provided.

Terrible position to be in, I am sorry. I don’t know about question 1. For question 2, no you are not obligated to quit.

At some point, maybe even now, you will meet the severe and prolonged criteria for CPP Disability. Make sure you apply within the time limit, it’s not much but it’s something. You don’t have to be in Canada to get CPP and being on CPPD will increase the amount you get for CPP when you are retirement age. David (the lawyer who runs this website) has a fantastic guide to applying for CPPD. I am not sure if they are still sending it out for free but ask or check your local library. It would be good to apply now while you still are under the active care of a Canadian doctor.

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So this is just my opinion, but I imagine your benefits would cease either at the 6 month mark OR when you become a non-resident. My question to you would be, why are you communicating all this to your LTD company? Maybe it’s just me, but if I were leaving the country I’d probably just go, and wait for my LTD company to find out I was gone and cut me off on their own. I wouldn’t be helping them out at all. You have no obligation to do their job for them. Same goes for your employer, you are not obligated to quit or do anything when you leave the country. I appreciate you being pro-active, but I have learned that being pro-active sometimes has caused me more trouble. I stopped doing other peoples jobs for them a long time ago.

Really? wow. So if you are on CPP-D, you can just leave Canada forever, but still keep getting paid? I didn’t know that.

Take a look at this quick video David prepared on travel out of country while on LTD.

Some things to consider:

  • Maybe you can travel and get support … housing support, emotional support from family in the other country. Maybe you can see how this helps your medical condition improve. Maybe you don’t need to decide at this time whehter that change is temporary or permanent.
  • If you are receiving family support, can you continue your medical treatment there in a more supported environment. Maybe the insurer will let you stay out of country longer if that is the case.
  • Does your psychiatrist think you may benefit from being with family even if that is elsewhere? It will be helpful to your medical condition?

Since you are not talking about an out of country “vacation”, but a longer term trip so that you can feel more supported and this puts you in a better position to receive treatment, it is different.

I agree with Adam that before you keep talking to the insurer about things that may or may not happen, etc, speak with David first. Ask for a consultation and see what he says.