When to broach subject of return to work with LTD/CPP-D?

At my doctor’s appointment this week, I broached the subject of hopefully doing a graduated return to work, and we made a tentative date to give my employer the heads up. This is as far as it’s gotten so far - I’ll have to figure out what can be requested for accomodation, schedule, everything. I am to see my doc again in 8 weeks to see how I am doing so they can make formal recommendations to the employer.

First of all - AAAAAUUUUUGGGHHHH!!! I am anxious as hell.

Secondly - when is the right time to contact CPPD and my LTD insurer (who I have through work, I am on a LOA) regarding a potential return to work? I know that the onus is on me to disclose this, but I don’t want to jump the gun in case it doesn’t work out. I also don’t want to leave it longer than I should, however. Any advice?

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What’s an LOA?

I would talk to the insurance company before you start (if they are paying you).
Make it clear you’re going part time or whatever.
I would phone Service Canada and talk to them.
Maybe @David_Brannen’s new book addresses return to work.

Good luck

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Thanks @jammer, I have been on a Leave of Absence (so still have my position at my employer, have been on leave due to illness). I think my supervisor should be getting info from HR about how to go about the return process, so they may very well have a procedure they recommend. Now if I could get a grip and manage my self-imposed fear of failure, that’d be helpful! :laughing:

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I think you can have CPPD suspended while you try a return to work and reinstated if you need it again.
Sounds like relying HR is a good plan.
Best of luck.

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Im also planning a return to work as well. I may not have the best advice as this is my first time doing so. (If im wrong please let me know!) You might want to let them know that you’re not ready yet but you’re in discussion with your dr about returning to work in the future. I think I would at least give them a month’s notice. My LTD provider has a rehab program, yours might as well. You can ask them for assistance through the rehab program. So far i havent been able to get help through this. They wont tell me what’s available or allow me access to it.

I contacted LTD and they said my RTW has to be approved by them before I can return. They need the RTW plan, date of return and date of return to full time. They also want medical documentation to prove I can return to work. The dr filling out the RTW form is not enough. I’m going to ask for my dr to add in the note that I would benefit from rehab services. Hopefully they give me access. I’ll take any assistance I can get.

From the time I first had the discussion with my dr until my return to work it will be 6 months. And from when I started talking about it with my employer it will be about 3 months. Don’t feel because you talked about it, means you have to go back right away. That is how I felt. It stressed me out. Talking about it is preparing yourself. If it makes you feel better I’m feeling less anxious as time goes on. I’m sure the first week will be horrible but I can’t wait to have an actual paycheck from working! I miss that feeling.

I’m not sure the reasons your off but that will change how to prepare to return and your accommodations. Mine is for mental health so I’ve been searching “mental health accommodations in the workplace” “returning to work after mental health issues”. Ive gone through them and found ones that would be useful. Im going to discuss these with my dr at my next appointment.

If your employer is trustworthy and supportive you can also ask them for suggestions and what has worked for employees in your situation in the past.

It seems as though my employer prefers no longer than 12 weeks for a gradural return to work. As of right now, mine is going to be much longer. I am going to do a slow return and see my dr in 6-8 weeks to adjust accordingly. Since I don’t know how I am going to respond to going back to work, personally, I’d rather give them the expectation that it will be a longer return to work and hopefully in the end I won’t need that much time. But I personally want to avoid giving them a 12 week plan and then not being able to meet it and having to extend the plan. I think it would be undue pressure on myself and I don’t want to have to deal with modifying and adding weeks to my return to work if I don’t need to. I want to manage expectations from the get go - under promise over deliver I guess is how I’m approaching it.

I’ve changed the date of my return about 3-4 times (I havent provided LTD or my ER any official paperwork yet). At first I was so anxious like you, I was making myself sick. But as time has gone on it’s decreased. Now I’ve (90%) settled on a date I feel comfortable with. Your plan might change a lot too. At your next drs appointment if you feel you need more time to prepare yourself, let your dr know.

If you have access to a counselor you might want to speak to them about strategies to help with your anxiety about returning. They may have some accomodation suggestions as well.

Some things that have been helping me prepare is visualizing work, the potential dangers and how to react, driving around the area (this was horrible when I first started), I see a psychologist often, I have been working with a hypnotherapist which has been amazing. We also have an inhouse counselor, he is one of the only people I trust in my workplace, I have started utilizing him as well. Your dr and a cousellor should be able to provide coping strategies to help your individual situation.

A few other strategies I was given is when I’m having anxiety to tell myself it’s ok to feel this way and a normal reaction and not necessarily fight. It’s taking a lot of practice but it’s helping.

I’ll be in contact with LTD about my RTW in about a month. I’ll let you know about any issues I run into.

Hopefully this was helpful. It’s going to stressful, but I think it’s a good sign you’re thinking about it. Try not to stress about it until you see your dr. Please update if you find any other useful information! Hopefully there will be others on here that have been through this and can provide info based on experiences.

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Thanks so much, @glog88 for your response! I hope very much that your rtw goes well, starting slower likely (in my opinion) increases the chance of success. My supervisor is getting the info from HR on what is going to be needed to get the process going, and I guess I will see from there what they are going to require from my doctor and myself…we proposed a date for return however are reviewing a few weeks prior to that to see about limitations, hours, etc. I am guessing some sort of forms will be needed at the least. My workplace has been quite good about my leave, I know that it was and to extent still is out of my control, however having good people to work with is a huge blessing.

I’ve applied for an online therapy program through my provincial health and am waiting to see if I am approved. It deals with anxiety and depression related to chronic pain, and chronic pain is my main reason for being on leave. I do have history with depression and anxiety, and i find physical/mental health very mich linked. I know that since I have had limitations with my physical health, my mental health has suffered. I am very glad that your anxiety about returning to work is lessened - for me I know this will be the biggest hurdle, my fear of failure is toxic. I ‘think’ that once I am back for a bit my anxiety in general will be a lot less as routine kicks back in, however my worry about relapse needs to be addressed so that I don’t just become my worst enemy in that regard.

Your mention of telling yourself that it’s normal to feel the way you do and it’s ok really resonates with me, as I tend to have a hard time stepping back and seeing what makes complete sense from an outside perspective when I’m curled into a ball of stress. It IS normal to feel apprehensive- in fact it’d be weird to not feel that way. And i would tell any friend or family member that as well, were they going through it.

I really appreciate your shared experience and validation! :blush:

Hi Nip, wanted to let you know that I submitted my return to work plan and my LTD didn’t have an issue with it.

I think the online therapy sounds like a great plan. I’ve found that the website daily strength has been helpful as well. Mental illness is definitely difficult.

I hope that you are feeling well today and are having success with your return to work plan.

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Thank you! Hoping everything goes well for you too. I just saw my doctor this week and got accomodation/restriction requests for work so am sending that to my supervisor on Monday. I haven’t contacted LTD yet but when I hear back from my employer regarding the requests I’ll have better idea what to tell LTD (hours, start date etc.)

Sorry, Nip I missed this post the first time around. CPP has a very good program to help people return to work. They will continue to pay your CPP disability benefits until your income from work is projected to go beyond $16,000 per year. You need to be very careful about this or you may end up owing money back to CPP if you continue to get paid CPP while getting a full time paycheque.

I would let CPP and LTD know as soon as you have made the decision to do the return to work and have notified your employer or have a plan in place. If you know you are going to try to return to work, the sooner you tell the LTD and CPP the better.

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Thanks so much, @David_Brannen! I didn’t realize it was that high ($16,000, for some reason I was thinking $5,000). The plan is to start at only 3 hours 3 days a week, and adjust from there with regular follow ups from my physician to make sure it works well for me. So perhaps I’ll keep a spreadsheet to plot out what the hours/income will be, and try to estimate as I go along what the projected numbers will look like. I’ll definitely give CPP/LTD the info and go from there, as I’m not sure exactly what the rules for my LTD are. Thanks again! :slight_smile:

I think the $5k is what you can earn and still receive the full CPP-D.

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Yes, $5,500 is when you need to report earnings to Service Canada / CPPD program. At $16,000 you are deemed to be gainfully employed and can’t qualify for CPPD. During a vocational rehabilitation program with CPPD whey will allow you to keep your CPPD until your income reaches $16,000. However, if you are not in a rehab program, you still have to notify them when your earnings reach $5500 and they may cut off CPP before you reach $16000. It is not necessarily the case that you can earn $16000 before they will stop payments, if . you are not involved in a vocational program with Service Canada.

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