Long Term Disability Insurance

Employee Benefits

The Long Term Disability (LTD) plan is insured by Blue Cross Life Insurance Company of Canada effective from June 1, 2004.

Long Term Disability coverage becomes effective on date of employment for all eligible employees. If you are not actively at work on the effective date, your coverage will commence on the date when you commence active employment.

The purpose of the LTD plan is to provide you with monthly income if you become totally disabled and remain disabled for an extended period of time.

Included here is general information relating to the University of Winnipeg employee benefits. The information is intended as a summary of the main provisions of the various benefits, presented in non-technical language. The terms and conditions under which the benefits are provided, are governed by the appropriate group policy, contract, or plan text and any relevant Collective Agreement and in any dispute the legal document will take precedence over the information provided here.

Disability Benefit

The disability benefit is based on 60% of your regular monthly earnings (excluding stipends and overtime), not to exceed 85% of pre-disability net earnings, up to a maximum benefit of $5,000 per month. Benefits commence immediately following the completion of the Elimination Period.

Disability benefits are nontaxable as the premiums are fully paid by employees.

Integration of Disability Benefits

Monthly disability payments are coordinated with other income payments to which you became entitled as a result of the current disability. The benefit coordination is applied as follows:

Direct Offset

The monthly benefit from the LTD plan is first reduced directly by any disability benefits available under the Canada Pension Plan (primary benefits only).

All Source Limitation

If the sum of your monthly LTD benefit plus the amount of gross income from all other sources shown below still exceeds 85% of your pre-disability net earnings, your monthly benefit will be reduced by such excess amount, if on or after the date you become totally disabled, you begin to receive such disability benefits, or would be entitled to receive such benefits had you made satisfactory application.

Income from All Sources includes:

  • disability benefits available under the Workers Compensation Act;
  • disability benefits available under any other government program, that are payable to the disabled employee, excluding Employment Insurance benefits;
  • retirement benefits provided by any employer or government program;
  • income or benefits payable under any group program provided by or through the University of Winnipeg;
  • income or benefits payable under a plan sponsored by an association, union or fraternal organization of which the disabled employee is a member, excluding disability income from private Individual health plans;
  • income replacement benefits payable under any plan of automobile insurance, where such reduction is not prohibited by law; and
  • wages or remuneration payable from any employer or from self-employment but excluding income received under an approved rehabilitation program.

During the period of an approved rehabilitation program, the amount of monthly LTD benefit will be further reduced if necessary, so that the total amount of monthly income as defined above, including 100% of earnings (net of applicable income tax) received from an approved Rehabilitation program does not exceed 100% of pre-disability net earnings.

Canada/Quebec Pension Plan Freeze

Once the initial Canada/Quebec Pension Plan offset has been established on a Long Term Disability claim, it will not be changed due to cost-of-living adjustments to the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan payments.

Elimination Period

The benefit elimination period is 180 calendar days, and represents the period of time that you must wait from the onset of the disability before Blue Cross begins paying Long Term Disability benefits.

When the disability is not continuous, meaning that there are days when you are able to return to work, the days you are disabled may be accumulated to satisfy the 180-day elimination period, provided the following conditions are met:

  • Coverage remains in force during the accumulation period;
  • No interruption is longer than 30 days;
  • Disabilities are due to the same or related causes; and
  • The 180-day Elimination Period is completed within 365 days, unless a longer duration is pre-approved by Blue Cross.

If you are a Continuing Sessional Employee, the period of time during which you are on sessional lay-off will not be counted as part of the Elimination Period.

Total Disability

To be eligible for the LTD benefit you must be under the continuous care of a physician. Total Disability is deemed to be the continuous inability to perform the regular duties of your own occupation as a result of illness or injury during the elimination period and for the following 24 months.

After the first 24 months of benefits, you are considered totally disabled if you are not able to earn due to illness or injury, at your own or any other occupation for which you are reasonably qualified by education, training or experience, more than 75% of your current pre-disability earnings.

Regular duties are defined as those work-related activities which are considered essential to your performance in the occupation and which proportionately take the majority of time to complete.

Partial Disability

To be considered partially disabled, you must be deemed totally disabled throughout the 180-day Elimination Period. If, following the Elimination Period, you are only capable of returning to work in a reduced capacity, Blue Cross will pay prorated disability benefits in accordance with the regular plan provisions and the Rehabilitation program.

Recurrent Disability

Multiple periods of Total Disability will be considered to be one period of Total Disability as long as you become totally disabled from the same or related causes for which your claim for LTD was previously approved by Blue Cross and the intervals of Total Disability have not been separated by a period longer than six months.

If you return to work for a new employer and you are without disability coverage, you may be eligible to claim under this plan as long as your employment with the new employer is part of a return to work program that has been pre-approved by Blue Cross. Your claim for disability benefits cannot be approved under any other plan and you must become Totally Disabled from the same or related causes within six months of returning to active employment.

Rehabilitation Program

Rehabilitation means a program of medical, employment or vocational rehabilitation and it may consist of:

  • any medical care or treatment, diagnostic measures or any medication prescribed; or
  • full-time or part-time work or any other employment whether or not wages are payable; or
  • any vocational training or re-training program or period of work for the purpose of rehabilitation.

If you qualify to receive Long Term Disability benefits under this policy you may at any time be required to participate in a Rehabilitation program which Blue Cross deems appropriate for your circumstances.

Benefits payable under this policy while you are participating in a Rehabilitation program approved by Blue Cross will be coordinated with the Integration of Benefits clause.

Refusal to enter, participate or comply with a program of Rehabilitation deemed appropriate by Blue Cross will result in the termination of Long Term Disability benefit payments.


The LTD premium is deducted semi-monthly. Employees pay 100% of the cost of the Long Term Disability Plan. Because the LTD plan is fully employee paid, disability benefits are nontaxable.

Waiver of Premiums

Any premiums due under this benefit while you are totally disabled and qualify for LTD benefits, will be waived commencing with the first full calendar month following the end of the Elimination Period. Premiums will be waived until you return to active employment or no longer qualify for disability benefits.

Reduced Appointment

If you are on an approved Reduced Appointment, the amount of Long Term Disability benefit will be based on your reduced earnings.

Termination of Benefit Payment

Long Term Disability benefits are payable until the earliest of the following events:

  • the date Total Disability ceases;
  • the date on which the disabled employee fails to furnish satisfactory proof of the continuance of Total Disability, or fails to submit to an examination requested by Blue Cross;
  • the date the disabled employee is not under the continuous care and treatment of a physician;
  • the date the disabled employee refuses to enter a Rehabilitation program; or
  • the date the disabled employee dies.

Termination of Coverage

Long Term Disability coverage will terminate on the earliest of the following dates:

  • Upon termination of employment or retirement;
  • Upon attainment of the Normal Pension Commencement Date;
  • During a strike or lock-out (unless special provisions have been made).

Exclusions and Limitations

Long Term Disability benefits will not be payable if disability, illness, injury or accident occurs while participating in or while engaged in any criminal activity, regardless of whether charges are laid or a conviction obtained.

Long Term Disability benefits are also not payable for any of the following;

  1. any period of disability during which you are not under appropriate treatment and care of a physician who is a registered medical specialist or health care practitioner in the field of medicine which is applicable to your condition; or
  2. any period during which you are not undergoing a course of medical treatment or participating in a program of Rehabilitation which is deemed appropriate in the opinion of Blue Cross; or
  3. any period during which you are imprisoned; or
  4. any disability due to or resulting from self-inflicted injury or sickness, while sane or insane; or
  5. any disability due to or resulting from insurrection, war (declared or not), or the hostile actions of the armed forces of any country, or the participation in any riot or civil commotion; or
  6. any disability during the period:
    1. of formal maternity leave taken by you pursuant to provincial or federal law, or pursuant to mutual agreement between you and the University, or
    2. in which Employment Insurance maternity benefits are being paid or would be paid if you were eligible,
      whichever is longer; or
  7. any period during which you are on leave of absence without pay. If you become disabled while on leave of absence without pay while insured for this benefit, the leave of absence will be deemed to end on the day before the date on which you are scheduled to return to work and the continuous period of disability will commence upon the scheduled date of return to work; or
  8. any period, during which you are on leave of absence with pay, including maternity and/or parental leave of absence. If you become disabled while on leave of absence with pay, the continuous period of disability will commence on the date the disability occurred.

Extension of Coverage

Long Term Disability benefits will extend beyond your termination of employment provided you become disabled while you are still insured. Benefits will continue to be paid in accordance with policy provisions.

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