After 130 calendar days of illness and disability, you may be eligible to receive Long-Term Disability (LTD). Sun Life, our health insurance provider, bases its decision on an assessment of the individual’s ability to continue work. To maximize your chances for eligibility for LTD, please consult with a union officer. 

Your application for LTD benefits should be filed well in advance of the 130-day mark; Sun Life normally requires two (2) months to process the claim.

Generally, LTD payments are 60% of your “basic monthly earnings” and are untaxed (Article 18). (“Extras”, such as coordinators allowances, are not included in the calculation.) The “take-home” value of these benefits is about 95% of regular pay.

To qualify for LTD, you need to be declared “totally disabled” from performing your current job. (This means that you cannot perform the majority of the duties associated with your job.) After two years on LTD, you need to be declared “totally disabled” with regard to performing any occupation. Possible exceptions to this policy are individuals who suffer from periodic flare-ups, as might occur with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or ulcerative colitis. Such individuals may be granted LTD, where required, during these periods, even though they may eventually be able to return to work during periods of remission.

Should you be denied coverage under the LTD plan, you should appeal the decision through Sun Life’s appeal process. You should also appeal through the Joint Insurance Committee (JIC). However, before appealing, please call us at the Local 556 Union office for advice on other means to reverse the decision. Often, it is simply a matter of providing more thorough/exact medical feedback on your condition.

The LTD plan is fully funded by the members through payroll deductions.