Long-Term Disability

As a full-time employee of the College, your inclusion in the Long Term Disability (LTD) Plan is mandatory. The Plan is meant to act as a continuing source of income in the event that you become ill or are unable to work due to disability. 

The LTD Application Process

In order to apply for LTD benefits, the employee must have exhausted their Short-Term Disability (STD) credits. This is referred to as the LTD “waiting period” and is generally 130 days in length, depending on the employee’s accumulated sick leave credits. The application and determination process is administered by Sun Life, through each individual college.

As the employee nears the end of the waiting period, a representative from Human Resources Services will be in contact  to facilitate the completion of an application for LTD benefits. The HR representative will send the employee the appropriate information, including program description, Employee Statement, and Attending Physician Statement. The application will not be processed until both components have been received by Sun Life.

The length of time necessary to review the application depends largely on the type of illness/injury under review.


Approval/Denial of Claims

Academic & Support Staff Employees

In order to qualify for LTD, the employee must be considered “totally disabled” due to bodily injury (non-work related), sickness, or disease. This means that you are unable to perform your own regular job duties for a period not to exceed 24 months (2 years). If after 24 months you continue to be totally disabled and cannot perform any job duties, you will continue to receive LTD benefits.

Administrative Employees

In order to qualify for LTD, the employee must be considered “total disabled” due to bodily injury (non-work related), sickness, or disease.  This means that you are unable to perform your own regular job duties for a period not to exceed 36 months (3 years).  If after 36 months you continue to be totally disabled and cannot perform any job duties, you will continue to receive LTD benefits.

All Employees

Once the LTD application package has been received and reviewed by Sun Life’s Medical Consultant, they will render their decision to the College and the applicant in writing. If the claim is approved, the coordination of salary and benefits will take place through Human Resources.

In the event that the claim is not approved, the applicant does have the right to appeal the decision of the Medical Consultant. The appeal process will also be coordinated through Human Resources.

While waiting for the appeal decision the applicant may qualify under the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits for a total of 15 weeks of sick leave.


Salary & Benefits During LTD

Academic Employees:

During the LTD period, academic employees are paid 60% of their regular base salary on a monthly basis. Because academics pay the full amount of their LTD premiums, this income is non-taxable. In addition, academic employees are not responsible for paying life insurance premiums (insurance does continue) or pension contributions (service does continue to accumulate), but they must pay the full amount of their benefit premiums.

Support Staff Employees:

During the LTD period, support staff employees are paid two thirds (66.6667%) of their regular base salary on a monthly basis. This income is subject to applicable taxes, although support staff employees need not pay any benefit premiums. Life insurance premiums are waived (although the insurance does continue), and pension contributions are waived (although service continues to accumulate).

Administrative Employees:

While on LTD, administrative employees are paid two thirds (66.6667%) of their regular base salary on a monthly basis. This income is subject to applicable taxes. Benefit premiums are waived for the first two years of LTD, at which time it becomes the employee’s responsibility to make payments. Life insurance premiums are waived (although the insurance does continue), and pension contributions are waived (although service continues to accumulate).


Progress Reporting

During the LTD period, the employee, their doctor(s), the College, and Sun Life will remain in close contact to ensure that regular progress reports are provided. Ongoing medical information must be submitted to Sun Life in order to substantiate the claim of total disability. This information is kept strictly confidential. In addition, Sun Life may request that you take part in an Independent Medical Examination (IME) by an appointed specialist.

Failure to submit medical information as requested by Sun Life may jeopardize your LTD benefits.


Rehabilitation & Returning To Work

The goal of the LTD Plan is to get an ill or injured employee back to a healthy and productive state as quickly as is reasonably possible. Returning to work may be an important part of the employee’s rehabilitation, and the College is committed to taking a proactive and fair approach to the reintegration of the employee into the workforce.

Academic Employees

Employees who have been on LTD for 24 months or less are entitled to return to the same position they held prior to going on LTD (referred to as “own occupation”). Employees who have been on LTD for a period longer than 24 months will not necessarily be returned to their own occupation, but whenever possible to a comparable position in the organization for which they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Administrative & Support Staff Employees

Employees who have been on LTD for 36 months or less area entitled to return to the same position they held prior to going on LTD (referred to as “own occupation”).  Employees who have been on LTD for period longer than 36 months will not necessarily be returned to their own occupation, but whenever possible to a comparable position in the organization for which they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities.

All Employees

Where an employee is capable of returning to work, but there are some disability-related accommodations that need to be made, the employee, their doctor(s), Sun Life, and the College will work together to find a suitable modified work arrangement.

View our Modified Work Program/Return to Work information.


Permanent Disability

In some cases, it may not be possible to return an ill or injured employee to the workplace. When this occurs, that employee will continue to receive income through the LTD Plan until they reach the age of 65. At that time, they will retire and receive full pension through the CAAT Pension Plan.

For further details about retiring from LTD, please contact Jennifer Drummond.