Disability – Full-Time and Part-Time
 

Continuation of Benefit Payments

The Short-Term Disability Plan’s maximum benefit payment period for any one disability is 11 weeks for Core STD benefits, and 12 weeks for optional STD benefits. This is explained under How the Short-Term Disability (STD) Plan Works

There is a limit on how long the Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan will continue to pay benefits. Special rules also apply for disabilities resulting from mental illness (see explanation below). 

The balance of this section describes the LTD Plan’s provisions for continuation of benefit payments.

TERMINATION OF LTD BENEFIT PAYMENTS
Your LTD benefit payments will continue until the earliest of the following dates: 

  • during the first 24 months of payments, when you are able to work in your regular occupation on a part-time basis but do not;
  • after 24 months of payments, when you are able to work in any gainful occupation on a part-time basis but you do not;
  • the date that you cease to be disabled, as defined by the plan, unless you are eligible to receive benefits under the Rehabilitation and Return To Work Assistsance Program (see “Definition of Disability” under the Long-Term Disability section);
  • the date that you fail to provide required proof of your continuing disability;
  • if you are working and your monthly disability earnings exceed 80% of your indexed monthly earnings, the date your earnings exceed 80%;
  • the end of the maximum payment period (as described below); or
  • after 12 months of payments if you are considered to reside outside the United States or Canada, for a total period of 6 months or more during any 12 consecutive months of benefits.

MAXIMUM PAYMENT PERIOD
If you become disabled before age 62, your LTD Plan payments will continue until the date you reach your Social Security Normal Retirement Age.

If you become disabled at age 62 or later, your LTD Plan benefit payments will continue until the later of

  • the date you reach your Social Security Normal Retirement Age; or
  • the date you reach the maximum benefit period. As shown in the table below, the length of this period will depend on your age at the time you become disabled: 
Your Age on Date Disability Begins Maximum Benefit Period
age 62 The date the 60th monthly benefit is payable
age 63 The date the 48th monthly benefit is payable
age 64 The date the 42nd monthly benefit is payable
age 36 The date the 36th monthly benefit is payable
age 66 The date the 30th monthly benefit is payable
age 67 The date the 24th monthly benefit is payable
age 68 The date the 18th monthly benefit is payable
age 69 and older The date the 12th monthly benefit is payable

MENTAL ILLNESS OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE
LTD Plan benefits for mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse are limited to a lifetime cumulative maximum of 24 months of payment. 

Payments under the LTD Plan may continue beyond 24 months if you meet one or both of these conditions:

  1. If you are confined to a hospital or institution at the end of the 24-month period, you will continue to receive payments during your confinement. If you are still disabled when you are discharged, you will receive payments for a recovery period of up to 90 days. If you become reconfined at any time during the recovery period and remain confined for at least 14 days in a row, you will receive payments during the additional confinement and for one additional recovery period up to 90 more days.
  2. In addition to the above, if, after the 24-month period of payments, you continue to be disabled and subsequently become confined to a hospital or institution for at least 14 days in a row, you will receive payments during the length of the confinement.

Maximum Benefit Period
Benefits for mental illness or substance abuse may not extend beyond the maximum benefit period described in the table shown in the Continuation of Benefit Payments section. For example, a covered person who is age 68 on the date that a disability due to a mental illness begins would be eligible for up to 18 months of LTD Plan benefit payments. 

REFUSAL OF REHABILITATION
As explained under Rehabilitation Benefits in the Long-Term Disability section, your participation in a rehabilitation program that is approved by the Insurance Company will not reduce your LTD Plan benefits. If the Insurance Company requests that you participate in a rehabilitation program and you refuse to do so, your LTD Plan payments may be terminated. 

RECOVERY FROM DISABILITY
Your LTD Plan payments will end as of the date that you recover from your disability. However, the following rules will apply if you return to work in your regular occupation and become disabled again: 

  • Your LTD plan benefit payments will be treated as part of your prior claim if:
    • you again become disabled due to a successive disability as described in the Long-Term Disability section; and
    • you were continuously insured under the plan for the period between the end of your prior claim and your recurrent disability; and
    • you returned to work in your regular occupation for six months or less.
  • Your current disability will be treated as a new claim if:
    • you return to work in your regular occupation for more than six months; or
    • your second disability is due to an unrelated cause (i.e., a cause that is not related to the illness or injury that caused your first disability). 
You should notify Human Resourcesand the Insurance Company immediately if you are able to return to work.