Disability Insurance Member Resources

Disability Insurance – What You Need to Know!

“Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits”/ “Who is eligible to receive DI benefits?”

According to the plan, you are eligible to receive benefits for up to 24 months if you become totally disabled (i.e., you are in a continuous state of incapacity due to illness or injury and are prevented from performing the duties of your regular occupation).

The 90-day elimination period does not mean that your claim will be approved in 90 days – that is the elimination period that must pass before your claim is considered “active.” This means you will not be covered by Disability Insurance for the first 90 days, and may or may not be covered thereafter.

Not all medical ailments (although real) meet the criteria described in the first paragraph above. Each claim is examined by an insurance adjuster who will render a decision about whether or not the illness described in the claim meets the contract criteria, and may (and often will) decide that more information is required. The claim process may be very lengthy and it may be necessary to appeal the decision of the insurance company up to and including a final appeal. The financial strain can be tremendous.

Fight or Flight?

Conflict in the workplace can be extremely trying emotionally and can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. The stress can cause symptoms of illness – insomnia, digestive problems, depression – the list is endless. Many members use up all of their sick leave in an effort to avoid or take a break from the tension, and in the hope that something will change. Often, however, nothing changes.


Mediation may help both parties arrive at a better understanding of the other person’s feelings, although it is a voluntary process and not subject to a binding contract even if an agreement is reached. It can be very successful if both parties want to understand each others’ position and both have a real desire to end the conflict.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide counselling and other services. This program is a valuable resource.

Life is challenging and it is important for all of us to know that most challenges have been experienced by someone else at some time. Your situation is almost certainly not unique – it can be hurtful, stressful, physically and emotionally trying on every level – but you are not the only person to have experienced what you’re going through.

There are many answers and solutions to problems that seem insurmountable. Pick up the telephone and talk to Values, Integrity and Conflict Resolution (VICR), EAP and/or your union representative. In collaboration with the other professionals available to you, experienced and skilled union representatives can often find solutions that will change your life and your outlook in ways that you can’t imagine. Running from a problem or avoiding it will only delay facing the problem, and the increasing dread you’ll feel in the meantime will worsen the anxiety that you’re feeling. So please let us try to help.

There are many ways to deal with performance issues, harassment/bullying and interpersonal conflicts. Personal trauma can be debilitating for a period of time, and we can help find solutions that will bridge the time you need.

Give your Local a chance to intervene before your sick leave bank is depleted and you are mentally and physically exhausted.


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