Disability Benefits

If a medical condition prevents you from working, you are protected from a loss of income as a Member of The Winnipeg Civic Employees’ Long Term Disability Plan. (Canlan Ice Sports Corp does not participate in the Disability Plan.)

Full-time employees are automatically enrolled in the Disability Plan from their date of hire, regardless of whether they have permanent or temporary status.

A part-time, casual or seasonal employee may be eligible for coverage, provided he or she is a member of the Pension Plan and has worked at least 200 days of Eligibility Service (i.e., a period during which an employee had continuous employment with a Participating Employer) in the 24 months immediately before the Date Disability Commenced. 

If you have been unable to work for medical reasons for more than three months and expect to remain unable to work for 26 weeks or more, you are encouraged to consider applying for disability benefits.

To qualify for payments under the Disability Plan you must:

  • suffer a disabling medical condition that prevents you from performing the normal duties of your occupation for at least 26 weeks;
  • be less than 65 years of age; and
  • be under the regular and personal care of a medical doctor.

Under the Disability Plan your application for disability benefits will not be considered if it is received by the Program more than 180 calendar days after your 26 week eligibility period.

Medical Evidence

When you apply for benefits, a medical form will be given to you to be completed by your doctor. Additional medical information may be requested.

Medical evidence is requested during the initial application process and it can also be required at any point during your disability claim. This evidence is used to assess how your medical condition prevents you from working, the extent of your disability or any changes in it, and the date your disability began. You may also be asked to undergo a medical examination conducted by a medical professional selected by and paid for by the Program.

If you fail to provide required medical evidence—or refuse to undergo a medical examination as requested by the Program—your claim for Disability Plan benefits may be denied or terminated.

If your Disability Plan claim is denied, you may submit an appeal through the Disability Plan's appeal process.

The Benefit

When a Member's application is approved, an initial biweekly benefit amount is calculated. The benefit payable from the Disability Plan

  • is based on a calculation of 6623% of the Member's average biweekly earnings in the 13 pay periods prior to the date disability commenced (26 pay periods for part-time, casual and seasonal employees), and
  • will be offset by any "other income" to which the Member is entitled.

The following are considered "other income" under the Plan:

  • Canada Pension Plan benefits
  • Workers’ Compensation benefits
  • Any group insurance policy issued to an Employer
  • Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation (MPIC) benefits or other motor vehicle automobile insurance benefits

The Disability Plan requires Members to apply for the above sources of "other income" if they are deemed eligible to receive them.

In addition, a Member who is deemed to be Totally Disabled may also receive income from sick leave and/or vacation credits, up to a maximum amount defined in the Disability Plan.

Benefits are recalculated, as required by the Disability Plan, when there is a change in the Member's income and when a Member has been disabled for at least 30 months.

Disability benefits will also be adjusted annually to help protect against increases in the cost of living. If your date of disability occurred on or after September 1, 2011, adjustments will be based on the Pension Plan Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) rate. COLA is applied in the pay period in which July 1 occurs.  If, as of July 1 you have been accepted on disability for less than one year, your first cost-of-living adjustment will be prorated.

If your date of disability occurred before September 1, 2011, adjustments will be based on increases to the pay rate for your Position Regularly Occupied.

The Disability Plan is paid for in full by Participating Employers. As Members do not contribute to the cost of their Disability Plan coverage, any benefit payments the Member receives will be taxed as employment income. This is an Income Tax Act rule.

Pension Plan Effect

During your period of total or partial disability, you will be considered an active employee on approved leave of absence. You will continue to earn Credited Service during your disability leave, but you are not required to make any contributions to the Pension Plan.

When you retire, your pension will be calculated using the assumed earnings of the Position Regularly Occupied plus applicable increases received while in receipt of disability benefits. Your average pensionable earnings also include periodic payments from the Workers' Compensation Board of Manitoba.

Maximum Duration of Claim

If you have less than two years of Credited Service at your date of disability, Disability Plan benefits will be limited to a maximum period of two years.

Provided you have at least two years of Credited Service and remain totally or partially disabled, and under the regular and personal care of a medical doctor, disability benefits will end between age 60 and 65 as follows:

  1. At age 60, or after two years of a disability benefit period if later, if more than 20 years of eligibility service
  2. At Rule of 80, or after two years of a disability benefit period if later, if Rule of 80 and a two-year disability period are reached between age 60 and 65
  3. Otherwise, at age 65

When your maximum period is reached you may elect to retire, if you are eligible.

Your disability benefits may be terminated at any time for any of the following reasons:

  • You are able to perform the normal duties of your occupation
  • You have been disabled for less than 30 months and refuse rehabilitative employment
  • You have been disabled for 30 months or more and you are able to work in an occupation that you are reasonably well qualified, or reasonably could become qualified to perform based on education, training, and experience
  • You have failed to follow or are not actively participating in a prescribed or recommended treatment, therapy, procedure, or program prescribed or recommended by a Medical Doctor
  • You refuse a reasonable accommodation offered by a Participating Employer, the terms of which you are deemed capable of fulfilling
  • You refuse to provide, or cannot provide, satisfactory evidence of a continuing disability
  • You are incarcerated for a period of time in a prison or similar place of confinement
  • You no longer reside in Manitoba within reasonable distance of available rehabilitative employment
  • You reach the maximum period provided by the Long Term Disability Plan
  • You are entitled to retirement or termination benefits under the Pension Plan

If Your Disability Recurs

Your disability benefits will resume under your existing claim if your disability recurs within 74 weeks of your return to work. Your benefit payments will resume immediately if it has been 26 (or fewer) weeks since your disability benefits ended. If it has been longer than 26 weeks since your last benefit payment, you will need to satisfy a waiting period before your benefits resume.

Your waiting period is two weeks for each four-week period in excess of 26 weeks since your disability benefits ended. For example, if it has been 29 weeks since your last disability payment (three weeks in excess of 26), your waiting period is two weeks, as summarized in the following table.

This waiting period may be waived if you are working in your regular occupation immediately before the recurrence, and your disability results from what is defined by the Disability Plan to be a "chronic illness."

If your disability recurs more than 74 weeks after you return to work, or you become disabled due to an unrelated cause, it will be treated as a new disability. As such, you must re-apply for benefits and satisfy a new 26-week waiting period.

When Coverage Ends

Coverage under the Disability Plan ends when your employment terminates, you reach the maximum payment period, you reach age 65, you retire, or you die—whichever comes first.