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Short-Term Disability Absence Support Program

Employee FAQs

When should I report an absence to my manager?

As soon as you know you will not be in to work due to a personal illness or injury, you should call your manager to let the university know.

If you are unable to work for more than five consecutive business days, your manager will contact the HR Advisor, who will refer your case to Manulife. You will be assigned a Case Manager who will continue to work with you for as long as you remain off work.

What are the steps in reporting my illness or injury?

Step 1: Notify your manager.

Step 2: If you continue to be away from work for five days or more, you will be contacted by a Manulife Case Manager and asked to share information regarding your absence.

Step 3: Stay involved with your Case Manager and your doctor by providing the necessary medical Information and letting your doctor know that a Manulife Case Manager may be calling and is managing your case.

Who is eligible for Short-Term Disability (STD) coverage?

All continuing full-time academic and non-academic employees are eligible for Short-Term Disability benefits.

How is my eligibility to receive Short-Term Disability benefits determined?

The Case Manager will consider several factors when evaluating your medical absence. These include:

  • Medical information provided by your doctor(s).
  • Your treatment plan, recovery and prognosis.
  • Your abilities.
  • Your job duties and physical and/or mental restrictions and limitations.

Why do case managers review my job duties?

There are specific aspects of your job that can influence how your medical condition can be accommodated. For example, if it requires standing for long periods of time, your condition may preclude your ability to perform your tasks. Once your requirements are known, Manulife's Case Manager can make appropriate recommendations in consultation with your doctor.

Where do I send medical information about my Short-Term Disability-related illness or injury?

Any correspondence or documentation related to your illness or injury, such as a doctor's medical evaluation, should be sent to:

Manulife
P.O. Box 4105
Toronto, Ontario M5W 2P4
1.877.329.4431 (fax)
disability.support@manulife.com

Can I appeal a benefits decision made by the Case Manager?

Yes. To eligible for Short-Term Disability payments, you must be medically certified as unable to perform your assigned duties due to illness or injury. When benefits are declined, it is most often due to missing medical information that supports the disability and the length of time away from work. To make sure your benefits are processed on a timely basis, encourage your doctor to submit all medical information to the Manulife Case Manager as soon as possible.

If you wish to appeal a decision, you must submit your request in writing to the Manulife Case Manager within 10 days of the decision. You should include reasons you believe the decision is incorrect and provide any new medical information that would support your case. Manulife will notify you directly about the status of your appeal. They will also provide status updates about your case to your HR Advisor.

What conditions are considered disabilities?

A disability is a significant change in your physical or mental condition that would prevent you from performing the essential duties of your job. You must be under the care of a licensed doctor for an absence to qualify as a disability.

What if the disability recurs?

If the same or related disability recurs within 21 days of your return to work, it will be treated as an extension of the earlier disability. If it recurs after 21 days, it will be treated as a new disability.

How do I know the Manulife Case Manager will keep my case confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the key benefits of this program. All information from your first telephone call to the transfer of your medical records is kept confidential. Manulife will not provide the university with information about your medical condition and any related personal information.

What information will Manulife share with the university?

Manulife will share information and recommendations that relate to your abilities or limitations to perform your job duties. This excludes specific reference to diagnosis or any related personal information.

How long will my Short-Term Disability benefits continue and how much will I receive while I am on disability?

Short-Term Disability benefits may continue for 52 weeks. The disability period starts on the first day you are away from work for an illness or injury related to a medically supported disability.

You will receive 100 per cent of your income for the first six months of disability and 75 per cent for the next six months.

When do Short-Term Disability benefits end?

Your Short-Term Disability benefits end when you return to work, are no longer disabled or or reach the maximum benefit period of 52 weeks. If at the end of the 52-week period you are unable to return to work due to illness or injury, you may apply for Long-term Disability benefits.

Are my Short-Term Disability benefits taxed?

Yes. While you are in receipt of Short-Term Disability benefits, these are subject to normal taxes and benefit deductions and are considered pensionable earnings.

What if I have an emergency situation that results in me being hospitalized?

It is important to ensure your family members or friends know someone needs to call your manager to report your condition and let the university know you will be away from work. Your manager will contact the HR Advisor, who will relay this information to the Manulife Case Manager. The Case Manager will then co-ordinate all other activities to support you and confirm your disability. If you remain unable to work when you are out of the hospital, your Case Manager will continue to work with you to help you get back on your feet again.

What happens when I am ready to return to work?

When you are well enough to return to work, make sure to call your Case Manager beforehand. You will be required to provide medical certification that you are fit to return to work. You will work in partnership with your Case Manager, HR Advisor and manager to ensure you are ready to assume your regular duties. If you require any accommodations to return to your job initially, or even on a more permanent basis, your Case Manager will work with your manager and HR Advisor to ascertain how modified duties can be arranged and supported on a practical basis.  

Will my benefits continue while I am on disability?

Yes, your benefits and pension will continue during your Short-Term Disability leave of absence.

What other resources are available to support my health and wellness?

In addition to the consultation services of Manulife Case Manager, you have access to a wealth of health and wellness information and tools online:

What if I have more questions about the university’s Short-Term Disability program?

Please contact Mary Steele, Manager, Pension, Benefits and Wellness at 905.721.8668 ext. 2025.

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