Letter of Authorization When Claiming Short Term Benefits
RE: CAW Local 2002 Disability Trust Fund
Group Insurance Disability Income Plan (GIDIP) – Manulife Financial Policy
Claim Status to Employer Monthly
Your GIDIP, both Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability Plan, are Policies of Insurance underwritten by Manulife Financial and are sponsored by your Union and administered by a Board of Trustees.
The Trustees overseeing the administration of your GIDIP are Union Members like yourself who are appointed by the Union and volunteer their time to administer the GIDIP and assist Members with their claim concerns. They employ a third party plan administrator, the Canadian Benefits Consulting Group ("Canadian Benefits"), to assist them with these responsibilities.
The Board of Trustees, via Canadian Benefits, provides information about your GIDIP Claim Status to Air Canada in a Claims Status Report on a monthly basis. This Report indicates whether your claim is 'Pending, awaiting further information', 'Active'; 'Closed Returned to Work'; or 'Denied'. The majority of claims fall within the first 3 categories.
As a result of the new privacy legislation the Board of Trustees now requires your consent to continue to provide your Claim Status to Air Canada. For the future, the application form for GIDIP benefits will be revised to seek the consent of new applicants for GIDIP benefits to disclose their Claim Status to the employer. For all existing applicants and recipients of benefits, an authorization to disclose claim status to the employer is enclosed.
When your GIDIP benefits are approved or pending
Providing Air Canada with your Claim Status ensures that the following benefits remain active at no cost to you while you are receiving GIDIP Benefits:
- Health Care Benefits
- Dental Care Benefits
- Basic Life Insurance Coverage
- Pension Benefits
- Seniority including vacation entitlement
If your claim is pending, Air Canada will continue your benefits coverage. If your claim is ultimately denied, you will have to reimburse Air Canada for the premium payments, or pay back the reimbursement for any expenses incurred.
When your application for GIDIP benefits is declined
If you are not in receipt of GIDIP Benefits and your claim is not "active" or "pending awaiting further information" Air Canada is not liable to maintain the above noted coverages for you. They will seek repayment from you if you have received reimbursement for benefits expenses during a period during which you were not entitled, or they will request that you pay premiums for the coverage. If and when your GIDIP claim is declined you should contact Air Canada directly to arrange to pay premiums for health/dental and life benefits provided by the Employer should you wish to ensure continued coverage.
What does Air Canada do if the Monthly Claims Status Report shows your claim as 'declined'?
When your GIDIP benefits are listed as or declined on the Monthly Claim Status Report, you may receive one of two letters from the Air Canada. One is commonly referred to as an "IMMS” (Inability To Meet Medical Standards) letter, and the other is called an "Unauthorized Leave of Absence" letter.
The IMMS letter will advise you that you must contact the Employer’s Medical Office within 14 days for a medical assessment. The Employer may then grant you a "Leave of Absence on Account of Inability to Meet Medical Standards" for up to one (1) year based on certain criteria. If you are unable to return to work within that year, the Employer will terminate your employment. Please note that the Board of Trustees is not involved in this process, and you may ask your Union to file a grievance on your behalf under the collective agreement.
The 'Unauthorized Leave of Absence' letter states that the period during which you were absent and did not receive GIDIP benefits will not be considered as accrued time in reference to, Vacation Entitlement, Service Award, and Earned working conditions based on Company Service Date. In both cases, you must prepay premiums for Health, Dental and Basic Life coverage to Air Canada.
What happens if you do not allow release of your GIDIP Claims’ Status to Air Canada?
If Air Canada is unaware of your GIDIP Claim Status, we have been advised that they will stop all benefit coverage for you until you provide proof (satisfactory to them) that you are in receipt of GIDIP benefits. To date, the Claims Status Report transmitted to Air Canada from Canadian Benefits has been satisfactory evidence of the status of claims.
If you are currently receiving GIDIP benefits or are a current applicant for GIDIP benefits an Authorization is enclosed. This seeks your consent to disclose your claim status to your employer. If you consent, please sign and return to Canadian Benefits Consulting Group. A self-addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience. If you do not return a signed consent form, we cannot convey your claims status to Air Canada and they may stop your benefits coverage until you provide proof that your are in receipt of GIDIP benefits.
Yours in solidarity,
Your GIDIP Board of Trustees
lc: en Letter of Authorization When Claiming STD Benefits