The TCRC LTD Plan is structured to ensure you continue to receive 50% of your regular gross income in the event that you are totally disabled. Benefit payments from the TCRD LTD Plan are non-taxable, so depending on your tax bracket, they could be worth up to 75% of your after-tax, pre-disability income.
Here is how the benefits work
- When you are disabled, you must first exhaust your Weekly Indemnity Benefit (WIB), Employment Insurance (EI), this happens after 41 weeks of disability.
- Ten weeks before the 41 weeks are up; you will be sent a package which allows you to apply for LTD benefits.
- Your application will be reviewed by the Plan Administrator to ensure all forms have been submitted and are complete.
- Your application will be forwarded to the insurance company for assessment.
Your future is secure
As long as you are Totally Disabled the Plan will provide you with the income you need. Even if the Plan were cancelled for any reason you would continue to receive benefits, as long as you were Totally Disabled. That’s because as soon as you reach 41 weeks of disability, we put aside enough money to ensure you receive benefits for as long as you need them, until retirement if necessary.
Is it complicated to qualify if I ever need it?
The TCRC LTD Plan is as straightforward as they come. Unlike other plans, there’s no hoops to jump through or endless streams of forms to track down and fill out. Suffering a disability can be stressful enough without having to deal with bureaucracy.
If you become sick or injured and are still unable to work after 30 weeks you will be sent an LTD invitation package that includes an application for LTD benefits. This will ensure that we can get things moving for you before your WIB expires. That way if there are any hitches we’ll know well before your 41 weeks are up.
As soon as the end of your Weekly Indemnity Benefits is reached, the LTD Plan automatically kicks in. It immediately provides you with a tax-free benefit equal to 50% of your gross monthly income, up to a maximum of $6,000 per month.
Your union, your Plan
The TCRC Long Term Disability Plan is owned by the members and operated by the Board of Trustees. That makes it different than any plan by an insurance corporation.
It is our Plan, under our control. You control the Plan through the union’s Board of Trustees who oversees the Plan’s operation.
The Plan that covers the engineers has the following Board of Trustee structure: There are three members on the board at present, General Chairmen for Engineers-West, Dave Able and General Chairmen for Engineers-East, Benoit Brunet. The third member of the board is a lay appointee, Greg Edwards.
For the membership, not for profits
Union control of the Plan is a guarantee that it is run for the benefit of the membership, not to add to the profits of a big insurance corporation or its shareholders. What does that mean? Because there are no commissions, profits or dividends to pay, almost 90% of premiums go directly towards members’ benefits.
Also, if the LTD Plan runs a substantial surplus, that money comes back to the Trust. In corporate controlled plans, any surplus is returned to the coffers as profit.
It also means that it is your union brothers who decide the eligibility of members to receive benefits and not faceless bureaucrats whose eyes are only on the bottom line.
How is the Plan administered?
At the centre of the TCRC LTD Plan is the Board of Trustees. They oversee all aspects of the Plan. The Board meets four times per year to discuss the previous quarter and any issues that have arisen in that period – financial, legal or disputed claims.
The Board works through a Third Party Administrator (TPA), which has been contracted to provide day-to-day administration of the Plan and advice to the Board. The company that provides that service is Canadian Benefits Consulting Group. The Plan Manager is Lynn Cross.
To make sure that the Plan is running smoothly we also hire professionals to handle our needs beyond day to day administration. Legal advice is handled by Caley Wray, auditing is by the chartered accountant firm BDO Dunwoody, and financial advice is provided by CIBC Wood Gundy.