To avoid experiencing a gap in financial support during a medical leave, it’s important to apply for disability benefits as soon as you know you may not be able to return to work when your sick leave runs out. If your application package is completed in a timely manner and your disability claim is approved, disability payments will begin when your accumulated sick-leave payments end.
To apply for disability benefits, follow these four steps:
Step 1: Call one of our disability case consultants at 306-373-1660 or 1-800-667-7762 and ask for an application package.
The disability case consultant will explain the application process and send you an application package, which includes the following forms:
- Statement of Claimant
- Direct Deposit form
- Physician’s Report
- Statement of Employer
The support provided by our disability case consultants helps to ensure all forms are completed correctly and in a timely manner. These forms are not available online.
Step 2: Fill in the Statement of Claimant and Direct Deposit forms.
Step 3: Take the Physician’s Report to your doctor for completion and have your school board complete the Statement of Employer. Many school boards have an electronic copy of this form.
Step 4: Submit all four completed forms to the Teachers' Long-Term Disability Plan for review by the Claims Committee.
Review of your claim by the Claims Committee could take several weeks, depending on when you submit your forms (see Adjudication of Claims below). You will be notified of the Committee’s decision by letter within two weeks after their meeting date.
Adjudication of Claims
Completed applications will be reviewed and adjudicated by the Claims Committee, which meets each month to assess applications received by the 10th of the preceding month. For example, if your application forms are received on October 3, the Committee will review your claim during their November meeting. If your forms are received on October 25, your claim will be reviewed during their December meeting.
The Claims Committee does not meet in July or August. Any claims received after May 10 will be reviewed the following September.
Eligibility for Benefits
Your claim will be assessed to determine if you’re partially or totally disabled as defined under the Plan.
You may be eligible to receive disability benefits for up to 2 years if you’re incapable of performing some or all the duties of your own occupation (i.e., teaching) due to sickness or injury.
To be eligible for benefits after the initial 2 years, you must be incapable of performing the duties of any gainful occupation for which you’re reasonably suited, based on training, education or experience. The change in the definition of disability after 2 years previously applied only to total disability claims. Effective July 1, 2018, it has been extended to apply to partial disability claims as well.
If you become disabled within the first 12 months after becoming eligible for coverage and you have a pre-existing condition, you may not qualify to receive disability benefits. For more information, visit Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion or contact our office.
If your claim is approved, a letter outlining the terms of your disability benefits will be sent to you and benefit payments will start after your accumulated sick leave ends. Your claim will be reviewed on a regular basis to assess your ongoing entitlement to benefits.