Disability FAQ

Disability FAQ

Accommodation for Illness and Disability, Sick Leave, and Long-Term Disability

The Collective Agreement contains provisions to support Members with documented illnesses, injuries, and disabilities, including provisions for Accommodation, Sick Leave and Long-Term Disability (LTD).

If you need an accommodation or leave due to a medical situation, a UVICFA Membership Services Advisor can confidentially:

  • Explain the options.
  • Work with you throughout the process – from initial request to return to work.
  • Accompany you to meetings with your supervisors and the University’s Human Resources Office, or, at your request, attend on your behalf.

For more information, please refer to our FAQs below.

Please note that FAQs do not replace individual consultation with a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor. We strongly encourage you to seek confidential support from a Membership Services Advisor as early in the process as possible.

Membership Services Advisors:

Reuben Kellen
Email: msofa@uvic.ca
Phone: (250) 472-4892

Ben Johnson
Email: rcafa@uvic.ca
Phone: (250) 472-4662

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What medical conditions are covered by the Collective Agreement relating to Accommodation, Sick Leave, and Long-Term Disability?

Medical conditions covered by the Collective Agreement can include temporary or permanent illnesses and disabilities, visible and invisible illnesses, mental and/or physical disabilities, and injuries. The University may require medical documentation for short Sick Leaves (less than one week), and usually requests medical documentation for extended periods of Sick Leave requiring approval from a Dean or the Provost.Close Article
Do medical conditions need to be work-related in order to qualify for Accommodation, Sick Leave, or Long-Term Disability?

No.  Collective Agreement provisions apply to any medical condition with appropriate documentation, regardless of whether or not it is work-related.

If a condition is work-related or an accident occurs on campus, WorkSafeBC may become involved. Close Article


 
ACCOMMODATION FOR ILLNESS, DISABILITY OR INJURY

What is the purpose of accommodation for an illness, disability or injury?

Accommodations are designed to reduce or remove obstacles for employees with illness, disability or injury. They do not confer special privileges or reduce workload.  Accommodations are intended to minimize the impact of illness, injury or disability on an employee’s ability to perform their job. See Collective Agreement Section 55 Close Article


What is the University’s responsibility in providing medical accommodation to Members?

When medical documentation supports the need for an accommodation, the University is required to provide an accommodation that gives adequate support to the Member, except in cases where doing so creates undue hardship for the University as a whole. Close Article


I need an accommodation for a health condition. What are the steps?

We recommend consulting first with a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor, who can assist you throughout the process and help you negotiate an appropriate accommodation.

The Collective Agreement states that you should discuss your needs with your supervisor. You and your supervisor will then have a conversation with a Human Resources Work-Life Consultant.

The Collective Agreement states that you may also consult with the University Equity and Human Rights Office.

You should expect to provide medical documentation, preferably from a licensed and practicing physician.

See Collective Agreement Section 55.2 – 55.5 Close Article


Can an advocate accompany me to these meetings?

Yes. You are entitled to have a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor accompany you to all meetings relating to accommodation, Sick Leave and Long-Term Disability if you wish.  Having a representative present does not imply that you expect problems. A representative can be very helpful in taking notes, offering suggestions, remembering what was decided, and ensuring that all pertinent sections of the Collective Agreement are noted. Close Article


Do I have to be present at these meetings?

No. You can authorize a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor to act as your surrogate at meetings, and to seek information from the University regarding your request. Close Article


Who pays when an accommodation has a financial cost?

When medical documentation supports the need for an accommodation with a financial cost, the University is required to pay for the accommodation up to the point of undue hardship to University as a whole (not the individual unit).

The cost of accommodations may be paid for by a central accommodation fund, or through cost-sharing with a unit.

See Collective Agreement Section 55.6 Close Article


What are examples of types of accommodations?

Accommodations are designed on a case-by-case basis and vary depending on the medical documentation, your individual needs, and the nature of your work. The following list represents only a few examples of the various types of accommodation that may be implemented.

EQUIPMENT: Some accommodations relate to equipment. For example, medical documentation may indicate the need for a standing work station in your office or an ergonomic chair in your classroom.

TIMETABLE: Some accommodations relate to scheduling. For example, some medical conditions may be more easily managed if your teaching is scheduled at a particular time of day, or if you are teaching no more than one class per day.

ASSIGNMENTS: Some accommodations relate to teaching or committee assignments.  For example, it may be more sustainable for you to teach courses you are already familiar with, rather than to develop new ones outside your field of specialty. Similarly, it may be more sustainable for you to serve on committees that spread work throughout the term rather than working to deadlines.

When medical documentation indicates the need to reduce intense periods of grading activity during the term, TAs, caps on enrollment, or assignment of smaller courses can help achieve that goal.

REBUNDLING:  If there are portions of the job that you cannot perform on a sustainable basis due to illness, disability, or injury and that cannot be accommodated otherwise, the University is required to “rebundle” work assignments by substituting sustainable tasks for unsustainable tasks. Rebundling does not reduce your regular FTE status; rather, it rearranges the components of the workload to make your regular FTE status sustainable. In some cases, administration may be substituted for teaching when appropriate documentation is provided. Close Article


How is my accommodation chosen?

The accommodation plan is usually developed jointly by Human Resources, your supervisor and you, based on medical documentation.  The plan must take into account your experience with your health condition as well as relevant medical expertise about the condition and accommodation. We highly recommend that a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor accompany you in these consultations.

See Collective Agreement Section 55.1 Close Article


Can an accommodation differ from my unit’s Standard for the Distribution of Duties and Responsibilities, my Faculty’s Evaluation Policy, the Libraries Evaluation Policy, or the Collective Agreement?

Yes. If an accommodation differs from your unit’s Standard for the Distribution of Duties and Responsibilities, your Faculty’s Evaluation Policy, or the Libraries Evaluation Policy, it must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty or the University Librarian, as appropriate.  If it departs from the Collective Agreement, it must be approved by the Vice-President Academic and Provost and the Faculty Association See Collective Agreement Section 55.7 – 55.8 Close Article


I would prefer a different accommodation from the one proposed. What do I do?

The proposed accommodation does not have to be the best accommodation, but it must have a reasonable chance of providing sufficient support. If you and your medical team do not believe the proposed plan has a reasonable chance of providing sufficient support, there are provisions within the Collective Agreement that give you the ability to appeal and, if necessary, to have an independent consultant develop an alternate plan.

See Collective Agreement Section 55.12 – 55.17 Close Article


What happens if an accommodation we try does not provide enough support?

If an accommodation does not provide sufficient support, or your medical condition has changed and needs more support, a new or additional accommodation must be developed.

You may be asked to provide medical documentation. Close Article


Can I get an accommodation even though I have not been on sick leave?

Yes. An accommodation may prevent a health condition from deteriorating to the point where Sick Leave is required.

You may be asked to provide medical documentation. Close Article

I do not have a regular doctor. Can a doctor who does not know me well provide the necessary documentation for an accommodation?

In Victoria, many people lack access to a regular family doctor. This should not prevent you from getting an accommodation when it is medically indicated. If you are in this situation, we recommend you discuss your circumstances with a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor.Close Article


My doctor charges for providing the documentation that Human Resources requires for an accommodation. Who pays these fees?

The University should cover fees for obtaining medical documentation to support a request for accommodation. If your doctor will not bill the University directly, you can submit a receipt to Human Resources along with the medical documentation. A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you with this. Close Article


Can I be penalized for requesting or requiring an accommodation?

No.  The need for an accommodation cannot negatively impact Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion or Tenure decisions, MI evaluations, or lead to other work-related repercussions. Close Article


How long can I have an accommodation?

You can have an accommodation as long as your medical condition requires it. For indefinite needs, the accommodation plan is likely to include a clause that specifies when, how, and for how long the accommodation may be renewed. Updated medical information will likely be required for renewal.

If your accommodation was initially for a limited duration but you do not recover as quickly as expected, you should be able to obtain ongoing accommodation with updated medical information. Close Article


If I ask for an accommodation, can I be required to reduce my FTE status?

No. The University cannot require you to reduce FTE status because of illness, injury or disability unless it has been demonstrated that no accommodation can provide adequate support without causing undue hardship to the institution as a whole (not just your unit).

If the first accommodation plan does not provide sufficient support, another must be developed if your medical team agrees it is appropriate. Close Article


I have thought about reducing my FTE status voluntarily because of my health. Other than a lower salary, are there drawbacks?

Yes. If in the future you need Long Term Disability for any reason, your LTD benefits will be calculated as a percentage of your post-tax salary at your lower FTE status rather than at your original FTE status. Reducing your FTE status results in a lower salary, lower pension contributions, and a more complicated MI process as supervisors must compare you to full-time colleagues. If accommodations can support you adequately at your current FTE status, you can avoid these drawbacks. Close Article


Can I be required to give up a research term or vacation because of a health issue in order to spread workload more evenly through the year?

No. An accommodation plan designed to support a medical condition should not require you to surrender rights guaranteed in the Collective Agreement. Accommodation plans should be developed to provide sufficient support without losing research or vacation time, unless you prefer to do so. Close Article


Can I be required to give up a research term or vacation because of a health issue in order to spread workload more evenly through the year?

Personal information related to an accommodation is treated in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and with the University’s Privacy Policy (GV0134).

The accommodation plan and supporting documentation is recorded by Human Resources. The accommodation plan is included in the Member’s Personnel File and is considered confidential.

The Equity Office receives written notification of all accommodation plans, with identifying information removed.

If the accommodation plan differs from the unit’s Standard for the Distribution of Duties and Responsibilities, your Faculty’s Evaluation Policy, the Libraries Evaluation Policy, or the Collective Agreement, a statement about the accommodation will be included in your Official Performance File. This statement will not refer to the diagnosis and will solely notify those evaluating your performance that the accommodation has been made and will need to be taken into account.

Some accommodations will be obvious to colleagues. In these cases, you may wish to make it clear to your supervisor how you would like this information to be presented. Diagnoses and disabilities are confidential and should not be discussed without your consent.

See Collective Agreement Section 55.9 – 55.11 Close Article


 
SICK LEAVE

See Collective Agreement Section 51

When can I take Sick Leave?

You can take Sick Leave if you have an illness, disability, or injury that medical documentation describes as preventing you from doing your job, even with an accommodation. This includes accidents or surgeries – you do not have to be “sick” to be on Sick Leave.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.4 Close Article


What does Sick Leave provide?

When you are on Sick Leave, you continue with your full salary, benefits, and pension contributions. Time on Sick Leave counts towards your Study Leave eligibility. Close Article


How long can I be on Sick Leave?

Sick Leave can last a maximum of six months, with medical documentation. If you are not able to return to work within six months, you may be eligible for Long Term Disability.

Members on Sick Leave longer than three months may be asked to apply for Long Term Disability to allow time for the LTD provider to process the application without any gaps in the receipt of benefits.Close Article


Who approves Sick Leave?

When you become ill, disabled or injured and cannot perform employment duties and responsibilities, you should inform your supervisor as soon as possible, and provide appropriate medical documentation. Your supervisor can approve the first week of Sick Leave.  Sick leave for the remainder of the first month – if needed – can be approved by the Dean or the University Librarian in consultation with Human Resources. Sick Leave for the next two months can be approved by the Dean or the University Librarian in consultation with HR and the Provost. After the first three months, sick leave up to an additional three more months can be approved by the Provost with updated medical documentation. A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you in each step of this process.

Medical documentation may be requested at various points during the six months of Sick Leave.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.6 – 51.10 Close Article


I had an accident and could not submit medical documentation immediately. What do I do?

You should submit documentation as soon as you reasonably can. Sick leave starts on the date when your illness, disability or injury made you unable to perform your employment duties.

See Collective Agreement Sections 51.4 and 51.11 Close Article


I have surgery scheduled that my surgeon knows will require weeks of Sick Leave. Will I need to provide medical updates when it is obvious in advance that I cannot return after one week or one month?

It can be logistically difficult to acquire proper documentation from your doctor after surgery. We suggest that you discuss the documentation schedule with Human Resources before the surgery. You may also ask a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor to do this on your behalf. Close Article


I do not have a regular doctor. Can a doctor who does not know me well provide the necessary documentation for a Sick Leave?

In Victoria, many people lack access to a regular family doctor. This circumstance should not prevent you from going on Sick Leave when medically indicated. If you are in this situation, we recommend you discuss your circumstances with a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor. Close Article


My doctor charges for providing the documentation that Human Resources requires to start or end a Sick Leave. Who pays these fees?

The University should cover fees for obtaining medical documentation to document a Sick Leave or to authorize a return to work from Sick Leave. If your doctor will not bill the University directly, you can submit a receipt to Human Resources along with the medical documentation.  A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist with this. Close Article


Can I take Sick Leave in the middle of a teaching term?

Yes. You should go on sick leave as soon medical circumstances (that can be documented) require it. Pushing yourself beyond what your medical team advises can further compromise your health and lead to a longer recovery. Close Article


I am on a wait list for surgery. I have been offered a surgery date during a teaching term. Can I accept this date?

Yes. If surgery is needed you can accept a surgery date during a teaching term. Once you accept the date, you should notify your supervisor. Close Article


If I need to stop teaching in the middle of a teaching term, do I have to provide teaching materials for the entire course?

No. You are not required to share intellectual property or to do extra work before or after your Sick Leave. Close Article


If I need to stop teaching in the middle of a teaching term, do I have to provide teaching materials for the entire course?

Yes. You return from Sick Leave when, and only when, your medical documentation authorizes it. You should not return at the start of a teaching term if you are not medically prepared to do so.

If you teach and return to work during a teaching term, you may be asked to take over a course or to substitute other duties.

A Faculty Association’s Membership Services Advisor can help you with these negotiations. Close Article


Can I have an accommodation when I start back to work after Sick Leave?

Yes. Your doctor can authorize you to start work again with an appropriate accommodation.  You do not need to be able to work without an accommodation to start back to work from Sick Leave.Close Article


Can I have a graduated return to work from Sick Leave?

A graduated return to work usually only applies to Long Term Disability rather than to Sick Leave. It is rare that one can be negotiated after Sick Leave. If your medical team will not authorize you to start back to work – even with an accommodation – you may need to apply for LTD.

A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist in reviewing your options. Close Article


I have been on Sick Leave for three months. I don’t think I’ll need Long-Term Disability. Should I still apply?

Yes. It is a good idea to apply for LTD even if you think you will probably not need it. This is so there is no gap in your receipt of benefits if you do not recover as quickly as you expect. Close Article


How does time on Sick Leave affect the evaluation period for reappointment or tenure?

Depending on the amount of time you are on Sick Leave, evaluation windows periods may be extended.

You can also appeal to your Dean to defer reappointment or tenure evaluation if you have not been on Sick Leave, but feel illness or disability has adversely affected your work to a significant degree. In this case, we strongly encourage you to seek the support of a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor prior to starting your appeal.

See Collective Agreement Section 48.1 – 48.5 Close Article


I am a Faculty Member. How does time on Sick Leave affect evaluation windows for Merit Increments?

If you have been on Sick Leave or LTD for more than one teaching term during the evaluation period, the evaluation period for the purposes of evaluating teaching and other contributions is retroactively extended by one year. This does not apply to evaluating research.

Faculty Evaluation Policies must have provisions for taking into account the effects of Sick Leave and LTD. If these provisions are lacking or are vague or ambiguous, a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor should be contacted.

See Collective Agreement Sections 19.29.3 & 19.5.7 Close Article


I am a Librarian. How does time on Sick Leave affect my evaluation window for Career Progress Increments and Merit Increments?

If you have been on Sick Leave or LTD for more than four months during the evaluation period, the evaluation period is extended back by one year.

See Section 19.29.4 of the CA Close Article


My Sick Leave affected my productivity. What happens when I am evaluated?

Every Faculty Evaluation Policy must have a provision for taking into account the effects that Sick Leave or Long-Term Disability may have on performance and your performance evaluation.  Some Faculty Evaluation Policies lack specific details about what this means.

In addition to the fact that you are not working while on Sick Leave, Sick Leave can also have impacts that may include, but are not limited to, an inability to participate in conferences, the need to turn down professional invitations or active roles in projects, and the need for a “catching up” period when your leave is over as you get up-to-date with literature and developments in your field that took place during your leave.

It is important to note that evaluation windows may be extended back for teaching and other contributions, but that they are not extended back for research.  This means that your evaluation window for research may be shorter than that of your colleagues who were not on leave.

A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you in explaining the impacts of your leave.

See Collective Agreement Section 19.5.7 Close Article


Can I do any work while I am on Sick Leave?

You should not do any paid employment while you are on Sick Leave.

It is advisable to avoid any work activities, even work without pay, while you are on Sick Leave. If you need Long-Term Disability at the end of the six months of Sick Leave, eligibility requires that you were unable to perform work for the previous six months. Even minor activities such as writing letters of recommendation for students may negatively impact your eligibility for LTD.

Before performing any professional duties, paid or unpaid, you should consult a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor. Close Article


I am on Study Leave or Administrative Leave and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

Depending on how long your leave is, how long you are expected to be sick or disabled, and how much of your leave remains, you may be able to cancel the remainder of your Study Leave or Administrative Leave and go on Sick Leave. You may then be entitled to a replacement Study Leave after you recover. Make sure to consult a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor to see if you are eligible.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.22 – 51.23 Close Article


I am on leave without pay or compassionate leave and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

No. Your current leave will not be cancelled. If your medical condition continues past the end of your current leave, you should notify your supervisor in order to document the date when the illness or disability began. This is important in case you need to go directly onto Long-Term Disability when your current leave is over.

If you are still ill when your current leave ends but have not yet been ill or disabled for the six months required to qualify for LTD, you will go on Sick Leave until you have been ill or disabled for six months (with appropriate documentation).

See Collective Agreement Section 51.21 Close Article


I have not yet reached my normal retirement age. Is there a limit to how often I can take Sick Leave?

The Collective Agreement does not include restrictions on how often you can take Sick Leave if you have not reached normal retirement age. However, any consecutive Sick Leave for the same medical condition can only last six months. It is expected that if you are not able to return to work in a sustainable way after a six-month Sick Leave for the same condition, you will apply for Long-Term Disability.Close Article


I am past my normal retirement age and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

Yes. However, if you are on Sick Leave for longer than six months, you will not be eligible for Long Term Disability. Also, if you are past your normal retirement age you are limited to a maximum of six months of sick leave in any two adjacent Academic Years. If you have exhausted your six months of sick leave, you can take leave without salary for up to two years.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.24 – 51.27 Close Article


When can I return to work from Sick Leave?

If you have medical authorization, you have the right to return to work. The University may request additional documentation. If so, you should contact a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor immediately.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.13 Close Article


What must the medical documentation authorize?

Your medical documentation must indicate that you are ready to perform the duties of your job, even those components that may not be immediately necessary. You must be able to perform anything you need to do for your job at any time of the year. If you teach and are returning to work at a time of the year when you do not normally have classes, your documentation must authorize you to teach even though you will not be doing so immediately.Close Article


Can I return to work from Sick Leave if I will need an accommodation?

Yes. If you will need an accommodation, your medical documentation should make this clear.  Close Article


When I return to work, am I expected to make up work that I missed when I was sick?

No. If you teach, you do not owe courses that you missed. If you are a Librarian, you do not owe work that you missed. In either case, if you are expected to continue with a project you were working on before you were on Sick Leave, it should be included as a part of your normal work load. Close Article


I teach but I have to go on Sick Leave. Who finds my replacement?

Your supervisor is responsible for finding a replacement and/or redistributing your responsibilities.  They may consult with you if your health permits, but this should not become onerous.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.12 Close Article


 
LONG-TERM DISABILITY

What is Long-Term Disability?

Long-Term Disability (LTD) provides income for Members who cannot work, even with an accommodation, due to illness or disability. LTD is administered by an insurance company on contract with UVic.  Benefits are 80% of your salary after tax withholdings at whatever FTE status you had prior to requiring LTD coverage. This formula is applied regardless of your financial circumstances.  

See Collective Agreement Section 51.14 – 51-20 Close Article


Am I eligible for LTD?

To qualify for LTD, you must have been unable to work for the six months prior to the requested start of LTD coverage. In this case, you are expected to apply for LTD at least three months before the end of your Sick Leave.

LTD is not available for Members who have passed their normal retirement age.Close Article


Why isn’t there LTD past normal retirement age?

LTD is intended to provide a source of income for Members who cannot work due to illness or disability. Members past retirement age have an alternative source of income and therefore do not pay into LTD. Close Article


Is there partial LTD?

No. To qualify for LTD, you must be considered completely unable to work. Close Article


I was on Study Leave when I got sick. Are my LTD benefits calculated as 80% of my regular salary after tax withholdings or my post-tax Study Leave salary?

LTD will be calculated as 80% of your regular salary after tax withholdings as you are still at your regular FTE while on Study Leave. Close Article


I used to work at FTE 1.0, but recently I have been working at a reduced FTE. Are my LTD benefits calculated as 80% of my FTE 1.0 salary or as 80% of my reduced FTE?

Your LTD benefits will normally be calculated as a percentage of your FTE status when you went on Sick Leave. Members should consider this risk when deciding whether to reduce their FTE status for any reason. Close Article


Do I pay taxes on LTD benefits?

No. LTD benefits are not taxed as they are calculated based on your salary after tax withholdings. If you regularly have enough tax deductions each year to get a large refund, you may want to petition Revenue Canada to authorize smaller withholdings.Close Article


What do I need to pay for when I am on LTD?

You will need to pay your MSP premiums directly. However, you qualify for MSP’s Regular Premium Assistance while on LTD. You will have to apply for this on an annual basis.

Parking discounts, bus passes and other employee discounts are not normally available when you are on LTD. Close Article


How long can I stay on LTD?

With medical documentation, you can stay on LTD until the June 30 following your 65th birthday. LTD is not available past this date because you are eligible for retirement.

You will not be charged LTD premiums past the June 30 following your 65th birthday. Close Article


What happens to my job when I am on LTD?

Your job (or an equivalent) must remain available to you if you are able to return to work from LTD, regardless of how long you are on LTD, unless holding the job creates undue hardship for the University (not the unit).Close Article


How does time on Long Term Disability affect windows for reappointment or tenure?

Time on LTD does not count towards the calculation of reappointment or tenure.

See Collective Agreement Section 48.5 Close Article


My time on LTD has affected my productivity. What happens when I am evaluated?

Every Faculty Evaluation Policy must have a provision for taking into account the effects that Sick Leave or LTD may have on performance and your performance evaluation.  Some Faculty Evaluation Policies lack specific details about what this means. A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you in explaining the impacts of your leave.

See Collective Agreement Section 19.5.7 Close Article


If the LTD insurer accepts my application, what should I expect?

The insurance company will assign a case manager to your case.  They will periodically ask for medical documentation.  The insurer may request that you see a specialist. The insurer will also assign a rehabilitation specialist to you, who may visit you in order to report back to the insurance company on your circumstances. If at any point you disagree with the actions or recommendations of the insurer, you should contact a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor immediately.Close Article


The insurance company wants me to do tests that they administer. What should I do?

Normally the insurer accepts reports from your doctors. If the insurer requests testing that they administer or insists you see a specialist they have chosen, contact a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor.Close Article


I am on tenure-track but do not have tenure. How does LTD affect my tenure track status?

Your reappointment and tenure clock stops while you are on LTD or a graduated return to work from LTD.Close Article


How does time on LTD affect salary?

Your salary is frozen while you are on LTD. However, you may have cost of living increases applied to the LTD benefits you are receiving. After you have returned to work (and completed any graduated return to work period), your salary will be adjusted according to the Procedures of the Vice-President Academic and Provost Regarding Salary Adjustments after Long-Term Disability. Close Article


How will time on LTD affect my study leave?

Unlike time on Sick Leave, time on LTD does not count towards Study Leave eligibility. Close Article


I am a Faculty Member. How does time on LTD affect evaluation windows for Merit Increments?

If you have been on Sick Leave or LTD for more than one teaching term during the evaluation period, the evaluation period for the purposes of evaluating teaching and other contributions is extended back by one year. This does not apply to evaluating research.

Faculty Evaluation Policies must have provisions for taking into account the effects of Sick Leave and LTD. If these provisions are lacking or are vague or ambiguous, a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor should be contacted.

See Collective Agreement Sections 19.29.3 & 19.5.7 Close Article


I am a Librarian. How does time on LTD affect my evaluation window for Career Progress Increments and Merit Increments?

If you have been on Sick Leave or LTD for more than four months during the evaluation period, the evaluation period is extended back by one year.

See Collective Agreement Section 19.29.4 Close Article


Can I work while I am on LTD?

If you do any work for pay, you immediately jeopardize your LTD benefits. You should be cautious about doing any work, even work without pay, as well as minor activities such as writing letters of recommendation for students. Any work-related activities you perform may be viewed by the insurer as an indication that you are no longer fully disabled and could affect their decision to continue benefits regardless as to your actual ability to return to work.Close Article


Can I return to work from LTD if I will need an accommodation?

Yes. You do not need to be able to work without an accommodation to return to work from LTD if your medical documentation indicates an accommodation can adequately support you.  A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you in the process of establishing a return to work plan, including any accommodations.Close Article


My doctor authorized me to start back to work from LTD. Can the University keep me from returning?

If you have medical authorization, you have the right to return to work. The insurer or the University may request additional documentation. If so, you should contact a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor immediately.Close Article


If I am on LTD, do I qualify for the Disability Tax Credit on my Income Taxes?

Being accepted by the insurance company for LTD does not necessarily mean you will qualify for the Federal or Provincial Disability Tax Credit. However, depending on your circumstances, you may want to apply for it.Close Article


My doctor charges for providing the documentation required for starting or ending LTD. Who pays these fees?

The University should cover fees for obtaining medical documentation in relation to Long-Term Disability. If your doctor will not bill the University directly, you can submit a receipt to Human Resources along with the medical documentation. Alternatively, you can ask a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor to assist. Close Article


Should I apply for CPP Disability Benefits?

On occasion, Members on LTD may have conditions that qualify for the CPP Disability Benefit. If so, applying for this benefit is in your interest and will not jeopardize your position with the University.Close Article


What happens if the insurer does not approve my application for LTD?
 
GRADUATED RETURN TO WORK FROM LONG-TERM DISABILITY (LTD)

What is a graduated return to work from LTD?

When you are ready to return to work from LTD, your medical team may feel it is best to start below your regular FTE and increase your workload gradually. With appropriate medical documentation, a graduated return to work plan can be in effect for a maximum of two years.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.19 Close Article


What will my salary be during a graduated return to work from LTD?

Your salary will be 90% of your regular salary before LTD and after tax withholdings. The insurer continues to pay 80% of your regular salary after tax withholdings and UVic pays the balance up to 90%.  This formula applies regardless of the FTE status you are assigned at each phase of your graduated return to work plan.Close Article


How is a graduated return to work plan designed?

The graduated return to work plan is designed by Human Resources in consultation with you and your supervisor and should be consistent with your medical documentation. We recommend that you invite a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor to participate in these discussions.

The plan will be designed to increase duties and/or workload gradually.Close Article


What is my FTE status during the graduated return to work plan?

You will be assigned an FTE status during the graduated return to work plan, which may change as duties increase. However, your salary remains the same regardless of FTE status. For instructors, Human Resources normally calculates FTE status based on number of courses taught. Therefore, workload may increase without changing FTE status. For instance, an instructor may teach a seminar the first term and a lecture course the second term.  FTE status would remain the same, but in practice workload may be greater.

A plan may change depending on your health.

Medical documentation may be requested periodically.Close Article


How does a graduated return to work plan affect pension contributions and Study Leave eligibility?

Pension contributions resume and are based on your FTE status.

Time on a graduated return to work plan counts as a percentage towards Study Leave. For example, twelve months at FTE 0.5 counts as six eligible months towards your Study Leave.Close Article


Can I have an accommodation during a graduated return to work plan?

Yes. When medical documentation supports the need, you may have an accommodation during a graduated return to work and, if needed, after you are fully off LTD and back to your regular FTE status.Close Article


My doctor authorized me to return to work without a graduated return to work period. Am I required to take a graduated return to work?

If you have medical authorization to return to work without a graduated return, you may do so.

The University and the insurer may request additional documentation.Close Article


Am I still on LTD during my graduated return to work plan?

Yes, you are still technically on LTD.  Time on a graduated return to work plan does not count towards your reappointment, tenure, or salary evaluations.Close Article


What happens to my salary after I have finished the graduated return to work and am off LTD?

Upon ending a graduated return to work plan or upon returning to work from LTD without a graduated return, your salary is adjusted according to the Procedures of the Vice-President Academic and Provost Regarding Salary Adjustments After Long-Term Disability. This document provides an appeals process should you disagree with the salary adjustment. If you choose to appeal, a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you.Close Article