Long Term SIP – FAQ

Who pays the teacher’s fees?
Fees like BCTF, local dues and SIP are all waived while in receipt of both short and long-term benefits. However, those fees will be deducted for any portion the member is working accommodation employment.  (Regulation 7.3—locals and the BCTF also waive their fees)

Members pay a fee (in 2012, the fee was 1.63%) that is allocated to the short-term and long-term portion of the Salary Indemnity Plan. That fee is fixed annually at the AGM of the BCTF. Members may withdraw from paying the long-term portion of the fee once they have reached factor 88 (sum of age and years of service) or 64 years of age or age 65. However, withdrawal should only occur if the member has enough sick days accumulated that will allow them to remain at full salary should they become medically unable to work prior to reaching factor 90. 


Are my medical bills paid by GWL? 
No, SIP Regulation 3.8 says: “Expenses incurred by the member in obtaining medical certificates or other requested information under this regulation shall be borne by the member….” The only exception is when a member is required to submit to an independent medical examination (IME) by medical professionals selected by the plan administrator
(Regulation 3.4).


You have my claim, how long do I wait for a decision?  What is the LTD claim process?
If they have the necessary information, GWL often turns around a decision within a few weeks.  However, it is not unusual for GWL to require further medical information or a clarification on the medical information submitted as part of the application.  If this is the case, members are notified by GWL.  It is likely GWL will telephone a member for an interview prior to the decision. Once a decision has been reached the member is contacted by telephone with a follow-up letter.


Why does GWL ask for additional medical and other information?
SIP Regulation 3.7 indicates that: “A member in receipt of benefits for more than three months will be required to provide supporting medical evidence indicating that he/she is receiving ongoing care and treatment by a licensed specialist physician for that disability, or a registered psychologist as directed by a licensed physician except where the plan administrator is aware that the disability is terminal.” 
All regulations are passed at BCTF Annual General Meetings by a 75% majority of the delegates.  Great-West Life must adjudicate and manage the claims according to the regulations they have been given.


What happens to my extended health benefits and am I covered?
While on LTD benefits a member’s continued involvement in their district’s extended health benefits plan (EHB) will depend on the language in their Collective Agreement. Many plans require members to pay both the employee and employer’s share of contributions to remain on their EHB plan while on LTD. It is important to check with your local union office to ensure you maintain coverage while on LTD.