Short-term and long-term disability

Your short-term and long-term disability plans offer you and your family an extremely important source of financial protection. The plans will provide you with a continuing source of income, even if a serious illness or injury keeps you from working.

Short-term disability

As an eligible employee, you are automatically enrolled for short-term disability.

In the event of a prolonged absence due to disability, the short-term disability (STD) plan provides for the continuation of 100% of your regular salary for a period of up to six months. Salary will be reduced by all normal payroll deductions, any amount received as a result of government legislation in respect of the disability, and all contributions to benefit plans.

In order to be eligible for leave at full salary, you must submit medical evidence of disability from a qualified physician (a completed and signed Physician's Statement). 

For further details and procedures, please refer to your respective policies or collective agreements.

Drug and alcohol provision

You will not qualify for payments from the LTD Plan for any disabilities related to drug or alcohol use unless you are engaged in, and subsequently complete, a recognized rehabilitation program intended specifically for the treatment of substance abuse. This treatment must begin during the 6-month period of STD benefits.

Long-term disability

As an eligible employee, coverage is mandatory.

The first six months of your disability are covered by the short term disability (STD) plan. If a disability keeps you away from work for longer than six months, the LTD Plan will provide you with a regular income.

Under the terms of the LTD Plan, you will receive a monthly non-taxable disability income equal to

60% of the first $3,000 of your covered monthly earnings, plus

45% of the balance of your covered monthly earnings

The maximum monthly benefit payable is $5,325

However, the overall maximum must not exceed 87% of the covered net earnings determined at the end of the elimination period of disability.

"Covered earnings" means your gross earnings, excluding any supplementary, sessional, or overtime payments. 

When coverage ends

In all cases, payments end when you are considered no longer totally disabled as defined in the plan, retire, reach age 65, or die—whichever comes first.

Wind-up of the LTD trust

August 7, 2018

The Trustees of a defunct Long Term Disability Plan (1993) for employees of McGill University are in the process of winding up the trust. There is a small surplus in the trust which will be distributed to eligible recipients.   

As such, the University is in the process of contacting all eligible current and former employees who were members of the Plan as at December 31, 1993, in order to confirm their current mailing address. We aim to contact eligible members in the following weeks. If you were such a member, you will be asked to confirm your information on file, provide your updated coordinates, and confirm your dates of employment, in order to enable the distribution of any funds to which you are entitled.

The payout of the surplus will take place in 2019.

Should you have any questions, please contact McGill Human Resources, at [at]

Additional Information

Examples of monthly LTD benefit calculation

For a yearly covered earnings total of $80,000, a monthly LTD benefit would be $3,450:

60% x $3,000
45% x $3,667

Total $3,450.00

For a yearly covered earnings total of $40,000, a monthly LTD benefit would be $1,950:

60% x $3,000
45% x $333
$   150.00

Total $1,950.00

Additional sources of income

The LTD Plan is intended to top up disability benefits available to you elsewhere. As such, any benefits you receive from the LTD Plan will be reduced by:

  • benefits payable from Workers' Compensation
  • disability benefits under any other government program
  • income replacement benefits payable under any Motor Vehicle Insurance Law, or Criminal Injuries Compensation Act
  • wages or remuneration payable from any employer

You must apply for disability benefits under whichever of the above plans might be appropriate. Please note that payments received from C/QPP are taxable.

In no case can the benefit you receive from all sources exceed 87% of your covered net earnings at the end of your six months of STD benefits.

You must comply with the plan requirement on an ongoing basis. If you don't, your benefit payments could be interrupted. 

Who pays for LTD coverage

You pay the full cost of your LTD coverage through payroll deduction. Because you pay the full cost of this coverage, any disability benefits you receive under the LTD Plan are tax-free. See Rate summary for information on costs.

Please note that your Group Life and Accident Insurance premium payments will be "waived" while you are eligible for benefit payments under the LTD Plan. In addition, your pension contributions will be paid by the University. You may keep your coverage under the Health and Dental Plans by continuing to pay your share of the cost.

In the case of an active member whose employment terminates while they are in receipt of LTD payments, the continuation of the Pension Plan, Health Plan and Dental Plan shall not extend beyond the employment end date.

Defining disability

You are considered disabled during the first 24 months of your LTD leave if the insurer determines that you are incapable of performing the essential duties of your own occupation. You must continue to be treated by a physician during this 24-month period.

After receiving LTD benefits for 24 months, you are considered disabled if the insurer determines you are incapable of performing any occupation for which you are reasonably suited (or could become suited) by education, training or experience.

Recurring disability

If you have a recurrence of the same or a related disability within six months after you return to work, it will be considered a continuation of your previous period of disability. As such, you will apply directly for LTD benefits. Medical proof of your disability will, once again, be required.

If you become disabled for a different cause—or if you return to work for more than six consecutive months before becoming disabled again—the process will start over. You will apply first for benefits under the STD Plan before LTD payments resume.

Rehabilitative employment

One of the main objectives of the LTD Plan is to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Experience shows that rehabilitative employment is one of the best ways of doing just that.

Any LTD payments you receive will be reduced by 50% of the net income you earn through rehabilitative employment. Your total disability income from all sources, excluding individual insurance policies, can't exceed 100% of your net pre-disability earnings.

What the plan doesn't cover

The plan does not cover any disability resulting from the following causes:

  • any period during which you are not under the continuous care and treatment of a surgeon or licensed physician
  • any injury or illness resulting from civil unrest, insurrection or war, whether war be declared or not, or participation in a riot
  • attempted suicide or voluntary self-inflicted injury, while sane or insane
  • flight or attempted flight on board an airplane or other aircraft if the participant is part of the crew or performs any function relating to the flight, or participates in the flights as a parachutist
  • injury or illness resulting from committing, attempting to commit, or provoking an assault or criminal offence

Drug and alcohol provision

You will not qualify for payments from the LTD Plan for any disabilities related to drug or alcohol use unless you are engaged in, and subsequently complete, a recognized rehabilitation program intended specifically for the treatment of substance abuse.  This treatment must begin during the six-month period of STD benefits.