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Salary Indemnity Plan (SIP)—Short term
Frequently asked questions

Note:  

The Salary Indemnity Plan is not insured by an insurance company regulated under the Financial Institutions Act. The BCTF is exempt from the regulatory requirements of the Financial Institutions Act. 

Included for your information are some basic responses to frequently asked questions regarding the short-term portion of the Salary Indemnity Plan. If your question is not answered, please contact a claims officer at 604-871-1921. 

I’m out of, or running out of, sick leave. How do I apply for SIP-short term? 
Members, who suspect that their illness will continue beyond their sick leave entitlements, are encouraged to contact the Income Security Division of the BCTF at least one month prior to the expiration of their sick leave. Call 604-871-1921 or 1-800-663-9163 extension 1921 and ask for a short-term disability benefits application package. 

How much does SIP-short term pay?
SIP benefits are 50% of the salary reported to us by the school district. The benefit is non-taxable. In addition, the member does not pay, but receives credit for having paid, their pension as well as local and BCTF fees. 

How long does SIP-short term last? 
A member is entitled to a maximum of 120 days of short-term disability benefits, in respect of any one claim. 

Am I entitled to SIP short-term if I have withdrawn from the long-term portion of the plan? 
All members pay the short-term portion of the SIP fee and are entitled to apply for short-term disability benefits. 

Why do I have to use my sick leave entitlements before going on short-term SIP? 
Your local association has negotiated sick leave provisions into your local collective agreement. These provisions place the onus on the employer (school board) to provide full pay with respect to a documented illness until the expiration of sick leave or the maximum number of sick leave days that may be used in a year. Salary Indemnity Plan regulations state that a member shall be eligible for benefits on the first working day following the termination/expiration of sick leave.

Can I skip short-term and go directly to the long-term portion of SIP if I have a long-term illness? 
The plan regulations are quite specific that a member shall be eligible for long-term disability benefits immediately following the termination of sick leave and SIP short-term benefits. Therefore, it is not possible to skip the short-term portion of the plan and go directly to the long-term portion. 

What if I receive income from another source? How will that impact my SIP short-term benefit?
SIP regulations state that your disability benefits are reduced by payments from WCB for the same accident or illness, Employment Insurance (maternity/parental), the Teachers’ Pension Plan, a retirement pension received under a registered pension plan if the retirement income from that plan would be considered earnings under section 35 of the Employment Insurance Regulations or from employment.

Why does SIP not accept every claim for which my employer has provided sick leave?
Claims may be denied for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • the actual reason for the member’s absence from employment is due to labour relations issues,
  • the member needs a leave of absence for personal reasons,
  • the member chooses to work a reduced assignment or refuses to work to prevent a potential injury/illness,
  • the member has not complied with a licensed physician’s recommendations related to the disabling condition, and
  • for substance abuse-related illnesses, the member is not participating in a substance withdrawal program recognized by an addition medicine specialist.

How do I appeal a decision to deny, suspend, or terminate my claim?
The Income Security Committee shall review and rule upon any issue of interpretation or application of the regulations, including eligibility for benefits, in any claim where a member questions the decision of the SIP administrator. The Income Security Committee meets five times per school year to hear member appeals. An appeal can usually be heard at the next meeting of the Income Security Committee as long as your appeal documents have been received at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.

September 2017

 

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