The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) is partnering with the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario (HALCO) and the ARCH Disability Law Centre to intervene in an important human rights case. Our coalition will argue that it is discriminatory for insurance companies and employers to to reduce the amount of long-term disability benefits they pay to disabled workers who are receiving Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) payments.
Disability insurance plays a critical role in ensuring that those who are off work due to disability have access to the income they need to survive. Every worker contributes to the Canada Pension Plan and many also contribute to private long-term disability insurance plans provided through their workplace.
However, payments from private long-term disability plans are always less than the worker earned while they were working. This often leaves a big income gap at a time when the worker’s expenses are actually higher because of their disability-related needs.
To compound this problem, private insurance companies have a practice of deducting CPP-D benefits from long-term disability payments. But CPP-D payments are only made to workers who can show that they have severe disabilities that will prevent them from working for a long time. The deduction of CPP-D from long-term disability payments means that those with the most severe disabilities actually get less from their insurance plans than those with milder disabilities.
Paul Reilly is on a long-term leave from Ford Motor Company, and qualifies for both CPP-D and long-term disability through Ford’s private insurance plan. The Ford plan deducts his CPP-D payments dollar-for-dollar. He is challenging that practice in an application at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on the grounds that it discriminates against him on the basis of disability.
To read more about his case, click here.
The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. on Monday June 18th at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario office in Toronto (655 Bay Street, 14th Floor). The hearing is expected to continue on June 20 and 21.