WIP Delays In Adjudication Of Claims

We the Board of Trustees would like to assure you the members that we are aware of the increased adjudication times for the Wage indemnity Plan due to the unprecedented volume of applications. These higher than usual numbers are due to the 7 day rule, the increase in member population and COVID-19.  The team at Manion has been working overtime hours to try and meet the increased volume and has commenced hiring of new staff to help reduce the wait times. To date we have exceeded the entire number of claims that were adjudicated in the 2019 year.

We want to inform members of a 3-4 week wait time to have your claim adjudicated from receipt of all the documents

Please ensure when applying that you utilize the packages by clicking here; fill in all documents; clearly sign and date, ensure that if there are clinical notes that your Dr. has attached them to the physician’s statement.

If you receive the auto response below from Manion please be aware that your documents are received and in the queue for registration and then adjudication. All items are logged with date and time. There is not a need to follow up with a phone call.

We are currently experiencing significantly higher than normal claim volumes. This has resulted in an extended time for us to review and communicate the status of your claim. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience while we work through this. Thank you for your email, your inquiry is important to us. This is an automated response to let you know that we have successfully received your e-mail.

If you are submitting your application for Disability benefits via e-mail, please scan your document(s) and then attach the file(s) to your email. Please ensure that your application is a true representation of the forms, there is no background/border, and all the wording is legible.

Our business hours are Monday – Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm Eastern Time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we move forward through these next few months.

On behalf of your WIP Board of Trustees,

Patricia Eberley
Administrative Consultant

NOTE:  All Policy Booklet information can be accessed on the Air Canada Component of CUPE web site www.accomponent.ca.

Manion, Wilkins & Associates
Plan Administration
626-21 Four Seasons Place
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9B 0A6

Switchboard: 416-234-5044
Toll Free Line:  1-800-663-7849
Fax: 416-234-0127
Contact Centre: 1-866-532-8999

WIP – Continuation Of Coverage During Absence From Work – Effective April Block Month

Prepayment of premiums is not required for an absence from the payroll of fifteen (15) calendar days or less.  Prepayment of premiums is required for an absence from the payroll of sixteen (16) or more calendar days for one of the following reasons.  You must prepay the required premium in full within thirty (30) days in order to be eligible for benefit consideration following the end of any of these periods:

1. Leave of absence granted: (such as personal, educational, maternity, child care, bereavement, or jury duty) other than inability to meet medical standards (IMMS), your coverage may be continued for a maximum duration of up to 24 months;

If you have elected to keep your coverage in force and you become totally disabled during the 24-month period, the elimination period will commence on the date you are scheduled to return to work.

2. Lay-off: your coverage may be continued for a maximum duration of up to six (6) months. Should you become disabled during the six-month period, you will not be eligible for benefit consideration unless you are recalled from lay-off status.

If you have elected to keep your coverage in force and you become totally disabled during the 6-month period, the elimination period will commence on the date you are scheduled to return to work;

3. Suspension: your coverage may be continued for the duration of your suspension.

If you have elected to keep your coverage in force and should you be eligible for benefit consideration, the elimination period will begin on the date you are recalled to work;

4. Strike or lockout: your coverage will be suspended during the strike or lockout but will be reinstated once the strike or lockout has ended and you have returned to active work.

If you are in receipt of disability benefits under the contract before the strike or lock-out, benefits shall continue during the strike or lock-out.

Should you become totally disabled during a strike or lockout, you will not be eligible for benefit consideration.

Should you not prepay the required premium, your coverage will lapse and will not become effective until you return to full-time active work as a flight attendant.

To ensure continued coverage for up to 24 months (six (6) months during a lay-off), you must make the first required premium payment within 30 days from the commencement of the leave of absence. The date payment is received by MANION will determine your on time payment.

For more information regarding prepayment of premiums or to make arrangements for prepayment of premiums, please contact MANION by phone at 416-234-3511 or toll free at 1-866-532-8999.

VACATION
If you are on vacation and become disabled, the 7-day elimination period commences following the date first not available for work at the completion of your vacation.

If your leave of absence of 16 (sixteen) or more calendar days precedes your vacation and you have not prepaid the premium for that leave of absence, coverage will not be reinstated until you return to active work.

No prepayment of premiums is required when you are absent from work due to vacation or a personal leave of absence of 15 (fifteen) calendar days or less.

HOW TO FILE A WAGE INDEMNITY CLAIMEffective April Block Month
The Application for Wage Indemnity Plan Benefits, including the Claimant’s Statement, Employer’s Statement and Physician’s Statement, should be completed as soon as you know you will off work for more than 7 days. Your 7-day elimination period commences from the date of your first flight missed or first reserve day missed, if on reserve.

YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION MUST BE RECEIVED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF YOUR FIRST FLIGHT MISSED OR FIRST RESERVE DAY MISSED, IF ON RESERVE.

Employer’s Statement
If not already completed when received, the Employer’s Statement should be completed as soon as possible.

Claimant’s Statement
Email to acclaims@manionwilkins.com or Mail the completed claimant’s statement directly to MANION. Do not use crew boxes or leave at the Airport Office.

  • In case of an accident, be sure to explain the circumstances on a separate sheet. (WCB, Motor Vehicle, Home)
  • Ensure you sign and date the Authorization at the bottom of the page.

Physician’s Statement
You must see a physician (MD) within 14 days of your first flight missed or first reserve day missed, if on reserve, in order to qualify for benefits commencing on the 8th day of your disability.

  • Have your treating physician complete the Physician’s Statement FULLY. Most claim delays are due to incomplete medical evidence. Please make sure that the physician’s name is legible and that the address and telephone number are complete.
  • Have your physician clearly indicate the diagnosis, complications (if any), treatment, medication and all dates of visits. – If your physician does not know when you can return to work, an approximate date should be given. Indicating “indefinite” will delay your claim.
  • If you are receiving treatment from any other medical practitioner who is not a licensed physician (MD), you must ALSO be under the regular and ongoing care of a licensed physician (MD).
  • Please sign the Authorization Request. If you do not sign this authorization statement your claim will be returned to you, resulting in a delay.

DO NOT ALTER OR ADD ANY INFORMATION TO THE PHYSICIAN’S STATEMENT!

TO ENSURE CONFIDENTIALITY PLEASE SEND THE PHYSICIAN’S STATEMENT DIRECTLY TO MANION.

THE EMPLOYER DOES NOT REQUIRE A COPY OF THE PHYSICIAN’S STATEMENT!

If your disability arose out of, or in the course of your employment, you MUST apply for Workers’ Compensation (C.S.S.T. in Quebec). However, you must also apply for Weekly Indemnity benefits in the interim. All Weekly Indemnity claims must be submitted within days of your first flight missed or first reserve day missed, if on reserve, regardless of whether you have also filed a Worker’s Compensation claim. Failure to file a Weekly Indemnity claim will jeopardize your entitlement to these benefits in the event that your Workers’ Compensation claim is refused or terminated. Weekly Indemnity benefits will be payable only for a maximum of 120 days from the date of disability while a decision is pending from Workers’ Compensation. Please contact your Regional Office for more information if you are applying for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

When you have returned to work, notify MANION immediately, so that your Weekly Indemnity claim can be finalized.

Your benefits will be deposited directly into your bank account, therefore please submit the Direct Deposit application along with a void cheque when you submit your application.

While you are receiving Weekly Indemnity benefits, supplementary reports will be forwarded to you periodically. Upon receipt, have this report completed and returned to MANION, as soon as possible so that payments will not be delayed. It is your responsibility to provide proof of disability. You must submit proof of disability WITHIN 30 DAYS of your first flight missed or first reserve day missed, if on reserve. If you submit proof after days, it will not be processed unless you can show sufficient reasons in writing for not applying earlier.

The claimant is responsible for having all forms completed and any charges incurred for completion of same. You may submit your claim to MANION by sending your documents in:

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS REGARDING YOUR CLAIM, OR CLAIM SUBMISSION, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT MANION.

Please note: You must advise MANION before you travel at any time during your Weekly Indemnity claim. Out-of-country travel requires written medical clearance from your physician.

Return-to-work
When you return to work, you must notify MANION immediately.

Applying for Benefits – Time Limits
Your claim will be processed when the claimant’s statement, the employer’s statement and the physician’s statement have all been received. You should therefore follow up with your employer and your physician to ensure the forms are completed in a timely manner and avoid delay of benefits due to late submission.

It is your responsibility to submit proof of disability within:

(a) 30 days of your first flight missed or first reserve day missed, if on reserve;

(b) 30 days of the termination of your disability benefits under the Employment Insurance Act of Canada in order to reinstate your claim under this Wage Indemnity Plan; and

(c) 30 days of the recurrence of a disability.

LATE CLAIMS WILL BE PROCESSED WHEN YOU CAN SHOW SUFFICIENT REASON IN WRITING FOR NOT APPLYING EARLIER.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HAVING THE CLAIM FORMS COMPLETED AND ANY CHARGES INCURRED FOR THEIR COMPLETION.

On Behalf of The Board of Trust,

Patricia Eberley
Chair/Administrative Consultant

Manion, Wilkins & Associates
Plan Administration
626-21 Four Seasons Place
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9B 0A6

Switchboard: 416-234-5044
Toll Free Line:  1-800-663-7849
Fax: 416-234-0127
Contact Centre: 1-866-532-8999

Wage Indemnity Contribution Increase Effective March 2022 Block Month & Additional Administrative Changes to Application to the Plan and Continuation of Coverage

If you have ever heard the saying, “what goes around comes around” … your WAGE INDEMNITY PLAN (WIP) faces the same financial distress that it did in the mid-90s.

The Wage Indemnity Plan in the mid-90s experienced limited cash flow and high claims which equated to a debt of $8 million.  To alleviate a portion of the debt the Board at the time chose to implement a dramatic change to the plan and added the 15 weeks of employment insurance, (EI) to the program. The change was not well received by the members.  During the introduction of the EI program members were only able to collect the amount of money that was provided by EI (and no top-up). After several changes over time the Board was able to do a full top up to ensure members maintained 60% of their gross earnings, which is what we do today.

Since 2010, your Board of Trustees has given back to you, the members, more than $16 million in Contribution Holidays. The reason for the Contribution Holidays was an equitable disbursement of the surplus funds. The trust fund had sufficient cash flow to support contributions in and claims paid out. There were no contribution increases and the plan had a decrease in 2013 from 2.98% to 2.3% due to the plan’s financial stability. Over time our population increased as did the claims commencing in 2018. The claims exceeded the contributions, however the fund surplus compensated for the short fall. Then in 2020, we encountered something we could never have imagined, COVID.

COVID affected the world economy and took workers in every field by storm.  In today’s world the pandemic has blindsided everyone and has put your WIP plan in a similar position as in the mid-90s. Over the course of the next two years, we find ourselves with an “estimated” deficit that is likely to exceed over 6,000,000.00 dollars. The number of claims over the course of 2020 and 2021 have been exorbitant and costly. Thus far in 2022, the pattern continues.

The Board of Trust monitored the WIP financials and the effects that the pandemic asserted on the plan surplus. The monthly receivables from Air Canada and the membership went from $1 million a month to $233,000.  Members on claim did not decrease and the claims experience exceeded the monthly remittance from Air Canada. It became apparent that it was impossible to maintain a cash flow to cover the monthly costs due to the short fall in funds. We have essentially survived the pandemic by utilizing the surplus.

Below you find the costs associated in running the plan from 2017/2018/2019/2020 and an unaudited year for 2021. (Click HERE to view a PDF of the chart).

Claims paid versus contributions received are higher than the premiums paid to SSQ financial, our insurer, which have created ongoing deficits. These deficits became exponential as the Pandemic continued.  The insurer looks at the past 10-year history to determine what the premiums will be. What this means from a financial perspective is that the last 3 years (2020-2023) will be part of the calculation that determines the monthly premium until 2033. This means the unfortunate 3 years attached to COVID-19 will affect our plan until 2033.

The Board of Trust has evaluated several cost saving administrative changes to be implemented effective April 1st. (Click HERE to view the bulletin).

Additionally, the Board of Trustees has concluded that to alleviate the deficit and create a solvent plan the contribution rates from members will increase an additional 2%.

Effective with the MARCH BLOCK MONTH, 4.3% of earnings will be deducted and paid to the Air Canada Component of CUPE WIP visible on the April 17th pay summary and going forward.

Your Board of Trustees are confident that with this increase during 2022/2023 we will establish financial stability and have the opportunity in the future to consider reducing the monthly contributions paid by you, the member.

We trust this bulletin and the attached information will help you understand the rationale for these necessary changes.

Below is a rate comparison of the current rates at 2.3%, 3.0%, 3.3% and 4.3% indicating the end balance for each scenario under the current plan for 2022 and 2023. (Click HERE to view a PDF of the chart).

On Behalf of The Board of Trust,

Patricia Eberley
Administrative Consultant

Manion, Wilkins & Associates
Plan Administration
626-21 Four Seasons Place
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9B 0A6

Switchboard: 416-234-5044
Toll Free Line:  1-800-663-7849
Fax: 416-234-0127
Contact Centre: 1-866-532-8999

WIP Administrative Consultant Replacement

Effective December 1, 2021, Patricia Eberley will replace the current Administrative Consultant, Stephen Morash. Ms. Eberley will be working with Mr. Morash transitioning into her new role effective December 1, 2021 and she will continue her role as the Chairperson of the Board of Trust.

Patricia was appointed to the Board in September 2014 and assumed the position of Chairperson of the Board of Trust shortly thereafter. She comes with excellent leadership and communication skills, as well as a good sense of the business side and management of Trust Fund business and funds.

Effective December 1, 2021, please direct all emails to eberleywip@accomponent.ca, and cc s.morash@accomponent.ca until December 31. 2021.

On Behalf of The Board of Trust,

Stephen Morash
Administrative Consultant

Manion, Wilkins & Associates
Plan Administration
626-21 Four Seasons Place
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9B 0A6

Switchboard: 416-234-5044
Toll Free Line:  1-800-663-7849
Fax: 416-234-0127
Contact Centre: 1-866-532-8999

WIP – Continuation Of Coverage During Absence From Work

This is a reminder that in the event you take a Leave of Absence the following procedures apply:

Prepayment of premiums is not required for an absence from the payroll of fifteen (15) calendar days or less.  Prepayment of premiums is required for an absence from the payroll of sixteen (16) or more calendar days for one of the following reasons.  You must prepay the required premium in full within 45 (forty-five) days in order to be eligible for benefit consideration following the end of any of these periods:

1. Leave of absence granted: (such as personal, educational, maternity, child care, bereavement, or jury duty) other than inability to meet medical standards (IMMS), your coverage may be continued for a maximum duration of up to 24 months;

If you have elected to keep your coverage in force and you become totally disabled during the 24-month period, the elimination period will commence on the date you are scheduled to return to work.

2. Lay-off: your coverage may be continued for a maximum duration of up to six (6) months. Should you become disabled during the six-month period, you will not be eligible for benefit consideration unless you are recalled from lay-off status.

If you have elected to keep your coverage in force and you become totally disabled during the 24-month period, the elimination period will commence on the date you are scheduled to return to work;

3. Suspension: your coverage may be continued for the duration of your suspension.

If you have elected to keep your coverage in force and should you be eligible for benefit consideration, the elimination period will begin on the date you are recalled to work;

4. Strike or lockout: your coverage will be suspended during the strike or lockout but will be reinstated once the strike or lockout has ended and you have returned to active work.

If you are in receipt of disability benefits under the contract before the strike or lock-out, benefits shall continue during the strike or lock-out.

Should you become totally disabled during a strike or lockout, you will not be eligible for benefit consideration.

Should you not prepay the required premium, your coverage will lapse and will not become effective until you return to full-time active work as a flight attendant.

To ensure continued coverage for up to 24 months (six (6) months during a lay-off), you must make the first required premium payment within 45 days from the commencement of the leave of absence. The date payment is received by MANION will determine your on time payment.

For more information regarding prepayment of premiums or to make arrangements for prepayment of premiums, please contact MANION by phone at 416-234-3511 or toll free at 1-866-532-8999.

VACATION
If you are on vacation and become disabled, the 7-day elimination period commences following the date first not available for work at the completion of your vacation.

If your leave of absence of 16 (sixteen) or more calendar days precedes your vacation and you have not prepaid the premium for that leave of absence, coverage will not be reinstated until you return to active work.

No prepayment of premiums is required when you are absent from work due to vacation or a personal leave of absence of 15 (fifteen) calendar days or less.

Please contact Manion’s contact centre for applicable rates at 1-866-532-8999. This must be done within 45 days of the commencement of the Leave of Absence. The cost is based on the previous 3 months earnings plus 1.07% (the Employer’s portion) plus applicable taxes.

Note: Please ensure you have reviewed Collective Agreement language when LOA’s precede days off and any consequences that follow.

The SSQ Wage Indemnity Policy Booklet can be found on the Air Canada Component of CUPE website at www.accomponent.ca and is what each member ought to rely on. Alternatively if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Administrative Consultant.

On Behalf of The Board of Trust,

Stephen Morash
Administrative Consultant

Manion, Wilkins & Associates
Plan Administration
626-21 Four Seasons Place
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9B 0A6

Switchboard: 416-234-5044
Toll Free Line:  1-800-663-7849
Fax: 416-234-0127
Contact Centre: 1-866-532-8999