Your employer may have a variety of benefits and insurance options available, including:
- health benefits for you and your dependants
- short-term disability benefits (STD)
- long-term disability benefits (LTD)
- life insurance
- accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and
- pension plans.
These benefits are based on your employment contract and the employer’s contract with the insurance company. So, benefits can be very different depending on the employer. Your employer must give you information about your eligibility for benefits. Some plans are fully paid by the employer, while other plans may be paid by the employer and the employee. You may have options about the types of benefits and insurance that you want.
The time limits and appeal rights depend on the insurance contract. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario regulates insurance companies in Ontario and there are services to deal with complaints. Here is a link to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario website information about insurance complaints: telephone 416-250-7250 or toll-free 1-800-668-0128, TTY toll-free 1-800-387-0584, www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/insurance/resolvecomplaint-insurance.asp
If you do not agree with a decision made by your employer or your employer’s insurance company, you should get legal advice right away (see below).
Life Insurance and HIV
It is very difficult for people living with HIV to get private life insurance. Your employer’s life insurance may be available to you without you having to provide health information, so it is strongly recommended that you consider this type of life insurance if it is available. If you stop working for that employer, you may have the option of converting your employer’s life insurance to your own private insurance without having to provide your health information. You usually have to make the conversion within a few weeks of stopping work so be sure to ask about this option.
Getting legal help
The law can be very complicated so if you have a question or problem, we recommend that you get legal advice about your situation:
- People living with HIV in Ontario can contact us for free legal advice.
- You can contact your local community legal clinic to find out about services in your community. You can find your local community legal clinic as well as specialty legal clinics using the Legal Aid Ontario website: https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services/legal-clinics/.
The Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) of the Law Society of Ontario is an on-line service that provides a referral to a lawyer or paralegal for an in-person or phone consultation of up to 30 minutes at no charge: https://lsrs.lso.ca/lsrs/welcome. The LSRS crisis telephone for people in custody, in crisis, in a shelter or in a remote community without internet access is 416-947-5255 or toll-free 1-855-947-5255, Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. The Law Society of Ontario was formerly the Law Society of Upper Canada.