If you become disabled through an illness or accidental injury, you may qualify for benefits to help protect your financial security while you are disabled.
To be eligible for weekly accident and sickness benefits, you must be an active participant and not working in any occupation or employment because you are totally disabled. (Totally disabled is defined by the Fund as wholly prevented by bodily injury or illness from engaging in any occupation or employment.)
When you apply for benefits, you and your doctor must certify that the information about your total disability is correct (explained in step one below). Benefits cannot exceed 13 weeks per calendar year for all disabilities.
REMINDER: Successive periods of disability separated by fewer than two weeks of full-time, active employment are considered as one period of disability.
If you are an active participant, your disability date begins on the first day of your accident or on the eighth calendar day of your accidental injury.
1. Complete the Weekly Disability Application Form and submit to the Fund Office by email, fax, or mail as soon as possible. This form requires your written certification that you are not working due to the disability. On this form, your doctor must also certify that you are receiving care for your illness or accidental injury and are following a prescribed course of treatment.
2. At regular times, you and your doctor must complete a Progress Report Form to secure proper disability credit in your Plan records. On this form, your doctor must certify that you continue to be totally disabled and unable to work. You may also be asked to have an examination by a doctor appointed by the Trustees to certify your disability.
REMINDER: Weekly accident and sickness benefit amounts are adjusted proportionally whenever your base contribution rate changes and become effective the first day of the second month following the month when the change is effective.
REMINDER: You must refund any weekly accident and sickness benefit amounts paid if you retire before the date when benefits are received or if you retire retroactively. These requirements may result in the reduction in previous health & welfare contributions and forfeiture of pension credits earned through the accident and sickness benefit. Contact the Fund Office for more information.
Extended Coverage in Case of Total Disability
If you lose coverage while you are totally disabled, benefits may be available, for that disabling condition only, for three months after the loss of coverage. The extension must be requested in writing, and a statement from the attending physician is required. (The extended benefits may be applied for in conjunction with the weekly accident and sickness benefits above.) See page 21 in the Health & Welfare SPD.
You may be eligible for a disability pension if you are totally disabled on the date when you are determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration and you have earned at least 12 pension credits or five vesting credits.
The amount of your disability pension is calculated in the same manner as a regular pension.
1. Complete the Basic Pension Application and return it to the Fund Office by email, fax, or mail. The disability section of this form requires that you attach a copy of your Social Security Award letter. See your SPD for more information.
TIP: If you are in the process of applying for Social Security benefits, you may submit the Social Security Award letter as soon as received. For details about Social Security and Medicare, contact the nearest Social Security Office and ask for their booklet explaining the benefits. Or visit the official Social Security website.
2. Contact the Fund Office to request a Pension Status Statement and a Benefit Estimate. These statements provide your pension eligibility status, your earned benefit at age 65, and your estimated monthly benefit amount based on the optional forms of payment available under the Plan on your proposed Annuity Starting Date. Be sure to apply for benefits at least three months before your retirement date so payments will begin on time. See your SPD for more information.