Employee Who Becomes Disabled Priority Entitlement (14-02)

2014-01-09

The Public Service Commission (PSC) would like to remind organizations of important information related to the Employee Who Becomes Disabled (EWBD) priority entitlement.

As you are aware, an employee who becomes eligible for disability insurance and who cannot return to their position is entitled to priority appointment as set out in section 7 of the Public Service Employment Regulation (PSER). Under subsection 7(3) of the PSER, the employee remains eligible for this entitlement even if they are no longer employed, provided that their departure from the public service is as a result of the disability. In these instances, home organizations have a responsibility to inform the employee of this potential entitlement should they be found fit to return to work within five years of being approved for disability compensation. Home organizations should ensure that the employee is provided with a departmental contact.

As well, it is possible that, as a result of an appeal, a disability compensation provider could overturn a previous decision to deny benefits, thereby triggering disability benefits that would be deemed retroactive to the time of the initial request. In these cases, the start date of the five-year qualifying period coincides with the date of the appeal decision to overturn the initial decision. This is the case even if the person is no longer employed in the public service since the individual was in fact an employee at the time the initial request for disability benefits was made. Please refer to Annex A for a sample scenario.

Once the employee is certified by a competent authority as being able to return to work during the five-year qualifying period, home organizations must, in a timely manner, register the person into the PSC's Priority Information Management System.

For further information, please feel free to contact Douglas Coughlin at douglas.coughlin@cfp-psc.gc.ca or by telephone at 819-420-6423.

Yours sincerely,

Gerry Thom
Acting Senior Vice-President
Policy Branch

Stan Lee
Acting Vice-President
Staffing and Assessment Services

c.c. Chiefs of Staffing

Annex A

Sample Scenario:

A person, who was originally denied disability benefits, filed an appeal decision with the disability compensation provider. While the appeal request was being reviewed, this person medically retired from the federal public service as of January 1, 2013. The disability compensation provider reviewed the appeal request and rendered a decision on May 1, 2013 to approve the person for disability benefits. The retroactive period for benefits is June 13, 2009 to December 31, 2012.

As the person was an employee when the initial request for disability benefits was made, the five-year qualifying period for a EWBD priority entitlement has been triggered. The five year qualifying period would start on May 1, 2013, the date of the appeal decision, and would end on April 30, 2018. During this five-year period, if the person receives a note from a competent authority indicating that he/she can return to work, and is interested in returning to work in the federal public service, the EWBD priority entitlement must be activated by the organization from which he/she has medically retired.