Who is eligible to apply for a HOOPP disability pension?
To be eligible for a HOOPP disability pension, you must:
- be assessed by HOOPP as being totally and permanently disabled
- be on an employer-approved health leave or in receipt of free accrual
- have contributed to the Plan before your date of disability
- be under age 65
- have less than 35 years of contributory service
How can I apply for a disability pension?
You will need to provide HOOPP with medical evidence of your disability using two medical forms:
- Member Statement of Disability: To be completed by you. Please note that you must indicate that you are applying for a disability pension on the form.
- Physician Statement of Disability: To be completed by your physician. Any additional medical reports or information you can provide will help HOOPP to make a determination as to your level of disability.
These forms are also available in Here For You: Disability Guide.
When can I apply for a disability pension?
You can apply for a disability pension immediately if you become disabled and are on an employer-approved health leave, or if you are receiving free accrual. To learn more about free accrual, visit our Free accrual page.
If you are approved for a disability pension
If you are approved and you choose to begin receiving a disability pension, you will be required to end your employment with all of your HOOPP employers. Each of them must submit a Retirement Notice to HOOPP indicating your intention to commence a disability pension within 60 days of receiving the approval letter. If you are not employed, HOOPP will provide you with the documents to complete to start your disability pension.
Your pension payments will begin on the first day of the month following either the date you end your employment or the date your disability retirement application is approved by HOOPP – whichever comes later. If you are not employed, your disability pension will start on the first day of the month following the date your application is approved.
Choosing a disability pension or free accrual
If HOOPP assesses that you are totally and permanently disabled based on the medical evidence that you have provided, you will have the following options:
- receive, or continue to receive free accrual of pension benefits
- begin receiving a HOOPP disability pension
- apply for a retirement pension, if you are 55 or older
A disability pension can begin at any age and is not subject to early retirement reductions. A disability pension is based on the contributory service you have built in the Plan (including any free accrual you may have received) up to your disability retirement date.
Like a retirement pension, a disability pension includes a survivor benefit if you have a qualifying spouse. The survivor benefit for your qualifying spouse is a monthly pension equal to 60% of your disability pension; unlike a retirement pension, there is no option to increase the survivor benefit to 80% or 100% of your benefit. Like a retirement pension, a disability pension is paid for the rest of your life.
If you do not have a qualifying spouse, your disability pension will include a 15-year guarantee period. This means that if you pass away before receiving 15 years of payments, your beneficiary(s) will receive a benefit that represents the value of the balance of your 15-year guarantee period.
It is important to note that a disability pension does not come with a bridge benefit, but an early retirement pension does. Members over the age of 55 who are eligible for an early retirement pension should understand their options fully when choosing between a disability pension and an early retirement pension.