Death & Terminal Illness

Dealing with death is a difficult time. We’re here to help you – whether you are the family member of a UBC employee who has died or if you are a UBC employee facing the death of one of your dependents.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • If you are the beneficiary of a UBC employee who has died, you may be entitled to receive a life insurance payment. If you are the named beneficiary of a UBC employee’s pension plan, you are entitled to a death benefit.
  • If you are the dependent spouse or child of a UBC employee who has died and have been receiving benefit coverage through UBC, your benefit coverage will expire a certain time after the employee’s death. You have the option of enrolling in the Retirement and Survivor Benefit program within 31 days of your coverage ending; this program provides extended health and dental coverage for a monthly cost.
  • If you are a UBC employee providing care or support to an eligible family member who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks, you are eligible for an unpaid compassionate care leave. You can also apply for EI benefits to receive some income during this period.
  • If your spouse held Optional Life Insurance through UBC and has died, please contact us to initiate a claim.
  • If your dependent spouse or child has died, you will need to notify Sun Life and remove them you’re your benefit plan.
  • You may need to name new beneficiaries for your life insurance and pension.
  • Counselling and support is always available through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program.

Death of an employee

Life Insurance

If you were enrolled in UBC’s Basic Group Life Insurance Plan or Optional Life Insurance, on your death, your designated beneficiary will receive a sum of money (benefit). Your beneficiary will not have to pay tax on this amount. Your beneficiary can contact UBC Benefits to initiate the claim.

Pension

If you were enrolled in the UBC Faculty Pension Plan or UBC Staff Pension Plan, your designated beneficiary will be paid a benefit in the event of your death. Your beneficiary can contact the UBC Staff Pension Plan or UBC Faculty Pension Plan to claim the death benefit.

How long will dependents retain benefits coverage with UBC?

Medical Services Plan

If you and your dependents were enrolled in MSP through UBC, your surviving dependents retain their coverage until the end of the month that you die. MSP will automatically set up individual plans for your surviving dependents and will invoice them directly.

Extended Health and Dental Plans

If you are a staff member, Extended Health and Dental benefits coverage for your surviving dependants will end at the end of the month that you die if your date of death occurs between the 1st and 15th of the month. If the date of death occurs between the 16th and end of the month, their coverage will end at the end of the next month following.

If you are a faculty member, health benefits coverage for your surviving dependents will end three months from the first of the month following the date of your death.

Your surviving dependants will have 90 days from the date their coverage ends to submit any claims you incurred prior to your death to Sun Life for reimbursement.

Employee and Family Assistance Program

EFAP coverage for surviving dependents ends three months from the first of the month following the date you die.

What health benefits plan is available for surviving dependents?

UBC Retirement and Survivor Benefits (RSB) Program offers the continuation of group benefits to your surviving family members who were eligible for benefits. Dependents must pay a monthly premium cost and enrol within 31 days of their UBC benefits ending.

 

Death or terminal illness of a dependent

Compassionate care leave

If you are providing care or support to an eligible family member who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks (as certified by a medical practitioner), you are eligible for up to eight weeks of unpaid compassionate care leave.

When you apply for a compassionate care leave, you can also apply for Employment Insurance (EI) compassionate care benefits from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). EI benefits are payable for up to 26 weeks. If you are a Postdoctoral Fellow Award Recipient, you are not eligible for EI benefits.

Compassionate or bereavement leave

Depending on your employee group, you may be eligible to take paid compassionate or bereavement leave if a family member passes away.

Optional life insurance

If your spouse or dependent child has passed away and was covered for Optional Spouse or Optional Dependent Life insurance, please contact UBC Benefits. We will the initiate the life insurance claim and advise you of next steps.

Removing a spouse or dependent child from your benefits

If your spouse or dependent child has passed away, you will need to cancel their benefit coverage for UBC MSP, Extended Health, Dental Care and the Employee and Family Assistance Program. If applicable, you must also cancel their Optional Life/AD&D coverage. You can find forms for removing someone from your UBC benefits plan on our Forms page.

You have 90 days from the date their coverage ends to submit any claims your dependent incurred prior to their death to Sun Life for reimbursement. You can find claim forms on our Forms page.

Life insurance and pension

You may want to name your spouse or partner as the beneficiary on your life insurance through UBC (Basic and/or Optional Life). To do, submit a form to change your basic life insurance beneficiary and/or optional life insurance beneficiary to Payroll. Keep a copy of the form for your records.

To change the beneficiary of your pension:

For UBC Staff Pension Plan members: Complete a Beneficiary Change/Add form and submit it to the UBC Pension Administration Office. For further information, please review the SPP Details Sheet on Naming a Beneficiary.

For UBC Faculty Pension Plan members: Complete a Change of Records form and submit it to Sun Life Financial at the address provided on the form. For further information, review the Designating your Beneficiary page.

Counselling support through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program

UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Plan offers free and confidential counselling and support available in-person and by phone, web or mobile app. In addition to counselling, Shepell offers WorkLife Services that can assist you in areas of family, financial and legal support.