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Benefit Coverage During a Leave of Absence

Your Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP) benefits are based on the principle that everyone participating in the plan is actively at work in Alberta’s education sector. A unique characteristic of your ASEBP coverage is that you can apply to continue your benefits coverage during a leave of absence.

When planning a leave of absence, it is important you consider every aspect, including continuation of your benefits. Continuing some level of benefit coverage during your leave will provide you and your dependants, if applicable, with some level of income security, as well as access to general health benefits1 for things like prescription medication, dental care, and much more.

1 Benefit plans vary by school jurisdiction. You may or may not have access to all benefits offered by the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan.

Eligibility

To be eligible to continue your benefits during a leave of absence, you must:

  • be an ASEBP covered member
  • be actively at work until your leave begins
  • have the leave approved by your employer

Note: Benefits during a personal leave (or personal portion of a maternity leave) can only be continued to a maximum of 30 months even if the employer-approved leave will last longer than that. Extension requests for benefits coverage beyond 30 months for an employee who is on a participating employer-approved leave of absence must be pre-approved by ASEBP and is subject to an 18 month maximum.

How to Apply for a Leave of Absence

Personal Leaves

  1. Speak with your employer.
    Your employer needs to approve your leave of absence. If approved, your employer will inform ASEBP that you will be taking a leave.
  2. Complete the application.
    Approximately 30 days prior to the start of your leave, you will receive an application package in the mail from ASEBP. This package will outline the options you have for continuing coverage during your leave.  It will also include important information you can use to help you make a decision about your alternatives.

    Return your completed application to ASEBP before your leave begins.
  3. Enjoy your leave.
    Whatever the reason for taking a leave, enjoy yourself knowing that you’ve selected the benefit coverage you will need until you return to work. ASEBP will follow up with you near the end of your leave to ensure your benefits coverage is not interrupted upon your return to work.

Sick Leave

Your employer has likely allotted you a number of sick days you can use should you need to take a sick leave. While using your sick days, your employer will continue to pay your benefit premiums.

Please note that an ASEBP Intake Facilitator (IF) will contact you within 10 business days after receiving notification from your employer and will offer assistance during your sick leave. If your illness or injury may keep you away from work for over 90 days, your IF may work with you to initiate an Extended Disability Benefits claim.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leaves typically begin as health-related time away from work and continue as a personal leave.

Health-related portion
At some point within six weeks before the expected date of delivery, your doctor will recommend you begin the health-related portion of your leave as you will be medically unable to work. This phase of the leave lasts until approximately 6 weeks after the birth of the child. Once the health-related portion of the maternity leave is complete, you will have either chosen to return to work or take additional time away from work to spend with your new family member.

Personal portion
Should you choose to take additional time away from work, you will then transition to a personal leave of absence as described above.  You will receive an application package that will outline the options you have for continuing coverage during your leave