Can I Travel While on LTD?

After more than a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, the prospect of being able to travel safely is a welcome one for many in Ontario. Taking a vacation for rest and relaxation or travelling to visit loved ones is something that many have been dreaming of for months. People who are receiving LTD benefits often want to know if they can travel without putting their benefits in jeopardy.

The answer to that is generally, yes. But taking time to properly prepare will go a long way in ensuring you have a safe and healthy trip and avoiding any negative repercussions on your disability claim.

Know Your Policy

Before you begin to plan your trip, find out what your LTD policy says about travel, both outside Ontario and internationally. Your policy may require you to notify the insurer if your travels will take you outside the province or country, will be longer than a certain number of days, or happen with a particular frequency. It’s very important to know what your specific policy says, because you do not want to inadvertently violate its terms.

Get Your Doctor’s Approval

Once you have confirmed that your travels are not restricted by your policy, you’ll need to get your doctor’s approval. You want to make sure that your doctor believes that it is safe for you to travel, and that it will not aggravate your medical conditions or slow your recovery. Discuss the trip specifics with your doctor and be candid about any concerns you have.

Ideally, your doctor should write a letter approving your travel, describing your medical conditions and limitations and any medications or special equipment you must travel with.

Notify Your Insurer

Once you are sure that your travel plans are allowed under your policy, and you have your doctor’s approval, contact your case manager to give them a heads-up about your plans. That way there will be no surprises about your activities.

Speaking of insurance, you will also want to arrange sufficient travel medical insurance in case you have any medical issues while away.

Be Mindful of Impressions

Even when your doctor and insurer are on board with your travel plans, it’s important to think about what impression you might be creating by taking a trip. Everyone deserves the chance to rest and enjoy themselves, but you should be careful when talking about or posting photos of your trip on social media. Consider whether it could make you appear more well than you are.

The goal of travel should be to increase wellness and reduce stress. The last thing you want to deal with when you get home is a challenge from your insurer. Taking care to create the conditions for a enjoyable, restful vacation is worth the time and effort.