Canadian Armed Forces LTD plan helps member write her next chapter

August 12, 2022

For business owners, plan sponsors and administrators

Karen Taylor is embarking on a new career journey – at age 59! And she credits Manulife for helping to pave her way.

Karen, who lives in Nova Scotia, worked as a human resources administrator with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) before her medical release in 2019. Now, she’s a university graduate with a Bachelor of Communications degree.

Karen’s accomplishment is incredible, and she attributes a lot of her success to the support provided through her long-term disability (LTD) income benefit, coupled with our vocational rehabilitation program. We offer these services to eligible CAF plan members who are released due to illness or injury, through their group benefits plan.

After a career in the military, many plan members are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other mental health conditions, and/or physical disabilities. They don’t have the option of going back to their previous job once their disability claim starts, which means their claims are handled a little bit differently.

For more than 50 years, our case managers and vocational rehabilitation counsellors have been helping military personnel transition to life after service, which often includes returning to work in a non-military job and significant retraining.

“When I was released, I knew I wasn’t done living my life – I wanted to do more, and this program gave me the push and the means to work toward my goals,” Karen shares.

She was already working toward her university degree, with several courses under her belt. Turns out that was a great fit for our vocational rehabilitation program.

“We met prior to Karen’s release (from the military), and she was really excited about our vocational rehabilitation program,” recalls Roland Thompson, Manulife Rehabilitation Specialist. “We can approve an application on the spot if all the parameters are met, and her education plan made sense. She came in well prepared; she knew what direction she wanted to go in, which made putting together her support plan easy. We had her sponsorship and allowances in place before she was released.”

Since then, Karen has been heads down in the books – working toward expanding her career options, while keeping her mind active and healthy. “I’ve never looked at my age as a factor in anything; growing up is overrated. Learning brings me joy, and I want to stay in the game and engaged with the world so that I can give myself and my pup, Rudi, the best life possible.”

Setting an example for others

Manulife LTD Case Manager Georgette Nassar describes Karen as a role model. “Karen wants to continue working – even if she does have some limitations, proving that anyone can do it if they have the drive.”

Roland adds: “Knowing it’s been a blessing to her means a lot to us too.”

Karen credits the emotional support and empathy she received from Roland, Georgette, and others, as key to her success. “Knowing so many people at Manulife were taking care of me and on ‘Team Karen,’ meant the world.”



Continuing a tradition of service

Karen’s journey to a new career is an example of what Manulife has accomplished with our partnership with the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP). Together with SISIP Financial we have supported serving and veteran members of the CAF for over 50 years.

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