Eligibility of dependents

Your dependents may be eligible for some benefits through your UBC Benefit Plans. As described below, dependents can include spouses, parents and children.


Your spouse is considered your dependent and is eligible for coverage for some UBC benefit programs if:

  • they are your spouse by marriage or under any other formal union recognized by law, or
  • they are your partner of the opposite sex or the same sex who is publicly represented as your spouse.

You can only cover one spouse at a time. There is no required cohabitation period for adding your common-law spouse or partner to your benefits.

If you are separated and not yet divorced, your spouse can remain covered under the benefit plans as long as you remain legally married. However, if you are separated and enter a new common-law relationship, you can enrol your new partner only if you remove your former spouse from the plan.

Your spouse is eligible for the following benefits:


Your parents are considered your dependents only if they live with you and are financially dependent on you.

Dependent parents are eligible for the Employee and Family Assistance Program only.

Dependent children

A dependent child is defined as:

  • your child
  • your spouse’s child
  • a child for whom you or your spouse is the primary caregiver (other than a foster child) and granted custody and control. If this applies to your situation, you will need to submit a legal document outlining the arrangement when you are enrolling in UBC benefits or applying to change your benefits to add the child to your coverage.

A dependent child must be under the age of 19 and cannot be married or in any other formal union recognized by law. There are two situations where your child over the age of 19 is also considered a dependent child. Your child must meet one of the three definitions above and be either:

  • Under 25, not married and a full-time student attending an educational institution recognized under the Income Tax Act (Canada), and is entirely dependent on you for financial support (see Student Status below). Your child’s status as a full-time student must be confirmed annually in Workday. Or
  • Incapable of financial self-support because of a physical or mental disability and Disabled Child Coverage approved by Sun Life (see Disability Status below). There is no age limit for continued coverage as long as your child is:
    • diagnosed with a disability prior to age 19 if not a full-time student attending an educational institution recognized under the Income Tax Act or prior to age 25 if diagnosed while attending an educational institution full-time,
    • entirely dependent on you for financial support, and
    • not married or in any other formal union recognized by law.

Once your child is over the age of 25, they are no longer eligible for dependent coverage under your UBC benefits and coverage will end at the end of the month they turn 25.

Your dependent child is eligible for the following benefits:

To add a new family member as a dependent on your Benefits package, take a look at this Workday Knowledge Base Article: KB0017011 - Enroll in, Waive or Add/Remove Dependent from Health Benefits.

Your dependent child may also be eligible for a Tuition Waiver to take UBC undergraduate credit courses. To be eligible, your child must be:

  • unmarried
  • under the age of 25
  • substantially dependent on you for financial support at the start of the session to which the Tuition Waiver applies

Dependent children with Child (Legal Guardian) status or approved by Sun Life for Disabled Child Coverage are not eligible for a Tuition Waiver.

Confirming your child’s student status

Once your child turns 19 and each year until they turn 25, you will need to confirm that your child is a student for them to continue receiving coverage under your benefits plan. Confirmation is required annually and is done in Workday.

If your child takes a break from their studies that is not a summer break (non-summer break), they are not considered a full-time student and coverage will be cancelled. When they resume full-time studies, you can reinstate their coverage.

If your child is on approved medical leave from their school, coverage may continue during the approved leave if you provide supporting documentation from the school approving the leave.

If there are any changes (for example, your child takes a non-summer break from their studies, graduates earlier than originally indicated or changes plans and will not return to school), it is your responsibility to make the appropriate change in Workday. For more information please visit Making enrolment changes page. 

Confirming your child’s disability status

For your disabled child to continue to receive coverage under UBC benefits plans after the age of 19, or if your child is 19 and over and attending school full-time and becomes disabled before age 25, you have to submit a form to Sun Life and Sun Life must approve your child’s disabled status. Note that a section of the form must be completed by your child’s primary care physician.  Sun Life will review the information and advise you directly of their decision on whether to continue coverage. 

Sun Life’s form must be submitted within 31 days of your child’s coverage ending (for example, if they are turning age 19 and not attending a post-secondary institution). If Sun Life approves your child’s disabled child status, your child can continue as a dependent under your Extended Health and Dental plans for as long as Sun Life has approved coverage (in some cases Sun Life will approve lifetime coverage). This also applies to your child’s coverage under the Employee and Family Assistance Program. MSP will set up your child with an individual account.

You can confirm your child’s disability status in Workday. Once your enrollment is submitted, please contact UBC Payroll to receive Sun Life's form for submission.

Login to Workday

For Workday resources and help visit the Integrated Service Centre.


The benefits information on this website is provided as a descriptive summary only. While the University has endeavored to accurately reflect its benefit programs, policies and plans, the information on this website does not create any contractual or other rights between the University and its faculty and staff members. To the extent that there are any conflicts or discrepancies between the benefits information on this website and the benefit plan documents (including group insurance contracts and benefit booklets) or any applicable collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy, the benefit plan documents and collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy will govern in all cases.

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