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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:

  • he or she is your spouse by marriage or under any other formal union recognized by law, or
  • he or she is 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, or
  • 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 to UBC Payroll. 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 before age 25,
    • 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:

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, and
  • substantially dependent on you for financial support at the start of the session to which the Tuition Waiver applies.

Confirming your child’s student status

UBC Payroll will ask you to confirm your dependent child’s student status once they turn 19 and each year until he or she turns 25. They will send you a Health Benefits Dependent Confirmation form in the month before your child’s birthday, and you will be asked to confirm his or her student status for the upcoming year. For example, if your child is turning 19 on June 7, you will be sent the form in May asking you to confirm his or her student status for the upcoming year.

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 contact Payroll to 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.

Please respond quickly to this form so that the coverage for your dependent is continuous; otherwise, coverage for your dependent will end. If you have not received the Health Benefits Dependent Confirmation form, please contact Payroll for assistance.

If there are any changes to the form (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 inform Payroll so that coverage is cancelled at the end of the term their studies are placed on hold or completed.

Confirming your child’s disability status

Complete the Sun Life Disabled Child Coverage form for your disabled child if:

  1. Your child is turning 19 and they will not be attending an educational institution*.
  2. Your child is 19 and over and attending school full-time and becomes diagnosed with a disability before age 25 that precludes them from attending school**.

The completed form should be sent directly to Sun Life.  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.  Once you have received a decision, send a copy of the decision to UBC Vancouver Financial Operations – Payroll (500 TEFIII – 6190 Agronomy Road; Vancouver, BC; V6T 1Z3)  or UBC Okanagan Finance  Operations and Strategies (OM1 – 1157 Alumni Avenue; Kelowna, BC; V1V 1V7) to ensure that coverage for your child continues.


*You must apply for Disabled Child Coverage no later than 31 days of your child turning 19.

**You must apply for Disabled Child Coverage within 31 days of your child is no longer attending school full-time.


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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