Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Scientist with Molcules

How do I make the decision about how to allocate my flex credits?

You may anticipate the need for a new computer or software, or plan to attend a major conference and will incur registration, travel and accommodation expenses. If so, you may wish to allocate more or all of your flex credits to your Professional Expense Reimbursement Account. You may anticipate upcoming medical or dental expenses for the next calendar year. If you pay premiums towards the SOGS Health and Dental plan and/or UHIP, or you have an injury that requires ongoing physiotherapy or massage therapy, you may choose to allocate more of your flex credits to your Health Care Spending Account.

Can I make Health Care Spending Account claims for my spouse/common law partner and children? What about other dependents?

Yes, you can claim eligible expenses for dependents.  The definition of a dependent is defined by the Canada Revenue Agency as it relates to the eligible medical expenses.

What if my Health Care Spending Account balance is not sufficient to fully reimburse an eligible expense?

You will be reimbursed up to the amount available with your Health Care Spending Account.

Do I get to allocate my flex credits if I start my contract part-way through the year?

Yes, you will receive a new hire package shortly after you are hired.  A form will be included within the package to allocate your flex credits between the Health Care Spending Account and Professional Expense Reimbursement Account.  You must allocate your flex credits within 31 days from when the letter was issued

Am I eligible for the full $1,400 if I end or start my contract part-way through the year?

Yes, the $1,400 in flex credits are not pro-rated.

Can I still submit my outstanding claims after my employment ends for expenses incurred during my employment?

Yes, there is also a 90 day proof of claim period for these expenses.

Can my HCSA be applied to premiums for health care benefits?

Yes, you may submit Health Care premiums, such as SOGS or UHIP, to be applied against your Health Care Spending Account.  Generally, premiums paid for health care benefits will be reimbursed from the Health Care Spending Account balance from the year in which they were paid.  If you do not have sufficient funds within your Health Care Spend Account in the year in which the premiums were paid you may request reimbursement from a future benefit year balance for the premiums associated with that future benefit year.

How do I update my personal information on "My Human Resources"?

If you are looking to review/update your personal information, log into "My Human Resources" and it is listed under the “Personal Information” icon.

How do I know what benefit plans I have opted to participate in?

You can view a summary of your benefit plans when you log into "My Human Resources" under the “Benefits” icon.

I previously waived participation or would like to increase my level of coverage in the Optional Life Insurance plan, how do I enroll into this plan now?

You will complete a Benefit Application Change Form indicating that you will like to enroll into the Optional Life Insurance plan and select the level of coverage in $50,000 benefit increments up to $500,000.  A health questionnaire and approval from our benefit carrier will be required in most cases.  The health questionnaire will be provided to you upon Human Resources receiving your Benefit Application Change Form.

Are there any circumstances in which I can increase my level of coverage in the Optional Life Insurance plan without a medical questionnaire?

Yes.  Life changing events such as acquiring a new dependent through either birth of a child or marriage (including common law) would qualify.  An application would need to be received within 31 days of acquiring a new dependent to qualify without a medical questionnaire and additional requests for coverage have not been previously declined..

Who administers the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)? What is the policy number of this plan?

Manulife Financial administers this policy. The policy number is 87221.

What happens to my 2017 HCSA balance if I do not elect any Flex Credits to the HCSA in 2018?

Any unused amounts from 2017 will be carried forward and available to you until December 31, 2018.

Where do I get the claim forms?

Information regarding claim forms and how to submit claims can be found on the Claims Submission and Claim Forms pages on the left.

Where do I submit HCSA claims?

You would send your completed HCSA claim forms to:

I have the HCSA benefit, what types of expenses can be claimed against the HCSA?

A HCSA is provided for reimbursement of medical expenses. Medical expenses as defined by Income Tax Regulations are eligible for reimbursement including premiums for other insurance programs, dental expenses, vision care expenses, drugs, hospital, supplies and various other items. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) defines which expenses can be reimbursed. A list of eligible expenses can be found on the CRA website.

How do I access my HCSA information?

Manulife offers a confidential site, where you can access bilingual information about your benefit plans 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is register at Manulife Financial website or call Manulife directly at 1-866-896-8515.

Can I have my HCSA claim reimbursement direct deposited to my bank account?

Yes. When you sign on to the Manulife site, you have the option to provide your Direct Deposit Information.

What is the HCSA benefit year and why is it important?

The benefit year is January 1 to December 31. Your HCSA allows you to carry forward any unused credits for one benefit year. For example, if you have a remaining 2017 HCSA balance at December 31, 2017, this amount will be carried forward and added to your 2018 HCSA deposit. You will have until March 31, 2018 for Manulife to receive any unpaid claims incurred in 2017 to be applied towards your 2017 deposit. After March 31, 2018, only claims incurred in 2018 can be applied towards your 2017 and 2018 deposit, assuming a balance was carried forward. For any 2017 claims submitted, Manulife Financial will apply them against your 2017 balance prior to it being carried forward to 2018. No cash outs of HCSA funds are permitted.

How important is the effective date of a medical or dental expense in relation to the year in which the claim is made?

This is very important. Expenses incurred in a given year may only be claimed from the HCSA during the same calendar year. An expense from the previous year may be claimed but only from funds that were carried over from the previous year. There is also a 90 day proof of claim period for these expenses. For example, an expense incurred in 2017 can only be claimed against the 2017 allotment which may include a carry forward from 2016 and that claim cannot be received by Manulife any later than March 31, 2018.

What dollar amount do I have available in my HCSA?

You can access your HCSA balance at the Manulife Financial website.

Can I enhance my HCSA by adding additional funds from elsewhere?

No, you cannot add any additional funds to your HCSA.

If my spouse is also a Postdoctoral Associate, can we each have an HCSA?

Yes, you both are entitled to a HCSA.

My niece, who lives with me and is dependent on me for support, has a bill for new prescription glasses. I suppose the only thing I can do is claim it on my income tax to see if she is eligible?

If your niece qualifies as your dependent under the Income Tax Act you can submit the expense to your HCSA.

Who administers reimbursement from the Professional Expense Reimbursement for eligible expenses?

Financial Services administers the Professional Expense Reimbursement.

What type of expenses may I claim under the Professional Expense Reimbursement?

Eligible expenses include professional expenses such as, but not limited to: internet expenses, membership fees for professional associations; subscriptions to professional, learned or industry-related periodicals; registration fees for attending professional or scholarly conferences, meetings, seminars or workshops, etc.

How do I submit claims under the Professional Expense Reimbursement?

Information on claims procedures is available on the Financial Services website.

May I carry forward my unspent Professional Expense Reimbursement balance to the next year?

You may carry forward your unspent Professional Expense Reimbursement balance one year.

Is there a time limit to submit claims under the PER?

Claims for any given year must be submitted by March 31st of the following year. For example, 2018 PER expenses must be claimed by March 31, 2019.

How can I access my Professional Expense Reimbursement information?

To see your current balance in your PER, go to the Financial Services website. Navigate to Corporate Accounting - Professional Expense Reimbursement and click on the link “Professional Expense Reimbursement Balance”. Your will need to use your Western user ID and password at the prompt to log on. You will see any carry forward from the previous year, your entitlement this year, any claims you have made in the current year, as well as the current balance in the account.

If I have questions concerning the Postdoctoral Associate benefits program, who can I contact?

Western University – Human Resource Services
By Telephone: HR Communication Centre at (519) 661-2194 or Ext. 82194
By Email:
By Fax: (519) 661-4104

If I have questions concerning my Health Care Spending Account, who can I contact?

Manulife Financial
By Telephone: Customer Care Centre at 1-866-896-8515

If I have questions concerning my Professional Expense Reimbursement Account, who can I contact?

Western University-Financial Services
By Telephone:  (519) 661-2111  Ext. 85499
By Email: