Dear Member,

As a SMART-TD Member enrolled in the Voluntary Long Term Disability (VLTD) Plan, you received communication in February regarding updates to the VLTD Plan and the decision by SMART-TD to transition from Amalgamated Life Insurance Company to Sun Life Financial, effective March 1, 2023. This decision helps ensure the sustained success of the VLTD Plan and to provide SMART-TD members with better benefit options. You are not required to take any action during this transition to be covered by the new Sun Life plan.

Recently, you may have received (or may receive) a letter from Amalgamated stating that you can keep your coverage with Amalgamated on an individual basis by setting up “a direct payment arrangement through your checking account” with them. While you may stay covered by Amalgamated if you prefer, you will automatically remain covered by the SMART-TD Voluntary Disability Plan with Sun Life. SMART-TD will continue payroll-deducting your monthly VLTD premium and will remit those premiums to Sun Life on your behalf, so nothing is required of you to remain covered.

Below is important information for your reference:

  • Enrolled SMART-TD members have been covered by Sun Life since March 1, 2023.
  • Your monthly payroll deducted premiums have been paid to Sun Life and your coverage is current.
  • Members covered by the new Sun Life plan do not owe Amalgamated any premiums.
  • If you are currently on a claim with Amalgamated, you will maintain your monthly benefits through Amalgamated for the duration of your claim.

If you have any questions, please contact the SMART TD Customer Service Center at 224-770-5328.

— SMART Transportation Division

All previously declined members and future enrolled members of the SMART-TD Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) now have access to up to $1,000 of guaranteed approved coverage.

North Olmsted, Ohio (April 16, 2020) — In May 2019, the SMART Transportation Division rolled out a new Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) to all dues-paying members living in the United States and working at least 20 hours per week. This plan, underwritten by Amalgamated Life Insurance Company, was subject to simplified medical underwriting, which led to some members not receiving medical qualification for this important coverage.
SMART leadership has been in negotiations with Amalgamated to resolve this issue, and the company has agreed to provide $1,000 of guaranteed approved coverage to all future enrollees, including those who previously had been medically denied coverage.
This enhancement to the SMART TD Long-Term Disability Plan (VDP) applies to all members who had applied previously and were denied coverage and to all future new enrolled members.
The following conditions will be made effective on Aug. 1, 2020:

  • Those enrolled members must currently be actively at work
  • Members who previously enrolled and were declined may find themselves in a new age group based on the new effective date of coverage. This will impact their premiums.

The $1,000 guaranteed approved benefit plan will have the following design:

  • $1,000/month maximum benefit
  • 180-day elimination period
  • 2-year maximum benefit duration
  • 12/12 pre-existing limitation (pre-existing condition clock will start Aug. 1, 2020)

For more information about the enhanced VDP plan or to enroll, visit or call the SMART-TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328.
About SMART TD: The SMART Transportation Division (SMART-TD) is comprised of approximately 125,000 active and retired members of the former United Transportation Union, who work in a variety of different crafts in the transportation industry. With offices in North Olmsted, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., SMART TD is the largest railroad operating union in North America.
For more information regarding this press release, please contact:
Carl Galdine

Open enrollment for the new SMART Transportation Division Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) is underway. Enrollment started in May and runs through Nov. 30, 2019. All dues-paying members of SMART TD living in the United States and working at least 20 hours per week can apply for coverage. Members can enroll online by visiting, contacting their local field supervisor or by calling the SMART TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328.
Since May 2019, SMART TD members have had a new disability benefit available to them. Enrollment for the new Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) ends November 30, 2019. Members can apply for coverage if they are a dues-paying member of SMART TD living in the United States and working at least 20 hours per week.
Previously, SMART TD members had long-term disability insurance available to them through MetLife, but the MetLife plan ended April 1, 2019. The new plan is underwritten by Amalgamated Life Insurance Company. Members who were enrolled in the previous MetLife plan are guaranteed approved for a monthly benefit of up to $1,000 per month (2 or 5 years’ duration).
“Applying for the new Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) is easy, because Amalgamated Life Insurance Company uses simplified medical underwriting,” stated Carl Galdine, the VDP enrollment director. “With simplified underwriting, there is no medical exam, only a few medical questions on the application.”
Enrollment packets including a letter, a summary of benefits, and information on how to enroll were mailed to SMART TD members in May and June. Members can enroll online by visiting contacting their local field supervisor or by calling the SMART TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328 and speaking with a benefit specialist.
Below are highlights of the new Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP):

  • Members can choose between a 2- or 5-year option
  • Members can enroll in a monthly benefit ranging from $300 to $5,000 ($100 benefit increments) (monthly benefit may not exceed 60% of gross earnings)
  • Previous MetLife participants are guaranteed approved for a monthly benefit of up to $1,000
  • Benefit does not offset and pays in addition to all other benefits
  • Benefit starts paying after 180 days (6 months)
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered after 12 months on the plan
  • Benefit covers members on and off the job (24-hour coverage)
  • Benefit is not subject to repayment upon receipt of a FELA or personal injury settlement
  • Members can retain coverage even if they are furloughed or suspended (portable)

“This new plan was designed to work well with the benefits that SMART TD members already have available to them,” Galdine said. “It stacks on top of all other benefits including the Voluntary Short-Term Disability Plan and RRB benefits. Also, this plan starts after a 6-month waiting period when RRB Sickness Benefits typically end.”
Open enrollment ends Nov. 30, 2019.
For more information or to enroll, contact your local field supervisor, visit or call the SMART TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328.