Working with us

We're here to help - from answering questions about benefits to working with us digitally

We understand the COVID-19 crisis creates new challenges for you and your employees. We are committed to providing you with the support you need as it relates to your benefits plan.

Top of mind for you right now may be how you can help furloughed employees keep their benefits intact. We’ve addressed this below as well as provided answers to the top questions we are hearing from employers. These questions address the special measures Sun Life has put in place across our underwriting, product, claims, and service areas. We’ve also outlined a number of ways you can work with us digitally to ease the administrative burden.

Help furloughed employees keep their benefits intact

Here are ways to learn about Sun Life’s enhanced continuation, reinstatement and portability provisions, put in place to help employees impacted by COVID-19 to keep their benefits intact.

  • Watch our recording. It explains our special measures in about 6 minutes.
  • Read the details. This covers continuation, reinstatement, portability and conversion, and more. .  
  • If Continuation is not an option, we ask that you discuss portability options with impacted employees at the same time as you discuss their medical plan options.
  • We’ve made our portability notice to employees easier:  you can copy and paste this content into an email, add the requested information, and send to all impacted employees at once. You may also want to share this flyer with employees to remind them why keeping their benefits is important. Employees can call Sun Life to talk about their options.
  • We also remind you of the availability of federal loan programs to help sustain your business in this challenging time.


Answers to top employer questions

You may want to print and share this flyer version of these top questions.

Does COVID-19 qualify a person for Short-Term Disability benefits?

We recognize the importance in this time of uncertainty that Sun Life be the kind of partner that you have come to trust for communication, information, and compassionate, professional claims handling.  To that end, Sun Life’s Disability Claims Department has taken several proactive steps to help ensure the appropriate handling of COVID-19 claims.  In evaluating disability claims, we are taking a forward-facing approach to gathering all the necessary information important in the claims process.  This may include contacting the member’s physician(s) directly to gathering information which is critical to making a disability decision. We will always ensure clear lines of communication to address any questions that members or employers may have.

Additionally, we have established a specially-trained COVID-19 Short-Term Disability Team consisting of our top technical experts to review any related claims, help to answer questions and ensure benefit decisions are made timely.  This specialized Short-Term Disability team will work closely with Sun Life’s Medical Director as well as trained clinicians to deliver the highest quality of service and claim handling.

We have also developed claim guidelines to assist in addressing the COVID-19 virus disability claim evaluation process:

Positive COVID-19 Test

If a plan member has tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot perform the duties of their job, we will consider the member Totally Disabled for at least 14 days from when the member was first unable to perform his or her duties.  Benefits will start after the member meets the applicable elimination period. Benefits may be offset by other sources of income.  If the employee remains disabled after that time, we will work them to obtain required medical documentation.

Plan members and plan sponsors still need to complete a Short-Term Disability claim statement as part of the application process. This allows us to validate important information such as health status, last day worked, salary information, and also confirm coverage.

Our Claims and Medical Teams will assist in gathering the information needed. We realize that, given current conditions, employers and healthcare providers are operating and communicating in non-traditional ways.

No Positive COVID-19 Test Result and Displays Symptoms

If a plan member has a flu-like illness but has not been tested or does not have a positive test result for COVID-19:

  • We will continue to adjudicate each claim based on the definition of total disability and,
  • We will apply the elimination period

Self-Isolation

We will not pay Short-Term Disability benefits to a plan member who does not have a positive COVID-19 test, is not ill, and otherwise does not meet the applicable policy’s definition of disability.  This applies whether they self-isolate:

  • Voluntarily
  • At the direction of their employer, or
  • Following any government or public health directive that recommends employees stay home as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For clarity, if plan members do not have signs of an illness, or have not tested positive for COVID-19 but are placed under quarantine by a doctor or public health official, they will not be eligible for Short-Term Disability benefits.

Employees may qualify for other benefits including, but not limited to, unemployment compensation, and other federal, state, or local statutory benefits or other absence-related benefits.

Please note that the information above is intended to be a summary, and all claims decisions are subject to the terms of your group’s specific insurance policy.

 Sun Life wishes that all of its valued Clients stay safe and healthy and offers the following website with recommendations by the CDC

What if I have difficulty paying my bill on time?

We understand that COVID-19 has created challenges for all of us and we are committed to supporting you. Over the past several months, we have given Clients additional flexibility by extending our standard grace period an extra 30 days, and in some cases even longer. We very much want to allow you and your members to keep your benefits in place. We would however like to remind our Clients  to pay any outstanding balances from May or earlier.  Staying current with premium payments will help avoid any disruptions to claims payments.

Beginning in July, we resumed normal payment reminder and lapse processes for any payments still outstanding after the extended grace period ended. We will also continue to provide additional flexibility by extending our standard grace period an extra 30 days until August 31, 2020, after which we will return to our standard (pre-COVID-19) grace periods.  This means payments due in June, July and August will receive an extra 30 day grace period. Payments due in September and beyond will receive no extra grace period.

Note: We are continuing to monitor activity from our state regulators, and may further extend the grace period as required by applicable mandates. Please read the Q&A on sunlife.com/nypfl to learn about New York DBL/PFL COVID-19 grace period. Policyholders sitused in New Jersey: We have mailed this letter to policyholders who have certain lines of coverage.

if you have any questions, please contact the Client Services Support team at 800-247-6875, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. E.T. or call your Client Relationship Executive. 

What helpful resources can I share with my employees?

Many Sun Life Clients have our EAP through ComPsych and have access to a broad range of resources and services. Because of the special circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Sun Life and ComPsych are offering support resources to clients who have not purchased EAP benefits – at no extra charge.

Is Sun Life modifying its medical underwriting requirements because of COVID-19?

The following clarifications and changes apply to medical underwriting for Group Life, Disability and Critical Illness plans as appropriate.

  • Underwriting New Applicants who have contracted COVID – 19: There may be instances where applicants disclose COVID-19 as a recent illness. These medical conditions would not be treated any differently than the regular flu. If there are no other medical conditions of concern, these applications would be accepted as long as the employees are fully recovered and actively at work with no complications (pneumonia, etc.). Any complications for COVID-19 would be considered and underwritten according to our medical underwriting guidelines.
  • Pending Applications – Close Out Date Extensions by Request: We currently close out pending applications after 90 days for no response to requests for missing information. Clients disrupted by COVID-19 may call us and request an extension to 120 days.



How to work with us digitally

Our handy flyer summarizes all the ways you can work with Sun Life digitally.


Submit disability claims and check status online

With recent enhancements, it’s now easier for you and your employees to submit disability claims online and to check claims status information. Access Sun Life Connect at www.sunlife.com/account.

Complete STD claims forms electronically

As an alternative to submitting standalone STD claims online, DocuSign provides a guided electronic way to complete and sign required claims forms. Employees and employers can call 800-247-6875 to get started.

Submit Short-term Disability/FMLA Leaves online

With Sun Life Absence Management Services, you and your employees can visit www.sunlife-ams.com to add new leaves, report time, or view leave requests/disability claims. You can also work on behalf of employees, review leave letters sent, and generate reports.

Submit Evidence of Insurability (EOI) online

Both you and your employees can complete and submit EOI applications online. You must be registered on Sun Life Connect for at least 24 hours before employees can use this online service. Visit www.sunlfe.com/account to get started.

Pay your bills online

We can quickly switch you to electronic bills. Please call Client Services at 800-247-6875, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET or email us at your.bill@sunlife.com. You can also make payments online by visiting www.sunlfe.com/account. You can choose one-time payments or recurring auto payments. If it’s your first time paying your bill online, you’ll first need to set up a payment profile. Here are videos to walk you through the steps of paying a bill online:

Complete implementation forms electronically

  • Maxwell Health our robust, easy-to-use digital benefits education and administration technology platform that allows you to easily manage enrollment and streamline your administrative task

Use our enrollment only platform – SolidifyHR

At Sun Life we have the solutions you need to bring your benefits enrollment experience online and provide added support virtually.

If you are currently going through implementation, DocuSign will save you time. Our new tool provides a guided electronic form experience, allowing a more effective way to complete and sign required forms. See this video to learn more.





This content is not to be considered legal advice. We recommend Clients speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure your organization meets requirements

Group insurance policies are underwritten by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA) in all states, except New York. In New York, group insurance policies are underwritten by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, MI). Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. Sun Life reserves the right to discontinue any service that is not insurance at any time. All products, brands, and names are the property of their respective owners.

SLPC 30172 5/20 Exp. 5/22