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 and continued challenges for you and your employees. We are committed to providing you with the support you need as it relates to your benefits plan and employees. Please call us to discuss your specific circumstances.
Please read our Q&A below. We’ve also outlined a number of ways you can work with us digitally to ease the administrative burden.
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
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:
- 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 can I share with employees who are laid off?
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. (The word document may appear in the bottom left of your screen.) 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
SLPC 30172 1/21 (exp 1/22)
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).
© 2021 Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481. All rights reserved. Sun Life and the globe symbol are trademarks of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Visit us at www.sunlife.com/us.
Working with us - Right rail
We are here for you
Our Client Services Support team is operating fully, so you will not experience any disruption to service. Don’t hesitate to call us at 800-247-6875, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. E.T., or reach out to your Client Relationship Executive.
Webinars and whitepapers
We invite you to learn from our collection of webinar and whitepaper content ranging from compliance updates to planning your virtual enrollment, and more.