Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Guidance for managers: Disability Insurance (DI) Plan

Date:

To: The Public Service Pay Centre, Compensation Managers, Heads of Human Resources, Participating Separate Employers and Deputy Ministers, APEX, The National Managers’ Community

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is providing managers with guidance on supporting employees who are returning to work after a period on Disability Insurance (DI), and who are submitting DI applications. These temporary measures will be in place until further notice.

For additional information, consult the Disability Insurance plan page on Canada.ca/pension-benefits.

Current or planned return to work plans should enable employees to work from home

If you have an employee currently on a gradual return to work plan, or an employee who is planning to return to work on a gradual or full-time basis, you should continue to implement these plans by enabling the employee to work remotely, in line with COVID-19 related directions from public health authorities.

If an employee cannot continue an existing gradual return to work plan or start a gradual return to work plan due to COVID-19 related measures,  you or an available more senior manager should call the Sun Life disability claims manager assigned to the file or Sun Life at 1-800-361-5875.

Temporary acceptance of electronic forms and signatures for Disability Insurance plan claims

To apply for DI Plan benefits, 4 forms must be completed and sent to Sun Life:

  • Employee’s Statement
  • Attending Physician’s Statement
  • Employer’s Statement
  • Compensation Advisor’s Statement

All 4 forms can be found on the Sun Life DI Plan website. They can be downloaded, filled out electronically, and saved as email attachments. Once completed, the 4 forms can be faxed or mailed to Sun Life as per the instructions on each form.

To assist employees, physicians and managers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sun Life will temporarily accept all 4 DI claim forms with electronic signatures, rather than hand written signatures, by email at disabilityclaims@sunlife.com.

Temporary acceptance of Employer Statement forms from a more senior manager

Although an employee’s direct manager is still responsible for completing the Employer Statement form and submitting it to Sun Life and the Government of Canada Pay Centre (or departmental compensation services), it is possible that during the pandemic an employee’s manager may not be available. On a temporary basis, an employee’s more senior manager may instead complete and submit the Employer Statement form provided they indicate to Sun Life that they are doing so due to the unavailability of the employee’s direct manager. In these cases, the name of the unavailable direct manager should be indicated on the form, on a separate sheet of paper, or in the submission email.

If completion by a more senior manager is not an option, the employee is asked to call Sun Life at 1-800-361-5875.

Difficultly obtaining Attending Physician’s Statement

Employees who are having difficulty getting their Attending Physician’s Statement completed should also be instructed to call Sun Life to discuss their situation.

Future Guidance

Since the COVID-19 situation and its impact on those involved in the submission and management of DI claims remains fluid, further guidance may be issued in the future. As always, should you, an employee or their attending physician have any questions or concerns, please contact Sun Life at 1-800-361-5875.

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