Short-term Disability Plans & COVID-19
This is the first in a series of employment related articles by Mirowski Law that will cover work related issues during the pandemic. This is an informational article and not legal advice.
Short Term Disability Benefits (STD)
If you are one of the fortunate Canadians to have extended health care benefits, you may be covered by a short-term disability plan for illnesses that go beyond your normal sick leave. Short-term disability covers illness and an illness includes the COVID-19 virus. You must be ill to receive these benefits.
Situations that are Exempt from Short Term Disability
Short term disability does NOT cover quarantine or workplace closures. Therefore, if your workplace shuts down due to a shortage of work or a public health-imposed closure, you cannot seek STD benefits. If you are asked to self-quarantine following travel, STD does not apply. If you are exposed but not diagnosed, STD does not apply.
What should I do to prepare?
Visit the website for your extended benefits provider. Pull out your benefit booklet. Some insurers are waiving the waiting period for collecting benefits, but this will be plan specific. You also may need to provide medical evidence. Remember, any medical requests should come from the insurer, not your employer directly. Read the policy. Read it again. Call the help line.
It is important that employees with extended benefits utilize the programs and services already available before proceeding to emergency government funding. In most cases, your private benefit plan will offer better coverage.
For more information about employment related issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org