Frequently Asked Questions: Disability
What is the expected time frame for COVID-19 claims approval?
We will do our best to maintain SBC’s disability claims service standards of up to 8 days to review a STD claim. Based on usual claim volumes our normal service is at 3 to 5 business days. We monitor our claims volumes regularly and will do our best to stay within these service standards.
What is the expected time frame for COVID-19 claims payments?
Once a claim approval decision is made an electronic funds transfer payment (EFT) can be seen in a member’s bank account with 5 business days. We would encourage all members during this time to have their payments made through EFT. If a cheque is sent then we cannot guarantee the 5 business days. We continually monitor our volumes and will do our best to maintain this same great service.
What should we as employers be communicating to our employees who have self-quarantined because of COVID-19?
We would encourage all employers to develop their own policies and procedures on how to support your employees. See the question above for further details.
We have an employee that returned from the United States or any foreign country and who will self quarantine. Will she need to use her sick days through her employer or will she immediately be eligible for Short Term Disability?
We would encourage all employers to develop their own policies and procedures on how you support your employees. Saskatchewan Blue Cross is monitoring the situation closely and things are changing daily. Short Term Disability Claims are eligible based on the definition of total disability and an employee's inability to perform the duties of their own job. Some quarantines may be covered and some may not dependent on a positive COVID-19 test result. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of your employees while balancing the financial integrity of your group insurance plan. We are reviewing each case carefully and making the decision based on the information we have received.
As part of my regular job I am required to cross the border into the US; will I still have coverage?
Yes, you will still have coverage for Short Term and Long Term disability benefits.
Is there anything in our Group Insurance Contract that would deter us from paying a top up if an employee is off on STD for COVID-19 reasons?
The contract does allow employers to pay a top up for STD benefits. Please let us know if you are paying and what you are paying at the time of claim in order to prevent double payments from occurring.
Will the employer be notified of any claims submitted and if they have created exposure in the work place?
Saskatchewan Blue Cross has to ensure the privacy of all our members, we will not be able to share any confidential medical information. Employers will be notified of claims decisions based as we would do during our normal process.
Is the claim date the day the employee completes the form or can it be retroactive to the date the symptoms/exposure date?
When reviewing a claim, Saskatchewan Blue Cross must determine a date of disability, a number of factors go into establishing this date. We must consider the last day's work, date first symptoms appeared, the first day of missing work, date advised by medical staff to quarantine and there are others. We will establish the date of disability based on the information we receive at the time of the claim.