COVID-19: Disability Coverage, FMLA, & Employee Assistance Programs

Insurance carriers are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19.

Unum, USAble Life, Mutual of Omaha, The Hartford, Guardian, Sun Life, and Principal have all released updates on their coverages to protect you and your employees. The majority of these agencies are focusing on Disability coverages, the Family Medical Leave Act, and Employee Assistance Programs.

Please find your provider below for more information on how you’re being covered as the Coronavirus spreads.


As you navigate COVID-19 response plans, Unum is committed to ensuring access to clear, easy-to-understand information about legislation that impacts you and your employees:

  • To keep you informed about new legislation, Unum has created a COVID-19 Legislative Updates page that explains the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as they may relate to your business and your employees.
  • To help you fully understand FMLA implications, Unum is providing COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions so that you know how the bills specifically relate to Unum’s leave services and disability benefits.

To learn more about how Unum is responding to COVID-19, click the button below.

USAble Life

In general, USAble is treating COVID-19 like any other illness and is covered. The items below address TDI, STD, and Hospital Indemnity products from USAble:

  • For sickness that prevents you from working, you may be considered Totally or Partially Disabled.
  • If you are hospital confined as a result of sickness caused by COVID-19, that confinement is covered.
    • Applicable waiting periods and elimination periods still apply.

Quarantine associated with COVID-19:

  • If you are quarantined and unable to work due to your symptoms, then you may be considered Totally or Partially disabled during a period of medically required confinement.
  • If you are quarantined, but your symptoms allow you to perform your work duties, then generally you would not be considered Totally or Partially disabled and would be considered actively-at-work.
  • If you are quarantined, you can be considered actively-at-work to maintain your benefit eligibility, provided that the premiums are paid and this leave is employer approved.

For more information on USAble assistance during the coronavirus outbreak, click the button below.

Mutual of Omaha

As with any illness, disability and similar leave claims related to the COVID-19 virus will be evaluated according to the terms of the policy and the facts specific to that claim.

Symptomatic employees would likely have a qualifying condition under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which would require them to take leave. If you are ineligible for the FMLA or have exhausted your 12 weeks, you may still have time under an analogous state FMLA or under the ADA.

Customers who have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) services with MOO have access to a broad range of resources and services, including:

  • Access to EAP Professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week (Toll-free Number: 800-316-2796)
  • Face-to-face sessions with a counselor, if eligible
  • A comprehensive online legal and financial resource library

For more information on Mutual of Omaha’s COVID-19 updates, click the button below.

The Hartford

To be considered Disabled and file a claim, you must be sick and unable to perform the essential duties of your occupation due to COVID-19.

To be eligible for leave under the Family Leave Act (FMLA), you or your immediate family member must have a serious health condition. If you or your immediate family member do not test positive for COVID-19, you would not be eligible for FMLA leave.

If you are enrolled in a Group Disability or Voluntary (Accident, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity) plan, or Leave Management services from The Hartford, they you have access to The Hartford’s Ability Assist® EAP services. You can access help 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free line: 1-800-96-HELPS (1-800-964-3577) or by registering/logging in to ComPsych has also put together a Coronavirus U.S. Digital Toolkit with the latest information available about COVID-19.

For more information about COVID-19 support from The Hartford, click the button below.


At a high-level, the following Guardian benefits could apply to you:

  • If you are admitted to the hospital for Coronavirus, a Hospital Indemnity benefit, if applicable, may be paid according to the terms of the contract.
  • If you are covered by a Guardian Short Term Disability plan, you may be eligible for benefits if you are diagnosed with the illness, are sick, and are unable to perform the major duties of your job due to COVID-19. Eligibility may be determined based on medical documentation and additional information received by Guardian.
  • Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), unless you or your family member is ill as a result of the Coronavirus, you are not likely entitled to leave.
  • Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH), our EAP partner, has been working to provide members with resources about the virus and is helping to control the anxiety that accompanies situations such as these. If you have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) through Guardian, please check your email for helpful information and links.

Guardian has prepared information and FAQs about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). To view Guardian’s explanation of the legislation, go to “What Does the FFCRA Mean for Working Americans?” To see Frequently Asked Questions about FFCRA, visit

For more common COVID-19 questions to Guardian, click the button below.

Sun Life

Below are Sun Life’s answers to important questions you may have:

  • Sun Life will promptly pay all valid disability claims in which an eligible member has a qualifying and documented medical event, including an event related to COVID-19.
    • If the employee tests positive for COVID-19, is quarantined, and is unable to work, the employee is considered Totally or Partially disabled during the period of medically required confinement.
    • If the employee tests positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined, but their symptoms allow them to perform work duties from home, the employee would generally not be considered Totally or Partially Disabled and will be considered Actively at Work.
    • Due to the nature and typical length of isolation, some absences will fall under employers’ paid sick or PTO plans. Sun Life can help if you’d like to review how your disability benefits plan fits with other paid leave policies.
    • You can submit disability claims online and check claims status information with Sun Life Connect at
  • Eligible Employees may be eligible for a leave under the FMLA for their own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. As an employer, you are entitled to require medical certification of the need for the leave.
  • Providing the premium is paid and the Policy stays in force, Sun Life is administratively extending the period of continuation on all group coverages to the earlier of: 90 days or
    the end of the period when a person is unable to work, is working reduced hours, or is not working from their usual work location. This administrative extension of the continuation timeframe is available for the period of March 13, 2020 until September 1, 2020 and should be applied uniformly at the employer level and not by individual selection. Continuation of insurance benefits will be allowed due to:

    • Reduction of work hours resulting in an eligible and insured individual becoming ineligible for coverage;
    • Temporary furlough or leave of absence;
    • Temporary layoff;
    • Inability to work regularly scheduled hours due to Quarantine without medical necessity.
      • With Sun Life Absence Management Services, you and your employees can visit 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.
  • The standard policy grace period has also been extended for another 30 days, should you need it, on all coverages.
  • Sun Life has many ways you can work with them digitally. Please click the following link to view all of their online resources: Sun Life Electronic COVID-19 Flyer

Find more of Sun Life’s COVID-19 resources and services by visiting their website below:


Principal and Magellan are extending telephonic Employee Assistance Program (EAP) support for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or anxious about COVID-19. Employees can contact Magellan Healthcare 24/7 at 800-450-1327 for free, confidential consultation services.

For more information on how COVID-19 applies to your coverage, click the button below.


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