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Short-term Disability

The University’s Short-term Disability benefits program has been designed to provide you with salary continuance if you become disabled and are unable to work.

All full-time employees who have completed three months of continuous service with the university shall be eligible for Short-term Disability leave for up to 12 months.

Process and forms information:

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Please email Julie Day, Health and Disability Management Specialist or call 905-721-8668 ext. 3649.

For more information regarding your Short-term Disability and Long-term Disability benefit coverage, please refer to the following:

Short Term Disability FAQ

  • When should I report an absence to my manager?

    As soon as you know you will not be able to attend work due to a personal illness or injury, you must contact your manager. Your first 5 consecutive business days of absence due to illness or injury will be recorded as sick days.

  • When will I need to apply for Short-term Disability benefits?

    If you require a medical leave of absence (e.g., pre-scheduled surgery, treatment), or when your duration of absence from work due to illness/injury is greater than 5 consecutive business days, you will need to apply for Short-term Disability benefits.

  • Who is eligible for Short-Term Disability benefits coverage?

    All full-time academic and staff employees who have completed three months of continuous service with the university shall be eligible for Short-term Disability leave.

    You must be totally disabled and under the continuous care of a physician to receive benefits.

  • What is the definition of total disability?
    A plan member will be considered totally disabled while continuously unable due to an illness or injury to perform the essential duties of the plan member's own occupation.
  • What if the disability reoccurs?
    If the same or related disability recurs within 20 days of your full return to work, it will be treated as an extension of the earlier disability claim. If it reoccurs after 20 days, it will be treated as a new claim.
  • Who is involved in the Short-term Disability process?

    The main participants in the process are the employee, manager, Health and Disability Management Specialist and the Disability Case Manager, Sun Life. Depending on the complexity of the situation and the needs of the employee, other stakeholders may be engaged as needed, e.g. rehabilitation specialists, union representatives, Environmental Health and Safety officers, etc.

  • How is my eligibility to receive Short-term Disability benefits determined?

    The Disability Case Manager will consider several factors when evaluating your medical absence including:

    • Medical information provided by your doctor(s).
    • Your treatment plan, recovery and prognosis.
    • Your abilities.
    • Your job duties and physical and/or mental restrictions and limitations.
  • Why does a Disability Case Manager review my job duties?
    There are specific aspects of your job that can influence how your medical condition can be accommodated. For example, if it requires standing for long periods of time, your condition may preclude your ability to perform your tasks. Once your requirements are known, the Disability Case Manager can make appropriate recommendations in consultation with your doctor.
  • Where do I send medical information about my Short-term Disability-related illness or injury?

    Any correspondence or documentation related to your illness or injury, such as a doctor's medical evaluation, must be sent directly to Sun Life through one of the following methods:

    • Through the ‘Documents’ feature of the Sun Life mobile app
    • Email completed disability claim forms to
      Please be advised that although Sun Life uses reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of the email content it sends and receives, the privacy of email communications cannot be guaranteed.
    • Fax to 1.866.639.7851
    • Mail to Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada Disability Management Office
      P.O. Box 950 Stn A
      Toronto, Ontario M5W 1G5
    You can also call the Sun Life Customer Care Centre at 1.800.361.6212, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. eastern time.
  • Can I appeal a benefits decision made by the Disability Case Manager?

    Yes. When benefits are declined, it is most often due to missing medical information that supports the disability and the length of time away from work.

    If you wish to appeal a decision, you must submit new and reviewed information to support your request and you should also include reasons you believe the decision is incorrect. This information must be submitted directly to the Disability Case Manager and they will notify you as well as the Health and Disability Management Specialist directly about the status of your appeal.

  • How do I know the Disability Case Manager will keep my case confidential?

    Confidentiality is one of the key benefits of this program. All information from your first telephone call to the transfer of your medical records is kept confidential. Sun Life will not provide the university with information about your medical condition, diagnosis or any related personal information.

    To learn more about Sun Life's Privacy Policy, visit their website at, or to obtain information about their privacy practices, send a written request by email to, or by mail to:

    Privacy Officer
    Sun Life Financial
    225 King Street West
    Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C5

  • What information will Sun Life share with the university?
    Sun Life will share information and recommendations that relate to your abilities or limitations to perform your job duties. This excludes specific reference to your medical condition, diagnosis or any related personal information.
  • How will my salary be administered during Short-term Disability leave?
    Short-term Disability benefits may continue for 52 weeks and require on-going submission of updated medical documentation to support total disability. The University will continue to pay your salary while approved under the terms and conditions of the Short-term Disability benefits program. The first six months are paid at 100% and up to an additional six months will be paid at 75%.  The disability period starts on the first day you are away from work for an illness or injury related to a medically supported disability.
  • What if I have an emergency situation that results in me being hospitalized?
    It is important to ensure your family members or friends know someone needs to call your manager to report your condition and let the university know you will be away from work. Your manager will contact the Health and Disability Management Specialist who will relay this information to the Disability Case Manager. The Disability Case Manager will then coordinate all other activities to support you and confirm your disability. If you remain unable to work when you are out of the hospital, your Disability Case Manager will continue to work with you to help you get back on your feet again.
  • What happens when I am ready to return to work?
    When you are well enough to return to work, make sure to inform your Disability Case Manager beforehand. You will be required to provide medical certification that you are fit to return to work. You will work in partnership with your Disability Case Manager, Health and Disability Management Specialist as well as your manager when you are ready to assume your regular duties. If you require any accommodations to return to your job initially, or even on a more permanent basis, the Health and Disability Management Specialist will create an accommodation plan based on information provided by Sun Life regarding your limitations and restrictions.
  • Will my benefits continue while I am on disability?

    Yes, your benefits and pension will continue during your Short-term Disability leave of absence.

  • What other resources are available to support my health and wellness?
    In addition to the consultation services provided by Sun Life, you have access to a wealth of health and wellness information and tools available through the Employee Assistance Program and Wellness at Work Program. 
  • What if I have more questions about the Short-term Disability program?
    Please contact Julie Day, Health and Disability Management Specialist by email or at 905.721.8668 ext. 3649.