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Sun Life Assurance Canada


Short Term Disability Benefits

Complaint Rating:  97 % with 105 votes
97% 105
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Despite having paid for disability benefits through my employer for 15 years, I have been cut off short-term benefits after 8 weeks for what they claim is insufficient medical documentation. Sun Life has made me jump through all kinds of loops to provide what they feel is adequate medical documentation, only to continually tell me it is not enough and they cannot grant further benefits, despite a disability preventing me from returning to my job. I am PISSED OFF, and my doctor is angry as he is adamant that I cannot return to work until I get a specialist opinion. The staff at Sun Life have been rude and unreasonable, and I have now sought legal advise. RIP OFF!!
Complaint comments Comments (81) Complaint country Canada Complaint category Savings & Investments


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A  23rd of Mar, 2009 by    +1 Votes
I know your frustrations. My Husband also paid into Sunlife for 20 years through his place of employment and got the same answers NOT ENOUGH MEDICAL INFO THEY KEPT SAYING GRRRRRRRRRR
He was forced to retire early because we had no income for 5 months waiting on Sunlife who never came through. However my Husband had surgery for a Hip Replacement, that still wasn't enough for Sunlife. We tried to fight it but Lawyers told us it would cost more to fight it than we would get if we won the case.

Insurance Companys are so unfare and CHEAT people constantly . There ought to be a law to fight them . Good luck to YOU
A  17th of May, 2009 by    +2 Votes
I had a similar problem with Sun Life. Luckily, after 7 months, they finally came through and paid out my claim. What did it finally was a very lengthy letter from my doctor explaining my condition as well as pressure applied from my union, who I contacted as soon as they gave me their first "denied for lack of medical evidence" letter. I also asked my HR people at work to apply pressure. Their whole game is to state "lack of medical evidence of total dissability" until people have no other choice but to find another way to get some money! They suck.

Another thing I hated about Sun Life: the agent I was dealing with was very personable and friendly, calling me on a regular basis etc until she decided to pay out my claim, at which time she stopped returning my emails and telephone calls. Of course, she was just being extra friendly to pump information out of me. Very bad customer service!!!
A  8th of Jun, 2009 by    +1 Votes
I too paid into disability through my employer for Sunlife. They paid me at first, and I sent in additional medical information from my doctor when requested. They then got me a senior agent and she was the rudest person, , my doctor filled out everything they asked for twice and they still cut me off, even though I am waiting for surgery. I will take this to my union, thanks for the info. Another doctor told me that Sunlife is the cheapest, which is why employers take them on, as they never pay. When this is over with, I need to know who I can complain too about their employees and the whole situation.
A  29th of Jun, 2009 by    +2 Votes
I'm about to file for my LTD insurance and it's obvious to me that Sun Life has created 'STOPGAPS' at the onset, so they can disqualify you.
My impression from the explaination of the benefits and "process" left me with a cautious attitude.

I am with the railroads (Teamsters) in this country, and our parent company is over 140, 000 employees around the globe. In addition, no insurance company can play games in California, or they are subject to the laws of California under the Insurance Commission. All "events" by this company will not go unnoticed and I will gladly send all correspondence to the California Insurance Commission, as it's a tax payer free service.

The union and other agencies will certainly be onboard for their earshot of what Sun Life offers or denies, as far as adequate paperwork is concerned.

Suggestion: Go to the PRESS and to the MEDIA in all of it's forms. (ABC, CBS, NBC) 20/20, 60 MINUTES. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and anywhere on the net you can find that has a global connection. Send your story to the Labor Unions especially. We all cannot sit by and let these people talk out of both sides of their mouth. Do not call people...WRITE or EMAIL them only.

If your state or federal government has an agency or commission for insurance, by all means make copies and send them your written complaint on these folks. No more games, folks. Those days are OVER.

Let's leave this world a better place and ONE SET OF RULES!
A  21st of Sep, 2009 by    0 Votes
My husband told sun life the he was going back to work par-time with limitations, and they keep sending papers for him to fill up by his doctor, and we trust the doctor Benitez, with the paper and after a year, Sun life said he owns a year of over pay, they knew he was working par-time with limitations, SUN LIFE SHOULD GET THE MONEY BACK FROM DR. BENITEZ AND THE EMPLOYYE WHO WAS TAKING CARE OF MY HUSBAND CASE, The lack of responsible employees, they don't read the information we sent, or Is this a game sun life play to rip off clients?

A  18th of Dec, 2009 by    0 Votes
Hi. Can't believe there are not more responses to this. I work in an extremely high pressure job. I pretty much broke down after 22 years of high stress. The doctor told me that - that is it, you are going home. Thus the adventure with SunLife. ' SEND MORE INFO, SEND MORE INFO. FIRST APPEAL, SECOND APPEAL, THIRD APPEAL, OUT. Only thing missing is a death certificate for info. I have chosen to sue them and to make this issue common knowledge. We are paying tax on a benefit that they have no intention of paying. Ironically they have a web page that tells us about the effects of stress. My goal is to give them some back. The US sites are full of the same thing, I will update on progress.

A  23rd of Mar, 2010 by    +1 Votes
A  30th of Apr, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I more than AGREE with everyone on this thread and am amazed that more people have not found out about this SCAM RIPOFF company, Sun Life.

I started to fill out my "FORMS" and remembered what the first telecon was like. I was told in the beginning this was an "exact science" to these people with crossing every T and dotting every "i"...well, they were not joking. ALL SUNLIFE DOES IS LET YOU KNOW YOU DIDN'T DO SOMETHING RIGHT...AND IT BECOMES VOID!

I'd bet their highest expense is postage stamps...because you'd have to be related to the CEO to get anything from these people...AND IF YOU DO...they will want you to"


N  25th of Jun, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I worked with the federal government. I was declared unable to work by health Canada in 1994 and have disability with them along with my superannuation. Sun life tops up with a small cheque each month. Today after after 15 hears they call me and want to send a representative to my home. This is after each and every year sending letters and I feel very much intimidated and harassed and it opened up all the wounds and anxiety all over again.
A  6th of Jul, 2010 by    +2 Votes
Sun Life is screwing me too - I've been out of work for six months now and was forced into disability, they just want more and more medical records, now I am terminated and can't afford insurance any more so now I can't afford any more Doctor appointments - I started treatment but will have to stop without payments - I don't know what to do Sun Life is killing me faster than my disease is
A  9th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
Sun Life Financial is a horrible group of evil people. If I can provide myself any consolation it's that if there's a final judgement they will all go straight to hell - they do not care about people or whether or not you are sick, can work, or need money to survive - they only care about how they can keep your money - after approving my claim they found a minor discrepancy on a treatment date and used that to say I "fabricated" my claim - they then ran everything through their 'medical consultant' who then said I was not disabled. It was a bunch of [censor] - I had three Doctors claim I was disabled, yet their Doctor without even seeing me was given the final word. To top it ALL off they're now saying I owe them for the checks they DID pay me. Because of them I had to stop chemo-therapy for my liver disease and my condition has worsened - they don't care - in fact they seem to RELISH the opportunity to be rude and impolite, inconsiderate and downright cruel when given the chance. The worst and most evil [censor] of all is a lady named "Andrea Lynch" and someone over her named Tara. I know it's like fighting City Hall so I don't have much hope but I'm talking to a lawyer anyway just in case I have a case - but regardless of that I will say that Sun Life Financial is a greedy, evil company and there is a special place in hell for all of them.
A  10th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
I had one company representative pick me up and wanted in on my doctors appointment. My doctor was not please and let them know about it. When having a burnout one does not need that on their case. I didn't have the strength to fight it and I thank god everyday that my doctor is a specialist and did for me.
A  14th of Aug, 2010 by    +1 Votes
My experience with Sun Life Financial has been awful as well. As a new employee with limited sick leave through my company, we were given the option to purchase short term disability from one of their insurance representatives. I opted to purchase their short term disability just in case something happened, I would have enough money to pay utilities, but groceries, prescriptions etc. until i returned to work.

My disability insurance payments were payroll deducted and went into effect after one month (April 1, 2010). In May, I went to my oby-gyn for my annual physical. I casually mentioned to my doctor again that my periods were somewhat irregular. She had never diagnosed me with any problems so she ordered an ultra sound of my uterus. They found a shadow and my doctor advised me that it appeared to be a fibroid cyst. I went into the operating room expecting to have a DNC instead she found a tumor. She could not remove it while I was under anesthesia and without my consent. A second operation was scheduled two weeks later and I had a partial hysterectomy. I filed my short term disability claim and was out of work for a full six weeks.

I faxed in my claim and waited. Three weeks later Sun Life Financial claimed they never received it... I faxed it again. Three weeks later, they informed me that they had requested additional medical records and were still waiting for them from my ob-gyn and family physician. I returned to work without ever receiving a check. They tell me now that my claim has been denied because it was a pre-existing medical condition.

I was told that I can appeal the decision. I have contacted my ob-gyn and her assistant is reviewing my files and she is going to give them a call on Monday morning. I think that after reading all the comments posted here, I'm mostly likely screwed too. I will most likely cancel my policy as it is useless. I'm glad I found out early because at this point, I am only out of $200.00 in premiums.
A  16th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
They are ALL bad - but Sun Life Financial is among the WORST!!! They enjoy being mean and evil - they will do everything in the book to try and disqualify you - these insurance companies run the biggest scams they shouldn't be allowed to continue!!! They should shut them ALL down!!!
N  20th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
WOW - i wish i had read this before buying the policy. I am going out on short term disablity and i see all of the negative comments .
A  7th of Oct, 2010 by    0 Votes
I have been on disability with Sunlife for 8 years. What a nightmare they are to deal with! Rude and nasty workers that you have to deal with everytime. It took them 8 months to approve my claim after I collapsed at work. What finally got me approved...a letter from my lawyer asking what the hold up was. Conveniently, my claim was approved the next day. With no explanation to anyone why there was such a long wait of course. In August of 2008, my employer cut off the medical benefits for my children and I and refused to reinstate them until I signed for early retirement. I am a single Mom as well. Without benefit coverage, my medication is over $1000 a month. So, I had no choice but to sign. I thought it had been a nightmare before...it is worse now. I am getting a pension ( if you can call it that) from my employer and Sunlife is supposed to top it up to what I was getting on just disability. When my employer put thru my retirement, they back dated my retirement date. This caused a huge ripple affect for me financially. Everyone and their brother then claimed I owed them money. Including Sunlife. Sunlife is now saying, 7 months after my retirement went thru, that they overpaid me. They also have the amount they say I owe at $2000 more than what my employer says. Now, with Sunlife in the driver seat, they are taking 50 % of my check for their arrears they claim I owe. This is leaving us with a whoppping $400 a month!!!
I have contacted Human Rights, my local MP, the newspaper, my Doctor as well as had a free consultation with a lawyer. All telling me that I need alawyer to fight these jerks. Well, anyone know a lawyer that doesn't want a retainer up front? Good luck finding one, I have tried. While looking on line I have found quite a few pages on lawsuits against company's such as Sunlife, Great-West etc. that have been won and they have had to pay out $100 of thousands in pain and suffering, stress and punitive damages. So why are they still getting away with this? We really need to ban together with the press and put these insurance companies in the hot seat. The last thing we need when we are sick or diagnosed with a chronic illness or terminal illness, is to have to fight with these idiots.
I wish you all luck in your continued battle and don't give up! mAKE THEM PAY FOR WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO YOU. P.S...if anyone has to deal with Sunlife...good luck. I honestly don't know how these people sleep at night with the job they do messing and destroying peoples lives.
A  9th of Nov, 2010 by    0 Votes
I reported this SCAM "Company" to the Attorney General and the BBB of Massachusetts.

Do something...don't just whine about them...you will probably get a payback after the BIG BOYS go after them in a Class Action Law Suit. Do it !!!
A  5th of Dec, 2010 by    0 Votes

One of the things that really disturbs me about being Canadian is that we do not stand together against tyranny. One person cannot fight this big organizations without suffering emotionally and financially. If a group of people stand up and make a big enough fuss, trust me someone will listen!
I am interested in a pro-active approach i.e. enough people showing interest, higher a lawyer and launch a Class Action suit, the good old American was of doing things.
If you are interested please post and I shall search for a lawyer who can take this on!
N  14th of Dec, 2010 by    0 Votes
I could not agree with these statements more. The problem is that one hand sucks in the insurance business while the other hand is for delaying, stalling, confusing, intimidating any way they can to not have to pay. The problem is they are a business and not a service. Like any business, it's first priority is profit NOT looking after customers. Their bottom line is more important than the people they are supposed to look after. Period.
Of course there are people who abuse insurance companies, however,
Sun life treats EVERY CUSTOMER like they are corrupt. It's easier that way. Those who jump through the hoops, make the constant phone calls, get angry, keep sending the requests for information MAY get results. Looking after the customer for any business, at they claim to do costs money. You know you're in trouble when you call, wait on hold for 20-30 minutes, finally get through to someone who really can't help you anyway, then get put through to the person who is responsible for your claim who never calls you back! If you look at it from the positio
of a crooked/dirty/sleazy/milk every penny for profit type of company, then they are doing everything you would expect.
DO NOT LET THEM wear you down! Complain to anyone and everyone!
A  5th of Jan, 2011 by    0 Votes
Hello I am going thru same thing sunlife is trying to not pay me because of lack of medical evidence.I am with anyon e ready to do a good fight for what is right... my doctor took me off work that should really be enough for them. What doc is gonna just put anybody off work for no reason...

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