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Nurse practitioners easing burden of Disability Income Plan members

A recent policy improvement has expanded the ability of Nurse practitioners (NPs) to provide important medical information when plan members are applying for disability benefits.

Did you know? There are 451 nurse practitioners working in Saskatchewan.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have achieved additional education and nursing experience. The designation allows them to independently diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications, and perform medical procedures. While they usually perform primary care work in clinics, there is also a small group of NPs in Saskatchewan working in more specialized practices, such as long-term care, emergent care, and neonatal and pediatric units. NPs are also often the primary caregiver in many rural, isolated, and underserved parts of the province.

In 2022, the Employee Benefit Plans Committee, comprised of employer and union partners, reviewed the current policy of limiting NPs providing medical information for disability applicants to a maximum of eight weeks.

The review found that it has since become common for disability benefit providers to accept forms from NPs with fewer or no restrictions.

It also revealed that the eight week limitation could add a greater burden to already-distressed patients who had to find a physician after that period.

As a result of that review, NPs are now able to complete attending physician forms on behalf of plan members and provide medical information for the full duration of a claim. This enhancement to the plan text provisions brings the Employee Benefit Plans in line with other disability benefit providers and simplifies the paperwork connected to claims for those who are unable to work.

3sHealth provides a Disability Application at a Glance brochure to provide more information about applying for disability benefits. Get more information on benefits and disability plans or contact us at or 1.866.278.2301. 

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