IBI Benchmarking Analytics: How has COVID-19 changed disability and leave patterns?


As of September 21, 2020, the United States had experienced nearly 7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. To understand the broader impact of the pandemic on sick leave, we analyze the change in employers’ STD and FMLA leave experiences from January 1, 2020, through April 30, 2020, compared with their experiences over the same period in 2019. A few findings include:

  • STD claims for respiratory conditions more than doubled between February and March 2020. Including COVID-19 and other coronavirus claims would increase the volume of respiratory claims five-fold.
  • Other diagnosis categories such as injuries, pregnancies, and musculoskeletal conditions showed significant decreases in April 2020 compared to April 2019. Disruptions in care and mass layoffs both played a role in decreased claims activity.

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