Summary of Short-Term Disability (STD) Benefits:
To assist full time faculty/staff with their financial needs experienced when non-work related illness, (including pregnancy, in accordance with applicable Federal Law), or injury necessitates their absence from work for more than ten (10) days, up to a total of one hundred eighty (180) calendar days.
Eligibility for Short-Term Disability (STD) Benefits:
Full-time faculty/staff are eligible for STD benefits on the first of the month following the date of hire or the change from part-time to full-time status.
Description of Short-Term Disability (STD) Benefits:
STD is available from 1 day to up to a total of one hundred eighty (180) calendar days, including ten (10) sick days. If a faculty/staff member is unable to work for more than ten (10) consecutive sick days, these days will then be converted as part of STD. A faculty/staff member must file for disability on the eleventh (11th) day of absence, by contacting Liberty Mutual, the University’s disability administrator at 1-800-713-7384; please review the detailed claim reporting procedure and authorization form. However, faculty/staff members may contact Liberty Mutual earlier than the 11th day when they are informed by their provider that the injury/illness will disable them from work for more than 10 days.
For faculty/staff who are also approved for a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for their own serious health condition, the FMLA leave will run concurrently with the sick and STD leave for the first twelve (12) weeks of leave. Please see the University’s FMLA policy for further details.
If you are unable to return to work following twelve (12) weeks of leave, with or without a reasonable accommodation, consistent with applicable law, and subject to the terms of any faculty employment agreement, after consultation with your department head to ascertain the needs of the department, your position may not be held open and may be filled. However, if you remain disabled and are approved by Liberty Mutual, the University’s disability administrator, compensation and benefits may continue for up to a total of 180 calendar days under the STD program.
Impact on Salary and Benefits While on STD Leave:
If approved by Liberty Mutual for STD leave, faculty/staff will receive 70% of their salary from the eleventh day through a total of 180 calendar days of leave. Sick and vacation time, if available, will be used to offset the other 30% of salary. All available sick time and at least half of the available vacation balance must be applied before the faculty/staff member may receive only 70% of their salary. However, staff members may choose to use all of their available vacation balance in order to offset the other 30% of salary while on an STD leave. After this period, long-term disability becomes available, if the staff member qualifies.
Faculty/staff enrolled in the healthcare benefit plans (medical and dental) prior to being on STD, will continue to receive these benefits while on STD and will continue to have contributions taken from their pay for up to a total of 180 calendar days of approved sick/STD leave.
Faculty/staff will continue to receive employer paid basic Life and AD&D benefits as well as Long Term Disability, Employee Assistance Plan, Tuition and other benefits in which they are enrolled.
Faculty/staff purchasing supplemental life and dependent life insurance will also continue to have these coverages and will continue to have deductions taken from their pay for these benefits.
The 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan continues as if the faculty/staff member is actively at work.
How to Apply for STD Salary Continuation Benefits:
Salary continuation for STD is not automatic. The faculty/staff member must be approved to receive this benefit through Liberty Mutual, the University’s disability administrator, by calling 1-888-673-9940; please review the detailed claim reporting procedure and authorization form. If eligible, faculty/staff members should also complete a Request for Family and Medical Leave Form.
To obtain approval for benefits the faculty/staff member is responsible for filing a disability claim with the University’s disability administrator, Liberty Mutual, after ten (10) consecutive work days of absence, or when they are informed by their provider that they will be unable to work for more than ten (10) days.
Information on how to check the status of a claim online can be found here or can be requested through Human Resources.
*Note the University has the final authority as to the future eligibility of the faculty/staff member for STD benefits.
Return to Work:
Faculty/staff may return to work only after they have presented to Human Resources clearance from their healthcare provider.
Not Returning to Work:
If you are unable to return to work, but are not eligible to receive STD benefits, you may request an unpaid personal leave.
If the faculty/staff member is not able to return to work at the end of the STD period, continued coverage for medical, dental, health care flexible spending (FSA) and Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) coverage is available under COBRA. The length of the COBRA period is dependent upon the qualifying reason. COBRA coverage may be continued for up to eighteen (18) months. If a faculty/staff member is determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to have been disabled, they may qualify to receive up to an additional eleven (11) months of COBRA coverage, for a maximum of twenty-nine (29) months. The first twenty-four (24) months of the COBRA period, providing the faculty/staff member applies and is qualified for the COBRA disability extension, will be billed at the faculty/staff rate for the coverage and level for which they are currently enrolled. Information regarding COBRA will be mailed directly from CONEXIS, the University’s COBRA administrator. Also, information regarding conversion of the faculty/staff member’s current life insurance coverage will be sent directly from Liberty Mutual, the University’s life insurance provider.
Continuation of STD:
A separate period of disability will be considered continuous if it results from the same, or related, condition as a prior disability for which benefits were approved, and if it occurs within thirty-one (31) days of the faculty/staff member’s return to work. If the faculty/staff member returns to active full-time work for thirty-two (32) or more consecutive days, the current disability will be treated as a new claim. The new claim will be subject to all of the STD coverage provisions, and the faculty/staff member will be required to satisfy a new ten (10) day waiting period.