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Long-Term Disability

Policy Number: HR-37
Effective Date: April 2014
Responsible Officer: President, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

PURPOSE

This policy was established to define the Long-term Disability (LTD) Program offered at the Academy when a Professional Staff Member is unable to work for a continuous period of ninety days or more.

 

APPLICABILITY

Long-term disability is available to eligible Professional Staff Members who have worked for the Academy for one year. The one-year waiting period maybe waived if the Professional Staff Member can provide in writing documentation from their prior employer that they were covered under the prior employer’s group long-term disability insurance plan.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The President of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the Official responsible for the administration of this policy.

 

POLICY

Long Term Disability is an Academy paid benefit offered to Full-time Professional Staff Members, insured through CIGNA Group Insurance, which provides income continuation to Professional Staff Members who are unable to work for a continuous period of more than 90 days due to a non-work related illness or injury, which prevents the performance of normal duties of their position.

 

DEFINITIONS

Full-time Professional Staff Member is a Professional Staff Member who is regularly scheduled to work 35/40 hours per week.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

 

PROCEDURES

  1. During the initial disability period of ninety days the Professional Staff Member will be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act or Non-Family Medical Leave granted Human Resources has received and approved all medical documentation, in addition the Professional Staff Member will retain their status of “active.” The Professional Staff Member must notify Human Resources and the insurance carrier fifteen days prior to their anticipated return if they are unable to return to work beyond ninety days.
  2. The Professional Staff Members’ department is not obligated to keep the Professional Staff Member’s position beyond the 90 calendar day period of disability. The department has the right to keep the position vacant; fill the position with a temporary replacement; or fill the position with a permanent replacement beginning with the 91st calendar day of the Professional Staff Member’s disability.
  3. If the Professional Staff Member is approved for long-term disability, commencing on the 91st day after disability begins; the Professional Staff Members will receive disability benefits (pay) from the insurance company equal to sixty (60) percent of their gross monthly salary in effect at the time disability occurred. The maximum benefit will not exceed $20,000 per month. This benefit is payable to age 65 for disabilities commencing prior to age 60. For disabilities commencing after age 60, the benefit period shall be in accordance with the following schedule:
  4. Age at Commencement of Total Disability

    Benefit Period

    60 but less than 65

    4 3/4 years

    65 but less than 68

    3/4 to age 70

    68 3/4 or over

    1 year

    The maximum benefit period means the maximum period of time a Professional Staff Member can collect benefits commencing with the 91st day of total disability. The benefit period could be shorter.

    Disability payments will be reduced by any amounts payable from other sources such as Social Security, Worker's Compensation, or any State Disability Benefits Law.

    In no event will the Minimum Monthly Income Benefit be less than $100; or if greater, 10% of the Monthly Income Benefit before Benefits from Other Sources are subtracted.

  5. During this time the Academy will continue to pay the employer portion of the Professional Staff Member’s health and dental insurance coverage as long as the Professional Staff Member remits their monthly premium payment. The Professional Staff Member may file claims against his/her Flexible Spending Account during their disability; however, the Flexible Spending Account balance will not accrue. Any accrued vacation balance will be paid to the Professional Staff Member at the time of LTD approval.
  6. The premium for LTD is shown as both earning and as an after-tax deduction on the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s paycheck. This enables the benefits to be received as a nontaxable income during the time you are receiving disability payments.
  7. If upon return to active employment, disability from the same or related cause recommences within 12 months after the date benefits ceased, benefits will begin as of the first day of the month after disability starts. Benefits payable during a term of recurrent disability will be based on the provisions and monthly wage base that applied to the prior term of disability.
  8. If the insurance carrier denies coverage, the Professional Staff Member has the right to appeal the decision by contacting the carrier.
  9. If the Professional Staff Member is eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits, the insurance carrier will provide assistance in applying or appealing a denied application for Social Security Disability Benefits.
  10. A survivor income benefit is payable as of the first day of the month after death if disabled for the full 9 months prior to death and if survived by one or more surviving dependents. A surviving dependent is the spouse or an unmarried child who was dependent for support and maintenance and who is less than 19 years of age or 19 but less than 23 years of age and enrolled in a school as a full-time student. The term child includes an adopted child or stepchild.The surviving spouse will receive the full benefit; otherwise, the benefit will be paid in equal shares to all surviving dependent children.Proof of death is required before the survivor income benefit is paid. Proof that a dependent is a surviving dependent may also be required. All proof must be satisfactory to the insurance carrier.
  11. Upon termination of employment, membership in the Long Term Disability Program ceases on the date termination occurs; however, if under age 70 and a participant in the plan for one year, the Professional Staff Member has the option of converting this coverage to an individual policy within 31 days from the date coverage terminates.

 

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.