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Short-Term Disability

Policy Number: HR-72
Effective Date: October 2017
Responsible Officer: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

PURPOSE

This policy was established to define the Short-Term Disability (STD) Program offered at the University when a Faculty or Professional Staff Member is unable to work for a continuous period of 30 days or more.

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all eligible Faculty and Professional Staff Members, excluding any Professional Staff Member who is affiliated with a collective bargaining unit.

IMPLEMENTATION

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

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer is the Drexel University Official responsible for the administration of this policy.

POLICY

Short-term disability is an employee-paid, voluntary benefit offered to Full and Part-time Faculty and Professional Staff Members, insured through the Designated Insurance Carrier, which provides income continuation to Faculty and Professional Staff Members who are unable to work for a continuous period of more than 14 days due to a non-work related illness or injury, which prevents the performance of normal duties of their position. In order to access this benefit, election must be made into one of two short-term disability benefit plans for the plan year in which a disability commences.

DEFINITIONS

Designated Insurance Carrier is the Drexel-chosen provider for short-term disability processing.

Faculty Member is defined as an individual employed by Drexel University in a tenured, tenure-track, non-tenured track or adjunct position who teaches at any college, school, center or institute in the University. A Faculty Member also is deemed to be exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Full-time Faculty Member is defined as a full-time status which must equal a teaching load of 12 or more credit hours per term.

Part-time Faculty Member is defined as a part-time status which must equal a teaching load of a 50 percent appointment.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by 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.

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

Part-time Professional Staff Member is a Professional Staff Member who is regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours, but less than 40 hours per week.

PROCEDURES

  1. Eligible Faculty and Professional Staff Members may apply for a Medical Leave of Absence by contacting the Designated Insurance Carrier to initiate their claim.
  2. The short-term disability benefit provides salary replacement only. A Faculty or Professional Staff Member will also need to complete an application for Family Medical Leave (FML) which will provide job protection, or a Medical Leave, both which will provide continuation of benefits. Short-term disability will run concurrently with FML or the Medical Leave, meaning that paid leave used during FML or the Medical Leave will be counted toward the 12 weeks of FML or the 90 days of Medical Leave.
  3. If the Faculty or Professional Staff Member has elected the standard short-term disability plan and is approved for short-term disability the benefit will commence on the 31st day after disability begins or the exhaustion of available sick time, whichever is later. The Faculty or Professional Staff Member will receive disability benefits (pay) from the insurance company equal to 60 percent of their gross monthly salary in effect at the time disability occurred. The maximum benefit will not exceed $2,700 per week.
  4. The enhanced short-term disability plan is effective January 1, 2018. If the Faculty or Professional Staff Member has elected the enhanced short-term disability plan, and is approved for short-term disability, the benefit will commence on the 15th day after disability begins or the exhaustion of available sick time, whichever is later. The Faculty or Professional Staff Member will receive disability benefits (pay) from the insurance company equal to 60 percent of their gross monthly salary in effect at the time disability occurred. The maximum benefit will not exceed $2,700 per week.
  5. The maximum benefit period is day 90 of disability. The maximum benefit period means the maximum period of time a Faculty and Professional Staff Member can collect benefits beginning on the 15th (enhanced plan) or 31st (standard plan) day of total disability or the exhaustion of available sick time, whichever is later. Faculty or Professional Staff Members who are eligible for a benefit period beginning on day 15 (enhanced plan) or 31 (standard plan) will have a shortened benefit period if their accrued sick days extend beyond day 15 (enhanced plan) or 31 (standard plan) of disability.
  6. Disability payments will be reduced by amounts payable from certain other sources such as State Disability Benefits Law.
  7. The premium for STD is deducted as an after-tax deduction on the Faculty or Professional Staff Member's paycheck. This enables the benefit payments to be received as a nontaxable income.
  8. The Faculty or Professional Staff Member must notify Human Resources and the insurance carrier 15 days prior to their anticipated return if they are unable to return to work beyond 90 days of disability.
  9. If the Faculty or Professional Staff Member returns to active employment immediately following the end of his or her benefits and his or her disability from the same or related cause recommences less than two weeks after the date benefits ceased, the later disability may be treated as a recurring disability. A new elimination period is not required for a recurring disability.
  10. If the insurance carrier denies coverage, the Faculty or Professional Staff Member has the right to appeal the decision by contacting the carrier.

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. 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.