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Long-Term Disability

Policy Number: HR-37
Effective Date: January 2005
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President of Student Life & Administrative Services

PURPOSE

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

I. POLICY

Long Term Disability is a University paid benefit offered to regular full-time employees, insured through MetLife, which provides income continuation to employees 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.

II. ELIGIBILITY

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

Faculty member’s full-time status must equal 12 credit hours work per term. Non-faculty member are required to work a minimum of 40 hours a week. The definition of full-time Employment includes full-time Temporary Employees whose employment period is greater than 6 months.

III. DEFINITION

  1. During the initial disability period of ninety days the employee 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 employee will retain their status of “active.” The employee 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 employees department is not obligated to keep the employee’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 employee’s disability.
  3. If the employee is approved for long-term disability, commencing on the 91st day after disability begins; the employee 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:

    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 1 year 

    • The maximum benefit period means the maximum period of time an employee 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.
  4. During the time the employee is receiving disability benefits from the insurance company, the employee will have accrued for him/her by the University, retirement (annuity) benefits equal to those he/she would have accrued for the same period had they not become disabled. This accrual will continue as long as the disabled employee remains eligible for the insurance company's disability benefit.
    • Additionally, during this time the University will continue to pay the employer portion of the employee’s health and dental insurance coverage as long as the employee remits their monthly premium payment. The employee 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 employee at the time of LTD approval.
  5. The premium for LTD is shown as both earning and as an after-tax deduction on the employee’s paycheck. This enables the benefits to be received as a nontaxable income during the time you are receiving disability payments.
  6. 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.
  7. If the insurance carrier denies coverage, the employee has the right to appeal the decision by contacting the carrier.
  8. If the employee 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 employee has the option of converting this coverage to an individual policy within 31 days from the date coverage terminates.

Inquiries regarding this policy can be directed to the Human Resources Department.