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Long-Term Disability

Policy Number: HR-37
Effective Date: April 2014
Last Revision: May 2020
Responsible Officer: President, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University


This policy defines the Long-Term Disability Program offered at the Academy when a Professional Staff Member is unable to work for a continuous period of ninety days or more.


Long-term disability is available to full-time benefit eligible Professional Staff Members, excluding any Professional Staff Member governed by language in their collective bargaining unit agreement.


Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources in conjunction with the Designated Insurance Carrier.


The President, Academy og Natural Sciences is the official responsible for the administration of this policy.


Long-term disability is a University paid benefit offered to full-time Professional Staff Members, 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.


Designated Insurance Carrier is the Academy-chosen insurance carrier for long-term disability benefits.

Domestic Partner is an unmarried person of the same or opposite sex with whom the Professional Staff Member shares a committed relationship, are jointly responsible for each other's welfare and financial obligations, at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to a contract, not related by blood to a degree that could prohibit legal marriage in the state where they legally reside, maintain the same residence(s) and are not married to or legally separated from anyone else. A Domestic Partner Affidavit must be completed and filed with the University before the partner can be designated as an Eligible Survivor. This definition is for the purpose of this Long-Term Disability policy only, in accordance with current plan documents, which are subject to change.

Eligible Survivor is defined as Professional Staff Member’s spouse or domestic partner, if living, otherwise the Professional Staff member’s children under age 25, including step-children and legally adopted children.

Elimination Period is defined as the 90-day time period in between when a Professional Staff Member’s disability commences and when they start receiving long-term disability benefits.

Full-time Professional Staff Member is a Professional Staff Member who is regularly scheduled to work 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.


  1. 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, may be eligible for long-term disability benefits
  2. If the Professional Staff Member intends to file for long-term disability benefits because they are unable to return from a continuous leave of absence, they must notify Human Resources and the Designated Insurance Carrier no later than fifteen days prior to the exhaustion of their leave.
  3. 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 in consultation with their HR Business Partner.
  4. If the Professional Staff Member is approved for long-term disability, commencing on the 91st day after disability begins, the Professional Staff Member will receive disability benefits from the Designated Insurance Carrier equal to 60 percent of their gross monthly salary in effect at the time disability occurred. The maximum benefit will not exceed $20,000 per month. Benefits may be paid up to the maximum benefit period as set forth in the table below. 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.

    Age When Disability Starts

    Maximum Benefit Period

    Less than age 60

    The greater of Social Security Normal Retirement Age or to age 65 (but not less than 5 years)


    60 months


    48 months


    42 months


    36 months


    30 months


    24 months


    21 months


    18 months


    15 months

    69 and over

    12 months

    The Social Security Normal Retirement Age is determined by the employee’s date of birth as follows:

    Employee's Year of Birth

    Social Security Normal Retirement Age

    Before 1938



    65 and 2 months


    65 and 4 months


    65 and 6 months


    65 and 8 months


    65 and 10 months




    66 and 2 months


    66 and 4 months


    66 and 6 months


    66 and 8 months


    66 and 10 months

    1960 and after


    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 the time the Professional Staff Member is receiving disability benefits, the Designated Insurance Carrier will contribute to their 403(b) retirement account in an amount equal to the University contributions (basic and matching) that they received prior to the start of their leave. Additionally, during this time, the University will continue to pay the employer portion of the Professional Staff Member's health, dental, and vision coverage as long as the Professional Staff Member remits their monthly premium payment for any/all of those benefits to the University's third-party benefits administrator. Upon the transition to long-term disability, the Professional Staff Member will receive information from the Designated Insurance Carrier regarding life insurance plans. Any accrued vacation balance will be paid to the Professional Staff Member at the time of long-term disability approval.
  6. The employer-paid long-term disability premium is shown as both a credit and an after-tax deduction on the Professional Staff Member's paycheck to enable the benefit to be received as a nontaxable income.
  7. If a Professional Staff member returns to work full-time in their own occupation after receiving long-term disability benefits and becomes disabled for the same condition within six months of returning to work, the Professional Staff Member is not required to satisfy another Elimination Period so long as they experience at least 20% loss in pay..
  8. If the Designated 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 Designated Insurance Carrier may provide assistance in applying or appealing a denied application for Social Security Disability Benefits.
  10. In the event of the or Professional Staff Member's death, a survivor income benefit is payable to the or Professional Staff Member's Eligible Survivor if the or Professional Staff Member dies while receiving long-term disability benefits and was disabled for six or more consecutive months. The survivor income benefit will be a lump-sum equal to three times the monthly disability benefit payable to the employee prior to death.
  11. A Professional Staff Member may have the option of converting their long-term disability coverage to an individual policy if they have been employed full-time for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to termination of their employment. They must do so within 31 days from the date coverage ends.


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.