Classified and university employees, and some faculty members who are participants in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) have short-term disability with up to six months of income protection and you remain in your position with pay starting at 100 percent, reducing to 80 percent, and then to 60 percent. The time period you are paid at these percentages during the six months depend on your length of service. There is a seven calendar day waiting period before short-term disability goes into effect and you may use applicable leave that is available during the waiting period.
(Hired after September 1, 1981 and those prior to that date who opted to participate in the 26 weeks sick leave plan)
All regular faculty members have immediate protection of 26 weeks (1,040 hours) of sick leave. Upon returning from sick leave, 26 weeks of leave begins to reaccrue at the rate of one week of sick leave for each two weeks of full-time work. Employees do not earn/reaccrue sick leave for any pay period during which sick leave has been charged.
Beginning July 1, 2012, all restricted faculty members who are not enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) are covered under a new short term disability plan administered by the Standard Insurance Company. The Standard Short Term Disability plan allows employees who are on approved short term disability leave to collect up to 60 percent of their regular salary for up to six months, after the initial seven day waiting period. Employees who are still considered disabled after six months will transition into the Standard Long Term Disability plan.
Currently, restricted faculty who are out on sick leave must rely solely on their available sick and annual leave. Once that leave is exhausted, they are on leave without pay. This new short term disability plan insures that restricted faculty on short term disability will not go into leave without pay status.
The faculty Long Term Disability Plan (LTD) is administered by the Standard Insurance Company. Faculty who choose the Optional Retirement Plan are automatically enrolled in the Standard Insurance Company Long Term Disability plan. Faculty who choose the Virginia Retirement System as their retirement plan will need to choose either the faculty sick leave plan and the Standard Insurance Company Long Term Disability or the Virginia Sickness and Disability plan. The Standard Insurance Company LTD program provides 60 percent of the income at the time of the disability after a six month waiting period. The 60 percent would not exceed $15,000 per month. Benefits from the program are offset by any disability benefits from Social Security. Should Social Security provide the 60 percent of benefits, the Standard Insurance Company plan would still pay $100 per month. Any LTD benefits received from Standard are not taxable as the faculty member pays the premium. The premium is calculated at the rate of 0.3 percent of covered wage base for the disability portion and 0.1 percent of covered wage base for the annuity portion.
Once approved for the Long Term Disability benefits, the Standard Insurance Company will contribute (10.4 percent for Plan I, 8.5 percent for Plan II) of your pay at the time of the disability into a retirement account for you. Once the LTD benefits cease at age 65 or if you are no longer disabled you would be able to access the retirement account for regular retirement benefits.
If the disability begins after the age of 60, LTD benefits are paid for a maximum of 5 years. If the disability begins between the age of 65 to 68, benefits are paid to age 70 and if the disability begins at age 69 or older benefits are paid for one year.
For more information, please contact the HR Service Center at 540-231-9331.