Virginia Sickness and Disability Plan (VSDP)
Staff employees with at least one year of service, 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. Under this plan, an employee remains in their position with pay starting at 100 percent, reducing to 80 percent, and then to 60 percent. Plan members are paid at these percentages during the six months depend on their length of service. There is a seven calendar day waiting period before short-term disability goes into effect. Employees can use their available applicable leave during the waiting period.
If an employee's hire date is prior to July 1, 2009, short term disability benefits typically begin after an employee is absent from work for more than 20 hours in a seven-calendar day period, and cannot continue to work. Applicable leave (annual, sick, compensatory, family personal) must be used during the waiting period or an employee can go on leave without pay. The waiting period is waived if the VSDP determines that the employee's condition is catastrophic or major chronic.
If an employee's hire date is July 1, 2009 or after, they have a one year waiting period before VSDP benefits are available.
Initiating a disability claim
Reed Group is the third party administrator for the VSDP. Reed Group works with the employee's doctor to determine whether or not the employee qualifies for disability benefits. To file a short term disability claim contact the Reed Group at 1-877-928-7021.
Regular Faculty: 12-Month and Academic Year
Faculty hired after Sept. 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 accrue at the rate of one week of sick leave for each two weeks of full-time work. Employees do not earn/accrue sick leave for any pay period during which sick leave has been charged.
Restricted Faculty: 12-Month and Academic Year
All restricted faculty members who are not enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) are covered under a 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. The short term disability plan ensures that restricted faculty on short term disability will not go into leave without pay status.
Initiating a disability claim
The faculty Long Term Disability Plan 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 long term disability 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 long term disability benefits received from Standard are not taxable as the faculty member pays the premium. The premium is calculated at the rate of 0.148 percent of covered wage base for the disability portion and 0.08 percent of covered wage base for the annuity portion.
Once approved for long term disabilitybenefits, the Standard Insurance Company will contribute (10.4 percent for Plan I, 8.5 percent for Plan II) of an employee's pay at the time of the disability into a retirement account. Once the long term disability benefits cease at age 65 or if an employee is no longer disabled, they can access the retirement account for regular retirement benefits.
If the disability begins after the age of 60, long term disability benefits are paid for a maximum of five 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.
Classified and university Staff
After six months of short term disability, if approved, an employee will go on long term disability. The employee will receive 60 percent of their salary until they return to work or to age 65. If the disability begins at age 60 or older, an employee will receive a total of five years short term disability and long term disability. An employee will be considered inactive on the Virginia Tech payroll and their position can be filled. They will continue to receive credit for Virginia Retirement System, life insurance continues at no cost, and they have the availability of continuing health insurance by paying the full premium amount. A health insurance credit of $120 per month is available to help with the cost of health insurance. Detailed information concerning short and long term disability under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program is available.