UD Seal
Human Resources

Disability

Section: Human Resources Policies
Policy Name: Disability
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President
Responsible University Office: Office of Human Resources
Origination Date: 1997
Revisions: May 13, 2003; July 1, 2008; November 18, 2016
Legacy Policy Number: 4-70
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy provides a brief description of the disability options available to certain eligible employees as described below and in the disability insurance policies and/or the plan document(s).
  2. DEFINITIONS
    1. Delaware Disability Insurance Program (“DIP”) eligible employees: Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan (“SEPP”) participants first hired into a SEPP covered position on or after January 1, 2006 or, SEPP Participants in a SEPP covered position prior to January 1, 2006, who elected enrollment in the DIP plan when initially offered.
    2. Delaware State Employees’ Disability Pension: Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan (SEPP) participants prior to January 1, 2006, not electing enrollment in the DIP plan when first offered.
    3. University Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan: Faculty & Exempt Staff with the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan as their primary retirement income option.
  3. POLICY STATEMENTEligible employees may apply for disability income from the designated disability insurance provider (as described herein) when illness or injury causes an extended absence from work.  The disability insurance policies and/or the plan document(s) control the availability of this benefit and are subject to change by the disability insurance provider.  If discrepancies exist between this policy and the plan document, the plan document will prevail.
  4. POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
    1. Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan Participants’ DIP

      Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan Participants who are enrolled in the DIP are provided income protection during periods of short-term and long-term disability, pursuant to 29 Del. C. §5253(b)(1).

      1. Short Term Disability (“STD”)

        Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan Participants who are enrolled in the State of Delaware DIP are provided income protection during periods of short-term disability, pursuant to 29 Del. C. §5253(b)(1).  Enrolled employees who expect to be out of work for at least 30 calendar days must file a short-term disability claim with the disability insurance provider for the State of Delaware, no later than fifteen calendar days from the employee’s date of disability, even if the employee applied for and/or is receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits from the State of Delaware.

        Per 29 Del. C. §5253(b)(7), “once an employee exhausts the elimination period, the employee will be deemed to have applied for benefits under this section and shall not be eligible to utilize paid leave in lieu of application for short-term disability.” For a disability caused by a covered sickness and/or accident, STD benefits will commence on the 31st calendar day from the date of disability, for up to a maximum benefit period of 182 calendar days, including the 30 calendar day elimination period. The 30 calendar day elimination period does not have to be satisfied consecutively, as long as the period of separation is within the 14 calendar day recurrent disability provision. If approved, employees may receive 75% of their base salary under the short-term disability insurance plan.

      2. Long Term Disability (“LTD”)

        Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan Participants who are enrolled in the State of Delaware DIP are provided income protection during periods of LTD, pursuant to 29 Del. C. §5253(b)(1). Employees disabled for more than 182 days may apply for LTD benefits with the disability insurance provider for the State of Delaware. If approved, employees may receive 60% of their base salary if they have selected the standard option, or 66 2/3 % of their base salary if they have selected the high option, up to the maximum covered monthly earnings as described in the plan document.

    2. Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan Participants who did not enroll in the State of Delaware DIP: In accordance with 29 C. §5524(b)(3), salary must continue through the end of the month in which the disability begins, and for three subsequent months. The University continues sick leave and salary payments as follows:
      1. First three months – Employees receive full salary per State Statute.
      2. Months 4, 5 and 6 of the long-term disability waiting period (see Section IV(C) below) – University pays full salary until sick leave is exhausted (if there is no sick leave entitlement, the University pays 60 percent of salary – minus the State Disability Pension benefit – through the end of the six-month long-term disability waiting period).
    3. University Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan for eligible Faculty & Exempt Staff
      1. Employees who are not Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan Participants have two long-term disability options:
        1. Standard Option, a 60% salary replacement, and
        2. High Option, a 66 2/3% salary replacement.
      2. There is no short-term disability benefit available to this group of employees.  A six-month waiting period is required before the long-term disability income benefit begins.  During this waiting period, the disability insurance provider evaluates the claim for approval or denial and the University continues salary as follows:
        1. Employees in their first or second years of benefits-eligible University of Delaware employment receive 8 weeks at base salary, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        2. Employees in their third and fourth years of benefits-eligible University employment receive 12 weeks at base salary, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        3. Employees in their fifth and sixth years of benefits-eligible University employment receive 16 weeks at base salary, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        4. Employees in their seventh and eighth years of benefits-eligible University employment receive 20 weeks at base salary, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        5. Employees with 9 years or more of benefits-eligible University employment receive full salary for the six-month application period.

Note: Employees with at least five years of benefits-eligible University service, who are approved for total disability benefits, are eligible to participate in the University Retiree medical group. The cost (until Medicare eligible) is at the same rate schedule (http://www1.udel.edu/Benefits/ratechart.html) as the active, benefits-eligible employees.