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; July 2017; February 11, 2019
Legacy Policy Number: 4-70
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy describes the short-term and long-term disability options available to benefitted employees.
  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 Participants:  Delaware State Employees’ Pension Plan (SEPP) participants hired into a SEPP covered position prior to January 1, 2006, who did not elect to enroll in the DIP plan when first offered.
    3. University Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan Participants:  Faculty & Exempt Staff with the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan as their primary retirement income option.  A University Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan Participant’s benefits-eligible University service is calculated based upon the employee’s hire date into a benefits-eligible position at the University.
  3. POLICY STATEMENTEligible employees may apply for disability income from the designated disability insurance carrier (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 carrier. If discrepancies exist between this policy and the plan document, the terms of the plan document will control.
  4. POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
    1. Delaware Disability Insurance Program Eligible Employees
      Delaware Disability Insurance Program Eligible Employees 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”)
        1. Delaware Disability Insurance Program Eligible Employees are provided income protection during periods of short-term disability, pursuant to 29 Del. C. §5253(b)(1).  Eligible 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 carrier 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.
        2. 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 up to 75% of their base salary under the short-term disability insurance plan.
      2. Long Term Disability (“LTD”)Delaware Disability Insurance Program Eligible Employees are provided income protection during periods of LTD, pursuant to 29 Del. C. §5253(b)(1). Eligible employees who anticipate remaining disabled for more than 182 days may apply for LTD benefits with the disability insurance carrier 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’ Disability Pension Plan Participants
      Salary and benefits for Delaware State Employees’ Disability Pension Plan Participants will continue as follows:
      First three months – Employees receive full salary per State Statute.
      Months 4, 5 and 6 of the long-term disability waiting period 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 Participants
      1. University Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan Participants have two long-term disability options.
        1. Standard Option, a 60% salary replacement, or
        2. High Option, a 66 2/3% salary replacement
          Long-Term Disability Insurance is an election as a new employee and can be changed annually during Open Enrollment and for qualifying life events that may take place during the plan year.
      2. A six-month waiting period is required before the long-term disability income benefit begins.   During this waiting period, the long-term disability carrier evaluates the claim for approval or denial.
      3. While there is no formal short-term disability program available to University Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan Participants, the University offers salary continuation benefits for total and permanent disability cases only.  To be eligible for salary continuation an eligible employee must be in an active employment status and must apply for long-term disability coverage.  If employment is terminated during this period, salary continuation will end.
      4. The University continues salary for eligible employees based on years of benefits-eligible service as outlined below:
        1. Employees who have not yet completed their first year of service are not eligible to receive salary continuation.
        2. Employees in their second or third years of benefits-eligible University service receive 8 weeks of base salary continuation, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        3. Employees in their fourth or fifth years of benefits-eligible University service receive 12 weeks of base salary continuation, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        4. Employees in their sixth or seventh years of benefits-eligible University service receive 16 weeks of base salary continuation, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        5. Employees in their eighth or ninth years of benefits-eligible University service receive 20 weeks of base salary continuation, with the remainder of the six-month application period at 60% base salary.
        6. Employees who have completed nine years or more of benefits-eligible University service receive base salary continuation for the six-month application period.

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