Explanation of Short Term Disability (STD) Plan


Who is eligible to participate in the STD Plan?

All ACTIVE regular full-time and regular part-time classified staff who work at least 50% effort are eligible to participate in this plan. Staff refers to individuals covered by the terms of the Staff Classification System.  If you are a union employee, check your contract for eligibility.

When does coverage become effective?

You are eligible for the short term disability plan after you have completed 6 months of employment with the University. You must be actively at work on the effective date of coverage. 

What is the elimination period?

It is a period of continuous disability which must be satisfied before you are eligible to receive short term disability benefit payments. The elimination period begins on the day you become disabled and lasts thirty (30) calendar days for classified staff. The amount of working days in this period will vary from 20 to 23, depending on the length of the month.

What is the definition of "disabled"?

"Disabled" means that you are unable to perform all the material duties of your job, not doing any work for payment, and under the regular and continuing care of a physician.

Am I required to use sick days while I am not working? Vacation Days? Personal Holidays?

You are required to use your accrued sick days up to a maximum of 12 weeks under the University's policy for FMLA leave. This may require you to use up to a maximum of 60 sick days (if they are available) to cover the FMLA period (12 weeks X 5 days).

If you are not eligible for an FMLA leave, you must still use your accrued sick days.

You are not required to use accrued vacation days or personal holidays during your disability. However, you may choose to use these days in lieu of short term disability benefit coverage, if you desire.

FMLA (Use up to 60 accrued sick days)
Day 1 - 30 Day 31 - 120 Day 121 (26th Week)
Elimination Period Short Term Disability Benefit Coverage Begins Long Term Disability Coverage Begins


What amount of Short Term Disability benefit will I receive?

Once the elimination period is satisfied, and you have used the required sick days , you are eligible to receive a weekly benefit equal to 60% of your basic weekly salary (calculated from your monthly earnings) up to a maximum benefit of $1,500 per week.


How long will I receive the Short Term Disability benefit?

Short term disability benefit payments begin after the 30th calendar day (4 weeks) of coverage and continue for the duration of the disability to a maximum of 26 weeks. The illustration below shows how the duration of the short term disability works:

FMLA (Use up to 60 accrued sick days)
Day 1 - 30 Day 31 - 120 Day 121 (26th Week)
Elimination Period Short Term Disability Benefit Coverage Begins Long Term Disability Coverage Begins

If you are unable to return to work at the end of the short term disability coverage period, you may be eligible for long term disability coverage pending approval from your physician and the insurance carrier. If this is the case, you would experience continual coverage through your disability. For maternity leaves - check the New-Parent/Parent-to-Be page for more information.

When and how do I file a claim?

Short term disability claims must be filed immediately after a disabling injury or illness occurs. You must contact your departmental administrator and the Office of Human Resources to initiate the claims processing. Please click here for more information.

What is excluded from benefit coverage?

Short term disability benefits are not paid for any period of disability caused by an intentionally self-inflicted injury, an act of war, commission of or attempt to commit a felony, or sickness or injury for which workers' compensation benefits are paid.

Also, short term disability benefits are not paid for days during the period of disability used as sick days, personal holidays, or vacation days.

Who pays for short term disability coverage?

The University pays for the entire cost of your short term disability insurance.

Who is the claims administrator of this plan?

The processing of claims associated with short term disability plan will be administered by MetLife, the current claims administrator of the University's long term disability plan.  MetLife can be reached at 1-888-777-7418.

What happens to my enrollment in other benefits while I am on short term disability leave?

You may elect to continue participation through the University for your insurance benefits. If you elect to continue your insurance benefits, your share of the premium costs will continue to be deducted from your paycheck.

What if I need additional information?

If you have additional questions regarding your short term disability coverage, please call the Benefits Department at (412) 624-8160.

Short Term Disability (STD) FAQs

Q. If I am a "less than 12-month employee," am I eligible to file a claim during the time when I am not scheduled to work?
A. Yes. Claims will be processed and, if approved, paid throughout the year, whether or not you are scheduled to work. The claim will be calculated on the basis of annual salary divided by 52 weeks.
Q. If I am under a short term disability claim, and then return to work and find that I need to be off again for the same condition, are these two periods cumulative? Am I again required to satisfy an elimination period?
A. If a disability for which benefits were payable ends but recurs because of the same or related causes no more than 90 days after the end of the prior disability, it will be considered a resumption of the prior disability. Under these circumstances there is no need to satisfy another elimination period.

A disability which recurs 91 days or more after the end of a prior disability is subject to a new elimination period and a new maximum benefit period.

Q. Is a job held open while receiving benefits under the short term disability plan?
A. For a classified staff employee, the University will make every reasonable effort to hold open his or her position during the time he or she is collecting payments under the short term disability plan. If there is a compelling business reason to replace the individual and fill the position, recruiting for and filling the position will require the approval of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources or his/her appointed designee.
Q. If I meet the eligibility requirements for the short-term disability insurance coverage and then terminate my employment with the University, will I be required to meet a six-month eligibility period again if I am rehired at the University?
A. Yes. A rehire after termination has the requirement to meet a six-month eligibility period.

There may be one exception if the reason for termination was the elimination of a position and return is within 365 days. This also applies to a position elimination that takes place while a member of the classified staff is on Short Term Disability.