UAMS.EDU

Disability

What would you live on if you had to miss work because of an accident, illness or pregnancy?  And you didn’t have enough leave time?

Our disability plans, insured through Standard Insurance Company, can replace up to 60% of your salary should you become disabled.  You insure your home, your car, your health, your life — insuring your income is just as important.

We have two disability plans:  one for a short term disability (“STD”) that is over two weeks and can pay benefits for up to 12 weeks; and the other for a long term disability (“LTD”) that will extend beyond six months. Both would pay benefits after a specified benefit waiting period.  Except for maternity leave, employees must exhaust all accrued leave time before receiving disability benefits. A pre-existing condition provision is in both the STD and LTD policy and applies to all mental and physical disability conditions. If you become disabled during your first year of coverage, your disability may not be covered if you were treated for this condition previously.  Benefits may be reduced by Social Security, Workers’ Compensation or similar disability benefit.

Short Term Disability

The STD benefit can be paid for up to 12 weeks when you are disabled from your own occupation due to physical disease, injury, pregnancy or mental disorder; it does not cover workers’ comp.  The earliest waiting period for benefits to start is two weeks.  All benefit-eligible employees except Resident Physicians/ Housestaff are eligible for this benefit.

STD coverage highlights
STD summary plan description (insurance booklet)
Filing a Short Term Disability claim – FAQs
   TIP:  wait until you receive your last UAMS paycheck before you file for STD.
Manager’s role when an employee files a claim
July 2016 announcement to employees about this new benefit; slide presentation shown at the 8-11-2016 employee meetings.

Maternity:  STD benefits can only be paid for the time you are medically disabled, which is generally 6 weeks for a normal delivery. The first 2 weeks is the waiting period before STD benefits can pay out – you can use your sick leave for this period.  Then you have two options; be sure to let your supervisor know which one before you go on maternity leave:

(1) Continue to use your sick time to receive full pay for the next 4 weeks you are off, if you have that much time saved up.  That means the first 6 weeks you are on maternity leave you would receive full UAMS pay and be using your accrued leave time (sick time first, then vacation/holiday time if you run out of sick leave).  You would not file an STD claim.   OR…
(2) Starting sometime after week 2, go off payroll (meaning you are on leave without pay status in SAP).  Apply for STD benefits for this “off payroll” time in order to receive up to 60% salary replacement from Standard.  If you did this starting week 3, you could receive 4 weeks of STD benefits, for weeks 3, 4, 5 and 6.   This way you save some of your sick leave for use after you return to work.

Then if you plan on taking your full 12 weeks off under FMLA policy, you have another decision for the second 6-week period:  (1)  Either remain on unpaid leave of absence and be off payroll; or (2) use your accrued vacation and holiday time to remain on payroll.  You won’t be eligible to use sick leave for this time frame as you will no longer be medically disabled.  However, most physicians approve 8 weeks of medical disability for C-sections.

Basic Short Term Disability:  Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in Basic STD.  UAMS pays the premium and there is no cost to you.  This plan covers your first $45,000 of salary.  Again the benefit is 60% salary replacement when you are out of leave time (with the exception of maternity leave).  The maximum weekly benefit is $519 after you’ve been on medical leave for 2 weeks.

Optional Short Term Disability:  If you make over $45,000 you may enroll in Optional STD to cover your salary over $45,000 and up to $216,000.  You would pay the premium cost of .00802 x your annualized salary above $45,000.  The maximum premium for someone making $216,000 or more is $114.29 per month. You may enroll within your first month of eligibility as a new hire or when your annualized salary first exceeds $45,000.  Otherwise you would have to wait for the next open enrollment period.

Long Term Disability

LTD benefits would begin after a 180-day (6 months) waiting period. You may transition into LTD from STD if you continue to be disabled after 6 months. The benefit can be paid as long as you are disabled, until age 65.  (If disability onset is after 65th birthday, benefits may be paid for a reduced period).  All benefit-eligible employees except FGP members and Resident Physicians/Housestaff are eligible for this benefit.

View the LTD Summary Plan Description (insurance booklet) at the UA System Benefits website.

Basic Long Term Disability:  Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in Basic LTD.  UAMS pays the premium and there is no cost to you.  This plan covers your first $20,000 of salary.  Again the benefit is 60% salary replacement once you exhaust your leave time. The maximum monthly benefit is $1000.

Optional Long Term Disability:  If your annual salary is over $20,000, we encourage you to enroll in Optional LTD. By doing so, you cover your salary up to $500,000.  This raises your maximum monthly benefit to potentially $24,000. Your premium cost is based upon your salary; the maximum monthly premium based on $500,000 salary is $204.80.  You may enroll within your first month of eligibility as a new hire or when your annualized salary first exceeds $20,000.  Otherwise you would have to wait for the next open enrollment period.

Special Long Term Disability for College of Medicine Faculty Group Practice (FGP) Members:

FGP members are automatically enrolled in a separate group plan, Basic FGP LTD, at no cost to you. Basic FGP LTD provides a maximum monthly benefit of $5,000 and covers your first $100,000 of salary. If your salary exceeds $100,000, you have additional, employer-paid coverage through a separate individual disability plan called Expanded LTD.  James D. Foss and Associates, (501) 221-3700, administers the Expanded LTD plan. Within your first month, you must enroll through Foss and elect taxation of your employer-paid premiums under both plans. If you elect to pay taxes on the premium now (as imputed income), future benefits would be tax-free.

Visit the UA System Benefits website to view the Summary Plan Description.

Special Long Term Disability for Resident Physicians/Housestaff:

Resident Physicians are automatically enrolled in a separate plan administered through James D. Foss and Associates. You will need to complete enrollment forms at your orientation and within your first month to take advantage of the guaranteed-issue coverage. If you have questions, call Foss at 221-3700.

How do I apply for benefits?

You will file a Short Term Disability claim by telephone to Standard.   The number is 1-888-641-7194. You’ll need to provide the group policy number which is 752587.  Don’t file a claim unless you are getting close to running out of paid leave, as your claim cannot be processed until you are in unpaid leave of absence status.

Contact Human Resources at (501) 686-5650 to file a Long Term Disability claim – unless you are already receiving Short Term Disability benefits, in which case Standard will transition you from STD to LTD.   But don’t wait until you’ve already missed 6 months of work. File a claim as soon as you think your disability may extend beyond 6 months.

Can I keep coverage when I leave UAMS?

Yes for Long Term Disability.  You have 31 days to convert your LTD group coverage to individual policy(ies). You apply directly to The Standard  Insurance Company and would pay premiums to them.  Go to Benefit Forms for the LTD application.

No for Short Term Disability.  There is no option to keep this coverage when you leave UAMS.

Benefit plan information on these web pages is in a summary format and is not intended to replace actual plan documents. UAMS reserves the right to amend or terminate all or any part of any benefit plan.