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Long-Term Disability

Policy Number: HR-37
Effective Date: January 2005
Last Revision: May 2013
Responsible Officer: Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff

PURPOSE

This policy was established to define the Long-term Disability (LTD) Program offered at Drexel University College of Medicine when a Professional Staff Member is unable to work for a continuous period of ninety days or more.

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all Drexel University College of Medicine Faculty and Professional Staff Members.

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff is the Drexel University College of Medicine official responsible for the administration of this policy.

POLICY

Long Term Disability is a Drexel University College of Medicine paid benefit offered to Full-time Faculty and Professional Staff Members, insured through MetLife, which provides income continuation to Faculty and Professional Staff Members who are unable to work for a continuous period of more than 90 days due to a non-work related illness or injury, which prevents the performance of normal duties of their position.

DEFINITIONS

Faculty Member is defined as an individual employed by Drexel University College of Medicine in a tenured, tenure-track, non-tenured track or adjunct position who teaches at any college, school, center or institute in Drexel University College of Medicine.  A Faculty Member also is deemed to be exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Full-time Faculty Member is defined as a full-time status which must equal a teaching load of 12 credit hours per term.

Full-time Professional Staff Member is a Professional Staff Member who is regularly scheduled to work 40 hours per week.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by Drexel University College of Medicine, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

PROCEDURES

  1. During the initial disability period of ninety days the Faculty or Professional Staff Member will be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act granted Human Resources has received and approved all medical documentation, in addition the Faculty or Professional Staff Member will retain their status of “active.” The Faculty or Professional Staff Member must notify Human Resources and the insurance carrier fifteen days prior to their anticipated return if they are unable to return to work beyond ninety days.
  2. The Faculty and Professional Staff Members’ department is not obligated to keep the Faculty and Professional Staff Member’s position beyond the 90 calendar day period of disability. The department has the right to keep the position vacant; fill the position with a temporary replacement; or fill the position with a permanent replacement beginning with the 91st calendar day of the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s disability.
  3. If the Faculty or Professional Staff Member is approved for long-term disability, commencing on the 91st day after disability begins; the Faculty or Professional Staff Members will receive disability benefits (pay) from the insurance company equal to sixty (60) percent of their gross monthly salary in effect at the time disability occurred. The maximum benefit will not exceed $20,000 per month. This benefit is payable to age 65 for disabilities commencing prior to age 60. For disabilities commencing after age 60, the benefit period shall be in accordance with the following schedule:

    Age at Commencement of Total Disability

     

    Benefit Period

     

    60 but less than 65

     

    4 3/4 years

     

    65 but less than 68

     

    3/4 to age 70

     

    68 3/4 or over

     

    1 year

     


    The maximum benefit period means the maximum period of time a Faculty and Professional Staff Member can collect benefits commencing with the 91st day of total disability. The benefit period could be shorter.

    Disability payments will be reduced by any amounts payable from other sources such as Social Security, Worker's Compensation, or any State Disability Benefits Law.

    In no event will the Minimum Monthly Income Benefit be less than $100; or if greater, 10% of the Monthly Income Benefit before Benefits from Other Sources are subtracted.
  4. During the time the Faculty or Professional Staff Member is receiving disability benefits from the insurance company, the Faculty or Professional Staff Member will have accrued for him/her by Drexel University College of Medicine, retirement (annuity) benefits equal to those he/she would have accrued for the same period had they not become disabled. This accrual will continue as long as the disabled Faculty or Professional Staff Member remains eligible for the insurance company's disability benefit.

    Additionally, during this time Drexel University College of Medicine will continue to pay the employer portion of the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s health and dental insurance coverage as long as the Faculty or Professional Staff Member remits their monthly premium payment. The Faculty or Professional Staff Member may file claims against his/her Flexible Spending Account during their disability; however, the Flexible Spending Account balance will not accrue. Any accrued vacation balance will be paid to the Faculty or Professional Staff Member at the time of LTD approval.
  5. The premium for LTD is shown as both earning and as an after-tax deduction on the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s paycheck. This enables the benefits to be received as a nontaxable income during the time you are receiving disability payments.
  6. If upon return to active employment, disability from the same or related cause recommences within 12 months after the date benefits ceased, benefits will begin as of the first day of the month after disability starts. Benefits payable during a term of recurrent disability will be based on the provisions and monthly wage base that applied to the prior term of disability.
  7. If the insurance carrier denies coverage, the Faculty or Professional Staff Member has the right to appeal the decision by contacting the carrier.
  8. If the Faculty or Professional Staff Member is eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits, the insurance carrier will provide assistance in applying or appealing a denied application for Social Security Disability Benefits.
  9. A survivor income benefit is payable as of the first day of the month after death if disabled for the full 9 months prior to death and if survived by one or more surviving dependents. A surviving dependent is the spouse or an unmarried child who was dependent for support and maintenance and who is less than 19 years of age or 19 but less than 23 years of age and enrolled in a school as a full-time student. The term child includes an adopted child or stepchild.

    The surviving spouse will receive the full benefit; otherwise, the benefit will be paid in equal shares to all surviving dependent children.

    Proof of death is required before the survivor income benefit is paid. Proof that a dependent is a surviving dependent may also be required. All proof must be satisfactory to the insurance carrier.
  10. Upon termination of employment, membership in the Long Term Disability Program ceases on the date termination occurs; however, if under age 70 and a participant in the plan for one year, the Faculty or Professional Staff Member has the option of converting this coverage to an individual policy within 31 days from the date coverage terminates.

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member.  Drexel University College of Medicine at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.