C.21. Disability

Introduction

Faculty who find that they need a leave of more than three days for medical reasons should arrange to meet with or otherwise contact the Dean of Faculty/VPAA as soon as possible. 

Middlebury College provides two income replacement programs for faculty members unable to work due to disability. The Dean of Faculty/VPAA will work with the faculty member and Human Resources to make any necessary FMLA leave and disability pay arrangements and to ensure a smooth transition for the faculty member to and from disability status.

Details about the benefits available to faculty needing short- or long-term medical leaves or FMLA leave can be obtained by contacting Human Resources (x 5465) or from the Human Resources web site: http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits.

Short-term Disability Pay

Middlebury provides a self-insured, employer-paid short-term disability (STD) benefit which is accessible by faculty members prevented from working due to a qualifying illness or injury.  After a two-week elimination period STD pays 60% of pre-disability wages* for up to 26 weeks. Full details on the benefit can be found in the Middlebury Health and Welfare Summary Plan Description (available on-line or from the Human Resources Office). 

Long-term Disability Pay

Middlebury provides a fully-insured, employer-paid long-term disability (LTD) benefit which is available to faculty members unable to work for an extended period of time. LTD provides income replacement of 60% of pre-disability wages* during a qualifying and approved disability (see the Middlebury College Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Summary Plan Description or contact Human Resources for details about this plan).

*In order receive disability pay a faculty member must file a disability application (available from the Human Resources Department) in a timely manner; failure to do so will result in a delay or even loss of eligibility for income replacement benefits.

Supplementing Disability Pay using Faculty Leave Reserve

Faculty may arrange to use accrued Faculty Leave Reserve to augment the 60% short-term or long-term disability income replacement benefit as well as during the elimination period for STD, thus remaining at full salary.  Arrangements to do so can be made through the Disability/Leave Specialist in the Human Resources Department.

Timetable of Disability Pay, Benefits, and Status

Many factors, such as a faculty member’s length of service, current benefit elections, full or partial disability status, etc. can affect the timeline of pay, benefits, and faculty status during a period of disability. The Dean of Faculty/VPAA and Human Resources work together to communicate specific timeline information to faculty members unable to work due to a medical condition. The chart below illustrates the most straight-forward scenario: it assumes a faculty member with multiple years of service, tenure/tenure track status, current enrollment in employee benefits and full (not partial) disability. 

Sample Disability Timeline (Tenure or Tenure Track Faculty Only)

 Time

(from onset of disability)

Faculty Status

Pay

(level and source)

Benefits Eligibility

FMLA Coverage

0-3 months

Active, on medical leave

100% of salary:

Short-Term Disability pays 60% of weeks 3-12, use accrued Faculty Leave Reserve to bring to 100% of pay for full period of disability

Regular employee benefits continue

FMLA period

3-6 months

Active, on medical leave

100% of salary:

Short-Term Disability pays 60% throughout,  use accrued Faculty Leave Reserve to bring to 100% of pay

Regular employee benefits continue

 

FMLA  ends when individual has been absent from work for 12 weeks

6-12 months

Active, on medical leave

60% of salary paid by LTD; up to 40% covered by accrued Faculty Leave Reserve

Regular employee benefits continue

Not available

12-24

months

Temporary Inactive status, on medical leave

60% of pre-disability wages paid by LTD.  Use available accrued Faculty Leave Reserve for up to 40% of pay.

Continuation of Medical,  Dental & Vision benefits; no longer considered “actively employed” under LTD and Life insurance policies. Life Insurance may be converted, ported or may qualify for Life Waiver of Premium.

Not Available

>24 months

Disability retirement status

60% of pre-disability wages paid by LTD until normal retirement age or no longer disabled

Medical/Dental/Vision eligibility similar to emeritus faculty. Period of College-paid individual coverage based on years of service (max 29 months.

N/A

This chart is provided for illustrative purposes only. Specific circumstances should be discussed with the Dean of Faculty/VPAA and Human Resources.