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Long Term Disability FAQ for Staff

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These questions and answers summarize some of the plan’s highlights. For a complete description of your benefits, please refer to the appropriate Plan Summary document. If there are any differences between this information and the plan documents, the plan documents will govern.

What is Long-Term Disability (LTD), and why does it matter to me?

The Stanford University Long-Term Disability Plan (LTD) is designed to replace a portion of your income if you are unable to work for an extended period due to an accident or sickness. Generally, benefits begin after you have been unable to work for 90 days.

Do I have to pay for LTD coverage?

No. Stanford pays the entire cost of this benefit for you.

What does the LTD benefit pay?

If you qualify to receive LTD benefits, the plan pays up to 66.67% of your monthly appointment salary for faculty and base monthly earnings for staff in effect on the day before the first day of disability, up to a maximum of $25,000 per month. For School of Medicine Faculty, appointment salary includes base plus variable salary.Administrative supplements are not included in these calculations.Some other forms of income you receive while on LTD may reduce this benefit amount. For more information, review the Long-Term Disability Plan Summary.

Is there a reason why I might not receive a full two-thirds pay from the LTD Plan?

Yes. There are types of income you might receive when you are on LTD that reduce the amount of your LTD benefit. Some examples include:

  • VDI (short-term disability)
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Social Security Income (either disability, old age or dependent benefits)
  • Payments from SRAP
  • Other group LTD benefits
Do I have to apply for LTD benefits?

No. After you have been on a medical leave of absence for 60 days, Stanford’s LTD administrator will review your disability case and contact you for a phone interview. Then, you will receive a letter letting you know if anything more is needed for your disability claim or LTD benefit.

What is salary continuation?

Salary continuation applies to staff only. Faculty and other teaching appointments must contact theirFaculty Affairs Officer regarding any additional payments while on LTD.Salary continuation lets you supplement your LTD benefits with accrued sick time, paid time off (PTO), floating holiday time or vacation days to bring your combined pay up to 100 percent of what you earned before your disability began.Your LTD benefit checks are mailed monthly to your home. Salary continuation is paid by a Stanford paycheck in the normal payroll cycle. If you contribute to TDA and/or SCRP, your contributions will be deducted from the salary continuation paycheck. LTD benefit payments do not qualify for SCRP or TDA contributions.

How long can I continue to receive salary continuation?

Salary continuation lasts until your accrued leave balances are depleted or your employment is terminated.

May I continue my health benefits while on LTD leave?

Yes. You may continue all the same benefits while on LTD leave, except the dependent day care flexible spending account (see Flexible Spending Account FAQ). The university contribution level stays the same, and the university continues to pay your basic life insurance as long as you qualify for LTD benefits.If you receive LTD benefits for a disability that began before May 1, 2010, the university will continue to pay for employee supplemental life insurance. If your LTD benefits are for a disability occurring on or after May 1, 2010, you may choose to continue your employee supplemental life insurance, but you pay for the coverage.

What happens to my LTD if I am unable to return to work?

If you are unable to return to work and your employment at Stanford is terminated, your department will notify you and your eligibility for benefits will change. You continue to receive your LTD benefit payments as long as you continue to qualify for the Stanford LTD Plan. For information on how your benefits eligibility changes following loss of employment due to long-term disability, refer to the Long-Term Disability Terminated (LTD Term) brochure.

How will I pay for my benefits while on long-term disability?

You pay your share of the costs to Billing Services on an after-tax basis twice a month. Billing Services will send you a coupon booklet and a Automated Clearing House (ACH) Form, and you choose how to make your payments.

Are my LTD benefits taxable?

Yes. Because the university pays the cost for this plan, your LTD benefits are taxable for federal and state purposes. FICA is withheld for the first six months of LTD benefit payment.

How long can I remain on LTD?

Your LTD benefit payments will continue until you no longer meet the plan guidelines. For more information, we recommend you review the Long-Term Disability Plan Summary.

Can I retire while I am on LTD?

If you qualify as an official Stanford retiree, you may retire while on long-term disability. For additional information and details on how to determine if you qualify, please refer to the Long-Term Disability Terminated (LTD Term) brochure.

Does the time on LTD count toward retirement eligibility?

No. Your time on LTD does not count toward retirement eligibility. You would need to return to work in a benefits-eligible position until you qualify for retirement eligibility.

If I return to work after being on LTD, and then go out again, must I file a new claim?

No. If you go out again within 12 months and your diagnosis is the same, it is considered a continuation of the same LTD claim. However, you must file a new Voluntary Disability Insurance(VDI) claim if you returned to work for more than 60 days. After you have returned to work for at least 12 consecutive months, and then go on disability leave for the same diagnosis, you must file new VDI and LTD claims.

Note on your medical and life insurance benefits: If you return to work and then go back on disability at any time and subsequently your employment ends because of your disability, your eligibility for benefits will change. Refer to the Long-Term Disability Terminated (LTD Term) brochure.