Short-Term Disability Insurance
This webpage has information for traditional Short-Term Disability insurance. If you are a flexPTO eligible 1 staff member, please see the flexPTO website for information about enhanced Short-Term Disability insurance.
Traditional Short-Term Disability Insurance
- Coverage Options
- How to File a Short-Term Disability Claim
- Receiving Short-Term Disability Benefits
- Pay Status While on Short-Term Disability
- Returning to Work
- Making Changes to Short-Term Disability Coverage
Enrollment for New Staff
Short-Term Disability insurance is administered by Unum and is an optional benefit for staff that pays 66 2/3 percent of your income (up to $2,500 per week) if you become sick or injured outside of the workplace. To enroll, complete the Benefits Enrollment Tool within 30 days of your hire date. Please note that the plan is not effective until the first of the month following 90 days of employment. You may also apply for Short-Term Disability insurance during Vanderbilt's annual Open Enrollment period.
There are two options for Short-Term Disability insurance:
- Option 1 has a 15-day wait before benefits would be paid and benefits could be paid up to 24 weeks.
- Option 2 has a 30-day wait before benefits would be paid and benefits could be paid up to 22 weeks.
Your monthly cost for Option 1 is .645 cents per $10 of weekly benefit. The monthly cost for Option 2 (30-day wait) is .405 cents per $10 weekly benefit. Weekly benefit rates are calculated by multiplying your pre-disability weekly salary by .6667. For help calculating your cost, please use:
How to File a Short-Term Disability Claim
To file a claim with Unum, call 800-836-6900. You may need to reference the Vanderbilt contract number 224887 and you will be required to provide information from your doctor's office. Please refer to Unum's Telephonic Brochure for more information.
A claim will be set up on your behalf and a questionnaire will be sent to the Office of Benefits Administration for completion, with the assistance of your department. When the disability carrier is in receipt of the completed application, they will notify you and the Office of Benefits Administration if your claim is approved as eligible for Short-Term Disability insurance benefits.
Receiving Short-Term Disability Benefits
When you receive income from a source other than your Unum disability benefit, such as workers' compensation or Social Security Disability Insurance, it may be deducted from your total disability benefit. You will not receive payments from sick, vacation and/or personal leave and Short-Term Disability insurance at the same time. You are not required to use up your sick time or vacation time before Short-Term Disability benefits can begin. Please refer to the Sick Time and FMLA and TMLA Leave policies regarding important information about how and when you can use sick time in conjunction with Short-Term Disability insurance.
It may happen that your waiting period (15-day or 30-day) is complete and Unum has not yet made a decision on your claim. If this happens, there will be a gap of time while eligibility is being determined. During this 'gap of time' you will automatically be placed in an unpaid leave status, unless you request, in writing, to be paid using accrued time.
'Gap of time' examples:
- If you elect to go on unpaid leave during the gap of time and Unum later determines that you are eligible, the benefit will be retroactive to the day the waiting period was met. For example, you have coverage under Option 1 (15-day wait) and you become disabled on November 2. Your waiting period would end November 16. However, Unum doesn't determine whether this disability is covered until December 8. In this example, you have chosen to go on unpaid leave during those three weeks. When the determination is made that this claim is eligible for Short-Term Disability insurance payment, Unum will pay you retroactively, back to the eligibility date of November 16.
- If you elect to be paid during the gap of time by using your accrued time (sick, vacation or personal), and Unum later determines that this claim is eligible for payment, the Short-Term Disability income benefit will begin on December 8. You cannot 'give back' your time taken and ask that the payments be made retroactive to November 16.
Contact the Office of Benefits Administration if you want to formally request payment from your accrued time during the determination period.
Pay Status While on Short-Term Disability
Once disability benefits are approved, a Personnel Action Form will be completed, placing you on Leave of Absence due to Short-Term Disability.
During the time you are paid Short-Term Disability benefits, you are considered to be in an 'unpaid status' with Vanderbilt. Unpaid status with Vanderbilt will result in having to pay other benefit premiums (such as health, dental, or life insurance) through direct billing if the unpaid status is in place for longer than one pay period. For information about direct billing contact the Benefit Billing Office by calling 615-322-3278 or emailing email@example.com.
Returning to Work
You will need to keep Unum and your supervisor updated on your status while on leave. When your doctor releases you to return to work, you will need to coordinate with your supervisor and Employee Relations to complete the necessary paperwork. Refer to the FMLA and TMLA Leave policy for more information.
Making Changes to Short-Term Disability Coverage
Changes can only be made during the annual Open Enrollment period. If you would like to drop your Short-Term Disability coverage or change options, please refer to the Open Enrollment materials for instructions.
This information is not meant to replace the Summary Plan Descriptions, which are the governing documents for Vanderbilt benefits. For complete details on the Short-Term Disability insurance benefit, refer to the Short-Term Disability Summary Plan Description .
Short-Term Disability insurance is a fully insured benefit and is administered by Unum.
1 Faculty, house staff and post-docs should refer to their manuals and programs for guidance on disability and leave time. Those with house staff benefits are eligible for short-term disability insurance. Eligible new staff hired on or before December 31, 2013 will have the enhanced short-term disability benefit for 2014.