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Enhanced Short-Term Disability

Enhanced short-term disability provides a no-cost base coverage, which is paid for by Vanderbilt, and buy-up coverage, which is paid for by the employee. The base portion pays 66.7% of your weekly wages on the first $24,000 of annual base salary with only a two-week waiting period (14 calendar days). Costs for the buy-up depend on your annual salary. You may opt out of the buy-up coverage at any time. If you wish to re-enroll in the buy-up coverage at another time, you will be subject to medical review and you could be denied.

Enhanced Short-term Disability Enrollment

Automatic enrollment in the base and buy-up enhanced short-term disability plan occurs on the first of the month after your one-year anniversary. You may waive the employee-paid buy-up short-term disability coverage at any time by going to My VU Benefits.

Enhanced Short-term Disability Premium Costs

Vanderbilt pays for short-term disability insurance covering the first $24,000 of your annual base salary. You pay for the coverage above $24,000. The cost is 0.484 cents per $10 weekly benefit. Your monthly cost is calculated automatically when you enroll for your benefits on the My VU Benefits website. If you prefer to calculate your buy-up premium cost, here is the process to use:

  1. Subtract $24,000 from your annual salary (Vanderbilt pays for the first $24,000 coverage).
    • Example: $40,000 annual salary - $24,000 = $16,000
  2. Divide this figure by 52 to get your weekly buy-up salary.
    • Example: $16,000 / 52 = $307.69
  3. Multiply this figure by 0.667 to get your weekly buy-up benefit.
    • Example: $307.69 x 0.667 = $205.23.
  4. Multiply this figure by 0.0484 (premium rate).
    • Example: $205.23 x 0.0484 = $9.93.
  5. This gives you your monthly buy-up payroll premium.
    • Example: your monthly premium = $9.93

When you receive the disability pay, you will be responsible for the income taxes on the base portion of your benefit (the first $24,000 of your annual base salary paid by Vanderbilt). However, since your buy-up short-term disability premiums are after-tax, you will not owe income taxes on your portion of the benefit, (the coverage above $24,000 paid by you).

Newly Eligible Staff (less than 1 year of service)

During the waiting period for automatic enrollment into the enhanced short-term disability plan, you may elect the traditional short-term disability plan (see Traditional Short-Term Disability for plan details). You will have a two week (14 calendar day) waiting period before your short-term disability benefit payments begin on the 15th calendar day and may continue up to 24 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does short-term disabilty insurance work with PTO?
All PTO-eligible staff that have been employed at Vanderbilt for more than one year are enrolled in enhanced short-term disability with the base coverage (paid by Vanderbilt) and/or the buy-up coverage (paid by you). There is a waiting period of 14 calendar days before short-term disability begins. You can use time in your PTO bank or grandfathered sick time during this waiting period. Note that PTO and short-term disability cannot be used at the same time.

How many weeks of short term disability will I receive if I have a baby, and have a normal delivery?
Mothers will receive 6 weeks of short-term disability payments, after the 2-week waiting period, for a delivery without complications (both normal and c-section).

Is there a pre-existing condition clause in the enhanced short-term disability insurance program?
There is not a pre-existing condition clause if you enroll in the plan as a new employee. Please review the Summary Plan Description for full details.

I am a new staff member and I didn't choose the buy-up coverage when I enrolled for benefits. Can I add it now?
Yes, you can go to My VU Benefits  to elect buy-up coverage. You will need to complete an evidence of insurability form to be qualified for coverage.

Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before the short-term disability benefit begins? How does that work?
Yes, there is a two-week waiting period (14 calendar days). You can use PTO or grandfathered sick time until the short-term disability benefit begins. If you waived buy-up coverage and enrolled in only the base option, you must use any accrued grandfathered sick time you have before short-term disability begins. Short-term disability can last for up to 24 weeks. You will need to a file a claim to receive the benefit and have your physician complete paperwork before you return to work.

Can I use short-term disability for my spouse's or child's illness?
No, short-term disability is only for your own covered medical condition.

If I stop employment with Vanderbilt, will my short-term disability end?
If you are on leave and receiving short-term disability income, it will continue after your employment ends as long as you are eligible. Please review the Summary Plan Description for full details.

Will I accrue PTO while I'm on short-term disability?
No, you will not accrue PTO while on short-term disability because you will be in an unpaid status with Vanderbilt. You will be paid by Unum (Vanderbilt's disability insurance provider) during your leave.