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Short-Term Disability

Short-term disability insurance provides nearly full income replacement if you are unable to work for an extended period due to an approved medical condition. Once you have fulfilled the applicable waiting period, short-term disability insurance provides income protection up to 66 2/3% of your annual base benefits pay (up to $5,000 per week maximum).

Short-term disability benefits may continue for up to 24 weeks. The benefit is administered by MetLife. Learn more in the Summary Plan Description (also available at the Human Resources).

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.

Short-term Disability Enrollment

Automatic enrollment in the base and buy-up enhanced short-term disability plan occurs on the first of the month following 30 days of employment. You may waive the employee-paid buy-up short-term disability coverage at any time by going to My VU Benefits.

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 0.336 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 / 10 = $205.23.
  4. Multiply this figure by 0.336 (premium rate).
    • Example: $205.23 x 0.336 / 10 = $6.90. 
  5. This gives you your monthly buy-up payroll premium.
    • Example: your monthly premium = $6.90

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).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does short-term disability insurance work with PTO?
All PTO-eligible staff that have been employed at Vanderbilt are enrolled in 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 legacy sick time during this waiting period. Note that PTO or legacy sick time 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 legacy 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 legacy 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 MetLife (Vanderbilt's disability insurance provider) during your leave.