Short Term Disability

PIM Number: 
59

Dated: November 11, 2009
Category: Benefits
Contact: Benefits Manager - Ext. 0649

Reference
 

PIM 5 – Leave Without Pay

Your Retirement Benefits - Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (Employee Handbook)
 
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993
 
UNC Charlotte Policy Statement #102.4, "Annual Sick Leave for Faculty Members"
 
UNC Charlotte Policy Statement #102.6, "Leaves of Absence for Faculty Members"
 
UNC Charlotte Policy Statement #102.7, "Personnel Policies for Designated Employment Exempt from the State Personnel Act"
 
UNC Charlotte Policy Statement #102.9, "Senior Academic and Administrative Officers"
 
PIM 29 - Shared Leave
 
General
 
The Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIP) provides eligible employees with 365 days of salary continuation after a period of 60 continuous calendar days from the onset of a disability (medical condition and/or illness). The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance to employees who may be disabled and supervisors administering the benefits made available by this plan.
 
What the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina Allows
 
Short-Term disability benefits may be paid up to 365 days after a period of 60 continuous days of absence as long as the qualifying disability remains continuous.  Monthly certification by the treating healthcare professional will be required to verify that the employee remains disabled.
 
Eligibility for Short-Term Disability Benefits
 
Employees may be eligible for Short-Term Disability Benefits if the the employee has at least one year of contributing membership service in the Retirement System earned within 36 calendar months preceding the disability; if the employee is determined to be mentally or physically disabled for the further performance of his/her usual occupation; if the disability was incurred during the time when the employee was actively employed; and if the disability has been continuous.
 
Payment for Short-Term Disability Benefits
 
An employee’s monthly short-term disability benefit (“Monthly Benefit”) pay while on short-term disability will equal 50% of 1/12th of the annual base rate of compensation last payable to the employee prior to the beginning of the short-term benefit period plus 50% of 1/12th of the annual longevity payment, if applicable, to a maximum of $3,000.00 per month.  The monthly benefit amount will be reduced by any monthly payments received as a Worker’s Compensation benefit and by any compensation for a period of trial rehabilitation or part-time work that exceeds the amount of salary continuation under the Disability Income Plan.
 
Position Status while on Short-Term Disability

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows employees to take up to 12-weeks of leave (unpaid unless the employee chooses to substitute accumulated leave) per year for approved medical reasons (PIM 09).  Upon return from Family Medical Leave (FML), you will be placed in the position you held at the onset of FML, or a similar position.   
 
Upon expiration of Family Medical Leave, an employee approved for short-term disability benefits will be considered on a leave of absence for medical reasons.  Employees normally return to the position they held prior to short-term disability leave, or a similar position, if they are able to return to work during the initial period of short-term disability (within 365 days).  Should an employee apply for extended short-term disability benefits (beyond 365 days), the employee will be considered to be in a leave without pay status and subject to PIM 5 (PIM 05).  If the application is denied, or if the employee fails to submit an application, then the employee will be terminated by the University on the basis that the employee is unavailable for work.  The final determination of employment status is made by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources on supervisory recommendation. 
 
Supervisors are advised to take the following into consideration when deciding whether to recommend separation and/or fill a position vacated by an employee who has applied for an extension of short-term disability benefits beyond one (1) year for extended short-term disability benefits:  (1) the time it will take to recruit a replacement, (2) the amount of time it is expected for an employee to recover, and (3) the needs of the department.  Employees who are terminated due to unavailability for work may reapply for university employment when they are released from extended short-term disability benefits and are certified by their physician (or treating healthcare professional) to be physically and/or mentally able to return to work. 
 
Complete the Leave Leave Without Pay Application to apply for employment continuation. Periods of trial rehabilitation are allowed while receiving a monthly benefit.  If an employee returns to work and works more than 40 continuous days, the 60-day waiting period to receive short-term disability benefits starts over if the employee becomes unable to work again due to the same, or a different disability.
 
Employees who are not able to return to work following the initial period of Short-Term Disability (365 days) may be eligible for Long-Term Disability benefits. Such employees are encouraged to contact the Benefits Office prior to their expiration of S-TD benefits to determine if they are eligible.
 
Positions encumbered by employees on Short-Term Disability may be filled on a temporary or time limited basis.  Supervisors are advised to contact the Director of Employment (Ext. 7-2276) for additional information.
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