Prepare for the Unexpected

Disability Benefits

Disability coverage helps protect your income when you can’t work - whether from illness, injury, pregnancy, surgery, or another condition.

Disability insurance coverage is available if:

  • You are enrolled in a UVA retirement plan (VRS, ORP, or MCRP)
  • Your employee type is Housestaff

Expanded Short-Term Disability coverage for COVID-19 diagnosis

Medical Center team members and those enrolled in ORP retirement plan, UVA will provide 100% of pay and waive the waiting period for Short Term Disability coverage to begin. 

For employees enrolled in VRS, Short-Term Disability benefits are available through the VSDP program.

Disability for VRS

Please refer to the VSDP Handbook for additional information related to disability and VSDP (Virginia Sickness and Disability Plan) membership available to academic VRS plan employees. 

Notify your manager of your need to take time off related to an injury or illness. 

For employees with the Traditional Sick Plan please refer to the DHRM Traditional Sick policy.

Please contact the HR Solution Center for additional assistance with your plan options at 434-243-3344 or by emailing


  • How do I file a claim for short-term disability?

    If you are disabled for more than 5 business days, then call the Reed Group, at 1-877-928-7021 (toll-free) as soon as possible.

    You can also visit the Reed Group website. Once you have signed up with the website with a username and registration you can click “Create a new Leave of Absence Request” and fill out the requested information.

    The Reed Group will ask for:

    • Your job title and agency name
    • Date of birth
    • Current mailing address
    • Brief description of your disability
    • Whether you have filed a workers’ compensation claim
    • Last day you were - or will be - able to work
    • Contact information for your doctor / licensed healthcare professional (Name, address, phone, and fax)

    You will receive an information packet with forms that must be submitted before Reed Group can complete its review of your claim. Refer to the VSDP Handbook for more details about the forms below.

    Submit to the Reed Group:

    • Attending Physician Statement
    • Authorization for Release of Medical Information

    Submit to UVA HR:

    • Short-Term Disability Repayment Agreement
    • VSDP Outside Earned Income Reporting for Short-Term Disability Notification

    A note on Disability Credits:

    According to the VSDP Handbook, please note that if you were hired before January 1, 1999, and elected coverage under VSDP during one of two enrollment periods, you had the option to convert your accumulated sick leave to VRS service credit or to disability credits. If you chose disability credits and are receiving income replacement at 80 percent or 60 percent of your pre-disability income, you can use these credits to bring your income replacement level to 100 percent.

    If you leave covered employment, you will be paid for 25 percent of any unused disability credits, up to $5,000.

    If you retire, you can elect the cash payment or convert unused disability credits to VRS service credit toward calculating your benefit.

    If you go on long-term disability, you must use these credits. Eight disability credits equal one day of 100 percent income replacement.


  • How does short-term disability work?

    Short-term disability is an illness, injury, or other condition (ex.: surgery, pregnancy, complications from pregnancy, catastrophic or major chronic condition) that prevents you from performing the full duties of your job. The maximum short-term disability period is 125 workdays, including paid holidays. If you are still disabled after that, you may be placed on long-term disability as determined by The Reed Group.

    Income replacement depends on the length of employment at the University. Check the VSDP Handbook for exact figures.

    When am I eligible for short-term disability?

    If you were hired on or after July 1, 2009, your non-work-related disability coverage begins after one year of continuous employment.

    VSDP Income Replacement: Non-Work-Related Disabilities
    Date of Hire on or after July 1, 2009

    Months of State Service Workdays of Income Replacement at 100% Workdays of Income Replacement at 80% Workdays of Income Replacement at 60%
    Fewer than 12 0 0 0
    13-59 0 0 125
    60-119 25 25 75
    120-179 25 50 50
    180 months or more 25 75 25

    VSDP Income Replacement: Non-Work-Related Disabilities
    Date of Hire before July 1, 2009

    Months of State Service Workdays of Income Replacement at 100% Workdays of Income Replacement at 80% Workdays of Income Replacement at 60%
    Fewer than 60 5 20 100
    60-119 25 25 75
    120-179 25 50 50
    180 months or more 25 75 25
  • How does long-term disability work?

    Long-term disability is a condition that prevents you from performing the full duties of your job for an extended period of time. VSDP's long-term benefit begins after 125 workdays of short-term disability as determined by The Reed Group.

    Long-term disability provides 60% of your pre-disability income. If you are approved for work-related long-term disability, your VSDP benefit will be offset by your workers’ compensation benefit.

    Cost-of-Living Adjustment: After you have been on long-term disability for a full calendar year (i.e., January 1 to December 31), you may be eligible for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on July 1 of the following year.

    Long-Term Disability Working: If you can work at least 20 hours / week, but cannot perform full duties, you may be eligible for long-term disability - even while you are working. Check the member handbook for more details.

  • How does catastrophic disability work?

    If your disability becomes catastrophic, your income will be replaced at 80% for the duration of the catastrophic event.

    To qualify, you must be unable to perform at least two of these six daily activities:

    • Bathing
    • Dressing
    • Eating
    • Maintaining continence
    • Using the toilet
    • Getting in and out of bed and chairs

    Your condition may also be considered catastrophic if you have a severe cognitive impairment (ex.: Alzheimer’s disease), and you require substantial supervision or are placed under guardianship.

  • How does long-term care work?

    Basic VSDP Long Term Care

    If you are enrolled in a Virginia Retirement System plan and participate in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), you are covered under the Basic VSDP Long Term Care Plan at no cost to you.

    The maximum daily benefit amount is $96, with a lifetime maximum of $70,080

    Members with VSDP Long Term Care may call 800.761.4057 to start a claim

    Genworth Long Term Care

    Genworth Long Term Care is not accepting any new enrollments, but it is honoring the terms of all current policies. Contact Genworth Long Term Care at 866.859.6060 for additional information.


    Basic VSDP Long-Term Care Plan

    Virginia Retirement System’s Announcement about Genworth

Disability for ORP Members

ORP members have short- and long-term disability coverage through Unum. 

  • How do I file a claim for short-term disability?

    If you are disabled for more than 5 working days, call our partner firm UNUM M-F between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM EST at 1-866-269-0979 or go to the UNUM website. For your first visit to the website you will need to register an account.  

    For more information on UVA's UNUM partnership see the HR UNUM webpage. 

    You will need to provide the following information when contacting UNUM:

    • Employer
    • Plan number (912707)
    • Name
    • Social Security number
    • Nature of claim
    • Last day at work
    • Physician contact information

    Notify your manager or supervisor of your absence from work.

    • To submit your claim and/or leave request via telephone, call the toll-free number, 1-866-269-0979. Please be prepared with the information requested above.

    • To submit your claim and/or leave request via the UNUM website and
      follow the claim submission instructions.

    • If you are eligible for leave, a certification of health care provider form may be required. If so,
    it will be mailed in your initial leave packet within 2 business days of filing your leave. You
    will be provided a minimum of 15 days from the date the leave is requested to complete and
    return this form.


    • Provide your health care provider with a signed and dated copy of the authorization form. This form authorizes the release of medical information needed to evaluate
    your disability claim.

    • Once you have filed your Short Term Disability claim, please fax a copy of the signed and dated disability authorization to the UNUM Benefits Center at the following toll-free number, 800-447- 2498.

    If you prefer, you may sign and submit your authorization electronically at on the UNUM website. 

  • How does short-term disability work?

    For the benefit waiting period, and while short term disability benefits are payable, disability is defined as being unable to perform your job because of physical disease, injury, pregnancy, or mental disorder, resulting in a loss of at least 20% of weekly earnings. You are not considered disabled when earning 80% or more of pre-disability earnings.

    Coverage for short term disability begins as soon as you are enrolled in ORP. Your benefit on short-term disability is based on a percentage of weekly pre-disability earnings (as of the date of disability) reduced by deductible income (e.g. work earnings, workers’ compensation, state disability, etc.).

    Short Term Disability for Staff

    • Immediate eligibility
    • Five-day waiting period
    • 100% of salary for up to 25 workdays (i.e., 200 hours)
    • 80% of salary through the 180th calendar day of disability

    The ORP Disability Plan benefit coverage takes 5 business days before it begins. Incidental leave for absences of fewer than five days (ex.: 2 sick days), will be charged to your time off balance (Annual, Sick, or Ustaff).

    Your salary in the ORP Short Term Disability Plan will continue on a graded schedule, phasing benefits over time. The intention is to ease the transition to long-term disability where the end income of the short-term disability is nearer to the income replacement level of the Long Term Disability Plan.

    If you are unable to return to work before short-term disability benefits run out, your position will no longer be held open for your return. If you are able to return to work after short-term disability benefits run out, it must be through the competitive hiring process.

    Short Term Disability for Faculty

    • Immediate eligibility
    • 100% of salary for up to 180 calendar days

    This includes faculty who converted to University Staff. Short-term disability is generally described as a type of sick leave for absences of more than 5 days - including maternity leave - for up to 180 calendar days. Current and future faculty employees will receive 100% salary continuation for the approved leave period - with no waiting period.

    Nine-month faculty will receive 180 calendar days of disability leave. Short-term disability will be paid on days which you would normally be paid. Short-term disability days without pay still count toward the 180 calendar day short-term disability leave period.

  • How does long-term disability work?

    • If you become totally disabled, you are eligible for income replacement benefits. You are considered totally disabled if you are unable to work in any occupation for which you are “reasonably fitted by education, training, or experience” due to sickness or bodily injury.
    • Begins at the end of the standard disability period and continues for the duration of disability, or until normal Social Security retirement age
    • Pays a monthly income benefit equal to 66.66% of monthly salary, offset by Social Security or workers’ compensation benefits
    • Benefit cannot exceed $20,000 / month
    • Plan includes annual 3% cost-of-living increment and continued contributions to ORP

    Faculty Long-term Disability Overview - UNUM


Disability for MCRP Members

MCRP members have short- and long-term disability coverage through the UNUM insurance company. UVA pays the entire base plan amount. Members are eligible for disability after 180 day of employment.

To file a claim contact UNUM at 1-866-269-0979. Please note that starting 1/1/2020 UNUM will also handle FMLA, Parental Leave, and Medical Leave.

Disability Plan for Housestaff

Housestaff are automatically enrolled in Long-Term disability coverage through the UNUM insurance company. UVA pays the entire base plan amount.

  • Pays 70% income replacement up to $8,000 / month.
  • Income replacement continues as long as you cannot perform the material duties of your job ( i.e., medical specialty) to age 65.
  • Benefits begin when full-time active employment begins and ends when full-time active employment ends.
  • There is an elimination period of 90 days and an exclusion period of 5 days for pre-existing conditions.     
  • There are limited conversion rights as long as an application is made within 31 days of termination.

To apply for long-term disability, log on to the UNUM website or call 1-866-269-0979.

Disability Conversion Rights