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

Disability benefits are available for Academic division employees enrolled in the VRS or ORP retirement plan, with the exception of employees in the traditional sick plan, as well as Medical Center Team Members and Housestaff.

If you are unable to work due to your own health condition, notify your manager of your need for a leave of absence as far in advance as possible. 

Contact UNUM at 866.269.0979 to apply for a FMLA or Medical Leave that would run concurrently with your disability benefits, if approved. Members of the VRS retirement plan will need to contact Reed Group for disability in addition to contacting UNUM for a leave of absence. 

Follow the instructions indicated below based on your retirement plan to contact the appropriate disability vendor and manage your pay while on leave.

Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below for additional topics.

Disability for Academic Division Employees in VRS retirement plan

VSDP members, please follow the instructions in the sections below. 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. 

Employees must contact Reed Group within 14 days of the date of illness or injury or some of the benefits may be denied. 

For employees with the Traditional Sick Plan please refer to the DHRM Traditional Sick policy. These employees do not have a Short Term Disability plan through UVA although they may be eligible for Leave Sharing. Please contact leave@virginia.edu for further information and apply for a leave of absence with UNUM by calling 866-269-0979.

Note that VRS members employed by the Medical Center should follow instructions for the Medical Center Retirement Plan further down the page. If you fall into this category, your "Job Profile" in Workday will indicate a prefix of "MC." 

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

    1) Notify your manager of your need to take time off related to an injury or illness. Keep your manager informed of your expected return to work date.

    2) Contact the Reed Group, at 877-928-7021 as soon as possible, there is 14 day reporting period to notify Reed of any illness or injury that may fall under Short Term Disability.

    3) You will also need to contact UNUM, the vendor who manages leaves of absence including FMLA for UVA. UNUM's number is 866-269-0979

    4) Provide a return to work clearance from your medical provider to the HR Leave Team, leave@virginia.edu, at least three days prior to your planned return date. 

    In addition to contacting the Reed Group by phone, you can visit the Reed Group website. You will need to sign up with the website with a username and registration.

    We suggest you initiate your claim by phone to avoid any technical difficulties but after the initial set up you may access the website for additional information about your claim.

    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

     

     

  • 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.

    There is a 7 calendar or 5 business day waiting period. Employees or their managers should enter their own paid time off during this period before benefits begin. Please note that they waiting period could be longer due to reporting period issues. Reed Group will indicate the period on the approval letter to the employee. 

    If you would like to supplement your Short-term disability benefit with your own paid time off, if the benefit falls below 100%, please email the request to leave@virginia.edu.

    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. You are eligible for work-related short-term disability coverage from the first day of employment.

  • 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.

    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 VSDP handbook for more details.

    A note on Disability Credits:

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

    When am I eligible for Long-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.

    Your eligibility for work-related disability coverage is effective from the first day of employment.

    If you were hired before July 1, 2009, you became eligible for non-work-related as well as work-related disability coverage upon employment.

    How do I apply for Long Term Disability?

    If you will be out for more than 125 workdays, your disability claim will be reviewed for long-term disability. The following forms must be submitted to Reed Group:

    • Authorization for Release of Medical Information.

    • Long-Term Disability Repayment Agreement.

    • VSDP Outside Earned Income Reporting for Long-Term Disability. 

    • Request for Health Insurance Credit (VRS-45)

    • W-4 Form

  • 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.

    Resources

    Basic VSDP Long-Term Care Plan

    Virginia Retirement System’s Announcement about Genworth


Disability for Academic Division Employees in the ORP retirement plan

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

UVA is providing expanded Short-Term Disability coverage for COVID-19 diagnosis for Academic Staff enrolled in ORP retirement plan. UVA will provide 100% of pay and waive the waiting period for Short Term Disability coverage to begin. This benefit will expire May 31, 2022. Any new claims from that date forward will be paid at the normal policy benefit percentage. 

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

    If you are disabled, call our partner firm UNUM M-F between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM EST at 866-269-0979.

    Please note that work related injuries are not covered under UNUM's Short Term Disability plan. Please see the Worker's Compensation page for details related to these injuries.

    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. Follow departmental call out procedures until your claim is approved.

    Keep your manager informed of your expected return to work date.

    Provide a return to work clearance from your medical provider to the HR Leave Team, leave@virginia.edu, at least three days prior to your planned return date. 

    UNUM will provide the forms required for completion by you and your physician. 

    You may submit forms electronically via the UNUM website. For your first visit to the website you will need to register an account.  

  • 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.

    UVA STD Overview (Univ Staff in ORP)

    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.

    UVA STD Overview (Faculty in ORP)

  • 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 60% 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 Medical Center Team Members

Medical Center Team 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 days of employment.

UVA is providing expanded Short-Term Disability coverage for COVID-19 diagnosis for Medical Center team members. UVA will provide 100% of pay and waive the waiting period for Short Term Disability coverage to begin. This benefit will expire May 31, 2022. Any new claims from that date forward will be paid at the normal policy benefit percentage. 

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

    1) Notify your manager or supervisor of your absence from work. Follow departmental call out procedures until your claim is approved.

    Keep your manager informed of your expected return to work date.

    2) To file a claim and request a leave of absence contact UNUM at 866-269-0979. 

    3) Provide a return to work clearance from your medical provider to the HR Leave Team, leave@virginia.edu, at least three days prior to your planned return date. 

  • How does short-term disability work?

    There is a 14 calendar day waiting period. Employees or their managers should enter their own paid time off during this period before benefits begin. UNUM will indicate when the paid benefit period starts in the approval letter sent to employees. 

    If you would like to supplement your Short-term disability benefit with your own paid time off, please email the request to leave@virginia.edu.

    Short-term coverage provides a weekly benefit of 60% of your salary beginning on the 15th day of continuous disability.

    Employees will receive pay for Short-Term Disability through the normal UVA pay schedule. If your benefits are not approved by UNUM in time for payroll processing, benefits will be paid on the next check. 

     

  • How does long-term disability work?

    UNUM will review begin the review for Long-term disability eligibility for employees who are on a leave of absence for five months. This is for employees who are benefited and on a Short-term disability claim or missing time due to a Workers Comp related absence. 

    Long-term coverage provides 60% income replacement up to a maximum of $10,000 per month after the six 6 months of short-term disability benefits have expired.

    Benefits continue for the duration of the disability up to normal retirement age as defined by U.S. Social Security, or to age 65 (whichever is greater).


Disability Plan for Housestaff

Housestaff are automatically enrolled in Long-Term disability coverage through the UNUM insurance company.

  • How does long-term disability work?

    There are 3 tiers to this benefit- Employer Paid (included no cost to you) and Voluntary Buy-Up Options

    1) Employer Paid Group Long Term Disability (LTD)

    •  60% of your salary up to a maximum monthly benefit of $4,000, subject to income tax when received.

    2) Employer Paid Individual Disability Insurance (IDI)

    • A flat monthly benefit of $500, subject to income tax when received.

    3) Voluntary Individual Disability Insurance (IDI)

    • A flat monthly benefit of $500, plus access to Student Loan Assistance (SLA) benefit and Catastrophic (CAT) rider.
    • The premium is employee paid, the benefits are tax-free when received. 

    To apply for long-term disability, log on to the UNUM website or call 1.866.269.0979. For Individual Disability Insurance (IDI), this is administered through Covala Group call 1.800.235.3551 or email UVAIDI@covalagroup.com

    UVA Individual Disability Insurance Summary Plan Description- GME

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I am an Academic division employee or Medical Center team member; how will I be paid for Short-Term Disability?

    Short-Term Disability is paid through the regular UVA pay cycle, the same way your normal pay is delivered. 
    For any approvals made by the vendor after the payroll process has run, any retroactive approved benefits will appear on your next paycheck. You or your supervisor may input your own Paid Time off pending the approval. 

  • I was involved in a work-related injury, am I eligible for disability benefits?

    Academic division employees who participate in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Plan (VSDP) through the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) should contact Reed Group at 877.928.7021 to file for disability, in addition to reporting their injury as indicated in the Workers Comp process.

    Academic division employees in the VRS should also contact UNUM to determine their eligibility for FMLA for any missed time related to their Work Comp claim. UNUM can be reached at 866.269.0979.

    Medical Center team members and members of the ORP retirement plan are not covered under the Short-Term Disability plans through UNUM for work related injuries; however, you should still contact UNUM to file for a leave of absence and determine your FMLA eligibility if you will miss time from work. 

    In addition, all employees should follow the reporting procedure for their injury as indicated in the Workers Comp process. 

    Medical Center team members who may be out of work for at least 180 days should contact UNUM to determine their eligibility for Long-Term Disability benefits. UNUM’s number is 866.269.0979. 

  • What happens if I exhaust my Short-Term Disability benefits and I move to Long Term Disability?

    Keep your manager or department informed of your status and whether you expect to return to work. 

    Your disability vendor will begin to review your eligibility for Long-Term disability approximately 30 to 45 days prior to the maximum Short-Term Disability benefit date. This is an interactive process, so please respond to any requests from the vendor regarding the information required and keep them updated on any estimated return to work date indicated by your physician. 

    If you are able to return to work on or before the end of your short-term disability maximum benefit period, please reach out to leave@virginia.edu as soon as possible and provide a return-to-work release from your physician. The Leave team will work with your department to determine if they are able to accommodate any restrictions required for your return to work or if you may need to apply for other positions. 

    If you are unable to return to work after your Short-Term disability benefits have been exhausted, your employment at UVA will end. Should you be able to return to work at some point, you may be rehired through the competitive process. A disability approved separation from service will not reflect negatively if you reapply for a position with UVA in the future. 

    You may set up an appointment with a benefits counselor by contacting the HR Solution Center at 434.243.3344 or emailing AskHR@virginia.edu to discuss your benefit options upon separation. 

  • My Short-Term disability benefit is less than 100% of my normal pay, can I supplement my paid benefit?

    For Academic Staff and Medical Center team members who receive less than 100% paid benefit, please email leave@virginia.edu if you would like to supplement your benefit with your own paid time off.

    Medical Center Team members may be eligible for PTO Donations for any period of approved absence related to your own serious health condition. Employees and their supervisors need to complete the PTO donation request form and return it to leave@virginia.edu. The leave team will notify the employee and their manager if the donation request is approved and send instructions for solicitation of donations. 

  • How are employee salaries paid out and funded while on disability?

    Short-term disability benefits are paid by the department. Short-term disability, whether with Reed Group for VSDP, Unum for the ORP, or Medical Center disability plan, is self-insured. The vendor makes the determination as to compensability, but the salary replacement comes from the department.

    Whether an employee is receiving all short-term disability or a percentage or their pay and supplementing with PTO, the funds are all paid by the department.

    Long-term disability is insured.  When an employee is approved for long term disability and unable to return to work, they are separated from UVA and are paid benefits by the disability vendor. The vendor will also pay benefits during a working long term disability period.