Learn more about your options if you are unable to work due to an illness or injury. Disability insurance may replace some or all of your income during an extended illness or injury. See also family and medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.
For University and Academic Professionals who participate in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and for Classified staff hired July 1, 1999 or later:
University and Academic Professionals who participate in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and Classified employees hired July 1, 1999 or later have protection through the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP). For University and Academic Professionals, the program includes short-term and long-term disability coverage, as well as a long-term care program. For Classified staff, the program also includes sick leave credits, family/personal leave credits. Non-work related disabilities are not covered during the first year of VSDP participation. University and Academic Professionals are covered by the university’s own short-term disability program for non-work related disabilities that begin during the first year of VSDP participation.
The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) administers VSDP disability benefits in conjunction with the Reed Group, a third-party administrator. If you have questions about your benefits, visit the VRS website at www.varetire.org or email VCU Benefits at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also may write to the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program c/o Reed Group, P. O. Box 6248, Broomfield, CO 80021 or call 8-888-827-3847 for assistance.
Review the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program Handbook for participants available through the VRS website. The leave provisions in the handbook do not apply to University and Academic Professionals, who accrue one bank of university leave that includes the amounts described as sick leave and family/personal leave. Classified staff do not receive university leave, and receive the specified sick leave and family/personal leave amounts as described in the handbook.
For faculty, University and Academic Professionals, and Postdoctoral Scholar employees who participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
VCU provides Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) participants with long-term disability insurance at no cost. This coverage is through Standard Insurance Company and provides the following benefits during approved periods of disability:
- Pays a regular income when you are disabled and cannot work as of the first day of the month after six months (180 days) of continuous total disability
- Replaces 60 percent of your monthly wage base not to exceed a benefit of $20,000 per month, less the sum of benefits from other sources
- Pays the monthly contribution to the ORP during the period of disability payments
During the first six months (180 days) of disability, faculty members and Postdoctoral Scholar employees may use their accrued Traditional Sick Leave and/or Annual Leave banks to continue income. University and Academic Professionals in the ORP do not accrue Traditional Sick Leave and instead are covered by, and may initiate a claim under, the university’s short-term disability program administered by The Standard. University and Academic Professionals with banked Traditional Sick Leave will have those hours charged first under any short-term disability claim approved by The Standard.
Voluntary disability coverage for Faculty, University and Academic Professionals, and Classified employees in the Virginia Retirement System
Faculty, University and Academic Professionals, and Classified employees who participate in the VRS are covered by the VSDP unless they opted out in writing. The VSDP includes short-term disability and long-term disability coverage at no cost. During the first year of VSDP participation, non-work related disabilities are not covered.
Faculty and Classified staff who opted out of the VSDP participate in the Traditional Sick Leave Plan and are not automatically covered by a disability plan. At their option, these employees may choose to purchase long-term disability insurance at group rates through payroll deduction. This program is also available to University and Academic Professionals during their first year of VSDP participation when non-work related disabilities are not yet covered. The long-term disability plan is available through the Standard Insurance Company and provides the following coverage:
- Pays a regular income when you’re disabled and cannot work
- Is available without a medical exam if you sign up within 31 days of initial hire
- Replaces up to 60 percent of your monthly base salary to a maximum of $5,000 per month, less any Social Security or VRS disability payments, after three months of continuous disability
- Pays benefits for as long as disability continues up to age 65 or even longer if you become disabled after age 60
- Uses your “own occupation” in determining if you are disabled
- Pays for disabilities resulting from nervous and mental conditions (with limitations)
- Allows you to convert to an individual policy if you terminate employment after 12 months of participation in the plan
- Determines monthly costs for the disability insurance by your salary and age