Long Term Disability
Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits begin after you are unable to work, due to an illness or injury, for 90 calendar days.
Who is Eligible?
Faculty, Staff and AAPs, including those represented by SEIU 1199 United Healthcare Workers East and the Law Enforcement Officers Security Union-LEOSU-DC, scheduled to work 30 or more hours per week or 75% FTE.
How it Works
Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits begin after a three month waiting period and are coordinated with Salary Continuance or Short Term Disability and any salary, wages, earnings or other plan benefits. The plan provides a benefit of 60% of base pay (tax-free) up to a maximum paid benefit of $15,000 per month ($300,000 per year) for faculty, AAP, and staff or $5,000 per month for 1199SEIU members.
The benefit will continue until the first of the following:
- You are no longer disabled;
- You reach social security retirement age; or
- After receiving benefits for five years.
There are some exceptions to these rules. Benefits are paid beyond five years only if you continue to be unable to engage in any occupation for which you are reasonably trained. LTD benefits will normally cease when you attain the social security retirement age, however, your benefits may continue past age 65, depending on the age you become disabled.
Ancillary Death Benefit
In addition to providing income to disabled participants, in certain instances the plan provides an ancillary death benefit. The Plan will pay your eligible survivor a lump sum benefit equal to three months of your gross disability payment if, on the date of your death, your disability had continued for 180 or more consecutive days and you were receiving (or entitled to receive) payments under the Plan. The Plan specifically reserves the right to reduce the survivor benefit by any overpayment which may exist on your claim on as of your date of death.
Am I required to participate in this Plan?
If you were hired after September 1, 1990, participation in this Plan is mandatory. You can view your biweekly or monthly cost in GMS. If you were hired prior to September 1, 1990 and elected to stay in that older plan, and decided against participating in this Plan, you are covered under a separate LTD program. For more information on the former plan, contact the Office of Faculty and Staff Benefits at 202-687-2500.
Are my LTD premiums deducted from my pay on a pre- or post-tax basis?
Your premiums are deducted from your pay on a post-tax basis. This is done so that if you ever make an LTD claim, the benefit will not be taxable. Benefits experts agree that funding the plan with post-tax employee premiums is most advantageous to participants.
Employees on LTD will be provided with tax reporting forms directly from the disability administrator, MetLife (or The Hartford for LTD claims prior to July 1, 2020). These forms will indicate the taxable and non-taxable portion of the LTD benefit.
How does this Plan’s offset provisions work?
LTD benefits are reduced, or offset, by any wages or benefits collectible under Workers’ Compensation, Primary Social Security, or any other benefit you receive under any other group disability plan. Therefore, the Plan’s objective is to provide you with 60% of your pre-disability income when all sources of your disability income are considered. LTD benefits are also reduced by any early benefit received under a University sponsored retirement plan. However, any retirement account balance you have in your Voluntary Contribution Retirement Plan or your Defined Contribution Retirement Plan are exempt from this rule. Please note that the University cannot force any individual to retire when he or she is collecting LTD benefit
Pre-existing Condition Exclusions
Benefits are not payable for disabilities resulting from pre-existing conditions that occur during the first year of participation in the plan.
Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA’s)
This plan does not provide for COLA’s. Therefore, the disability payment a participant receives does not increase, regardless of how long the benefit is paid.
What other benefits will I receive when I am collecting LTD benefits?
When you are receiving LTD benefits and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), the University will continue to make a 5% contribution on your behalf to the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan if you were enrolled in that Plan prior to becoming disabled*. Your employee contributions (3%) cease, of course, because you are no longer being paid from Georgetown. You cannot make contributions to the Voluntary Contribution Retirement Plan while on disability.
You may retain your medical insurance while on LTD, as long as you continue to pay the employee premiums. You cannot add a dependent (spouse or dependent child) once on LTD. Because you will no longer be receiving compensation from the University, AleraEdge (the Leave of Absence Benefits administrator for GU) will send you a monthly invoice for this insurance coverage and will pay your premiums directly to them.
Individuals on Long Term Disability are not entitled to Tuition Benefits for themselves, but can use TAP for their children only if the child(ren) was using TAP benefits at the time the individual became disabled.
If you have any questions about this plan, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org