What does Short Term Disability Insurance cover?
Short Term Disability Insurance (sometimes called an STD Plan) pays you a portion of your wages if you need to miss work because of a non-work related illness or injury. Your STD insurance starts if you will be out of work for more than 14 days and pays benefits for up to 26 weeks. Reasons for being on short term disability might include:
· Accidental Injury (not covered by worker’s compensation)
· Mental Illness or Substance Abuse Treatment
· Other Medical Treatment
Am I eligible?
Employees who are paid on an hourly basis (non-exempt) and are regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week (either year round or on an academic year basis) are eligible for short term disability insurance. You must work at the College for at least 31 days before you are eligible for the Short Term Disability benefit. Refer to the Eligibility chart for more information.
Employees paid on a monthly basis (exempt) are not covered by Bowdoin’s STD plan because in the 1st year of employment they have 30 days of sick time available. After one year of employment they have up to six months of sick time available, which is the waiting period for Long Term Disability benefits.
What are Bowdoin’s Short Term Disability plans?
The College offers two plans to cover different needs. Plan B is paid for 100% by the College. For Plan A, the College pays the cost of Plan B towards the coverage and the employee pays the remaining amount. Learn more about the costs here.
Both plans pay the same benefit -- 70% of your average weekly wage (up to a maximum of $600 per week).
Both plans allow you to use sick and/or vacation time (if available) together with the STD benefit to provide 100% of your income.
Each plan has a different "waiting period.” A “waiting period” is the time from the last day you worked (before you became ill or injured) until the day that the benefit begins.
Plan A is best for employees who:
Do not have many sick hours saved (recently hired employee)
Cannot financially afford to have an unpaid medical leave
If you choose plan A:
There is a "waiting period" of 14 calendar days before the insurance benefit begins.
You would use sick and/or vacation time to receive 100% of your regularly scheduled hours during that waiting period and then 30% from the 15th day for the remainder of your medical leave.
The cost of Plan A is based on your weekly wage.
You pay a portion of the insurance through a biweekly pre-tax payroll deduction and the College pays a portion (an amount equal to the cost of Plan B).
Plan B is best for employees who:
Have a significant number of sick hours saved
Can financially afford to take an unpaid medical leave
If you choose plan B:
The "waiting period" is 59 calendar days.
Therefore, if you normally work 40 hours a week, you would need to have saved at least 320 hours of sick and/or vacation time just to cover the waiting period.
You would need to have saved additional hours if you want to supplement the insurance benefit to receive up to 100% of your pay after the waiting period.
The College pays the full cost of Plan B and there is no cost to you.
Which plan do I currently have?
If you are not sure whether you are on Plan A or Plan B, you can check on your pay stub or earnings statement in HRforYOU. If you have chosen Plan A, you will have a deduction labeled "STDA" under PRE-TAX ITEMS (about half way down on the left side of your pay stub). If you are on Plan B, you will not see any STD item listed in that section.
Which plan should I choose?
Plan B is paid for by the College, so there is no cost to you. For Plan A, the College pays most of the cost (the same amount that is paid in Plan B), but you will also need to pay a part. Because Plan B is free, it may seem like it is the best choice, but there are a few other things you may want to think about before you decide:
1. How much sick time have you saved? Your current balance is shown on your pay stub as SIC BALANCE under SPECIAL INFORMATION (about one quarter of the way down on the right side of your pay stub). With Plan A, there is a much shorter waiting period (14 days instead of 59 days), so if you do not have much sick time saved, Plan A might be a better choice.
2. How long can you afford to be without pay if you miss work for illness or injury? If you have fewer than 320 hours earned, you can still choose Plan B, but remember that once you have used your sick time you will not have any income until you have met the waiting period.
3. Will you want to use any sick time while you are receiving STD benefits? Both plans pay 70% of your average weekly wage, but you can add your sick time to this so that you can get paid up to 100% of your salary. If you choose Plan B and use all of your sick time during the 59-day waiting period, you will not have any left to add to the disability benefit.
REMEMBER: Your circumstances may change from year to year, so it is important to think about which choice is best for you every year during Open Enrollment. For example, if you chose Plan B one year, but you used a lot of sick time for an illness or disability in that calendar year, you may want to change back to Plan A until you have earned more hours of sick time.
How do I use the Short Term Disability Insurance?
If you become unable to work due to an accident, illness or scheduled surgery, contact Human Resources at X3837 as soon as possible to apply for a Medical Leave of Absence. We will explain the steps to apply for a leave of absence and to apply for your STD benefits. At that time you will be asked to call The Hartford (the College’s disability carrier) to initiate your STD claim. Your doctor will also need to provide The Hartford with the medical information needed to approve your STD claim. Human Resources will provide the information on your hourly wage and work schedule and will work with your department to submit your time in coordination with STD benefits while you are out on a medical leave. STD benefits are paid directly by The Hartford in the form of a weekly check. If you have sick and/or vacation hours available, you will continue to receive a biweekly check from Bowdoin for 100% of your wages during the waiting period (either 14 or 59 days depending on the STD Plan you choose) and then 30% after the waiting period.
Remember: Your regular payroll deductions (e.g., health and dental insurance, supplemental life insurance, etc.) will be subtracted from your College paycheck. Certain College benefits (sick time accruals, vacation time accruals, and the College's contribution to your retirement plan) will be based on your actual earnings from Bowdoin. For example, if you have exhausted your sick/vacation time and are in an unpaid status you will not accrue sick/vacation time or receive retirement contributions.
What is Long Term Disability Insurance?
Long Term Disability Insurance (sometimes called an LTD Plan) pays you a portion of your wages if you need to miss work for more than 6 months because of an illness or injury.
Am I eligible?
All benefits eligible employees (both hourly paid non-exempt employees and monthly paid exempt employees) who are regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours/week (either year round or on an academic year basis) are eligible for Long Term Disability insurance. You must work at the College for at least 31 days before you are eligible for the benefit.
What is covered in the Long Term Disability Plan?
The LTD plan is paid for 100% by the College. All eligible employees are automatically enrolled.
LTD insurance pays up to 60% of your regular monthly earnings and it cannot be coordinated with sick and/or vacation time from Bowdoin. LTD benefits are offset or reduced by any amounts that you may receive from Social Security Disability or other forms of income.
How do I use the Long Term Disability Insurance?
If you are unable to return to work after six months of being on an approved Medical Leave of Absence, Human Resources will help you to file a LTD Claim with The Hartford (the College’s disability carrier). Six months is the maximum amount of time you can be on a medical leave. After six months your job ends, but you are eligible to apply for a Disability Leave of Absence for up to an additional 6 months. During a Disability Leave you do not receive any pay directly from Bowdoin, but you are eligible to keep your benefit plans and file for LTD benefits. At the end of your Disability Leave your benefits and employment end, but you continue to be eligible for LTD benefits if you remain disabled.
If you have additional questions about Short Term or Long Term Disability benefits, please contact the Human Resources (X3837) or view the plan policy documents listed below.