Disability Insurance

The college’s disability insurance provides eligible, medically certified faculty and staff with protection against loss of income due to absence from work because of:

  • non-work-related illness; and
  • non-work-related injury. Also, please see special information for delivering mothers related to childbirth for:

Income protection for work-related illness or injury is provided by the college’s legally required workers’ compensation program. Contact the Office of Human Resources for more information.

Base Pay

Both short-term and long-term disability income benefits are based on your gross (before-tax withholdings) base pay.

  • For faculty, base pay means the pay you would have received if you were scheduled to work during the disability period. Additional rules apply to part-time faculty.
  • For staff, base pay means your annual salary (for salaried employees) or your budgeted annual salary (for hourly employees).

Short-Term Disability (up to 90 days)

If you are certified as unable to work due to childbirth or because of a non-work-related illness or injury, the college’s short-term disability plan provides you with 100 percent of your base pay for the first 90 days of your absence, or, if earlier, until you are medically certified to return to work. This income benefit is payable on the same schedule as your base pay.

Health Insurance and Other Benefits during Short-Term Disability

During the short-term disability period, health insurance and other benefits in which you are enrolled continue as if you were actively at work.

PTO during Short-Term Disability (Staff Only)

For staff covered by the college’s paid time off (PTO) program, the first five days of short-term disability income are paid from the staff member’s PTO balance. If your PTO balance is insufficient to provide five days of pay, you will be unpaid for all or part of that first five days. While away from work because of short-term disability, you continue to accrue additional PTO hours.

How It Works

1. Inform your supervisor of your need to be away from work. You do not have to discuss your medical diagnosis with your supervisor.

2. Complete and submit the Berklee Request for Leave of Absence Form below. Your supervisor’s signature is required.

Leave of Absence Request Form

3. You and your doctor provide details of your condition to the college’s insurance company using the Short-Term Disability Claim Form. Contact the Office of Human Resources for this form.

4. The college’s insurance company will inform you and the Office of Human Resources of your eligibility to receive short-term disability income payments and the length of time you are certified to receive payments. If applicable, see Special Information About Childbirth section, above.

5. When your condition improves, your doctor certifies your ability to return to work.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

During a period of short-term disability, you have certain rights and responsibilities.

1. Your medical diagnosis and other personal information are held in the strictest confidence.

2. You and your doctor must provide timely responses to requests from the Office of Human Resources and the college’s insurance company for updates on your condition. Failure to comply with these requests can result in the termination of benefit payments, and the expectation that you will return to work.

3. If you are able to anticipate your need for short-term disability (e.g., childbirth or scheduled surgery), you and your supervisor must complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form and the Short-Term Disability Claim Form, preferably at least 30 days (60 days for faculty parental leave, per union contract) before you expect your absence to begin.

4. If your need for short-term disability is unexpected (i.e., illness or accident), you must complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form and the Short-Term Disability Claim Form as soon as you are able.

5. Periods of short-term disability run concurrently with the federal Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) and/or Massachusetts Maternity Leave (MMLA). See Leaves of Absence for more information.

Long-Term Disability (more than 90 days)

Toward the end of your short-term disability period, the college’s insurance company will review your prognosis. If it certifies that your absence from work must continue for more than 90 days, the college’s long-term disability plan will provide you with continued income protection after the 90 days of your short-term disability.

Long-term disability income payments equal 66 percent (50 percent if you are part-time) of your base pay in effect when you were first absent from work. Long-term disability income payments will not reflect increases in pay you would have received had you been actively at work.

Long-term disability income payments continue as long as you are certified as permanently disabled by the college’s insurance company, but will not be paid beyond age 65 (if you became disabled at age 61 or younger) or beyond the plan’s maximum benefit period (if you became disabled at age 62 or older). Contact the Office of Human Resources for more information about the plan’s maximum benefit period.

Health Insurance and Other Benefits during Long-Term Disability

Long-term disability triggers important changes in other Berklee employee benefits.

Benefit

Effect of

Long-Term Disability

Health and Dental Insurance

Coverage ends; elect COBRA for continuation of coverage for up to 29 months, followed by coverage from Medicare, if eligible

Basic Life Insurance

Continues for at least six months; coverage amount in effect when you were first absent from work

Dependent Life Insurance

Continues for at least six months; coverage amount in effect when you were first absent from work

Flexible Reimbursement Accounts (medical and dependent care)

All contributions cease; reimbursement permitted under same rules as all other faculty and staff

Defined Benefit Retirement

Continue to accumulate years of service for benefit calculation

403(b) Retirement

All contributions cease; withdrawals permitted under same rules as all other faculty and staff

Parking Reimbursement Account

All contributions cease; reimbursement permitted (for work-related parking expenses incurred prior to disability) under same rules as all other faculty and staff

MBTA Pass Subsidy for Staff Only

Not available

Your Rights and Responsibilities

During a period of long-term disability, you have certain rights and responsibilities.

1. Your medical diagnosis and other personal information are held in the strictest confidence.

2. You and your doctor must provide timely responses to requests from the Office of Human Resources and the college’s insurance company for updates on your condition. Failure to comply with these requests can result in the termination of benefit payments and the expectation that you will return to work.