Disability Insurance

Short-Term Disability (STD) Plan (up to 90 days)

Benefits-eligible faculty and staff who are certified as unable to work due to childbirth or a non-work-related illness or injury are eligible to receive income benefits from the college’s Short–Term Disability plan.

This plan can provide 100 percent of the individual’s scheduled base pay for up to 90 days of an absence due to a documented disability. A waiting period of five days may apply before benefit payments begin.

Payment of this income benefit occurs on the same schedule as the college’s regular biweekly payroll, and is subject to approval by the college’s insurance company, Cigna.

Long-Term Disability (LTD) (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 may provide you with continued income protection after the 90 days of your short-term disability.

Long-term disability income payments equal 66.66 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, are subject to approval by Cigna and are paid monthly by Cigna.

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.

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 may 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 as if you were actively at work.

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 Leave of Absence Request Form. Your supervisor’s signature is required.
  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 the Special Information About Childbirth section.
  5. When your condition improves, your doctor certifies your ability to return to work.
  6. If your absence from work must continue for more than 90 days, the application process for long-term disability begins.

Your Rights and Responsiblities: Short-Term Disability

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 Parental Leave (MPLA). See Leaves of Absence for more information.

Medical 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

Medical 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 three months; coverage amount in effect when you were first absent from work

Dependent Life Insurance

Continues for at least three 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: Long-Term Disability

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.