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Short-Term Disability

Short-Term Disability:    • Traditional    • Enhanced    • File a Claim    • Checklist    • Resources    • FMLA

Short-term disability insurance provides income replacement if you are unable to work for an extended period due to an approved medical condition. Short-term disability benefits may continue for up to 24 weeks. The benefit is administered by Unum.

Traditional Short-Term Disability

(for fully benefits-eligible staff during their first year of service)

During the waiting period for automatic enrollment into the enhanced short-term disability plan, you may elect the traditional short-term disability plan. You will have a two-week (14 calendar day) waiting period before your short-term disability benefit payments begin. Benefit payments may continue for up to 24 weeks.

Your monthly cost is calculated automatically when you enroll for your benefits on My VUMC Benefits. Traditional short-term disability premiums are after-tax, so you do not owe income taxes on the benefit when you receive the disability pay.

How to Enroll

Go to My VUMC Benefits within 30 days of your hire date to enroll. Please note:

  • The plan is not effective until the first of the month following 30 days of employment.
  • There is a pre-existing conditions clause. Any conditions or medical care received in the six months prior to the effective date of your coverage will not qualify for a claim within your first year of coverage.
  • Emergency and other new conditions may be eligible for a claim.

How to Make Changes

  • You cannot make changes once your new hire enrollment period has ended.
  • After one year of service, if you are eligible, you will be automatically enrolled in enhanced short-term disability (both base and buy-up coverage).

Enhanced Short-Term Disability

(for fully benefits-eligible staff after one year of service)

Base Coverage

VUMC pays for base short-term disability insurance, which covers 66.7% of your weekly wages on the first $24,000 of your annual base salary with a two-week waiting period (14 calendar days.

Full Coverage

After one year of eligible service, you are automatically enrolled in full coverage to cover the amount between $24,000 and your annual base salary. This coverage pays 66.7% of your covered base salary. You can opt out of full coverage at any time on My VUMC Benefits. Your cost for the buy-up coverage depends on your annual salary. Your monthly cost is calculated automatically when you enroll on My VUMC Benefits.

How to Enroll

Automatic enrollment in the base and buy-up enhanced short-term disability plan occurs on the first of the month after your one-year anniversary.

How to Make Changes

You may waive the employee-paid buy-up short-term disability coverage at any time by going to My VUMC Benefits. However, if you wish to re-enroll in the buy-up coverage at another time, you will be subject to medical review and you could be denied.

How to File a Claim

  1. Contact Unum at 800.836.6900. You will need to provide information from your doctor's office - see Unum's Telephonic Brochure for more information.
  2. Unum will set up your claim and send a questionnaire to the VUMC Benefits office. Your department will work with the VUMC Benefits office to complete the questionnaire.
  3. Once Unum receives your completed application, they will let you and the VUMC Benefits office know if your claim is approved as eligible for short-term disability.

Note: Filing a claim for short-term disability does not start the FMLA process. Please see the FMLA website for information on completing that process.

Pending Claims

If Unum doesn't make a decision about your claim within the 14-calendar-day waiting period, you will have a gap of time while Unum determines your eligibility. During this gap, you will be on unpaid leave unless you request to use your accrued time (email benefits.vumc@vanderbilt.edu to use accrued time).

Gap of time examples, using unpaid leave and accrued leave:

  • Using unpaid leave. If Unum determines that you are eligible for short-term disability, your benefit will be retroactive to the day you met the waiting period. For example, if you became disabled Nov. 2, your waiting period would end Nov. 16. Unum then determines, on Dec. 8, that your disability is covered. Unum would pay you back, retroactively, to your eligibility date of Nov. 16.
  • Using accrued leave (PTO or grandfathered sick). If Unum determines that you are eligible for short-term disability, your benefit will begin the day Unum makes its decision. For example, if you became disabled Nov. 2, your waiting period would end Nov. 16. Unum then determines, on Dec. 8, that your disability is covered. In this example, if you have used your flexPTO or grandfathered sick time after your waiting period (Nov. 16), Unum would begin paying you on Dec. 8 and you would not be able to "give back" the flexPTO or grandfathered sick time already paid.

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