The long term disability plan is designed to provide you with income continuation if you are disabled and unable to work for more than six months. Benefits eligible faculty and staff members are enrolled in long-term disability (LTD) insurance that provides coverage of 60% of base salary (less any disability payment payable from Worker’s Compensation, Social Security or other legally mandated programs) in the event of total disability to a maximum of $25,000 per month (any amount over $20,000 per month is subject to a pre-existing condition limitation). Coverage is effective from the date of benefits eligible employment or transfer into a benefits eligible status.
LTD benefits begin on the 181st day of continuous disability and benefits are payable at the end of each subsequent month during the term of continuous total disability.
Benefits payments will continue until the earliest of:
- the date you are no longer totally disabled,
- the date you die, or
- the date you reach one of the following age and/or time limits:
|Age when maximum disability starts||Duration of benefits|
|Less than 60||To age 65|
|60 to 64||60 months|
|65 to 69||To age 70 (but not less than 12 months)|
|70 and older||12 months|
The university will pay the full cost of LTD coverage. However, if the university pays your premiums, your benefits, should you become disabled and approved for the benefits, are taxable at the time of payment.
At initial enrollment or during benefits open enrollment, you may arrange to pay the premium for the LTD insurance yourself through a post-tax payroll deduction, where you pay the cost of the plan. If you choose to pay, your benefits will not be taxed should you become disabled and approved for the benefits.
If you choose to pay, your cost is 0.28% of your monthly base salary (at the 60% benefit level). Rice will pay .01 on your behalf in order to continue your 401a contributions while on LTD.
You may continue your benefits such as medical insurance while on disability for up to a year from your initial date of leave from the university (typically, a year from your first absence for this illness/incidence). During this time, you are responsible for paying your portion of the cost of the coverage.
After the anniversary from your initial date of leave, you will be offered COBRA or retiree health and dental insurance, and you may convert life insurance, AD&D and long-term care coverage to individual policies with the insurance carriers. For more information on COBRA benefits, please visit the Continuation of Benefits (COBRA) page.
If you are approved for Social Security benefits, you can extend your coverage an additional eleven months. If you are eligible to be a Rice retiree, then you may enroll in retiree coverage. To continue benefits, please contact a member of your Benefits Team to set up a payment plan.
Your coverage will end on the last day of the month in which you terminate employment at Rice or if your request for a premium waiver is not approved. You may contact your benefits team for more information on converting your life insurance coverage to an individual policy through Unum. You have only 30 days from your termination date to convert your policy.
Please visit our Flexible Spending Accounts page for additional information. If enrolled in a medical spending account, your contributions cease and you may submit claims for reimbursement for any eligible expenses incurred (not paid) within six months of when your benefits under the program ceased. You may also be able to continue your medical spending account election through the end of the plan year, through COBRA. If enrolled in a dependent care spending account your contributions cease, but you may submit claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred within six months after your participation in the program ceased.
While on disability, the university will continue to make contributions to your retirement account based on your salary prior to disability. Your Rice retirement plan and 403(b) plan contributions will stop once you no longer receive short-term disability payments (and no longer receive university paychecks). However, if approved for long-term disability benefits, Rice retirement plan contributions will resume based on your previous compensation level. Also, earnings on the money that you have already contributed will continue, and you may make changes to the investment of your retirement plan contributions as desired through the plan vendor.
For more information on your LTD benefits, please review the certificate of insurance.
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