- Issue Date: January 1, 2008
- Revision Date: April 13, 2009
- Primary Contact: Director of Human Resources
- Responsible Member of Directorate: Vice President for Finance & Administration
- Responsible Office: Human Resources
Policy StatementThe Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution provides disability income protection to regular employees and benefit-eligible temporary employees who are not able to work due to a non-occupational illness or injury. This coverage consists of Occasional Illness, Short-Term Disability (STD), and Long-Term Disability (LTD). Work related illnesses or injuries are covered under Workers Compensation. Masters and Crew Members of research vessels are covered under the Institution's Seamen's Protection and Indemnity plan.
Reason for PolicyThe Institution wants employees to fully understand their rights to paid time away from work while, at the same time, placing reasonable limits to ensure that business needs are met and that all eligible employees are treated equitably.
Reason for Policy
Who Should Be Familiar With This Policy
Benefits-Eligible Temporary Employee
Health Care Provider
Effects on FMLA
How to Initiate a Claim
Intermittent Short-Term Disability
Return to Work
Status of Benefits While on Short-Term Disability
Who Should Be Familiar With This Policy
- Eligible Employees
- Managers, Supervisors, and Administrators
- Human Resources Staff
- Payroll Staff
| Institution Policies
| Other Documents
| Paid Absences
| CIGNA's "How to Report a Disability Claim"
| Long-Term Disability
| Marine Crew Member Procedures
If you have questions about
specific issues or need assistance with the interpretation of this policy,
Benefits Specialist ................. x3743 or x3763
Benefits Manager .................. x2217
DefinitionsThese definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy.
|Benefits-Eligible Temporary Employee
A temporary employee expected to work at least
forty (40) hours per pay period with an appointment for twelve (12) or more
consecutive months. Benefits-eligible
temporary employees are eligible for the same full benefits as regular
|Health Care Provider
A primary care physician or other healthcare
professional that helps in identifying, preventing, and/or treating illness or
Salary continuation at 60% for qualified
employees whose illness or injury prevents them from working beyond six (6)
An employee expected to work at least forty (40)
hours per pay period for an indefinite period of time that may continue for
twelve (12) consecutive months or more.
The purpose of Short-Term Disability (STD) is to protect the
income of regular employees or benefits-eligible temporary employees during
periods of prolonged (more than 7 calendar days) illness or injury that is not
The amount of salary continuation is based on an employee’s
status and length of service to the Institution and can last for as long as
twenty-six (26) weeks. The first seven
(7) calendar days are covered by the Institution’s Occasional Illness
| Years of Service
| 100% of Pay
| 60% of Pay
| Less than 5
| Weeks 2 through 6
| Weeks 7 through 26
| 5 to 10
| Weeks 2 through 8
| Weeks 9 through 26
| 10 to 15
| Weeks 2 through 13
| Weeks 14 through 26
| More than 15
| Weeks 2 through 26
Pay is calculated based on hours associated with status (4
hours/day for half-time employees, 6 hours/day for ¾-time employees, and 8
hours/day for full-time employees).
An employee receiving less than 100% of his/her normal
salary may coordinate the STD income with accrued vacation time.
|Effects on FMLA
An illness or injury that qualifies for Short-Term
Disability will also be a qualifying event under the Family Medical Leave Act
(FMLA). Short-Term Disability will run
concurrently with the time period allotted under the FMLA.
|How to Initiate a Claim
Once an employee has determined that he/she will be out of
work for more than seven (7) calendar days, he/she should:
- Call his/her supervisor to report how long
he/she expects to be absent.
- Call the CIGNA hotline at 1-800-362-4462 to
begin the claim process. Please see the
CIGNA brochure for complete details on how to report a disability claim over
the telephone or via the CIGNA website.
|Intermittent Short-Term Disability
If an employee has an illness or
injury that requires him/her to take approved intermittent time off for the
same illness, the time taken is accumulated and charged against the total period
allowed under the Short-Term Disability plan (26 weeks). If the employee returns to work on his/her
regular schedule for a period of less than thirty (30) calendar days and then
goes out again for the same illness or injury, the absence will be considered
to be part of the same Short-Term Disability period. Therefore, no new waiting period will apply
and no new claim must be filed. If an
employee returns to work on his/her regular schedule for a period of thirty
(30) days or more, any subsequent absence will not be considered to be part of
the same Short-Term disability. In that case,
a new waiting period of seven (7) consecutive calendar days will apply and a
new claim must be filed and approved.
|Return to Work
Employees are responsible for informing the Institution of
his/her plans to return to work.
Employees who cannot return to work after their STD
benefit is exhausted may be eligible for benefits under the Institution’s
Long-Term Disability plan
A basic principle of any disability plan is to return the
employee to active employment as quickly as possible, if appropriate. Studies show that individuals’ health
improves when normal routines resume and they are involved in meaningful work
on a regular basis. As such, an employee
may be placed on a light duty restriction and/or an abbreviated schedule by
his/her physician. Light duty work
assignments and/or abbreviated schedules will be reviewed on a case by case
basis by the employee’s supervisor, Human Resources, and CIGNA and may only be
available if reasonable accommodations can be made. Light duty work assignments and/or
abbreviated schedules must be temporary and cannot exceed thirty (30) calendar
|Status of Benefits While on Short-Term Disability
While on STD, the employee will continue to receive his/her
pay through regular payroll checks. Therefore, contributions towards elected benefits will continue to be automatically deducted from his/her paycheck.
Benefits that do not require employee contributions will
continue to be provided by the Institution.
Vacation leave will continue to accrue while on STD.
Employees on STD are not entitled to Holiday pay.
ApprovalApproved by: Susan K. Avery
Date: April 13, 2009
Last updated: October 20, 2015