Human Resources and Payroll

Benefits

 

Disability Program Summary

Classified:


• Classified staff employees hired on or after January 1, 1999 are automatically enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program(VSDP). Those hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2009 have different requirements for short-term disability benefits.

Faculty:


• New faculty electing the Virginia Retirement System will be enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program(VSDP).

• Faculty in the Optional Retirement Plan are not eligible for VSDP althougth they may enroll in voluntary long-term disability insurance through UNUM.

Wage: (part-time)

• Part-time employees are not eligible for disability benefits at this time.

Virginia Sickness and Disability (VSDP) Program Overview

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) administers the Virginia Sickness & Disability Program (VSDP) in conjunction with the Department of Human Resource Management and Reed Group, a third-party vendor that specializes in disability claims management. When you join the state as a full-time or part-time salaried employee, you are automatically enrolled in the VSDP.

Objective

The VSDP provides you with income security when you cannot work because of a partial or total disability. The program includes sick, family and personal leave; short-term disability benefits; long-term disability benefits and a long-term care program. VSDP benefits cover non-work-related and work-related conditions.

The VSDP focuses on helping you make a safe return to your full duties following your disability. Return-to-work plans, such as job modifications or vocational/medical rehabilitation, may be developed in consultation with your employer and treating healthcare or medical professional to assist in your recovery and return to your regular schedule.

Questions about your benefits and the claim process

The VSDP Handbook is your resource for information about the services and benefits of the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program. If you think you may qualify for benefits, talk with your supervisor and your benefits administrator as soon as possible to be sure you understand your responsibilities and eligibility for benefits and to go over any questions you may have about initiating a claim.

How to Initiate a Claim

Employees hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2009 have a one year waiting period from their date of hire before being eligible for short-term disability benefits. Once you have met the one year waiting period OR if you were a Mason employee as of June 30, 2009,you may initiate a claim on the eighth day of your disability or as soon as you know you will be out for a medical condition (such as a scheduled surgery or childbirth). Family members and friends may initiate a claim on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

Call Reed Group toll free at 1-877-928-7021. Have the following information ready when you call:

FAQ


VSDP Leave Accrual

IF you expect to go on short-term disability now or in the future...
IF you have a question or need more information...
IF you aren't completely comfortable with the required procedure...
...contact a Benefits Administrator ASAP! Don't Wait!

Contact Human Resources & Payroll
Phone: 703.993.2600
Fax: 703.993.2601
Email: benefits@gmu.edu

Common Questions:


Q: How and when do I become eligible for benefits? What are the benefits?
A: VSDP includes short-term and long-term disability benefits. Employees hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2009 have a one year waiting period from their date of hire before being eligible for short-term disability benefits. Once you have met the one year waiting period OR you were a Mason employee as of June 30, 2009, and you have satisfied a seven calendar-day waiting period, short-term disability benefits are payable during periods of total disability, partial disability, maternity leave, or periodic absences due to a major chronic condition, as determined by the Plan Administrator. Short-term disability benefits provide an income replacement of 60 to 100 percent of your pay for a maximum of 125 workdays depending up on your date of hire1. The exact number of days of each income replacement percentage depends on your length of state service.

Tiered Benefit Hired or rehired on or after 7/1/09 for first 5 years of continuous service Hired before 7/1/09 OR hired or rehired on or after 7/1/09 with 5 years of continuous service
100% Pay 0 5 days
80% Pay 0 20 days
60% Pay 125 days 100 days

You become eligible for long-term disability payments after you satisfy a 180 calendar-day (26 weeks) waiting period follow ing the commencement of your disability. Long-term disability benefits provide you with an income replacement of 60 percent of your compensation and are payable during periods of total or partial disability.


1 Employees hired on or after July 1, 2009 have a one year waiting period from their date of hire to be eligible for short-term disability. Upon fulfilling the one year waiting period, these employees receive 60% of their pay on a short-term disability for a maximum of 125 days for the first five years of service. After completing 5 years of service, employees enter the tiered system described above. Rehired employees' months of service will not be considered until they have completed 60 months of continuous employment with the Commonwealth/Mason.


Q: How are my sick / family / personal leave hours calculated?
A: Full-time and part-time employees are credited hours differently.

Full-time employees are credited with the following hours on Jan 10th each of year:

Years of State Service Sick Leave Family/Personal Leave
Less than 5 64 32
5 to 9 72 32
10 or more 80 40

Unused sick and family/personal leave may not be carried forward from one year to the next and employees are not paid for a ny unused leave at separation. (New full-time employees hired on or after July 10 will receive 40 sick leave hours and 16 family/personal leave hours for that calendar year.)

Part-time employees are credited with the following hours on Jan 10th each of year:

Years of State Service Sick Leave Family/Personal Leave
Less than 10 32 32
10 or more 40 40

Unused sick and family/personal leave may not be carried forward from one year to the next and employees are not paid for any unused leave at separation. (New part-time employees hired on or after July 10 will receive 20 sick leave hours and 16 family/personal leave hours for that calendar year.)


Q: How many days are allowed for Maternity Leave?
A: As of 1/1/04, the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Board authorizes six weeks (42 calendar days) as the standard allowable period for maternity leave. A physician must certify the need for any longer period of disability. The employee must be eligible for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as defined by the VRS Board. The FMLA runs concurrently with this period of short-term disability.


Q: Am I allowed to receive leave sharing donations if I am enrolled in VSDP?
A: No. Short-term disability is not considered a leave without pay situation; therefore, leave sharing is not permitted during short-term disability nor during the preceding 7-day waiting period.


Q:I have a question not answered here. Whom can I call for help?
A:Please call our Customer Service Center at (703) 993-2600 and ask to speak to a member of the Benefits Team or email us at benefits@gmu.edu.