Short-Term Disability


The Conservatory’s short-term disability insurance provides eligible, medically certified faculty and staff with protection against loss of income due to absence from work because of:


   non-work-related illness; and
   non-work-related injury.


Base Pay


Both short-term and long-term disability income benefits are based on your gross (before-tax withholdings) base pay.


   For faculty, base pay means the pay you would have received if you were scheduled to work during the disability period.
   For staff, base pay means your annual salary (for salaried employees) or your budgeted annual salary (for hourly employees).


Short-Term Disability (up to 26 weeks)


Eligibility: If you are certified as unable to work due to childbirth or because of a non-work-related illness or injury, employees whose regular work schedule is full time for at least nine months per year are eligible for short-term disability benefits after completion of one year of continuous service.
Under the Conservatory's Short-Term Disability plan, an employee is eligible to receive no more than 26 weeks of short-term disability pay within any one-year period. Short-term disability pays 80% of regular wages for benefit eligible employees, calculated on a salary or hourly basis, for a maximum of 26 weeks for any single period of eligible disability. Before being eligible to receive short term disability pay, an employee must provided medical certification of their disability. The Conservatory, based on the Certification of Health Care Provider, will determine if the disability allows the employee to be eligible for short term disability pay. This income benefit is payable on the same schedule as your base pay.  There is a fifteen-day waiting period before disability payments begin.


Health Insurance and Other Benefits during Short-Term Disability
During the short-term disability period, health insurance and other benefits in which you are enrolled continue as if you were actively at work.


Use of Sick and Vacation Time during Short-Term Disability
For Staff: A staff member must have exhausted all of their accrued sick and vacation time before being eligible to receive short term disability pay.
For Faculty: A faculty member must have exhausted the five (5) accumulated sick days before being eligible to receive short term disability pay.


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. You and your doctor provide details of your condition to the Conservatory’s Office of Human Resources using the Short-Term Disability Claim Form. Contact Human Resources for this form.
3. The Office of Human Resources will inform you of your eligibility to receive short-term disability income payments and the length of time you are certified to receive payments.
4. When your condition improves, your doctor certifies your ability to return to work.
5. While on short-term disability leave, you will not accrue or be entitled to paid sick leave, paid personal leave or vacation.


Your Rights and Responsibilities
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 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 Short-Term Disability Claim Form, preferably at least 30 days 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 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 Maternity Leave (MMLA). At the completion of an approved FMLA leave period, the employee will be reinstated to his or her former position or an equivalent position within the Conservatory. However, the Conservatory does not guarantee positions beyond the 12 week FMLA period.


Short-Term disability benefits cease if you become eligible for Social Security Disability benefits or for Long-Term Disability Insurance (full-time employees only). Benefits will be paid only for periods during which you would have otherwise worked. Conservatory contributions to health and/or dental insurance will continue as will payments for non-contributory life insurance and Long-Term Disability Insurance for eligible employees

 

Long-Term Disability


Most absences from work due to illness or accident are of relatively short duration; however, some disabilities may last longer. The Conservatory maintains a group Long-term Disability Insurance Plan with a commercial insurance carrier. Toward the end of your short-term disability period, the Conservatory’s insurance company will review your prognosis. If it certifies that your absence from work must continue for more than 26 weeks, the Conservatory’s long-term disability plan will provide you with continued income protection after the 26 weeks of your short-term disability.  Employees may request a copy of the Long-Term Disability Insurance policy documents from the Human Resource Office. The policy and plan documents govern the terms of the insurance coverage. The descriptions set forth in the handbook are intended to provide a summary only, and these descriptions do not supersede, modify or replace the terms contained in the policy documents. Also, decisions regarding whether an individual's disability is covered under the policy are made by the insurance carrier and not by the Conservatory.


Definition of Total Disability: Currently, the Plan defines total disability as the "inability of the employee, by reason of sickness, bodily injury, or pregnancy to engage in any occupation for which the employee is reasonably fitted by education, training, or experience." Each situation is fact specific. Not all medical or mental health situations are considered "total disability" under this definition. The insurance company (not the Conservatory) will make a determination as to whether an employee's situation constitutes a disability under its Plan. It is the employee's responsibility to complete and submit necessary paperwork to the insurance carrier on a timely basis.


Eligibility: All regular full-time employees are eligible for participation in the Plan after completing 12 months of continuous employment. You will be automatically enrolled in the Plan on the 1st day of the month following 12 months of continuous full-time employment.


If you change your status from full-time to half-time or part-time your long-term disability coverage will cease.


Long-term disability income payments equal 60% 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.


Long-term disability income payments continue as long as you are certified as permanently disabled by the Conservatory’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.


Health Insurance and Other Benefits during Long-Term Disability


Long-term disability triggers important changes in other NEC employee benefits.

BenefitEffect of Long-Term Disability
Health and Dental InsuranceCoverage ends; elect COBRA for continuation of coverage for up to 18 months, followed by coverage from Medicare, if eligible, or the Massachusetts Health Connector
Basic Life InsuranceContinues for at least six 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 RetirementContinue to accumulate years of service for benefit calculation
403(b) Retirementrules as all other faculty and staff
Parking Reimbursement AccountAll contributions cease; reimbursement permitted (for work-related parking expenses incurred prior to disability) under same rules as all other faculty and staff
MBTA Pass SubsidyNot available


Your Rights and Responsibilities


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 Conservatory’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.

 

2014-07-11


WITHOUT CRAFTSMANSHIP, INSPIRATION IS A MERE REED SHAKEN IN THE WIND. JOHANNES BRAHMS