Department of Human Resources

Short Term Disability

 

Purpose

This policy is intended to provide guidance to employees who may become disabled due to non-work related illness or injury for periods of 6 months or less.

Scope

This policy applies to all administrative and staff employees.

Policy

Employees who are medically disabled for eight (8) consecutive calendar days due to a non-work related illness, injury or pregnancy may be entitled to temporary disability benefits in accordance with provisions of the New Jersey Temporary Disability Law. Seton Hall University is privately insured for temporary disability benefits.

An illness/injury that is work related is covered under the provisions of the Employer's Liability Law of New Jersey as Workers' Compensation.

In order to have a valid claim, the employee must have had at least 20 calendar weeks in covered NJ employment in which he/she passed the wage earnings threshold established for the period by the State of NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The insurance carrier reviews all disability claims and is solely responsible for approval or denial of a claim based on information provided by the attending physician.

Claim Procedures

If the disability continues for eight (8) consecutive days, the employee may eligible for disability benefits provided the following procedures are followed:

  • The employee must notify his/her supervisor in advance of an expected absence or as soon as possible in an emergency.
  • The supervisor consults with the Department of Human Resources on appropriate use of sick hours during the disability period.
  • The employee immediately calls Hartford at 800-538-8439 to report the disability claim.
    • Nurse intake coordinator is responsible for collecting necessary employee information.
    • Nurse immediately calls attending physician to gather diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis to substantiate the claim.
    • Claim is directed to Medical/Behavioral Health Case Manager for review.
    • Claim is reviewed by a Return to Work Coordinator to facilitate employee’s return to active duty.
  • The employee is responsible for maintaining regular communication with supervisor concerning return to work status.
  • The attending physician must provide medical updates to the insurance carrier to extend disability benefits.
  • The maximum duration of temporary disability benefits is twenty-six (26) weeks.
  • Should the disability continue for more than twenty-six (26) weeks, the employee may be eligible for benefits under the University’s Long Term Disability Plan and/or Social Security Disability Benefits.
  • The employee must have authorization from the attending physician to return to work. The insurance carrier will confirm the return to work date based on the medical information provided.

Compensation During The Disability Leave

For Administrative Employees

In accordance with NJ Temporary Disability law, the University can pay the difference between the employee’s regular weekly wage and the weekly temporary disability benefit amount, with no impact on the claim. The total income received cannot exceed the regular weekly wages.

The employee will receive the temporary disability benefit check directly from Hartford. The amount payable is 66.67% of regular weekly wages up to a maximum as declared annually by the State of NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development

The University may also provide a Salary Continuation benefit that pays up to 100% of the difference between the temporary disability benefit amount base monthly pay. To qualify for this benefit the employee must have a sick leave balance of at least 70 hours to use during the first 10 days of disability period.

The following chart outlines Seton Hall University’s Salary Continuation Program for Administrators who qualify:

Salary Continuation Schedule

Length of Approved Disability

Less than One Year of Employment

One Year of Employment and Date of Hire after 10/15/84

Date of Hire prior to 10/15/84

First Month

100%

100%

100%

Second Month

60%

100%

100%

Third Month

60%

60%

100%

Fourth Month

0%

60%

100%

Fifth Month

0%

60%

100%

Sixth Month

0%

60%

100%

The employee will receive Salary Continuation only for the duration of approved disability leave as per the insurance carrier.

If the employee does not qualify for Salary Continuation benefits, the employee will only receive temporary disability benefits paid by the insurance carrier.

For Staff Employees

In accordance with NJ Temporary Disability law, the University can pay the difference between the employee’s regular weekly wage and the weekly temporary disability benefit amount, with no impact on the claim. The total income received cannot exceed the regular weekly wages.
  • During first week of disability, employee uses sick hours for full working day (7 or 8 hours). This will cover Hartford’s waiting period before temporary disability benefits are payable.
  • Employee receives temporary disability benefit check directly from Hartford. The amount payable is 66.67% of regular weekly wages up to a maximum as declared annually by the State of NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This payment is equal to approximately 2/3 of weekly pay.
  • During remaining period of disability, employee uses sick hours to supplement disability benefit payments. The use of sick hours will be limited to approximately 1/3 of weekly pay. The combined income from sick hours and disability payments cannot exceed regular weekly earnings.
  • Those employees without sick hours accrued at the start of disability, will not be paid by the University for the duration of disability. The employee will only receive the disability benefit payment issued by Hartford.
If the employee does not have Sick Hours accrued at the start of disability, no paychecks will be issued by the University for the duration of disability. The employee will only receive the disability benefit payment issued by the insurance carrier.

Employment Status and Benefits During an Approved Disability Leave

  • The University will designate up to 12 weeks of the disability period as Family Medical Leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if the employee has been employed for at least 12 months and has worked at least 1,250 hours.
  • The University may place a disabled employee on a Personal Leave of Absence beyond the FMLA period, if any, to a maximum of 26 weeks in total. The University may not be able to hold a job open during the Personal Leave of Absence portion of the 26 weeks.
  • Benefits coverage will continue for the duration of FMLA and Personal Leave of Absence up to a maximum of 26 weeks. Any employee contribution for coverage will continue during Salary Continuation. If not receiving Salary Continuation, the employee is responsible for payment of the employee contribution no later than the 15th of each coverage month. Contact the Benefits Specialist to make necessary arrangements for payment to prevent any lapse and/or termination of coverage.
  • Vacation and sick time does not accrue for any full month when an employee is not actively at work.

Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements should consult their respective contracts for information regarding employment status during an approved disability leave

Disclaimer

This policy does not create a contract of employment or alter the at-will employment relationship between the University and its employees. Nothing contained in this policy shall limit the right of either the University or the employee to terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause.

Responsible Offices

Responsibility for the interpretation and administration of this policy resides solely with the Department of Human Resources.

The University reserves the right to amend this policy at any time.

Effective date of this amended policy is 02/10/11.

Effective Date

July 12, 2010

 
 
Contact Us

Department of Human Resources
(973) 761-9177
Fax (973) 761-9007
humanres@shu.edu
Martin House

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