Short-Term Disability (STD) provides income replacement to employees who are unable to work due to a short-term illness or injury. The income replacement begins after an employee has satisfied a 7 calendar day waiting period ("elimination period") of being continuously disabled.
The STD Program is administered by Prudential including reviewing and approving all claims submitted for benefits.
The maximum benefit duration period is 90 calendar days.
This benefit is available to full-time staff, ESP and SPFPA employees. Full-time employees are automatically enrolled in this benefit effective the first day of employment. However, newly-hired employees will be subject to a pre-existing condition clause.
A pre-existing condition is an injury, sickness, or disability an employee has (or should have known they have) 3 months prior to their date of hire:
- Received medical treatment, care or services,
- Took Prescription medications or had medications prescribed, or
- Had symptoms or conditions which would cause a reasonably prudent person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment.
STD benefits will not be payable for a newly-hired employee with a pre-existing condition until 12 consecutive months have elapsed after their date of hire.
If a newly-hired employee has a pre-existing condition but becomes disabled for another reason, they will be eligible to receive benefits within the first 12 months of employment for that condition.
Seven (7) Calendar Day Waiting Period
To satisfy the 7 calendar day waiting period, PTO must be used to cover regularly scheduled work days. If the employee has no PTO days, the employee will be on unpaid leave for the waiting period.
If approved for STD benefits by Prudential, benefits will begin after the 7 calendar day waiting period of continuous disability is met.
If Prudential denies an employee's claim, the employee may appeal the decision in writing to Prudential. The employee may submit any documentation supporting why he/she feels the claim should be approved and Prudential will review the case again and issue a final determination.
If an employee goes back out on disability for the same reason within 30 calendar days of returning to work they do not have to satisy another 7 calendar day waiting period; their STD income replacement will begin immediately. If an employee returns to work from STD and within 30 days develops another disability a new 7 calendar day waiting period would need to be satisfied.
Short-Term Disablity - Frequently Asked Questions
Benefit Level Determinations
An employee's STD benefit level is determined based on their years of service with the University and in accordance with the following schedule.
< 1 year = 50% ($1,000 Maximum Weekly Benefit)
1 year = 60% ($1,250 Maximum Weekly Benefit)
2 years = 70% ($1,500.00 Maximum Weekly Benefit)
3 years = 80% ($1,750.00 Maximum Weekly Benefit)
4 years = 90% ($2,000 Maximum Weekly Benefit)
5+ years = 100% ($2,500 Maximum Weekly Benefit)
Service for purposes of determining STD benefit levels under the above schedule will be determined at the beginning of each calendar year based on an employee's accrued service as of December 31 of the year immediately preceding the start of the new year (rounded up to a full-year increment). For example, an employee with 5 years and 1 month of service as of December 31 will have 6 years of service used for determining their STD benefit level on January 1.
If an employee is approved for STD benefits, the employee will receive payment directly from the Unviersity (not Prudential) with all applicable deductions (taxes and employee benefits) withheld.
Payments will begin with the next available pay after Prudential's approval and after the 7 calendar day waiting period has been met.
STD benefits will cease when the employee is no longer disabled as determined by Prudential or if the employee reaches the maximum benefit duration period of 90 calendar days. If you continue to be disabled after 90 days, STD has been designed so that Long-Term Disability (LTD) begins immediately after STD ends.
This benefit is at no cost to the employee. The premium is paid 100% by Robert Morris University.
Employees should contact Prudential if they are absent, or believe they will be absent, from work due to an injury, illness or disability for more than 7 calendar days. Employees can contact Prudential up to 2 weeks in advance of a planned disability absence (such as child birth or a pre-scheduled surgery).
Process to follow to submit a Short-Term Disability Claim
- Advise supervisor
- Advise Laura Todd, Human Resources
- Call Prudential at 1-800-842-1718, 24 hours/day 7 days a week and follow prompt for submitting a disability claim. RMU Company control number is #44725.
- Present your attending physician with Authorization for Release of Information to The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Forms available in the Benefits Department.
Return to Work
It is the employee's doctor's decision on when you should return to work. It is Prudential's responsibility to make sure that the timeframe is reasonable based upon limitations and restrictions and the type of job being performed. If the length of the absence is outside of Prudential's guidelines and Prudential feels you should be able to return to work, Prudential will communicate with your physician to make sure they have complete information before making a determination. After Prudential has communicated with your physician and found no medical reasons for you to need to continue to be away from work, the STD payments end.
Upon recovery, an employee receiving pay continuation under the provisions of this policy is entitled to return to a similar or equivalent position without a reduction in salary or loss of service. A physician's statement certifying the employee's fitness to return to work is required before he/she returns.