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Long Term Disability Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Long Term Disability Insurance

How do I use my sick leave when on disability?
Who needs long term disability insurance?
Where can I get more detailed information?

State of Illinois Long Term Disability Plan - State Universities Retirement System (SURS)
Who is eligible for this program?
When am I eligible to collect disability benefits?
When should I apply for SURS disability benefits?
When do the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) disability payments begin?
What is my benefit if I become disabled?
How much do I pay for this plan?

University Plan - Prudential Supplemental Long Term Disability
Who is eligible for this program?
What is my benefit if I become disabled?
What are "Deductible Sources of Income" that may offset my benefits under this plan?
Are there any other limitations?
When would benefits begin?
How long do benefits last?
What are the tax implications of benefit payments?
What happens if I go back to work part-time? Do my benefits stop?
How is disability defined in order to qualify for benefits?
Do I need to answer any medical questions or be examined by a doctor to enroll?
What is not covered?
When is coverage effective?


How do I use my sick leave when on disability?
After 60 calendar days of disability or the termination of salary and sick leave payments, whichever is later, the employee is entitled to 50% of basic compensation through the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) as of the date disability occurs or 50% of average earnings during the 24 months immediately preceding disability, whichever is greater.

Who needs long term disability insurance?
According to many actuarial studies, during your work years, the chance of being disabled is much greater than the chance of dying. Long term disability (LTD) insurance protects your income against the sudden loss that an accident or illness can bring. If you are unable to work, LTD benefits help replace a portion of your salary.

Where can I get more detailed information?
Contact SURS at 800-275-7877 for specific questions requiring additional detail about your SURS disability or Prudential at 800-842-1718 for questions regarding your Prudential LTD policy or claim.


State of Illinois Long Term Disability Plan - State Universities Retirement System

Who is eligible for this program?
Any employee who is a participant in the State Universities Retirement System and a permanent employee with an appointment of 50% time or more, or a temporary employee with an appointment of 50% time or more for at least nine months. Participation is automatic when enrolled in SURS.

When am I eligible to collect disability benefits?
Benefits for disability due to sickness are available after two years service credit established; no minimum service credit is required if disability is due to an accident.

When should I apply for SURS disability benefits?
You should complete the SURS application IMMEDIATELY if your disability is expected to last more than 60 days. If you are unsure whether your disability will last 60 days or longer, you should still complete an application. Your application must be on file with SURS within one calendar year after the date on which your disability occurred.

When do the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) disability payments begin?
You may claim SURS disability benefits if, after you have at least two years of service credit, you become unable to perform your job due to illness. There is no minimum service credit required to claim SURS benefits if you become disabled due to an accident. SURS benefits will begin on the later of the day following 60 continuous calendar days of disability or the day following your last day of employer-provided salary or sick leave payments. The amount of SURS disability benefit will be the greater of 50% of your basic compensation of the day you became disabled or 50% of your average earnings for the 24 months prior to the date you became disabled. For additional information about your SURS disability benefit, contact SURS.

What is my benefit if I become disabled?
The amount of SURS disability benefit will be the greater of (1) 50% of your basic compensation on the day you became disabled or (2) 50% of your average earnings for the 24 months prior to the date you became disabled. The SURS disability benefit is taxable. It is paid until you have received 50% of your accumulated earnings while a participant of SURS, or you no longer meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the SURS Member Guide. If the disability benefit is terminated because of the 50% earnings limit, and you are not a Self-Managed Plan participant, then you may re-qualify for the 35% SURS Disability Retirement Allowance (DRA) which is also taxable. To qualify, you must be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity. For additional information, see your SURS Member Guide.

How much do I pay for this plan?
The employer pays the cost of this plan. You pay nothing.


University Plan - Prudential Supplemental Long Term Disability

Who is eligible for this program?
Any employee who is a participant in the State Universities Retirement System; and a permanent employee with an appointment of 50% time or more, or a temporary employee with an appointment of 50% time or more for at least nine months.

What is my benefit if I become disabled?
Your benefit will be equal to 66 2/3% of your basic monthly earnings to a maximum of $12,000 per month, minus any benefits you receive from certain other sources.

What are "Deductible Sources of Income" that may offset my benefits under this plan?

Are there any other limitations?
There is a monthly payment limit of 70% of your pre-disability monthly earnings. If your gross benefit before any reductions plus any benefits or payments from any of the following sources exceeds the 70% monthly payment limit, the excess will be subtracted from the monthly benefit payable.

  • Any other group disability plan not sponsored by the policyholder or employer.
  • 70% of salary, wages, commissions or similar pay from gainful employment while disabled.
  • No fault insurance benefits for loss of time or wages, if applicable.

When would benefits begin?
Benefits begin after the greater of accumulated sick leave or three consecutive months of disability (the qualifying period). You can even start back to full-time work for brief periods of time during the qualification period (15 days or less), and not have it count against you.

How long do benefits last?
The plan pays benefits of 66 2/3% of your basic monthly earnings, based on your age on the day the period of disability started.

Disability Payments
Age at Disability Maximum Benefit Period
Under age 61 To your normal retirement age*, but not less than 60 months**
Age 61 To your normal retirement age*, but not less than 48 months**
Age 62 To your normal retirement age*, but not less than 42 months**
Age 63 To your normal retirement age*, but not less than 36 months**
Age 64 To your normal retirement age*, but not less than 30 months**
Age 65 24 months**
Age 66 21 months**
Age 67 18 months**
Age 68 15 months**
Age 69 and over 12 months**
*Your normal retirement age is your retirement age under the Social Security Act where retirement age depends on your year of birth
**following the end of the qualifying event period

What are the tax implications of benefit payments?
Benefit payments are not subject to income tax if paid with after-tax dollars.

What happens if I go back to work part-time? Do my benefits stop?
Not necessarily. Your disability income insurance also provides a partial benefit. This permits you to earn up to 80% of your pre-disability income on a part-time basis, and still receive some benefits from your coverage. Only 70% of any salary, wages, commissions or similar pay that you receive (or are entitled to receive) will be applied to the 70% monthly payment limit previously described.

How is disability defined in order to qualify for benefits?
There are two ways to be considered disabled:

Occupation Test
During the first 60 months of disability, you will be considered disabled if you are under the care of a licensed physician (other than yourself) and are unable to perform one or more of the material duties of your regular job due to a covered illness, injury or pregnancy. After the first 60 months of disability, you will continue to be considered disabled if you cannot perform at least one of the material duties of each gainful occupation for which your education, training, and experience may qualify you.

Earnings Test
If you do not qualify as disabled as defined above, you may also be considered disabled in any month in which you are working, but an injury, sickness or pregnancy prevents you from earning more than 80% of your basic monthly earnings prior to becoming disabled. Overall coverage for mental, nervous, alcohol and drug-related conditions is limited to 24 months.

Do I need to answer any medical questions or be examined by a doctor to enroll?
Evidence of good health is required for current employees. Prudential has reserved the right to deny coverage to employees. There are no medical questions or physical examinations required to enroll for this coverage within 60 days of initial employment. However, benefits at the time of enrollment are subject to a preexisting condition, which is any illness or injury for which you were treated during the six months before your coverage went into effect. No benefits will be paid for a disability caused by a preexisting condition. However, this limitation will no longer apply if you:

  • Do not receive any treatment or services for that condition for six consecutive months.
  • Are insured under the plan for a full 24 months without interruption.

What is not covered?
No long term disability benefits will be paid for disability caused by an intentional self-inflicted injury; war, whether declared or undeclared, or any act of war; active participation in a riot; or commission of a crime for which you have been convicted. Benefits are also not payable for any period of incarceration as a result of a conviction.

When is coverage effective?
Acceptance is guaranteed if enrolled within 60 days of employment. The effective date of plan coverage for employees is the date you are in active employment, working at least 20 hours per week or you are on eligible temporary absence. For employees requesting enrollment after 60 days of initial employment, evidence of good health is required. Prudential will determine the effective date of coverage.


Maintained by University Human Resources | Contact Information | Last Update: 26-November-2013 | ID: 108