550R-B - Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Plans

    1. Eligibility

      1. Employees assigned to the VRS Hybrid Plan, “hired on or after January 1, 2014,” are automatically enrolled in the required VRS administered Local Disability Program.

      2. Employees must complete one year of continuous employment with FCPS in order to have coverage under the Short Term Disability plan (STD).

      3. Employees who have reached the maximum period for which they are eligible to receive STD benefits may be eligible for long-term disability as prescribed by the VRS disability retirement program.

    2. Management of Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Plans

      The disability plans are governed by Title 51.1 of the Code of Virginia. Disability claims will be processed by The Standard Benefit Administrators. Employees will continue to receive a FMLA determination through Human Resources.

      Employees who fail to comply with the requirements, including not contacting Human Resources or The Standard Benefit Administrators regarding an illness or injury, compliance with return to work notices, or completing and returning requested information, may have their benefit reduced or terminated and/or may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

    3. Short-Term Disability

      1. Notice and Claim Initiation

        1. An employee who becomes ill or injured and expects to be out of work more than three (3) calendar days must notify his/her supervisor and Human Resources who will assist with the claim initiation through The Standard Benefit Administrator. For illnesses or injuries that are known in advance, such as a scheduled surgery or childbirth, the employee must notify Human Resources and initiate a claim as soon as possible, but no sooner than 30 calendar days in advance.

        2. Approval of the short-term disability claim is not guaranteed. The submission of the claim is the employee’s responsibility. Failure to comply may result in a negative impact on the employee’s pay.

      2. Waiting period

        1. Once an employee’s short-term disability claim is approved by The Standard Benefits Administrator, a seven (7) calendar day elimination period is assigned. An employee may use his/her available sick, personal, or annual leave as permitted during the seven day waiting period. If no leave is available the employee will be docked pay. Short-term disability income replacement normally begins on the eighth calendar day of absence.

      3. Pay during STD

        1. Short-term disability coverage provides income replacement for a maximum of 125 workdays. The number of days and percentage of income replacement depends on continuing service:

          Days of Income Replacement: Non-Work-Related Short-Term Disability

          Months of Continuous Services Workdays of Income Replacement at 100% Workdays of Income Replacement at 80% Workdays of Income Replacement at 60%
          Less than 12 0 0 0
          13-59 0 0 125
          60-119 25 25 75
          120-179 25 50 50
          180 or more 25 75 25

          Days of Income Replacement: Work-Related Disability

          Months of Continuous Services Workdays of Income Replacement at 100% Workdays of Income Replacement at 80% Workdays of Income Replacement at 60%
          Less than 60 0 0 125
          60-119 85 25 15
          120 or more 85 40 0
      4. Medical status updates during Short-Term Disability (STD)

        1. During absences related to a STD, the employee is required to maintain contact with Human Resources, his/her supervisor and the Standard Benefits Administrator regarding his/her medical status. Additional paperwork may be required by the Standard Benefits Administrator and must be received before an approved extension can be made.

      5. Special Pay Circumstances

        1. During the approval process through The Standard Benefits Administrator, the employee will receive pay equivalent to the maximum percentage allowed by STD for the number of sick leave days the employee has available. If the approval process takes longer than this pay schedule will cover, the employee will be docked pay for the additional time. Once STD is approved, the employee will receive the benefit afforded by the plan. If STD is denied, the employee will receive the difference in pay received during the approval process and full sick leave for the number of sick leave days available.

      6. End of STD

        1. Short-Term Disability ends when the employee either: 1) is released to return to work full-time, full duty; 2) has reached the max 125 days; 3) does not cooperate or comply with the requirements of the VLDP; 4) separates from employment through termination, resignation, retirement, or death, or is approved for Long-Term Disability.

      7. Medical release required

        1. An employee must present a medical release in order to return to work from short-term disability. The medical release must be from the same physician who took the employee off work due to the condition.

    4. Long-Term Disability

      1. Long-Term Disability is an income replacement benefit that commences upon expiration of the maximum period for which the employee is eligible to receive STD benefits.

      2. Long-Term Disability is considered disability retirement and, as such, if the medical condition were to improve and the employee was released from medical care, the employee would need to reapply for a position.

      3. An employee will no longer receive a pay statement from Frederick County Public Schools if approved for Long-Term Disability. All salary replacement payments will be distributed directly from the Standard Benefit Administrators.

      4. An employee may keep his/her health insurance by paying the full premium of his/her plan until alternate insurance can be obtained.

    Adopted: September 24, 2018