Current Provider: UNUM


The LTD voluntary buy-up option provides income protection after 90 days of disability. The LTD buy-up benefit is 60% of your stated regular base salary (up to $160,000 annually/maximum benefit of $8,000 per month) during an extended medical leave resulting from a serious illness or injury. The insurance company pays this benefit directly to the faculty member.


Regular full time and part-time faculty may file a new claim for LTD after the first of the month following completion of 6 consecutive months of benefits-eligible employment.

Full-time faculty are defined as a regular or visiting faculty member who works 100% of the required full-time workload. Part-time faculty are defined as a regular or visiting faculty member who works 50% or more but less than 100% of the required full-time workload


Long-Term Disability (LTD) buy-up benefits of 60% of stated regular base salary (maximum benefit of $8,000 per month) begin after 90 days of disability.

The insurance company (Unum) is responsible for approval or denial of LTD claims. An employee is considered disabled when Unum determines that:

  • They are limited from performing the material and substantial duties of their regular occupation due to their sickness or injury; and
  • They have a 20% or more loss in indexed monthly earnings due to the same sickness or injury; and
  • They are under the regular care of a physician.

The loss of a professional or occupational license or certification does not, in itself, constitute disability.

Unum may require an examination by a physician, other medical practitioner and/or vocational expert of their choice. Unum will pay for this examination. Unum can require an examination as often as it is reasonable to do so. Unum may also require a covered employee to be interviewed by an authorized Unum Representative.

Benefits may be reduced by other sources of income and disability earnings and are subject to maximum periods of payment depending on your age at disability. See the SPD on the Plan Documents page of the Human Resources website for further details.


Faculty members must enroll in this benefit in order to be considered eligible. Enrollment information will be sent in the month of the faculty member’s 6 month anniversary and they will have 30 days to complete the enrollment form. Faculty members who decide not to enroll when first eligible may enroll at any time in the future; however, they will be required to complete a statement of health and be approved by Unum Provident, the insurer of the LTD plan.


Please contact the WashU benefits team at 314-935-2332 or via email at after one month of medical leave to receive an application if the leave is expected to continue beyond three months.


The total cost of $0.17 per hundred dollars of monthly stated regular base salary is paid by the faculty member with after tax dollars. To calculate an individual premium, just divide the monthly stated regular base salary by 100 and then multiply the results by $0.17. See the following example:

  • $48,000 annual stated regular base salary divided by 12 equals $4,000
  • $4,000 monthly stated regular base salary divided by 100 equals 40
  • 40 times $0.17 equals $6.80


Following LTD approval:

  • Benefits eligibility continues and employees remain financially responsible for the cost of benefits (which are billed monthly) while on LTD. If health benefit premium contributions are not paid timely, health benefits coverage may be terminated.
  • If an employee was contributing to the Retirement Savings Plan immediately prior to becoming disabled, the university’s contribution to the 403(b) will be paid directly to the Retirement Savings Plan account by the insurance company. The amount of the contribution is based on the contribution formula in effect at the time of the disability claim approval. The amount of the contribution is calculated on the regular base rate of compensation paid immediately before becoming disabled.
  • Holidays do not extend the leave period or augment pay.
  • Sick and vacation do not continue to accrue.
  • Faculty members who have purchased the buy up option are eligible to utilize sick leave at 40% during the duration of the buy-up option (days 91 – 179). Faculty member are not eligible to utilize sick leave once they have been disabled for 180 days.

Eligibility for coverage ceases on last day worked. Unum will provide coverage for a payable claim which occurs while a faculty member is covered under the plan.

See the summary plan description for more information.

If anything herein is in conflict with the Plan Document, the Plan Document supersedes.

The University reserves the right to modify this plan in whole or part at any time.