Short-Term Medical Disability (STMD) Leave: Base Pay Over $216k

The university provides eligible staff (at no cost to the employee) a Short-Term Medical Disability (STMD) Plan benefit that provides income protection when an employee is unable to work due to recovery after childbirth or for their own non-occupational illness or injury or healthcare need (e.g., surgery) that lasts for more than 7 calendar days (elimination period).

Regular full-time and part time benefits eligible staff with a stated regular base salary greater than $216,000 are eligible to request STMD after completing six months of benefits-eligible employment. The university pays this benefit directly to the employee on the regularly scheduled WashU payroll. Deductions and taxes are withheld from available pay.

For an employee’s healthcare need, the plan provides 60% of stated regular base salary for up to 25 weeks in a rolling 12-month period.

For recovery after childbirth, the STMD plan provides 100% of stated regular base salary. The benefit is up to 6 weeks for a normal delivery and 8 weeks for a cesarean – however, both include a 7 calendar day elimination period (generally 5 working days) which must be covered by sick or vacation or is otherwise unpaid.

Employees do not need to enroll in STMD in order to be eligible, but must contact Unum to request a leave in order to receive a benefit.


ELIGIBILITY

Regular full-time and part-time benefits-eligible staff employees may request a new leave/claim after completing at least 6 consecutive months of benefits-eligible service.

Regular full-time staff employees are defined as benefits-eligible employees scheduled to work at least 37.5 per week and regular part-time staff employees are defined as benefits-eligible employees who are regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week but less than 37.5 hours per week.

Faculty, postdocs, clinical fellows, students, non-employees and union employees are not covered under the STMD Plan.


DESCRIPTION OF BENEFIT

An employee is considered disabled and eligible to file a claim for STMD benefits if they expect to be out of work for more than 7 calendar days due to a non-work-related illness, injury or healthcare need such as surgery or childbirth. Up to 25 weeks of STMD are available on a rolling 12-month basis from first date of disability for conditions lasting more than 7 calendar days. STMD cannot be taken intermittently.

Employees with accrued sick time balances greater than 50 days are required to use frozen accrued sick time down to 50 days or less prior to receiving STMD. See Sick Time Policy for more information.

While on STMD, employees are required to use sick and then vacation time for the first 7 days (elimination period). Employees receiving the 60% benefit are required to use sick time and then vacation to “top up” the remaining 40% of pay until sick and vacation are exhausted. 

Employees who have 50 sick days or less do not have the option to elect sick or vacation time instead of STMD.  Employees are required to contact Unum to request STMD.  Sick and vacation usage is limited to the 40% “top-up”.

All sick time must be exhausted before vacation time can be used for the elimination period or the “top-up.”

Where leave under the STMD Plan also qualifies for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), both leaves will run concurrently.

Short-term Medical Disability will start after:

  • Seven calendar day elimination period (week 1). During this waiting period, employees are required to use sick and vacation days. If paid time is not available, the elimination period is unpaid.
  • Approval of leave/claim. The insurance company is responsible for approval or denial of STMD. An employee is considered disabled when Unum determines that an employee:
    • is limited from performing the material and substantial duties of their regular occupation due to their own sickness or injury; and
    • has a 20% or more loss in weekly earnings due to the same sickness or injury.

An employee must be under the regular care of a physician in order to be considered disabled.

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


How STMD works for illness, injury or healthcare need if accrued sick time is 50 days or less:

Week 1

Sick days and then vacation days are used to cover the first 7 calendar day STMD elimination period. (Typically 5 workdays.)

Weeks 2 – 26

60% STMD begins; 40% “top up” from sick/vacation; Both are paid by WashU on regular pay schedule

Weeks 27 and beyond

If an employee does not return to work prior to the end of the STMD maximum duration, the claim will automatically be triaged to Unum’s Long-Term Disability (LTD) department; 60% salary coverage; if approved for LTD, paid by insurance company

STMD runs concurrent with FMLA where applicable.


How STMD works for sickness, injury or healthcare need if accrued sick time is greater than 50 days:

Weeks 1 – 26

Sick days and then vacation days are used to cover the first 7 calendar day STMD elimination period. (Typically 5 workdays.)

60% STMD benefit begins when sick time is 50 days or less and the elimination period has been met; 40% “top up” from sick/vacation. Both 60% STMD and 40% “top-up” paid by WashU on regular pay schedule.

Weeks 27 and beyond

If an employee does not return to work prior to the end of the STMD maximum duration, the claim will automatically be triaged to Unum’s Long-Term Disability (LTD) department; 60% salary coverage; if approved for LTD, paid by insurance company

STMD runs concurrent with FMLA where applicable.

 


How STMD works for pregnancy post-delivery:

Week 1

Sick days and then vacation days are used to cover the first 7 calendar day elimination period. (Typically 5 workdays.)

Weeks 2 – 6
(or 2-8 if caesarean)

100% STMD begins; paid by WashU on the regular payroll schedule.

Weeks 7-10
(or 9-12 if caesarean)

Employee may request 100% paid Caregiver/Parental leave for up to 4 weeks; paid by WashU on the regular payroll schedule. Caregiver/Parental leave directly following birth must be taken in consecutive weeks and cannot be interspersed with other types of paid time off (e.g. vacation).

(See Caregiver/Parental Leave policy)

Subsequent Weeks

Additional leave time (e.g. vacation) must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and must be taken after STMD maternity and Caregiver/Parental leave. Sick time cannot be used for baby bonding. 

STMD runs concurrent with FMLA where applicable.

 


REQUESTING A LEAVE/CLAIM

Employees must notify their supervisor in writing and contact Unum at 1-866-371-5723 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm CST Monday–Friday or submit a claim using Unum’s free mobile app or by visiting unum.com.

For foreseeable qualifying events, eligible employees must notify their supervisor and UNUM at least 30 calendar days in advance of the start date of the leave. If advance notice is not possible, employees must notify their manager and UNUM as soon as they are aware they will be absent from work for more than 3 days in a row due to their own health condition.

Employees must provide required documentation to the insurance company.

If an employee has an open STMD claim, an LTD claim will be automatically set up if they are not able to return to work after STMD benefits end.


MISCELLANEOUS

Benefits eligibility continues and employees remain financially responsible for the cost of benefits while on STMD.

Regular taxes and deductions (e.g., medical, retirement) will be withheld from WashU pay.

Holidays occurring during STMD will be recorded as such and do not extend the leave period or augment pay.

Sick and vacation time continue to accrue on hours paid by WashU.

Employees who are on STMD are not eligible for Caregiver/Parental leave concurrent with STMD. Caregiver/Parental can be requested while on STMD (e.g. a request for caregiver/parental leave following STMD), but can only be taken if the employee is released from their own health condition.

See the summary plan description in the Plan Documents section of the HR website 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.