Announcements Benefits

Staff Short-Term Medical Disability Payment Updates

The following change to the payment process for Short-Term Medical Disability (STMD) applies to new leaves starting on or after July 1, 2022. Employees on a STMD leave that started prior to July 1 will not have a change to their payment process.

STMD payments for disabilities beginning on or after July 1, 2022, will be made by WashU on your regular payroll schedule. Currently, STMD payments are made by UNUM on a weekly basis. This change only impacts how STMD payments are made. There is no change to the process for requesting a STMD, Parental/Caregiver, FMLA, Intermittent FMLA or State leave of absence.

How does this change impact me?

This change should be beneficial to you and make the STMD process easier for you. Specifically:

  • Your regular health and welfare deductions will be taken from your STMD payments, so you should no longer go into arrears for those deductions; 
  • Your 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan contributions will be deducted from your STMD payment and you will receive the university contribution on those contributions provided you have met the minimum service and contribution requirements; 
  • You will accrue sick and vacation time on your STMD payments;
  • You will no longer need to make separate tax withholding elections on STMD payments from Unum; and
  • You will no longer receive a separate W-2 from Unum.

What’s not changing?

There is no change to the process of requesting a leave – STMD, Parental/Caregiver, FMLA, Intermittent FMLA or State leave – you must still contact Unum to initiate a leave. In addition:

  • Unum will continue to make all STMD eligibility determinations;
  • If you receive 60% STMD payments, you will still receive the 40% “top up” from accrued sick and vacation time;
  • If you have accrued more than 50 sick days, you must use sick time for STMD until your accrued sick time reaches 50 days; and
  • You must still have your provider complete a Return to Work Form prior to returning from a STMD leave.
  • If you are on a STMD leave prior to July 1, you will continue to receive weekly payments from Unum until you return to work or transition to long-term disability.


If you have questions about leaves of absence or STMD, visit the Leaves of Absence for Staff page or contact the Leaves team at or via phone at 314-935-2332, select option 1 and then option 3.