Skip to main content

Long Term Disability

Disability or Disabled means:

1. During the elimination period, you are prevented from performing one or more of the essential duties of your occupation;

2. For the first 24 months following the elimination period, you are prevented from performing one or more of the essential duties of your occupation and as a result your current monthly earnings are less than 80% of your indexed pre-disability earnings.

3. after that, you are prevented from performing one or more of the essential duties of any occupation. If at the end of you elimination period, you are prevented from performing one or more of the essential duties of your occupation, but your current monthly earnings are greater than 80% of your pre-disability earnings, your elimination period will be extended for a total period of 12 months from the original date of disability, or until such time as your current monthly earnings are less than 80% of your pre-disability earnings, whichever occurs first.

Benefits begin

180 days; benefits begin the day after the elimination period is completed

Partial disability benefits

Are available which will help disabled employees who are able to return to work on a limited basis. If you have been disabled for more than six months but are unable to earn more than 80% of your pre-disability earnings, this benefit allows you to receive a benefit while you are working. There is a Work Incentive Benefit during the first 12 months of payments, while working; your monthly payment will not be reduced as long as disability earnings plus the gross disability payment does not exceed 100% of indexed monthly earnings. If, after 12 months you are still partially disabled and working part-time, you will begin to receive the partial disability benefit that would include your partial earnings in the calculation.

Monthly benefits

A Monthly Income Benefit, equal to 67% of your monthly wage base to a maximum monthly benefit of $10,000 per month less other benefits offsets.  The minimum monthly benefit is $100, or if greater, 10% of the Monthly Income Benefits before offsets. Offsets include but are not limited to: social security disability, worker's comp and Michigan Public Schools Employee Retirement System (MPSERS).

Retirement income protection benefit

Makes contributions to a retirement annuity on your behalf, which protects your retirement income.

Cost of living increase

To equal 3% annually beginning 12 months after your LTD benefits begin.

Survivor income benefit

Pays your eligible survivor a lump sum benefit equal to 3 months of your gross disability payment if, on the date of your death your disability had continued for 180 or more consecutive days; and you were receiving or were entitled to receive payments under the plan.

Conversion benefit

Provides that you can convert the disability coverage to an individual policy, without submitting proof of good health, in the event that you terminate employment with the University. A terminating employee who wants to convert must have been covered for at least 12 months prior to the request for conversion. Conversion form must be filed and received by the company within 31 days of separation date. You cannot convert your LTD plan if you are retiring.

Duration of benefits

Duration of Benefits: Depends on when you become disabled. Prior to age 60, benefits continue to normal retirement age (65). Age 60 – 64 benefits continue for 60 months. Age 65- 67 benefits continue to age 70. Age 68 and over benefits continue for 24 months. (There is a two-year Nervous/Mental clause).


The plan does not cover and no benefits shall be paid for any disability:

  • Unless you are under a regular care of a physician;
  • That is caused or contributed by war or act of war (declared or not);
  • Caused by your commission of or attempt to commit a felony, or to which a contributing cause was your being engaged in an illegal occupation; or
  • Caused or contributed to by an intentionally self-inflicted injury.

Waiting period for pre-existing condition

Your plan limits the benefits you can receive for pre-existing conditions. In general, if you were diagnosed or received care for a condition before the effective date of your plan, you will be covered for a disability due to that condition only if:

  • You have not received treatment for your condition for 3 months prior to your disability commencing, or
  • You have been insured under this plan for 12 months prior to your disability commencing, so you can receive benefits even if you're receiving treatment.


If your coverage ends because you are no longer employed by CMU or no longer in an eligible class; and you are rehired or return to an eligible class within 24 months of the date your coverage ended; then coverage may be reinstated, provided that you request such reinstatement within 31 days of the date you return to work or to an eligible class. You will not be subject to any eligibility waiting period or evidence of insurability (EOI). You can not reinstate any amount of coverage which you continued under a conversion right; unless you cancel such coverage.

Health champion

Get the support you need to help make smarter health care decisions.  Provided as part of your Ability Assist services.  

  • Guidance Consultants 24 hours a day via toll free telephone line:  1-800-96-HELPS (1-800-964-3577)
  • Guides you through health care options
  • Connect you with the right resources
  • Advocate for timely and fair resolution of issues

Ability assist

LTD claimants may need help with work-life issues in the workplace and at home during or after a disability:

  • Access to counselors via a dedicated toll-free telephone number 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: 1-800-96-HELPS.
  • Up to five face-to-face working sessions, or equivalent professional time with counselors, financial, and legal advisors
  • Referrals and support services to qualified counselors, financial, legal consultants, or another source for a specific problem.

WorldWide travel assistance

Provides emergency assistance to employee, spouse or children traveling more than 100 miles from home. Some examples are 24 hour multilingual service, emergency prescription services, pre trip planning. Dependents do not have to be traveling with insured in order to use this service.

Long term disability FAQs

Yes. Since you pay Long Term Disability premiums on a pre-tax basis, any benefit paid out in the event of disability would be taxable

Yes, but only on the LTD. Please see Pre-Existing condition page.

No, they are calculated on the salary you were earning at time of disability.

Yes. The cost, the University contribution, and the actual benefit payable under the plan would be adjusted accordingly. Your paycheck would reflect the change.

If you are receiving any type of paid time off income, disability payments will be offset by the income received from the other paid time sources.

A person collecting disability will have their disability income offset by any amount of MPSERS retirement benefit they receive. Both CMU disability programs provide a minimum income benefit if the monthly income amount is completely offset by income from other sources. The minimum benefit will continue until age 65, if disability income began before age 60.

Upon application for disability you are required to apply for Social Security disability benefits as well as any disability retirement benefits that may be available. CMU MPSERS participants are required to apply for disability retirement if covered by the Hartford disability contract. Until a written decision is received from Social Security or the applicable retirement system, disability programs will estimate what the income will be from other sources and offset the disability income.