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Sick Pay and Short-Term Disability

Short-Term Disability (STD), in conjunction with Sick Pay, provides M&P staff salary protection for up to 26 weeks for extended absence due to a non-work related illness or disability. The plan is applied per disability.

Sick Pay

Paid sick days provide income protection when employees are ill, injured or caring for an ill family member (e.g. child, spouse, parent, parent-in law and same-sex domestic partner). This time cannot be used for other purposes.

Eligibility

Any regular employee scheduled to work 20 hours or more each week is eligible for sick time with pay; additionally, an employee may also use sick time to care for a family member (see the Expanded Sick Time Policy). Paid sick days are computed at the normal base rate of pay.

Eligible part-time employees scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are paid for sick days on a pro-rated basis.

Annual Allowance and Accumulation

The annual sick day allowance for eligible employees is 9 days and is an advance entitlement available for use at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1st). Sick days can be used immediately.

In the fiscal year of hire, new employees will receive a pro-rated amount of 9 sick days when they start, based on the number of months during the fiscal year in which they have been employed at least 15 calendar days.

Part-year employees will receive a pro-rated amount of 9 sick days on their first working day of the fiscal year based on the number of months during the fiscal year in which the employee is scheduled to work at least 15 days.

Employees who exhaust their sick day allowance and need additional days may use Paid Time Off (PTO) or apply for a disability leave of absence.

Reporting Absences Due to Illness

Employees are expected to report all absences due to illness or injury directly to their supervisors or department heads and should indicate probable length of absence so that schedule adjustments may be made.

Employees absent for prolonged periods should communicate with their supervisors weekly. Sick time can be used in increments of 1/2 day or full days only.

Medical Certification or Examination

Supervisors may require certification of illness from an employee's physician or a medical examination with another physician to verify the need for continued absence.

To be certain that an employee's health permits his or her safe return to work, the University may require medical certification or an examination by Yale University Health Services in appropriate cases.

Short-Term Disability Plan

Depending on your available Sick Pay, Short-Term Disability will start as early as Week 2 and no later than Week 7 of an eligible disability. 

How Short-Term Disability Works for Extended Absences

Week 1

Sick days or paid time off (PTO) can be used to cover the first five (5) days -- Short-Term Disability has a five (5) day waiting period

Week 2 - 6

100% Short-Term Disability salary coverage starts when staff have five (5) or fewer sick days available. Please review the following examples to determine when Short-Term Disability would begin:

  • 1 to 5 sick days available: You do not need to use any sick days (this is covered in Week 1)
  • 6 to 9 sick days available: Spend down to 5 sick days
  • 10 to 34 sick days available: Spend down to 5 sick days
  • 35 or more sick days available: Spend a maximum of 30 sick days

Week 7 - 26

60% Short-Term Disability coverage regardless of available sick days

Week 27 and beyond

Apply for Long-Term Disability -
60% coverage

Cap on Maximum Number of Carryover Sick Days

The maximum Sick Day carryover is the number of unused sick days carried over from the previous fiscal year or 50 days, whichever is greater.    

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

How many sick days will I be allowed to carry over this year?
The maximum Sick Day carryover is the number of unused sick days carried over from the previous fiscal year or 50 days, whichever is greater.

For example, you carried over 75 sick days into the current fiscal year, then you can carry over up to 75 days of accrued sick time into the next fiscal year.  The number of unused sick days in any year becomes the new limit of sick days you can carry over in the following year.

What is the eligibility waiting period for Short-Term Disability?
The eligibility waiting period for Short-Term Disability if five (5) business days (Week 1). Sick Pay or PTO can be used to cover the first five (5) days.

How do I earn Sick Pay?
All nine (9) sick days are provided at the start of the fiscal year and are available immediately for your use to care for yourself and family members during times of illness. Employees hired after July 1 will receive a pro-rated amount based on their date of hire.

What is the difference between Sick Pay and Short-Term Disability?
Sick Pay can be used to pay for an absence due to a non-work related illness or disability, or to provide care for a sick family member; it is always paid at 100% of your salary.   Short-Term Disability is coverage to ensure salary protection for up to six (6) months when an M&P staff member becomes unable to work for a period of time due to a non-work related illness or disability.

Short-Term Disability will start after the one-week waiting period (Week 1) and after the staff member uses the prerequisite number of sick days spent (see above table). During Weeks 2 – 6, Short-Term Disability provides 100% salary coverage, and during Weeks 7 – 26, 60% salary coverage.

How much banked Sick Pay will I be required to spend down before Short-Term Disability coverage will begin?
- If you have 1 to 5 sick days, You do not need to use any sick days. (This is covered in Week 1.)

- If you have 6 to 9 sick days, you will need to spend down to 5 sick days.

- If you have 10 to 34 sick days, you will need to spend down to 5 sick days.

- If you have 35 or more sick days, you can spend a maximum of 30 sick days.

Can I do anything to increase my disability pay above 60% during Weeks 7 – 26?
Yes, you have two options:

Option 1: You may supplement the 60% Short-Term Disability coverage with paid time off (PTO) to make up for the 40% not covered by the plan.
Example: If you are full-time at 7.5 hours per day and receive 60% Short-Term Disability, you can use three (3) hours (40% of 7.5 hours) of PTO per day absent to supplement the partial salary coverage from Short-Term Disability; adding both PTO and Short-Term Disability will bring you to 100% salary coverage.

Option 2: You can continue to use sick days as you would have under the old plan and substitute a sick day for Short-Term Disability to receive full pay, as well.

Does the Short-Term Disability plan cover faculty?
No, this plan only covers M&P staff.  Faculty who become ill or disabled should consult with their Chair or Dean and the Provost’s Office with questions regarding leaves.

If I have fewer than five sick days, when does Short-Term Disability begin?
First, you would cover Week 1 with a combination of available sick days, PTO or unpaid days. Then Short-Term Disability would commence during Week 2 at 100%.

If I have 20 sick days, when does Short-Term Disability begin?
You would need to spend 15 sick days first (when your bank of available sick time drops to five sick days). Short-Term Disability would begin during Week 4 at 100%.

If I have 100 sick days, when does Short-Term Disability begin?
You would need to spend 30 sick days at most. Short-Term Disability would begin during Week 7 at 60%.

Do I need to enroll in Short-Term Disability? Will it cost anything?
No, you do not need to enroll; as a benefits-eligible M&P staff member, you are automatically enrolled in the Short-Term Disability plan at no cost to you.

Does Short-Term Disability provide coverage for a family member's disability?
No, only benefits-eligible M&P staff members are eligible for Short-Term Disability.  You may use Sick Pay to take time to care for sick family members.

Can I use Short-Term Disability to cover my salary while on a disability leave due to pregnancy or childbirth?
Yes. Generally, the typical eligibility period of a maternity leave for Short-Term Disability is two (2) weeks before the due date and six (6) weeks after delivery. For disability of longer duration, a physician's statement is required. After the disability eligibility period, you can continue to receive payment by using your available PTO or sick days during a Child Rearing Leave.