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Benefits

FAQs - Long-Term Disability

Who pays for long-term disability (LTD) coverage provided by UK?
LTD is a benefit provided to all eligible regular employees with a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 0.75 or greater after completing one full year of service. If an LTD application is approved, the income benefit is paid by the department (first six months) and the University's Miscellaneous Fringe Benefit account beginning month seven.

Is there a deadline for applying for LTD?
Yes. An eligible employee has six months from the last day worked to apply for LTD benefits.

Can an employee apply for LTD if he/she has been separated from UK?
No. Eligibility for LTD terminates with separation from employment.

Can an employee apply for partial LTD?
No. An applicant must demonstrate total and permanent disability as part of the application review process.

What does "total disability" mean?
Total disability is defined as the inability of the employee, to engage in any occupation for which the employee is qualified for by education, training or experience for more than twelve calendar months, due to sickness or bodily injury

Can an employee continue working once he/she submits an LTD application?
No.

How long does the process of applying to LTD take?
It can take up to six months for a decision to be rendered to approve or deny an employee for LTD.  This time period is dependent on how long it takes to acquire all medical records requested from the doctors treating the employee’s disability.

 

How is a decision made to approve or deny an LTD application?
A decision to approve or deny an application is based on medical records obtained and opinions of the treating physicians.

Once an employee applies for LTD, is there anything else he/she may have to do?
Possibly.  If the medical records and doctor’s opinions obtained are inconclusive, an Independent Medical Exam (IME) may be scheduled for the employee to attend.

How does an employee apply for LTD?
Contact the HR Disability Benefits Office, (859)257-8804 to obtain an application.

How is an employee paid while waiting for a decision to be made to approve or deny an LTD application?
The employee would use any available temporary disability leave (TDL),  vacation leave (VL) or Holiday leave. If the employee exhausts all appropriate paid leaves, he/she would go into an unpaid status. 

If an employee is approved for LTD, when does it start?
If an employee is approved for LTD, the benefits are back-dated to the day after the last day the employee physically worked.  Any TDL or VL used from that date forward will be credited back to the employee’s leave accruals.

When an employee applies for LTD, what happens to his/her position in the department?

The department is not required to hold a position open during the LTD application process; therefore the position may be posted and filled.  If the LTD application  is denied, the employee may apply for available UK positions for which s/he is qualified.

If an LTD application is denied, can the decision be appealed?
Yes, an employee may appeal if a claim is denied.  The appeal must be made within 60 days of the denial and should be sent to the Disability Benefits Office, 115 Scovell Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0064.

If an LTD application is denied, can the employee retire?
Yes, if the employee is eligible to retire, he/she must initiate the retirement process within 30 days of the LTD claim denial.

If an employee applies for LTD, what happens to his/her health benefits?
If the employee is enrolled in a UK health care plan as of the date the LTD application is submitted, the employee will continue to receive the health care credit through the LTD application process.  If the employee is approved, he/she will continue to receive the health care credit for 29 months or until he/she becomes Medicare eligible, whichever comes first.

If an employee is approved for LTD, how much is he/she paid?
If an employee is approved for LTD, he/she will receive 100% of his/her pay for the first 6 months from the date of disability from his/her department.  From the 7th month on, the employee will receive 60% of his/her monthly income, less offsets.

What are “offsets?”
Offsets include, but are not limited to:  social security disability payments to which the participant or any dependent of the participant is or would be entitled upon application; workers’ compensation payments, awards, and/or settlements; payments, awards and/or settlements of other disability plans covering the participant; damages or settlements recovered in third party actions; any other recovery through subrogation; and any government payment, including those from foreign governments.

If an employee is approved for LTD, where does the payment go?
For the first 6 months of LTD, the payment will be directly deposited into the employee’s bank account through regular UK payroll.  From the 7th month on, the employee will receive a direct deposit or check from the long term disability trust at PNC Bank.

Once an employee is approved for LTD, can he/she work at all?
No.  This is inconsistent with total disability.

Is 60% of an employee’s monthly income the most an employee will ever make?
Yes, unless the employee has purchased the additional 10% Supplemental Long Term Disability insurance coverage. Click here for details.

Once approved, how long does LTD continue?
Unless the employee is a limited approval (Example:  12 month approval), LTD payments will continue until an employee is no longer totally disabled, retirement, resignation, until age 65, death, or failure of the employee to comply with the LTD plan.