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Primary income benefits provide payment of 60% of the basic regular monthly salary less any disability received from government programs and/or other employers. Other sources of income used in the benefit formula include Social Security, workers' compensation or other similar government programs, veterans' or other governmental disability payments, or other employer-sponsored disability benefits.

New! Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Long-Term Disability


You are eligible and automatically enrolled for Long-Term Disability (LTD) coverage if you are a regular employee with an assignment of 75% (0.75 FTE) or greater and have completed 12 months of service.  Regular part-time with an assignment of less than 75% (0.75 FTE) and temporary employees are not eligible.

Waiving the Twelve Month Waiting Period

With approval by the Employee Benefits Office, this 12-month waiting period maybe waived if you were covered by an employer-sponsored comparable LTD plan in the six months before you started working for the University. Written waiver applications should be submitted to the Employee Benefits Office within 30 days of beginning eligible employment.

The general criteria to determine comparable LTD plans from former employers include:

  1. At least 50% of LTD plan premium paid by employer?
  2. Does former employer LTD plan provide at least 50% income benefits of base salary prior to offsets?
  3. Does former employer LTD plan provide income benefits for approved applicants until at least age 65?
  4. Did employee have verifiable LTD coverage with former employer LTD plan within six months of current employment start date?

LTD eligibility terminates as follows:

  1. Upon termination of employment,
  2. On the first day of the seventh month of an approved leave with or without pay,
  3. Upon discontinuation of the program by the University, or
  4. Upon retirement.

The income benefit for approved applicants as follows:

Percentage of Salary
1 - 6 100%
7 - End of Benefit 60%


  • To apply for benefits under this program, an employee shall contact Employee Benefits to request application, complete the required application, and return completed application to Benefits office.
  • Application must be received six months from the last day worked.
  • Coverage for voluntary benefits continues as long as the applicant is in a paid status otherwise, arrangements need to be made with employee benefits if continued coverage if desired.
  • The department is not required to hold positions open during the LTD application process.

Health Insurance Information for approved LTD Applications

  • Participants who were enrolled in a health plan at the time their disability benefits began are eligible for health coverage.
  • If a participant voluntarily ends participation in a health plan after being approved for LTD, but prior to retirement, if eligible, the participant may not re-enroll or be eligible for COBRA.
  • Medicare Participants generally become eligible for Medicare Part B after 29 months.
  • LTD participant will continue to be eligible for the university health credit for up to 29 months or when becoming eligible for Medicare Parts A & B.
  • When LTD eligibility ends, participant, dependents and family members may elect to be covered by COBRA at the person’s own expense or may be eligible to continue retiree health coverage as a University of Kentucky retiree.
  • Once eligible for Medicare, the participant must enroll in Medicare Part B and select the UK Medicare Advantage plan within 30 days.  At this point, the spouse and/or dependents, if eligible, must do the same.  If spouse and/or dependents are not eligible for Medicare, they can continue health coverage without the healthcare credit.

Denied Applications

  • If denied, an employee may appeal the claim within 60 days of the denial.
  • An employee will be separated from employment if the initial Long Term Disability claim is denied.
  • If the employee is eligible to retire, generally, the employee must initiate the retirement process within 30 days of the initial LTD claim denial.

Other Benefits

  • The time a person receives benefits under the LTD plan counts toward years of service relating to retirement matters.
  • The University will continue to fund the employer retirement contribution to the LTD participant's retirement plan carrier while the LTD participant receives long-term disability benefits from the University.

Voluntary Long Term Disability Benefit

Employees have the option to purchase a buy-up option equal to 10% of base salary. The additional Voluntary Long Term Disability benefit raises the aggregate income benefit to 70%. The premiums for the benefit are payroll deducted (after tax). View this PDF to learn more. Further information on purchasing on the optional 10% buy-up can be found at

*Please refer to HR Policy 95.0 for further explanation or contact Employee Benefits.