Disability Insurance

Disability benefits replace some earnings in the event of an injury or illness that prevents you from working. Eligible employees are automatically covered for short- and long-term disability, provided by Standard Life Insurance Company (The Standard), at no cost to you.

Short-term Disability Insurance

The University of Arkansas automatically provides basic short-term disability insurance that covers eligible classified staff for the first $45,000 of their salaries. The university pays 100% of the cost. Eligible classified employees cannot opt out of basic short-term disability insurance, but can choose to enroll in additional optional short- and long-term disability insurance. Employees of the Division of Agriculture are not eligible to participate in the short-term disability plans.

Optional Short-term Disability Insurance

Optional short-term disability insurance is available to classified employees who make more than $45,000 and nonclassified staff and faculty. Employees enrolling after 31 days from their benefits-eligible appointment dates will be subject to an extended waiting period (the benefit waiting period will extend to 60 days for the first twelve months of coverage).

Classified Employees

Classified employees making in excess of $45,000 a year can purchase optional short-term disability insurance. Optional short-term disability insurance will cover salaries over $45,000 and up to the maximum salary of $216,000.

The cost for the optional short-term disability plan is calculated at $.27 per $100 of coverage, using the following formula:

(Covered salary, $216,000 or below x .0027) ÷ appointment period (12 or 9) = monthly premium

Nonclassified Staff and Faculty

Nonclassified employees can purchase optional short-term disability insurance that will cover their salaries up to a maximum salary of $216,000.

The cost for the optional short-term disability plan is calculated at $.93 per $100 of coverage, using the following formula:

(Covered salary, $216,000 or below x .0093) ÷ appointment period (12 or 9) = monthly premium

Benefits Overview and Guidelines

Short-term disability insurance pays a portion of your salary for up to 12 weeks while you are out of work due to a covered injury, sickness or childbirth. Except for maternity leave, employees must exhaust all accrued sick leave and be off work for 14 calendar days before qualifying for short-term disability benefits.

An employee approved for short-term disability benefits can receive a replacement income benefit equal to 60% of their pre-disability salary. Short-term disability benefits cease when the employee qualifies for long-term disability benefits—normally 180 days after the last day worked.

Short-term disability income will be reduced by income received from:

  • Workers' compensation
  • Social Security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Other income benefits

Filing a Short-term Disability Claim

To file a short-term disability claim:

  • Check your accrued leave balances. Except for leave due to maternity, all accrued sick and vacation leave must be exhausted before receiving short-term disability benefits.
  • Complete the Short-term Disability Claim Form including the:
    • Employee Statement. Send directly to The Standard, using the mailing address on the application.
    • Employee Authorization. Complete, provide a copy to your attending physician and send a copy to The Standard with the Employee Statement.
    • Attending Physician Statement. Complete Part 1, give it your physician or provider primarily responsible for your care to complete and fax or mail to The Standard.
    • Employer Statement. Notify an HR Expert that you are applying for short-term disability, and include the last day you will work. HR will complete the Employer Statement and send it directly to The Standard.

Long-term Disability Insurance

The University of Arkansas provides basic long-term disability coverage for both classified and nonclassified employees with the premiums 100% paid by the university. Eligible employees cannot opt out of basic long-term disability insurance, but can choose to enroll in additional optional long-term disability insurance.

The long-term disability benefit pays 60% of covered salary (salary not to exceed $20,000).

Optional Long-term Disability Insurance

All benefits-eligible university employees may purchase optional long-term disability insurance to cover salary in excess of $20,000, up to a maximum covered salary of $100,000. The benefit is 60% of covered salary.

Benefits Overview and Guidelines

Disability income begins after 180 days from the last day worked or the end of your accumulated sick leave, whichever is later.

Long-term disability income will be reduced by income received from:

  • Workers' compensation
  • Social Security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Other income benefits

Any new enrollments in Long Term Disability benefits will be subject to a 12-month pre-existing condition waiting period.  Any claims during the first 12 months of coverage will be considered pre-existing if during the 3 month period prior to your effective date of coverage you (1) consulted a physician; (2) received medical treatment, services or advice; (3) taken prescribed drugs or medications.

When approved for long-term disability benefits, you will receive monthly benefits for as long as you remain disabled, up to age 65. If your disability begins at age 60 or older, you will be eligible to receive long-term disability benefits for a set period of time depending on when your disability began. See the Maximum Benefit Period Schedule on page 2 of the Long-term Disability Summary Plan Description.

Filing a Long-term Disability Claim

To file a long-term disability claim, follow these steps:

  • Get claim forms by making an appointment with an HR Expert.
  • Complete the claim forms.
  • Submit the physician claim form to be completed by your physician.
  • Submit both forms to HR.

HR will complete the employer claim form and submit the claim to the insurance company. There is a six-month waiting period that begins on the first day the you were unable to work before the approval process is complete and benefits begin.

Long-term disability insurance requires that you also file for Social Security disability.

Coverage After Leaving the University

There is no conversion/portability option available for short-term disability insurance. Coverage ends on the date you terminate employment.

If you have been covered by University of Arkansas group long-term disability insurance for at least 12 consecutive months when you leave university employment, you may be eligible to convert your long-term disability insurance to The Standard's group long-term disability conversion policy.

You cannot convert your long-term disability insurance if you retire, are disabled on the date your long-term disability insurance benefits end, or are age 70 or older.  

To convert your employee long-term disability insurance:

  • Contact HR at 479-575-5351 or hrbenf@uark.edu to request the form to convert your long-term disability insurance.
  • Complete the employee section (pages 3 and 4) of the University of Arkansas Long-term Disability Conversion Insurance form.
  • See the application to ascertain your costs for the conversion policy.
  • Mail the University of Arkansas Long-term Disability Conversion Insurance form and your first quarterly premium payment directly to The Standard, using the mailing address on the form.

The Standard must receive the University of Arkansas Long-term Disability Conversion Insurance form and your first quarterly premium payment within 31 days of your termination date.