UC San Diego SearchMenu

Your Disability Benefits

Learn about the university disability plans and how to sign up for them.

Your disability benefits provide income to replace lost wages. Every disability is different and the University’s benefits are designed to address individual situations and concerns. UC’s disability benefits include:

Expand all

Information about short-term disability

If you are eligible for UC’s full benefits package, you are automatically enrolled in the Short-Term Disability Insurance Plan (STD) (PDF) at no cost to you. The maximum benefit period for Short Term Disability insurance benefits is 26 weeks.

The period for which a benefit is payable will begin on the later of the following:

  • The 8th day of continuous Total Disability resulting from Injury or Sickness;
  • Exhaustion of accumulated sick leave up to 22 working days/176 hours (prorated for part-time employees);
  • The day your earnings cease.

The amount of insurance benefits paid will be the lesser of:

  • 55% of your Eligible Earnings; or
  • 70% of your Eligible Earnings less benefits from other income sources
  • The maximum monthly benefit of $800.

Liberty Mutual ("Liberty") determines whether you are disabled and eligible for benefits based on information from your treating physician. Therefore, you must be under a physician’s care to apply for Short-term and/or Supplemental Disability benefits.

Information about supplemental disability

If you have elected the Supplemental Disability Insurance Plan (PDF) the cost of the plan will depend on the chosen waiting period, your age and your annual salary. The insurance premium calculator can determine your cost.

The period for which a benefit is payable will begin on the later of the following:

  • Completion of the chosen Waiting Period (7, 30, 90, or 180 days);
  • Exhaustion of accrued sick leave up to 22 working days/176 hours (prorated for part-time employees);
  • The day earnings cease.

The amount of insurance benefits paid will be the lesser of:

  • 70% of eligible earnings, or
  • 70% of your eligible earnings less benefits from other income sources; or
  • The maximum monthly benefit of $15,000.

The maximum benefit period for Supplemental Disability short-term insurance benefits for any one Total Disability will end on the earliest of:

  • The end of your Total Disability; or
  • The end of your 52nd week of Total Disability for which a benefit is payable.

Liberty Mutual ("Liberty") determines whether you are disabled and eligible for benefits based on information from your treating physician. Therefore, you must be under a physician's care to apply for Short-term and/or Supplemental Disability benefits.

Workers' compensation

Work-Related Injuries/Illness Only

If you have a Workers' Compensation claim due to a work-related injury or illness and are enrolled in Supplemental Disability, you may be eligible to apply for Supplemental Disability benefits under certain circumstances.

If your Workers' Compensation claim is approved, the third-party administrator, Sedgwick, will work directly with Liberty to offset the temporary disability payments.

The disability benefits application process

If you have a disabling illness, injury, or pregnancy and will be unable to work, you are eligible to apply for Short-term (PDF) and Supplemental Disability (PDf) benefits. It is important to apply promptly to ensure that your disability payments begin as soon as possible.

Step 1: Contact your supervisor/ department HR contact

Contact your supervisor and department HR contact about the length of your expected disability leave. Complete the Leave of Absence Request Form (PDF) and forward it to your department supervisor/ HR contact.

Note: If, after exhausting all paid leave time — (sick, vacation, and compensation time ) — and you have not satisfied your Liberty disability waiting period, you may be eligible to apply for the Catastrophic Leave Program.

Resources

Step 2: Report your claim

Download and refer to the following forms:

Provide your physician with the following forms:

Note: The Liberty Short-term disability benefits are taxable and must be reported as taxable income. Supplemental Disability benefits are nontaxable. Notify Liberty if you would prefer to have Federal and State taxes withheld from your disability payments. Social Security and Medicare will be withheld from your disability payments. Liberty will provide a W-2 form on the taxable portion you receive.

Step 3: If you have 18 months or less of service, or a second employer

If you have 18 months or less of University service, or have a second employer, you are required to apply for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits in addition to your Liberty claim. SDI forms can be obtained by contacting the Employment Development Department (EDD) at (800) 480-3287 or online at http://www.edd.ca.gov.

Liberty requires a copy of the SDI award letter from EDD before full benefits are payable. If you are awarded SDI benefits, Liberty disability benefits will be adjusted accordingly.

Resources

Step 4: Arrange for benefits and payroll deductions

While on leave without pay, your payroll deductions do not automatically continue. If your leave will extend beyond the end of the pay period, do the following:

  • Insurance Continuation — Contact the Payroll Office (858) 534-2270, for assistance. If you do not intend to continue any of your benefit plans, complete a UPAY 850 (PDF) form to cancel and fax the form to UCSD Payroll at (858) 534-7423. You may re-enroll within 31 days of your return to work date.
  • Parking Permit — Contact Transportation and Parking Services regarding temporarily cancelling your parking deduction. If not cancelled, all missed permit payments will accrue while on leave and be deducted from your paycheck upon returning to work.
  • Health Flexible Spending Account — Elect to continue or cancel coverage if you are enrolled in the Health Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA) (PDF) during Family Medical Leave (FML) by completing a UPAY 850 (PDF) form before your FML begins. Submit your form to UCSD Payroll (Attn: Adelina Ludwig).
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending —Contributions stop when you go off pay status. Reenroll in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DepCare FSA) (PDF) upon your return from leave by completing the UPAY 850 (PDF) form.
  • 403(b) Loan — If you have an outstanding 403(b) loan, contact Fidelity Investments at (866) 682-7787 to schedule monthly payments. Failure to do so may result in a default of your loan which will be reported to the IRS as income.
  • Other deductions — Contact any local organizations such as a credit union, California Casualty, or United Way to schedule any payments that are normally withheld from your paycheck.

Resources

Step 5: If you need to extend your disability

  • Provide your supervisor and deparrment HR contact with an extended off work notice from your treating physician.
  • Provide the same off work notice along with the treatment notes from your last physician office visit to your Liberty Case Manager to update your disability claim.

Additional information for pregnancy disability

  • Enroll newborn within 31 days of birth — Complete a UPAY 850 Form (PDF) and forward to your benefits representative.
  • Physician office and hospital copayments — Verify your copayments in the Medical Summary of Benefits Booklet.
  • When your pregnancy disability benefits end — Provide your supervisor/ department HR contact with the FML Return to Work Certification or a written release from your treating physician in order to return to work or begin your California Family Rights Act (CFRA) entitlement for parental/baby bonding.
  • CFRA (parental/baby bonding) provisions — Review your sick and vacation accruals to determine your pay status during this leave.

Resources

Returning to work

When you’re ready to return to work communicate with your Department Supervisor/HR Contact and provide the required documentation. In addition, the Liberty Mutual Short-term and Supplemental Disability plans may allow you to stay at work or return to work on a part-time basis while still receiving partial disability benefits. The Stay at Work/Return to Work (SAW/RTW) Program (PDF) requires the approval of your treating physician, Liberty Mutual, your supervisor and the Disability Management Coordinator.

Before you return

When you are released to return to work

  • Provide your department with the FML Return to Work Certification or a written release or from your treating physician.

When you are released to return to work with restrictions

  • Contact ACCES at 858-534-6744 if you have work restrictions or limitations prior to returning to work.
  • Notify your Department Supervisor/HR Contact, Liberty Case Manager, Disability Management Coordinator, and your benefits representative if you are returning on partial disability.

If you are returning on a modified work schedule

  • Discuss your work restriction(s) or limitation(s) with your Department Supervisor/HR Contact to determine if you are eligible for a reasonable accommodation. If approved, you will be eligible for the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) program (PDF) through Liberty Mutual.
  • Work with your Liberty Mutual Case Manager on the SAW/RTW process to ensure partial disability payments are processed.
  • If approved for the SAW/RTW program, it is your responsibility to temporarily suspend your Supplemental Disability premiums by emailing your SAW/RTW start and end date to your UCSD Payroll representative. Failure to do so will result in an overpayment of supplemental disability premiums and will not be refunded.

After you return

  • Complete the UPAY 850 form (PDF) within 31 days of your return date to re-enroll in any benefits you may have cancelled during your disability.
  • Consider buying back retirement service credit (PDF) equal to the length of your leave period.
  • Contact Transportation Services and other organizations to reactivate deductions suspended during your disability leave.
  • Review every paycheck to ensure that you are re-enrolled in the benefits that may have lapsed (especially your supplemental disability benefits). Contact your Department Supervisor/HR Contact if there are any issues.

Your long-term disability options

Liberty Mutual long-term disability Benefits

  • If you are receiving Liberty supplemental disability benefits, your Liberty Case Manager will work with you to seamlessly transition to long-term disability.
  • Consider discussing your long-term disability benefits options with your Liberty Case Manager, including UCRP Disability Income and Social Security Disability Benefits.
  • To be eligible for long-term disability benefits, Liberty requires that you be disabled and completely unable to perform the material and substantial duties of any occupation for which you are reasonably fitted by your education, training, or experience.
  • Long-term disability benefits are transitioned from bi-weekly to monthly.
  • If not receiving any income from other sources Liberty Long Term Disability benefits are reduced to 50%.

UCRP disability income

  • UC provides UCRP Disability Income (PDF, see page 6) when an eligible member has a disability that is permanent or expected to last 12 consecutive months or longer from the UCRP disability date.
  • You may apply for UCRP disability income at any age if you have at least five years of UCRP service credit.  Contact your UCSD benefits representative for more information about UCRP Disability.

UC retirement income

  • UC provides UCRP Disability income when an eligible member has a disability that is permanent or expected to last 12 consecutive months or longer from the UCRP disability date.
  • You may apply for UCRP disability income at any age if you have at least five years of UCRP service credit.

Social Security disability benefits

  • Contact the Social Security Administration Office at (800) 772-1213 to file for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits under that plan when it is determined that the Total Disability will extend beyond a 12-month period.
  • Contact your Liberty Mutual Case Manager for additional information about the Advocator Group for assistance with filing for SSDI at (800) 838-4461.

Waiver of Premium

  • If you are enrolled in the Supplemental Life plan, become totally disabled before age 65, and your disability continues for at least six consecutive months, you may qualify for continuance of life insurance protection without payment of premiums.
  • Contact Prudential Life at (800) 524-0542 for assistance.

Expand all

Contacts

  • Disability claims, contact Liberty Mutual at (800) 838-4461
  • Your Benefits premiums, contact the Payroll Office at (858) 534-2270
  • Work restrictions or limitations, contact ACCES at (858) 534-6744
If you have other disability-related questions contact the Benefits Office.
Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.