All eligible faculty and staff are covered under the college’s basic group long-term disability (LTD) insurance plan and may choose to be covered under the plan’s supplemental option. Coverage under both the basic plan and the supplemental option is available after a one-month waiting period, beginning on the employee’s service date. This waiting period may be waived if the employee submits proof that he or she was covered by a group LTD plan within the three months prior to employment at Williams. To be covered, employees must complete an enrollment form within 31 days of hire or eligibility, whichever comes later. Specific details about the LTD insurance plan may be found in the Long Term Disability Insurance Certificate.
Basic LTD Insurance
The College pays the full cost for an eligible employee’s basic LTD coverage. This coverage will provide an employee who has been disabled for a period of 180 days* with 60% of their monthly base salary in effect at the onset of his or her disability, offset by payments from other sources described below. The maximum monthly benefit under the Basic LTD insurance is $8,000 and the minimum monthly benefit is $100. Because the college pays the premium for this portion of the coverage, the monthly benefit is considered taxable income.
*The College’s Short-Term Disability policy provides benefits during the first 180 days of disability and is described in both the Faculty and Staff Handbooks.
There is a one-year waiting period for LTD benefits for pre-existing conditions. This means that no LTD benefit will be payable for any disability that is due to, is contributed to by, or results from a pre-existing condition unless that disability begins after the employee has been insured under the LTD plan for one year.
Supplemental LTD Insurance
Eligible employees may elect to purchase supplemental LTD insurance either during their first 31 days of eligibility or during any annual open enrollment period, subject to a one-year waiting period for pre-existing conditions. Employees may also purchase supplemental coverage if they have a change in family circumstances or other allowable change (see Benefit Changes Permitted in Addition to Changes Permitted at Open Enrollment). Supplemental coverage increases the monthly benefit to 70% of salary in effect at the onset of the disability, offset by payments from other sources described below. The maximum monthly benefit under the supplemental plan, inclusive of the basic plan, is $10,000. The employee pays the full cost of the supplemental insurance, and the cost is a function of the employee’s salary. The employee’s cost for supplemental long-term disability insurance will be calculated by the Benefits Office upon request. The premium is deducted from the employee’s pay on an after-tax basis. Because the employee pays the full cost of the supplemental insurance on an after-tax basis, this portion of the monthly benefit is not considered taxable income when paid to the employee.
Duration of Benefits
If a participant becomes disabled prior to age 63, LTD benefits will be paid up until he or she reaches his or her Social Security Normal Retirement Age or for 42 months, whichever is greater. If a participant becomes disabled while age 63, LTD benefits will be paid up until he or she reaches his or her Social Security Normal Retirement Age or for 36 months, whichever is greater. If a participant becomes disabled at age 64, LTD benefits will be paid for 30 months; at age 65, for 24 months; at age 66, for 21 months; at age 67, for 18 months; at age 68, for 15 months; and at age 69 or older, for 12 months.
The LTD monthly benefit may increase to take into account cost of living increases.
Deductible Sources of Income
The amount of benefit payable under this plan during a period of disability will be reduced by any of the following sources of income paid to you for the same period: disability or impairment benefits you receive under workers’ compensation, benefits from another disability insurance plan, and amounts that you, your spouse and children receive under Social Security. Please refer to the group insurance booklet for details on these and other deductible sources of income.
Pension Plan Contributions
Contributions to the core Retirement Income Plan ONLY will continue for the period of time you receive LTD benefits. Neither College nor employee contributions to the matching plan are permitted during a period of long- term disability.
Should you die while receiving LTD benefits, a death benefit equal to three times your monthly disability payment will be paid to your eligible survivor.
Converting the LTD Policy
Employees may be eligible to convert their LTD coverage to another group LTD policy if the college’s LTD coverage ends because, for example, an employee has terminated employment, and if the employee has been insured under the college’s LTD plan for at least one year. Details are described in the Long Term Disability Certificate.
How to Apply for Benefits
Employees should contact the Benefits Office as soon as it may be reasonably determined that their disability will extend beyond 180 days. An application for benefits requires that information be provided by the college, the employee, and the employee’s physician(s). The application process can take 30-60 days and employees are encouraged to request the LTD application at the beginning of the fourth month of disability to ensure timely processing. Additional information about this process is available in the Benefits Office.
For detailed information, see the LTD Group Benefit Plan Document (PDF file).