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Long-term disability insurance pays benefits if you become disabled and cannot work.
If you become eligible for long-term disability insurance benefits, you will receive a benefit of 100% of your monthly salary for the first six months, then 60% of your monthly salary after that. The 60% is a combination of both funds from UK and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The university only pays its portion, regardless if Social Security Disability Insurance has been awarded.

Unless you receive a limited approval, long-term disability payments continue until you are:

  • No longer totally disabled
  • Retired
  • Turn age 65
  • Deceased
  • Failing to comply with the long-term disability insurance plan

Your benefit is calculated after any disability benefits received from government programs and/or other employers. Some examples include Social Security benefits, workers compensation or other similar programs, veterans or other government disability payments, or other employer-sponsored benefits.
You are automatically enrolled in long-term disability insurance if you have been in a regular position with a full-time equivalency (FTE) of at least 0.75 for 12 months. You may be able to apply for long-term disability benefits if you were covered by a comparable employer-sponsored plan in the six months before you started working at UK. You are only covered by this insurance as long as you work at UK.

Add more long-term disability insurance

Every year during open enrollment, you can buy additional long-term disability insurance. This additional coverage will raise your benefit to 70% of your regular monthly salary.

Applying for long-term disability benefits

First, contact HR Leave Administration to request an application. You will complete and return the application to HR Leave Administration.

We must receive your application within six months of the last day you worked.

Departments are not required to hold positions open during the application process.

If your application is denied, you may file an appeal within 60 days of the denial. Employees are separated from employment if the initial claim is denied.

If you are eligible to retire after a claim is denied, generally, you must initiate the retirement process within 30 days of the initial denial.

Health insurance for approved long-term disability applications

If you were enrolled in a UK health insurance plan when your disability benefits began, you are eligible for continued health insurance coverage.

If you end participation in a UK health insurance plan after being approved for long-term disability, but before you retire, you may not re-enroll or be eligible for COBRA coverage.
When long-term disability coverage ends, you, your dependents and covered family members may elect to be covered by COBRA at your own expense. Or you may be eligible to continue retiree health coverage as a UK retiree.
Long-term disability participants continue to be eligible for the employer-paid credit toward health insurance for up to 29 months, or when becoming eligible for Medicare Parts A & B. Medicare participants generally become eligible for Medicare Part B after 29 months.
Once you are eligible for Medicare, you must enroll in Medicare Part B and select the UK Medicare Advantage plan within 30 days. Any eligible spouse and dependents must do the same. If they are not eligible for Medicare, they can continue UK health insurance coverage without an employer-paid credit.

Other benefits during long-term disability

Your time receiving long-term disability benefits counts toward years of service as it relates to retirement matters.

UK will continue to pay its portion of your retirement savings contribution while you are receiving long-term disability benefits.

What is a comparable long-term disability plan?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you may have had a comparable long-term disability plan:

  • Was at least 50% of the plan premium paid by the employer?
  • Did the plan provide at least 50% income benefits, prior to any other disability benefits?
  • Did the plan provide income until at least age 65?
  • Can you verify you had coverage within six months of your start date at UK?

Frequently asked questions

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

Who pays for long-term disability benefits?

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.

How long does the application process 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 reached?

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

Can I continue working once I have submitted a long-term disability application?


How can I continue to be paid while awaiting a decision?

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 long-term disability is approved, 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.

Once approved for long-term disability, can I work at all?

No.  This is inconsistent with total disability.

Leave Administration

Contact Leave Administration to learn more and apply for long-term disability.

Contact our office

Call us at (859) 257-8804.