What is considered a disability?
A disability means you are unable to perform one or more of the essential duties of your occupation. The University has chosen to partner with The Hartford for determining disability and claim review.
What are the main components of Northwestern’s disability program?
All active, benefits-eligible, full-time and part-time faculty and staff.
When does my coverage start?
The effective date for LTD coverage is the first day of the month after the date of hire. If the hire date is the first of the month, then coverage for LTD begins that same date.
How long can I receive benefits?
After a 26 week elimination period, the LTD plan will pay a monthly benefit as long as you remain disabled under the plan up to a maximum age based on your Social Security Normal Retirement Age.
How much coverage do I have?
The University provides LTD coverage that pays a benefit of 50 percent of your base wages / salary up to a maximum monthly benefit of $11,500. You may purchase through payroll deduction Buy-Up LTD coverage that pays a benefit of 60 percent of your base wages / salary to a maximum monthly benefit of $13,800.
Are staff members required to contribute toward the cost of LTD insurance?
Staff will not be required to contribute toward LTD coverage at the 50 percent level. If the Buy-Up option is elected for coverage at 60 percent, then an employee contribution toward the cost of the additional coverage is required and will be taken through payroll deduction.
Do I need to enroll?
What can I expect if I am on LTD?
Am I excluded from participating in LTD if I have a pre-existing condition?
Employees are not excluded from the LTD plan due to a pre-existing condition, however, there is a waiting period for pre-existing conditions. In most cases, if you are diagnosed or receive care for a condition in the 26 week period before your effective date of LTD coverage, a disability resulting from that condition will not be covered by the LTD plan until you have been insured on the LTD plan for 12 months. If you were previously enrolled in Northwestern University’s LTD plan and you satisfied or partially satisfied the pre-existing condition requirement under it, you will receive credit toward satisfying the pre-existing condition requirement under the new LTD plan insured by The Hartford.
Are LTD benefits taxable?
The LTD 50 percent benefit is taxed. If you elect the Buy-Up option with its 60 percent benefit, a portion of the benefit payments will not be taxed.
Is there an elimination period before LTD benefits are payable?
Yes, the elimination period is 180 days or the expiration of any employer-sponsored extended sick time, whichever is longer. You will continue to receive LTD benefit payments as long as you remain disabled, or until you reach the Social Security normal retirement age, whichever comes first.