If you cannot work due to an illness, non-work-related injury or pregnancy, you may be eligible for short-term disability benefits through the Health and Welfare Plan. Short-term disability benefits are provided to help replace a portion of your income while you are out of work and recovering from your illness or injury.
For more information on missing work due to injury or illness and your benefits, visit the “If You Become Disabled” section on the Life Events page.
Short-Term disability benefits are paid to you if you suffer an illness or injury that is not work-related. You will receive $170 per week (or $270 per week if you are pregnant) during your disability for up to 26 weeks.
If your application is approved, a check will be mailed to the address you provide on your application.
Employee FICA taxes, in addition to federal and state taxes, will be deducted from your payment. Short-term disability benefits begin after you have used all of your sick leave or after a waiting period of 30 days, whichever occurs later.
Benefits are payable only for periods during which you are certified as unable to perform the duties of your job by your attending physician. Physician certification is required at least monthly. Periods of disability less than one week will be pro-rated based on a five-day workweek.
Benefits are not payable if your disability is the result of:
The Medical Compliance Department of METRO will send the Plan a referral when you approach the end of your initial probation period. After the referral is received, the Health & Welfare Plan will send you an application for short-term disability benefits.
If you have already received a short-term disability benefit from the Plan, you can submit a new claim for STD benefits only after you have returned to work for at least 28 calendar days. The 28-day rule for a new claim does not apply if you return to work sooner than 26 weeks, stay for no more than 45 calendar days, and are unable to continue working as a result of the same condition that led to your first STD claim.
While you’re on short-term disability for any reason, you are required to make your Health & Welfare monthly premium payments. The Health & Welfare Plan does not bill you or send notice that payment is due. If you do not make your payments, you will lose your medical coverage as well as your life insurance and your short-term disability coverage.
Your Health & Welfare monthly premium payments will be deducted from your short-term disability payments. You have the option to have your STD payments deposited directly (via electronic payment) to your bank account. Contact the Health & Welfare Plan for more information about this process.
If you agree to re-pay your benefits to the Plan if your injury or illness is compensable under Workers’ Compensation or similar legislation, you can receive your disability benefits pending the appeal determination.
Your short-term disability benefits will end the earliest of:
Employees voluntarily participating in the Employee Assistance Program may be eligible for short-term disability benefits for up to 26 weeks as long as they comply with the program.
While you are collecting Workers’ Compensation, you are not eligible to receive short-term disability benefits from the Plan. However, you are eligible to apply for long-term disability benefits six months after your injury. Any long-term disability benefit you receive will be reduced by your Workers’ Compensation and other forms of income. For many reasons, it is to your advantage to apply for long-term disability benefits. Call the Health & Welfare Plan office if you have any questions.