Frequently Asked Questions
What is Long Term Disability?
Long Term Disability (LTD) is an employee-paid benefit program designed to provide income replacement in the event you become disabled due to an illness or injury and cannot perform the duties of your normal job, or maybe any job, for a long period of time (6 months or longer).
What is the difference between Long Term Disability and Long-Term Care?
Long Term Disability is income protection insurance for excluded employees who cannot work due to a serious injury or illness. The Long-Term Care (LTC) Program, offered by CalPERS, provides coverage for employees who need extended care due to a chronic disease, frailty of old age, or serious accident. It covers help with activities of daily living such as bathing, eating and dressing. For information about the CalPERS LTC Program, please visit their website at www.calpers.ca.gov.
Who is eligible?
The LTD program is part of the benefits package provided to the State's excluded employees (i.e. employees designated managerial, supervisory, confidential and excluded/exempt). All active excluded employees appointed permanent, half time or greater, with one of the following designations are eligible to participate in the program:
Managerial (M, E50, E59, E79, E99)
Supervisory (S, E48, E58, E68, E78, E98)
Confidential (C, E97)
Excluded/Exempt (E88, E89, E92)
Excluded employees who are enrolled in LTD at the time they are re-designated to E01 through E21, E67, or E77 due to middle management reductions are allowed to continue the coverage. However, future incumbents appointed to these positions will be designated represented and are not eligible for LTD.
Employees on limited term appointments who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria may enroll in LTD ONLY if they have a mandatory right of return to a position and status that also meet the criteria. Permanent Intermittent employees are not eligible.
Does the State offer a Long Term Disability Program for rank and file employees?
No. However, rank and file employees should contact their unions to determine if there are any union-sponsored disability benefits available to them.
When can I enroll in the plan?
If you are a newly eligible excluded employee, you have 60 days to enroll, once your appointment is keyed by your personnel office into the State Controller's Office system or you can enroll during the open enrollment period that is conducted every 18-24 months.
Where can I obtain the enrollment forms and plan information?
Enrollment forms and plan information are available through your department's personnel office.
Where do I submit the enrollment form?
Once you have completed Sections A, B, and C, submit the enrollment form to your department's personnel office for further processing.
Will I need to re-enroll every year?
No. Your deduction will automatically continue unless you cancel coverage.
Will my monthly premiums remain the same?
Your premium will increase over time. When you move from one age category to the next higher age category (i.e. from 39 to 40, or from 49 to 50) or when you receive a change in salary, your premium will change. An annual premium update occurs on January 1 of each year to implement any premium changes warranted.
What is the benefit coverage?
The LTD program offers a monthly benefit of either 55% of the first $18,182 or 65% of the first $15,385 of the employee's pre-disability earnings (monthly base salary), reduced by other deductible income benefits. These percentages are based on the plan option you select.
The minimum payment for a claim is 10% of the monthly benefit before being reduced by "other deductible income" or $100 per month, whichever is greater.
The maximum payment is $10,000 per month. Claims are offset by certain "other deductible income" available to the employee. Other deductible income includes but is not limited to:
state disability income
disability and retirement benefits under the State's retirement plan (such as CalPERS and STRS);
other group insurance benefits
third party settlements and any amounts received by compromise, settlement or other methods as a result of a claim
Are dependents covered?
No, the plan only covers the enrolled employee.
When should I file a claim?
You should file a claim if you are disabled and you will not be able to work for a long period (6 months or longer). You should not wait until the 6-month elimination period has passed before initiating an LTD claim as this will delay the payment of your LTD benefits or may prevent you from receiving LTD benefits.
Who do I call to file a claim?
Contact CalHR Benefits Division at (916) 324-5553.
When will I receive the benefit payments?
All claimants must complete a 6-month elimination period (and continue paying monthly LTD premiums during this period) before becoming eligible to receive benefits.
How long will I be able to receive benefit payments?
The maximum benefit duration will be the greater of the duration shown below or the employee's Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA).*
|Age on Date Disability Starts
||Maximum Benefit Duration |
|Age 61 or younger
||To Age 65, or to SSNRA, or 42 months, whichever is longer|
||42 Months, or to SSNRA, whichever is longer|
||36 Months, or to SSNRA, whichever is longer|
||30 Months, or to SSNRA, whichever is longer|
|Age 69 or Older
*SSNRA means an employee's normal retirement age under the Federal Social Security Act, as amended.
Limitation for Disability due to Mental Disorders or other Limited Conditions:
Monthly benefits are limited in duration to 24 months in the employees lifetime if their disability is caused or contributed to by (or medical or surgical treatment of) mental disorders or other limited conditions, including but not limited to:
chronic fatigue conditions
allergy or sensitivity to chemicals or the environment
chronic pain conditions
carpal tunnel or repetitive motion syndrome
temporomandibular joint disorder or craniomandibular joint disorder
diseases or disorders of the cervical
thoracic or lumbosacral back and its surrounding soft tissue and sprains of joints or muscles
If the claimant is confined in a hospital or institution solely because of a mental disorder at the end of the 24 months, monthly benefits will continue until the confinement ends. In no event will benefits be paid beyond the maximum benefit duration shown above.
Are LTD benefits taxable?
LTD is a non-taxable benefit because the monthly premium payments are from post-tax dollars.
What happens if I move to a represented position?
If you cease to be eligible due to a classification change, you can continue coverage for up to 24 months by making payments directly to Standard Insurance Company. You must request this continuance in writing within 60 days of the date you lose eligibility to by completing the online Request for Long Term Disability 24 month Direct Pay Coverage card (SI 13898-643146) at www.standard.com/mybenefits/california. The card should be returned to:
Standard Insurance Company
920 SW Sixth Avenue (PSB7C)
Portland, OR 97204
What happens to my coverage if I leave State service?
If you separate from State service or take a leave of absence you may convert your group LTD coverage to an individual disability plan providing you have been enrolled in the group plan for at least 12 months and you are not disabled from performing the duties of your occupation at the time you separate or take a leave. The request for the conversion application must be made in writing to Standard Insurance Company within 31 days of termination of the group insurance. The employee should complete the online Request for Group LTD Conversion Materials (SI 4781-643146) at www.standard.com/mybenefits/california and return it to:
Standard Insurance Company
920 SW Sixth Avenue (PSB7C)
Portland, OR 97204
Upon return to active pay status after a leave of absence or separation, the LTD payroll deduction should start automatically. However, you should verify the deduction when you receive your first pay warrant, and if no deduction is noted contact your personnel office.
What happens if I retire and want to continue my coverage?
It is not necessary for you to carry your LTD coverage into retirement so your coverage ends.
When and how can I cancel my monthly deductions?
You can cancel at any time by completing a new application form and checking the cancellation box. You may also contact the State Controller's Office in writing requesting cancellation of the premium deduction.