If approved for Duke Disability benefits, you will need to understand how your benefits are affected by this status change. This overview is designed to highlight benefit options that you may want to review.

Can I continue my Duke health, dental, and/or vision insurance while approved for Duke Disability?

Yes, you may continue your health and/or dental insurance(s) at the employee rate and the premium(s) will be deducted by the disability claim administrator. However, those approved for partial disability will continue to have the premium(s) taken from their Duke paycheck.

As for vision, you may continue your vision insurance under the federal law, COBRA, for up to 18 months. You will be responsible for the full premium payment plus a 2% service charge. If you fail to pay the premium, your COBRA coverage will be cancelled with no option to reinstate.

Can I continue my current life insurance policies?

The answer varies depending on the life insurance plan in which you participate:

  • $10,000 Basic Group Life - Duke will continue to provide this coverage at no cost while approved for Duke Disability.
  • Survivor Benefit (Gratuity to Spouse or Estate) - Duke will continue to provide this coverage while approved for Duke Disability.
  • Supplemental Life and Universal Life - Supplemental Life and Universal Life insurance may be continued on a direct bill basis. The specific vendor should be contacted for further information.
  • Post-Retirement Life Insurance - May not continue premium payments once you stop receiving paychecks from Duke.
  • Personal Accident - Death and Dismemberment - May continue coverage while on Duke Disability up to age 65.

For more information, please see the Life Insurance website.

Can I continue any existing reimbursement accounts?

No, you may not continue participation in the reimbursement accounts while on Duke Disability.

However, you may continue to submit claims for eligible expenses incurred during the plan year until the date the Duke Disability payments begin.

Specific questions regarding the reimbursement plan should be directed to HealthEquity. For more information, please see the Reimbursement Accounts website.

Can I continue to receive the Employee Tuition Assistance or Children's Tuition Grant benefits?

Eligibility is maintained for Children’s Tuition Grant benefits while approved for Duke Disability; however, if you are on approved LTD, your eligibility for the Employee Tuition Assistance Program (ETAP) will be determined on a case-by-case basis. ETAP applications will only be approved for employees on approved LTD who have been assessed by Lincoln from a vocational capacity/perspective, with plans for returning to work. If the coursework does not have a direct impact on your ability to return to work (or increasing the ability to return to work), the ETAP application will not be approved.

What happens to my retirement pension and/or accumulations?

The following applies depending on retirement plan participation:

  • EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT PLAN (BIWEEKLY EMPLOYEES ONLY) - You continue to receive plan service credits under this pension plan.
  • FACULTY AND STAFF RETIREMENT PLAN (BIWEEKLY EMPLOYEES) - While you are approved for Duke's total disability, you cannot make employee voluntary contributions to the 403(b).

If on partial disability or supplementing disability benefit, employee voluntary contributions can occur.

  • FACULTY AND STAFF RETIREMENT PLAN (MONTHLY EMPLOYEES) - If you are eligible to receive Duke’s contribution under the Duke Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan and have received disability benefits for two (2) years from the Duke Disability Plan, Duke will contribute to the Plan on your behalf in the amount based on your compensation and the contribution rate in effect at the onset of your disability. No employee contribution is required to receive the University contribution. If you are on partial disability, you can voluntarily contribute to the 403(b) Plan.

For more information, please see the Retirement Plans website.

What other benefit programs do I need to be aware of?

You can continue existing Long Term Care insurance and/or the Personal Casualty insurance (METPAY) coverage while on Duke Disability. The specific vendor(s) should be contacted for further information.

If enrolled, voluntary short term disability coverage is "suspended" while on approved Duke Disability.

What happens to my accrued time balance (PTO/sick/vacation)?

You may be able to supplement your disability benefit with your accrued time and the supplemental amount should not exceed 40% of your gross salary (pre-disability). Rules about accrued time use vary between the University/Medical Center and the Health System. Please contact the HRIC at 684-5600 for more information.

Please Note: Kiel Voluntary PTO/Vacation Donation hours are an offset (reduction) to any Duke Disability claim benefit, including retroactively approved claims.

What other important information do I need to know?

Your continuous service date is unaffected if approved for Duke Disability.

If you would like to terminate deductions for parking, credit union, United Way, YMCA, etc., contact the department that originally authorized the deduction.