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Disability Benefits

Ohio University provides a long term disability (LTD) benefit for all benefits eligible employees via UNUM. Benefits are not automatic. Employees must apply and be approved for benefits.

Employees enrolled in the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) or the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS), may be eligible for disability retirement benefits from those systems. STRS/OPERS disability benefits are dependent on the retirement plan the employee has chosen. Note: Employees enrolled in the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) are not eligible for OPERS/STRS benefits. These employees are eligible for only UNUM.

The following is a summary of disability benefits available to university employees. This is not an official plan document. Official plan documents and/or STRS/OPERS rules will supersede this summary in case of discrepancies.

Printer friendly Disability Summary (PDF)

UNUM Long Term Disability


Benefits eligible employees are automatically enrolled and eligible for LTD effective on their date of hire.


The UNUM benefit provides a monthly benefit of 60% of covered monthly earnings to a maximum of $20,000 per month, minus other income benefits. Other income benefits include benefits paid by OPERS, STRS, Social Security, Workers Compensation, etc.

Example: If an employee is receiving a 40% disability benefit from OPERS, UNUM will provide a 20% (60% maximum minus 40% other income benefit). If an employee is not receiving any other income benefits, UNUM LTD will pay a benefit of 60%.

Maximum Duration of Benefits

The maximum duration of benefits is as follows:

Age at DisabilityMaximum Period of Payment
Less than age 60To age 65, but not less than 5 years
Age 6060 months
Age 6148 months
Age 6242 months
Age 6336 months
Age 6430 months
Age 6524 months
Age 6621 months
Age 6718 months
Age 6815 months
Age 69 and over12 months

Elimination Period

Benefits begin the day after 90 consecutive days of total disability.

Health Care

Health care is not provided by UNUM, nor Ohio University, for employees who are approved for disability benefits.

OPERS and STRS Disability Retirement

OPERS provides disability benefits for members enrolled in the Traditional and Combined plans. Health care may also be available. Employees should contact OPERS at 1-800-222-7377 to determine eligibility for disability benefits and health care benefits.

STRS disability benefits are dependent on the retirement plan the member has chosen. Health care may also be available. Employees should contact STRS at 1-888-227-7877 to determine eligibility for disability benefits and health care benefits.

UNUM Short Term Disability

You must elect coverage and pay premiums to be eligible for Short Term Disability benefits [PDF] offered through UNUM. Premiums are based on your age and your salary and are paid on an after-tax basis.

Short term disability is designed to pay a percentage of your income (60%) if you are unable to work for a short period of time due to illness or injury and you have used all of your sick leave benefits. The benefit would begin 14 calendar days after the date of your disability (illness or injury) or exhaustion of sick leave, whichever is later. The benefit can continue up to 13 weeks, at which point Long Term Disability may be available.

Faculty and Staff who do not have a large amount of sick leave accrued are encouraged to consider purchasing Short Term Disability insurance.

Plan Highlights

Benefit: 60% of your weekly earnings to a maximum of $2,400

Coverage date: 14 calendar days after date of disability or exhaustion of sick leave, whichever is greater

Benefit Duration: 13 weeks

Pre-Existing Condition Clause: Conditions are not covered if you receive treatment, consultation, care, or services (including diagnostic procedures or prescribed drugs or medicines) in the 3 months prior to the effective date of coverage and the disability begins in the first 12 months of coverage.