Long Term Disability

Should a lasting disability occur, the University's Long Term Disability Plan provides income for as long as the disability continues or until the employee is eligible for retirement benefits. The University's long term disability insurer has the right to review medical records and to assess whether the disability designation should continue.


The University pays the entire cost of employees' participation in this plan.

Plan Information

When Payments Begin

Payments begin after 180 days of disability as that term is defined in the University's Long Term Disability Plan; however, the University's long term disability insurer must approve any request for long term disability.

Amount of Benefit Payments

The plan assures a monthly income benefit equal to 60% of the employee's pre-disability pay by supplementing disability income, if any, from Social Security or workers' compensation up to this 60% combined total (with a maximum monthly amount of $7,000). This benefit is taxable unless an employee chooses, upon enrollment, to pay taxes on the premium instead.

This income payment may continue to age 65, or to somewhat later if disabled after age 60.

If the employee is receiving university contributions to his/her defined contribution retirement plan before the onset of his/her disability, the plan will, from the date disability benefits begin, contribute 10% of the employee's former salary to the retirement annuity plan until the employee's income payments end.

Thus, through the combination of income payments and annuity contributions, the plan provides an income for life.

Cost-of-Living Increases

The monthly income benefit payable under this plan is automatically increased by 3% annually. Social Security has traditionally increased its disability payments annually, and future increases in an individual's Social Security payments do not reduce the benefits payable under this plan.


Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in this plan after one year of qualifying employment. This one-year waiting period is waived for employees who had group coverage for 12 months immediately prior to being employed by Washington and Lee.

Individual Disability Benefits

Washington and Lee University offers full-time benefit-eligible employees the option to purchase supplemental individual disability insurance benefits through MetLife to provide more comprehensive coverage in the event of a disability. This plan protects a portion of an individual's base salary and is portable should the employee leave W&L. Benefits are tax-free when they are received.

Other Benefits While Receiving Disability Payments

Health Insurance: A participant may continue on the group COBRA plan for up to 18 months from the date disability benefits begin. COBRA coverage may be extended up to 29 months if the participant is approved for Social Security Disability. The University will continue to pay its portion of the employee's premium only.

Life Insurance: If an employee becomes disabled before age 60, he/she may apply for a disability waiver of premium, which, if approved by the insurance company, continues the employee's life insurance coverage, up to age 70, at no cost to him/her, with the benefit reductions outlined in the plan document.

Note: The term "disability" under the University's Long Term Disability Plan does not necessarily indicate a corresponding "disability" for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Whether an employee is a qualified employee with a disability for purposes of ADA will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.