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Long-Term Disability Plan

Policy Statement

WNE provides Long Term Disability (LTD) through Guardian to eligible Faculty and Staff.

Reason for Policy

To provide guidance regarding an employee’s status and compensation when a non-work related injury or illness renders the employee unable to work.

Who Is Governed by this Policy

Eligible Faculty and Staff


The Long-term Disability Plan is provided for all full-time Western New England University employees.  For the purposes of this program, an employee is considered disabled if, solely because of injury or illness, they are unable to perform the material duties of their regular job. The Long-Term Disability Plan is covered at 100% by Western New England University.

The Long-term Disability plan details are as follows:


  • Employees are eligible for this benefit after 6 months of employment;
  • Full-time employees regularly working at least 30 hours each week;
  • Employees must be disabled and out of work for at least 180 days to qualify for the Long-Term Disability; the benefit begins on day 181 of disability.

Purpose of this Benefit:

  • Long-term Disability covers eligible employees who have a medical disability and are unable to work after exhausting other available leave time i.e. Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML), and Short-term Disability (STD) benefits beyond the 180 days from the onset of the disabling condition. Depending on the condition, the benefit duration may be up to 24 months, or up to one’s Social Security Normal Retirement Age. 
  • Long-term Disability provides a monthly income benefit equal to 50% of an employee’s salary in the event of total disability; Long-term Disability also includes provisions for the payment of benefits in the event of a qualifying partial disability;

Duration time of Long-term Disability:

  • The benefit begins on the 181st day an employee has been out of work due to a medical disability;
  • Guardian will continue this benefit during the time period the employee is considered to be disabled;

How employees will receive payment:

  • Employees will receive 50% of their base pay up to a maximum of $7,000 per month from Guardian.
  • Guardian will process payment(s) to the employee once the Long-term Disability claim has been approved; Guardian may request additional medical documentation from the employee’s medical provider (payment will be issued once outstanding medical documents have been received, reviewed, and approved by Guardian’s medical team);

Other Benefits:

  • While on Long-term Disability, employees will be able to maintain their current benefits as long as they make payments directly to Group Dynamics;
  • The survivor benefit of three months will be paid to the family / beneficiary listed on file.

If the employee is not able to return to work:

  • In order to meet the staffing needs of the institution, the University reserves the right to permanently fill any or all positions that are vacant due to the incumbent being on long-term disability. Termination under these circumstances will not affect the individual’s right to continue to receive benefits under the long-term disability plan.

Should the health of the individual improve and they are able to return to work, they will be entitled to apply for any vacant position at the University for which they may be qualified.  


How to apply:

  • Guardian will begin this process with the employee and transfer the employee from the Short-term Disability plan over to the Long-term Disability plan;
  • Guardian may request additional medical documentation from the employee and/or directly from the employee’s medical provider.

Guardian Customer Service may be reached at 1-888-600-1600. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Document History

Policy Origination Date: August 3, 2023

Who Approved This Policy

Associate Vice President of Human Resources


Associate Director of Human Resources
Rivers Memorial