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Short-Term Disability Plan

Policy Statement

WNE provides Short Term Disability (STD) through Guardian to eligible Faculty and Staff who have completed 6 months of employment.

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 Short-term Disability Compensation 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 primary duties of their regular job.

Western New England University has purchased a fully insured Short Term Disability Plan through Guardian. Claims will be submitted to Guardian for review, approval, and payment of claims.

The Short-term Disability plan details are as follows:


  • Full-time employees, regularly working at least 30 hours each week, are eligible for this benefit after 6 months of employment. 

How employees will receive payment:

  • Eligible employees will receive 60% of their salary up to a maximum of $2,500 per week from Guardian after they have met the 7-day sick time elimination period;
  • Employees with accrued paid time off may use vacation time or sick time during the elimination period;
  • The maximum payment period may last up to 26 weeks;
  • No vacation time is accrued by an employee during a period of disability absence. If the period of absence is in effect during any wage increase that the employee may be entitled to, the wage increase will take effect upon return to active service. 

During an employee’s medical absence:

  • Employees are responsible for paying their portion of the benefit premiums for any benefits enrolled in. Additional information will be sent directly to the employee from Group Dynamics.
  • Employees who have vacation time may use up to 10 hours per week of accrued vacation time while on short term disability. Sick time cannot be used during this time.
  • Eligible employees may also apply for paid family medical leave (PFML) while on short term disability. Guardian also manages the PFML plan.

The University reserves the right to seek an independent medical evaluation (at the University's expense) regarding any claimed disability and may require updated medical documentation during the course of a disability.

The Office of Human Resources must be notified of all absences of three (3) or more consecutive working days. The Office will then notify the employee to contact the disability carrier to report the claim. 

The employee will be paid at 60% disability pay. This pay may be supplemented using up to 10 hours per week of any accrued personal and vacation time that an employee may have remaining, up to 100% pay.

Illnesses or accidents that are job or occupation related should be reported as a work-related injury or accident and processed as Workers’ Compensation absences.


How to apply for short-term disability:

  • To qualify for benefits under this Plan, an employee must contact Human Resources to confirm eligibility;

Employee who need to file a claim for FMLA, PML and/or STD benefits, please contact Guardian directly by following the steps below:

  • Contact Guardian/TeleGuard at 1-888-889-2953, Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. (this is the preferred and recommended option) or
  • File a claim online: Guardian Anytime claim submission at:—Submit a Claim
  • Group ID: 00567373
  • Please see below for information regarding claim status and follow up:


  • Once Guardian receives the claim from the employee, Guardian will contact Human Resources and verify the employee’s information;
  • Guardian will review the claim, approve and/or deny.

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