Who’s eligible: Employees with full benefits

Who’s covered: You

Who pays: UC (Short-Term) and you (Supplemental)

How to enroll: During your period of initial eligibility when you are first hired or by submitting an Evidence of Insurability form (also called a statement of health) online to the insurance company; the carrier must approve your request before you can make the change.

UC offers Short-Term and Supplemental Disability to replace a portion of your salary if you’re out of work for a long time because of an illness or injury. They also provide income to women during pregnancy and after childbirth.

UC does not participate in California SDI, although employees who have worked for UC for less than 18 months may have some residual SDI benefits.

The Supplemental Disability plan provides the most extensive coverage. Although you have to pay the premiums yourself, it’s almost always well worth it for the income and peace of mind the coverage can provide. It’s best to enroll within 31 days after you’re hired, and to choose the shortest waiting period you can afford: Signing up later or shortening your waiting period requires a statement of health, which could disqualify you. This is especially important if you’re considering becoming pregnant; if you wait to enroll until after you’re pregnant, your application won’t be accepted. And if you choose a longer waiting period, you’re unlikely to receive benefits for a normal pregnancy.

Members of the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) who are disabled for a year or more may also be eligible for UCRP Disability.  You’ll find more information about UCRP Disability here.

How the plans work

  • In most cases, disability coverage from all sources combined can replace up to 70 percent of your salary.
  • You must be under a doctor’s continuous care.
  • There’s a waiting period before you can begin receiving benefits. For Short-Term Disability, it’s seven days. However, you’ll need to use up to 22 sick or vacation days, if you have them, before benefits begin.
  • If you purchase Supplemental Disability, you can choose from 7, 30, 90 or 180 days; that becomes the waiting period for your Short-Term Disability coverage as well.
  • The plans work together. The length of your coverage depends on whether you enroll in Supplemental Disability and the waiting period you choose. You’ll find examples of how the plans may combine in a variety of circumstances in Your Guide to Disability Benefits.
  • Generally, disability benefits may continue until age 65, but after 12 months, the definition of disability becomes stricter and more difficult to meet.
  • Mental illness and substance abuse-related benefits are usually limited to a 24-month lifetime maximum.
  • While you’re receiving Short-Term and/or Supplemental Disability benefits only, you don’t earn UCRP service credit.

Plan benefits

Short-term disability

The plan covers up to 55 percent of your eligible monthly earnings, up to $800 per month, for a maximum of six months. 

Supplemental disability

The plan covers up to 70 percent of your eligible earnings, to a maximum of $15,000 per month. If your disability relates to a pre-existing condition that begins in your first year of Supplemental coverage, benefits are limited to 12 months.

Plan Costs

UC pays the full cost of Short-Term Disability

For Supplemental Disability, the cost depends on your monthly salary, age and the waiting period you choose. To calculate your costs, use our Insurance Premium Calculator.