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WHat to do when you’re

Taking a leave of absence

Life happens — both good and bad — and sometimes that means you may need to take a leave of absence from your UC job. Regardless of the reason for your leave, here are the steps you should take to ensure UC knows your intent and that you continue to be covered by any benefits for which you are eligible.

Talk to the right people about your leave

Your department head, manager or supervisor can help you determine the types of leaves you qualify for and help you fill out appropriate forms. It’s best to do this as soon as your need for a leave arises, so your department can plan for your absence. Try to be as specific as possible about the length of time and reasons for the leave of absence. Your payroll or benefits office can advise you about your options for paid leave.

If you’re a faculty member, see the section of the Academic Personnel Manual on faculty leaves.

Which type of leave fits your circumstance?

UC offers the following leaves, so review the information if you are unsure what type to take:

*See Applying for Disability for more information

Choose which benefits you’ll continue

Make sure you understand how going on leave affects your UC-sponsored health and welfare benefits, as well as your service credit in the UC Retirement Plan. For many benefits, including medical, dental and vision, you have the option to continue them for up to two years, so long as you pay the full premium (both your and UC’s portions).

To review the benefits you’re enrolled in, sign in to your UCPath account. If you are unable to access your UCPath account while on leave, you can contact UCPath by phone (855-982-7284, M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or email (ucpath@universityofcalifornia.edu).

While on leave, you are responsible for paying your monthly benefits premiums. In some cases, depending on the type of leave you’re taking, you will also become responsible for UC’s portion of your health and welfare benefits.

If you choose to cancel your benefits during your leave, you’ll need to complete an election form (available from UCPath). For any benefits that you cancel, or if payment is not submitted on time for your benefits billing invoices, your benefits coverage will end after the last fully paid month.

If you have an outstanding 403(b) Plan loan, you’ll need to suspend or set up monthly payments during your leave, or repay the loan in full. Contact Fidelity Retirement Services for more information.

Stay in touch

Be sure to keep your address and other contact information up to date while you’re on leave. You can update your information via your personal account on UCPath or by contacting UCPath by phone (855-982-7284, M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or email (ucpath@universityofcalifornia.edu).

You can also stay informed about the latest news from the university by visiting UCnet.

When you return, contact your local benefits office.

Your local benefits office will inform you about what you need to do to get back to work. Contact UCPath within 31 days of your return to work to restart any benefits you chose not to continue during your leave. If your unpaid leave was less than 120 days, you may re-enroll yourself (and your eligible family members) in the same plans, with the same coverage levels as before. If your unpaid leave was 120 days or more, and you chose not to continue benefits while on leave, you may enroll in any UC-sponsored plans for which you’re eligible.

Consider purchasing UCRP service credit for the time you were away.

If you are not getting paid while on leave, you usually don’t earn UCRP service credit. You may be able to purchase service credit for your leave period. Generally, the sooner you do this, the less it will cost you.

If you do not return to work at UC.

Check with your local benefits office for information about continuing your group insurance plans.

If you decide to retire from UC, contact the Retirement Administration Service Center.