Disability Insurance

Requesting Disability Leave

When an employee requests time off related to a disability, the University will engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine whether the request is reasonable or would impose an undue hardship to the University. To request a leave of absence due to disability, employees must complete a Leave of Absence Form (available on the HR Forms web page) as soon as the need for leave is known. Employees' managers must review and sign before submitting the form to Human Resources. Please contact the Leave Associate at leaves@usfca.edu to set up a meeting to discuss leave rights and benefits and to receive any necessary forms and documents.

Short-Term Disability (STD) Insurance Plans

All California employees, except student employees, are required to participate in a state disability plan. USF employees are automatically enrolled in USF’s Voluntary Disability Insurance (VDI) Plan but can elect State Disability Insurance (SDI) if preferred. The differences between these plans are outlined below.

Voluntary Disability Insurance (VDI) Plan

From their date of hire, USF employees are automatically enrolled in USF’s California state-approved private Voluntary Disability Insurance (VDI) Plan, which is a partial wage-replacement insurance plan, for short-term disability. Faculty and staff contribute through a required payroll deduction. You are eligible to receive VDI benefits after a seven-day waiting period of a qualified accident or illness or pregnancy disability. The plan pays 60% of your current earnings.

California State Disability Insurance (SDI) Plan

The Disability Insurance Branch of the California Employment Development Department (EDD) administers the state’s disability insurance plan. State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a partial wage-replacement insurance plan for California workers.

Plan Comparisons

CA State Disability Insurance (SDI) USF Voluntary Disability Insurance (VDI)
Administered by the State of California Administered by USF via TRISTAR
Payroll deduction of 1% of salary
(max $1,149.67 per year)
Payroll deduction of 1% of salary
(max $1,149.67 per year)
Pays 55% of salary up to a maximum of $1,216 per week Pays 60% of salary up to a maximum of $1,216 per week
Benefit rate based on earnings over the past 18 months Benefit rate based on current earnings
Benefit duration up to 52 weeks Benefit duration up to 52 weeks


For more information, refer to the voluntary disability documents posted on the benefits compliance information web page.

Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance Plan

From their date of hire, eligible faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in an LTD plan, which is paid for by USF and provided by CIGNA.

Waiting Period 90 days from the date of hire for benefits qualification
Plan Pays 60% of your basic monthly earnings to a maximum of $12,000/month
When Benefits End

The earlier of the following:
*You are no longer disabled
*You reach the maximum benefit
*You reach Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA)

Definition of Disability

If, solely because of Injury or Sickness, you are:
1. Unable to perform the material duties of your Regular Occupation; and
2. Unable to earn 80% or more of your Indexed Earnings from working in your Regular Occupation

After Disability Benefits have been payable for 24 months: If, solely because of Injury or Sickness, you are:
1. Unable to perform the material duties of any occupation for which you are, or may reasonably become, qualified based on education, training, or experience; and
2. Unable to earn 60% or more of your Indexed Earnings