Short-Term Disability

After two years of benefits eligible service, full-time faculty and staff are eligible for GW Paid Short-Term Disability.

The GW Paid STD benefit covers:

  • 50% or 100% of the employee's benefits eligible salary, up to 166 calendar days, after 14 calendar days of disability.

The benefit amount is based on years of service and employee type at the time of disability.


Eligible full-time faculty and staff will be automatically enrolled in the GW Paid STD benefit plan effective the first of the month coinciding with or next following the employee's anniversary date. If enrolled in the employee paid Voluntary Short-Term Disability plan, the voluntary benefit will end once the GW Paid STD benefit becomes effective.

The Voluntary Short-Term Disability Plan through Lincoln Financial provides:

  • 60% benefits eligible salary replacement, up to a maximum of $3,000 per week up to 166 calendar days, after 14 days of disability.

The following employees are eligible to participate in the VSTD plan:

  • Full-time faculty and staff with less than two years of benefits-eligible service
  • Part-time faculty and staff
  • Medical residents


Eligible employees can enroll in Voluntary Short-Term Disability:

Within 30 calendar days of new hire When transferring from a benefits-ineligible position to a benefits-eligible position During annual Open Enrollment

Review rates and employee contributions to determine cost of coverage for VSTD coverage. Depending on the timing of the election, you may be required to submit Evidence of Insurability.

Coordination with Paid Time Off

GW Paid STD is paid through GW Payroll Services therefore employees approved for 50% or 100% GW Paid STD benefits will continue to accrue annual and sick time. (Unpaid leave proration as outlined in the Time Off and Leave guide applies.)

The VSTD benefit is paid by Lincoln Financial not through GW Payroll Services, therefore, an employee’s sick and annual time accrual for the time on disability may need to be pro-rated per university time off policy. You can elect to use accrued sick, annual, or other applicable available paid time off to remain in paid status during the benefit elimination period or to supplemental your GW pay.

Employment Status and Short-Term Disability

Approval of STD benefits does not guarantee continued employment. You must still follow applicable university policies for approval of job-protected leave, such as Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). If you believe you are a qualified individual with a disability, you may also request a reasonable accommodation to allow you to perform the essential functions of your position which may include a period of job-protected leave.

Occupational Disabilities

Disabilities due to occupational injuries or illnesses are not covered under the university’s STD plans and need to be reported to the Risk Management department for consideration of Worker’s Compensation. If you apply for Worker’s Compensation or have been denied for Worker’s Compensation and you are appealing the denial, any open STD claim for the same disability will be closed. In addition, if it is determined that your disability is due to an occupational illness or injury, you will be required to reimburse the university for any STD pay received.

You must contact GW Benefits if you apply for or have been approved for worker’s compensation benefits or are appealing a Worker’s Compensation denial related to a short term disability claim. Short term disability payments may also be reduced if you receive other deductible income while you are disabled.

Health Advocate

GW’s Health Advocate program is the nation’s leading independent healthcare advocacy and assistance company.

As a special benefit paid for by GW, and in addition to assisting with choosing insurance plans and untangling medical bills, Health Advocate can:

  • Assist you in understanding what clinical information is required for your disability claim,
  • Help forward your medical records and other required documentation to the disability carrier, and 
  • Assist you in understanding what is required to appeal a denied disability claim.