benefitsFocus: Open Enrollment Essentials – Disability Benefit Options

Open Enrollment origami banner

This is the last of our “Open Enrollment Essentials” messages in advance of the November 2023 Open Enrollment window (November 1-15). Today’s message focuses on Disability Coverage.

No one plans to get sick or injured, but it happens, and a serious illness or injury can result in months of disability that keeps you from working and exhausts your paid leave balances. While medical insurance helps cover your medical bills, it doesn’t help you meet financial obligations like rent/mortgage and utility bills, and it doesn’t help you buy food and other necessities. This is where disability coverage comes in. Programs available to our benefits-eligible employees include Sick Leave Bank and Long-Term Disability.

Sick Leave Bank

Our Sick Leave Bank is a no-cost, voluntary program that runs on employee donations and functions just like a short-term disability plan:

  • You become a member by donating one day of sick leave when you enroll, and you maintain membership by donating whenever requested (usually not more than once in any 3-5 year period). No premium deductions needed!
  • You gain access to up to 45 days of paid sick leave in the event you are disabled.
  • Before drawing days from the Bank, you must meet a 20-day waiting period AND exhaust your accrued sick leave balance.

For more information about the Sick Leave Bank, including access to a fillable Sick Leave Bank application that you can download and submit to, please visit our Disability Programs info page.

Screenshot: How do you join the Sick Leave Bank?

Please note:
Application forms must be submitted by November 15. Please read the form carefully, as you are required to submit a certification from your healthcare provider along with the enrollment form. Please contact us at if you have any questions about joining the Sick Leave Bank during Open Enrollment.

Long-Term Disability (LTD) Coverage (The Hartford)

We have two LTD plan options to choose from:

  • Option 1: You must be disabled for at least 120 days before the benefit will pay, and the maximum time you would receive the benefit is 2 years.
  • Option 2: You must be disabled for at least 90 days before the benefit will pay, and the maximum time you would receive the benefit is 5 years.

Both plans provide you with income protection to replace up to 60% of your earnings, up to a monthly maximum of $10,000. Rates are determined by age and income.

Good to Know:

  • New enrollments and increases from Option 1 to Option 2 added during Open Enrollment in ADP are subject to underwriting by The Hartford and could be denied.
  • After Open Enrollment closes, you will be contacted with instructions on how to go through the underwriting process.
  • If you are approved, your coverage will be effective the first of the month following your approval.

VRS Hybrid Plan members, please note: If you are a VRS Hybrid Plan member who has been employed with us for more than one year, you already have short- and long-term disability coverage as part of your Hybrid Plan membership.

Want to learn more about our Long-Term Disability program?

Visit our Disability Programs info pageRemember: You can only enroll in these disability programs during Open Enrollment (November 1-15).

Need Help?

Whether you have a quick question or you’d like to schedule a virtual consultation with a member of our benefits team, we’re here to help! You can reach us by email at or give us a call at 434-296-5827.

For your convenience, here are links to previous articles in our Open Enrollment Essentials series: