Carnegie Mellon University

Illness or Disability

If you experience a non-work-related illness or disability that causes you to miss work or makes it difficult to do your job, you may access university resources such as disability leave or an accommodation plan. On this page: 

Time Away from Work

With all types of leave, you should notify your manager and seek approval for time away from work with as much advance notice as possible. For leaves, you should contact Leaves Management prior to the start of your leave, when possible.

  • Eligible employees who are disabled and unable to work, in excess of seven consecutive calendar days, may take short- or long-term disability leave. Disability insurance provides eligible employees with 60% of pay (up to a maximum of $15,000 per month) and continuation of retirement contributions, following a waiting period of seven calendar days.
    • Short-term disability insurance covers non-work related illnesses and injuries, pregnancy and childbirth for up to 26 weeks, including the seven-day waiting period.
      • In lieu of short-term disability benefits, staff members may use any accumulated Reserve Sick Days, which provide 100% of salary. You must have a short-term disability claim approved by MetLife before Reserve Sick Days can be used.
      • If the absence is also covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA leave will run concurrently with the short-term disability leave.
    • Long-term disability insurance covers illnesses and injuries resulting in disability of more than six months.
    • To initiate a claim, use the MetLife Telephone Reporting Procedure [pdf].
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible faculty and staff members with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain medical reasons. FMLA leave will run concurrently with your short-term disability leave.
  • You may work with your manager to arrange temporary staffing during your absence through HR's Temporary Employment Service.

Benefits Considerations

  • During short-term disability leave:
    • Health and welfare benefits continue at the normal employee rates during short-term disability leave. The cost of the benefit will be deducted from your short-term disability payment.
    • Retirement contributions continue during short-term disability leave.
  • During long-term disability leave:
    • You may elect to continue health, dental and/or vision coverage for up to 18 months by paying the normal employee contribution, OR you may elect to continue health, dental and/or vision coverage for up to 29 months under COBRA.
    • Retirement contributions continue under the long-term disability plan.
  • If you are experiencing an illness or disability, you may want to review and update your health and welfare benefits coverage or increase your spending account allocations during the next open enrollment period.

Support Resources

  • Employee Assistance Program — Provides CMU employees and their household members with resources to assist with managing an illness or disability. This includes care resources and referrals, counseling for stress and other issues, financial planning and legal counseling
  • Disability Services — If your illness or disability affects your ability to do your day-to-day work, you can request an accommodation. You may also ask to be added to the University Emergency Evacuation List.
  • Will Preparation Service [pdf] — Employees enrolled in the Optional Life and AD&D Insurance Plan can receive free will prep assistance.