To be eligible, you must be serving under an indefinite appointment, or a temporary appointment of one year or more, have a regularly scheduled tour of duty of at least 40 hours each pay period, and be employed at a location within the United States, or have been hired in the United States but employed at a location outside the United States.
Enrollment and Cost
All eligible employees are covered automatically. The Smithsonian pays the full cost of this program and, therefore, any benefits you receive from this plan are subject to income tax. FICA tax will be withheld from the first month's payment only.
Monthly Income Benefit
In the event of your total disability, the Long-Term Disability (LTD) plan provides for the replacement of at least 60% of your monthly base salary up to a maximum monthly benefit of $6,000. Once a claim is approved, group total disability
payments begin the first day of the month following six full months (180 days) of continuous disability.
The disability plan is an offset plan, which means that your monthly income benefit is reduced by the amount you receive from other sources such as Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Workers' Compensation, or retirement plan benefits should you begin to receive your retirement annuity.
The Monthly Income Benefit and Monthly Annuity Premium Benefit are adjusted annually with the first adjustment taking effect 24 months after the date long-term disability benefits are first payable. The adjustment reflects the annual percentage change in the U.S. Consumer Price Index, but will never be greater than 3% per year.
If total disability is due to alcoholism and/or drug abuse, long-term disability benefits are payable for a maximum of 24 months.
An employee who has been deemed totally disabled by the insurance carrier, Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, will be allowed to continue health care coverage for the entire period of disability. The employee will be required to pay only the employee portion of medical, dental and/or vision premiums during the period of disability.
Your Pension Plan While Receiving LTD Benefits
All employees in the pre-1988 retirement plan - If you are receiving LTD benefits under Smithsonian's plan and have been continuously disabled for at least 180 days, you may be eligible to receive a supplemental payment equal to 12% of the first $650 of your salary plus 17% of your remaining salary paid to the trustee or administrator of your pension plan. If you are working while you are disabled, your supplemental payments will be multiplied by your percentage of lost income as determined above to calculate the amount.
All other employees - If you are receiving payments for your disability under the Plan and have been continuously disabled for at least 180 days, you may be eligible to receive a supplemental payment equal to 12% of your salary that is subject to Social Security (FICA) tax, plus 17% of your remaining salary paid to the trustee or administrator of your pension plan. If you are working while you are disabled, your supplemental payments will be multiplied by your percentage of lost income as determined above to calculate the amount.
Pension plan means a plan which provides retirement benefits and which is not wholly funded by employee contributions. The term shall not include a profit sharing plan, a thrift plan, an individual retirement account (IRA), a tax-sheltered annuity plan (TSA), a stock ownership plan or a non-qualified plan of deferred contributions.
Cost of Living Increases
Prudential will make a cost of living adjustment (COLA) on July 1 if you are disabled and not working on that date and have been disabled for all of the 12 months prior to that date. Your payments will increase on that date by the lesser of 100% of the current annual increase in the Consumer Price Index or 3%. Each month Prudential will add the cost of living adjustment to your monthly payment. Please note that when Prudential adds the adjustment to your payment, and due to this compounding, the increase may cause your payment to exceed the maximum monthly benefit.
Long Term Disability Certificate of Coverage.
Please contact the SAO Benefits Office at (617) 495-7371 for additional information.