Faculty Sickness and Disability Program (FSDP)

The Faculty Sickness and Disability Program (FSDP) is a disability plan administered by the university that provides eligible faculty members income protection if the employee cannot work because of a non-work-related or work-related injury, illness or other medical condition. The program offers short-term disability coverage at no cost to the employee.

The Faculty Sickness and Disability Program (FSDP) will provide faculty members who are not enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) with 26 weeks (6 months or 1,040 hours) of paid leave per leave year (January 10 – January 9) for the faculty member’s medical inability to work. FSDP hours reset at the beginning of each leave year (January 10). In the event an extended leave of absence for medical reasons is anticipated or if a sudden medical leave of absence in excess of ten business days occurs, a consultation with Human Resources should be scheduled. A physician’s statement verifying inability to work (and date the employee is expected to return) will be required to initiate a FSDP claim.

Faculty members employed prior to January 10, 2020 and who were not enrolled in VSDP received a one-time allotment of one week (40 hours) of leave for each year of state service. These additional hours, referred to as the Faculty Sickness and Disability Credit (FSC), will reside in a reserve/bank and may be used to extend the 26 weeks of faculty member’s medical leave. The 26 weeks of FSDP must be used first. Reserve/bank hours are a one-time allotment and do not reset each year. FSC hours can be used until they are exhausted. 

FSDP and FSC hours are entered and tracked by Human Resources and reflected in MyMadison and Manager Self-Service.

There is no long-term disability coverage through the Faculty Sickness and Disability Program.  Faculty interested in long-term disability coverage should consider purchasing a long-term disability option provided by UNUM as described below.

 Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)

The Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) is a disability plan that provides eligible employees income protection if the employee cannot work because of a non-work-related or work-related injury, illness or other medical condition. The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) administers VSDP in conjunction with a third-party administrator, and the university. The program offers short-term and long-term disability coverage at no cost to the employee. VSDP benefits include:

  • Sick leave*
  • Family and personal leave*
  • Short-term and long-term disability coverage
  • Long-term care coverage
  • Transitional, medical rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation plans to help you return to work if you are able

*Available Sick leave and Family/Personal leave hours are found in the VSDP Handbook. Faculty use these hours, in addition to the Faculty Sickness and Disability Program (FSDP) hours, to supplement income when applicable during VSDP claims.

Under the VSDP short-term disability provisions, after a one-year waiting period from date of full-time employment, the employee will be provided income replacement during times of short-term disability for up to 125 days (6 months). The level of income replacement is based on months of state service. Faculty in VSDP can utilize sick leave (restrictions apply), family/personal leave, and Faculty Sickness and Disability Program (FSDP) hours to supplement income levels less than 100%. In the event an extended leave of absence for medical reasons is anticipated or if a sudden medical leave of absence in excess of ten business days occurs, a consultation with Human Resources should be scheduled. If you are unable to return to work full time, full duty within the six-months of short-term disability than you may transition into long-term disability.

For additional details regarding the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) review the Virginia Retirement System website at www.varetire.org.

Employees Eligibile for VSDP:

  • Classified staff in Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Plan 1, VRS Plan 2 or the Hybrid Retirement Plan, the State Police Officers’ Retirement System (SPORS) or the Virginia Law Officers’ Retirement System (VaLORS), are enrolled automatically in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) upon employment.
  • Faculty members who elect VRS as their retirement program and elected VSDP as the disability option. 

*Faculty members that elect the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) or elect VRS but opt-out of VSDP, will have coverage through the Faculty Sickness and Disability Program (FSDP).

*State employees in VRS Plan 1 hired before January 1, 1999 who did not elect VSDP during one of two open enrollment periods offered in 1999 and 2002 are not eligible for VSDP. These employees are in what is considered the traditional sick leave.

 UNUM Long-term Disability Income Protection

Faculty members that elected the ORP or elected VRS, but chose to participate in the Faculty Sickness and Disability Program can purchase UNUM long-term disability coverage. Classified employees with Traditional Sick Leave can also purchase UNUM long-term disability coverage.

UNUM long-term disability coverage is income replacement in a situation where the employee is considered disabled. Employees can elect 25%, 40%, or 50% of their earnings to supplement income. The cost of UNUM long-term disability is based on the employee’s age and salary. If the employee enrolls within the first 60 days of employment an evidence of insurability is not required. If the employee does not elect to enroll in UNUM, there is an open enrollment period that occurs every even year in the spring.

If you have questions about disability coverage you may contact a Benefits Specialist at benefits@jmu.edu.

Back to Top