Disability Claims

GW provides options for income replacement if you are unable to work due to a disability for a defined period of time.

Note that disabilities due to occupational injuries or illnesses are not covered under the university’s short term disability plans therefore those situations need to be reported to the Risk Management department.

California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico have state-mandated disability insurance programs. Employees who work in these states who are also approved for short term disability through the university may have the short term disability benefit reduced by the eligible level of benefit provided by the state-mandated program. For additional details regarding these state disability programs, please visit the individual state websites. 

Employment Status and Short-term and Long-term Disability

It is important to understand that the purpose of Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance is to provide eligible employees with income replacement for a specified period of time.  It does not guarantee continued employment during the STD or LTD period.  You must still follow applicable university policies for approval of leave, such as sick leave, and Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), if applicable. 

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; a reasonable accommodation may include a period of job-protected leave.  In other words, you must affirmatively make a request for a reasonable accommodation, including a request for job-protected leave, separate and apart from making an application for disability benefits.  Such requests must be submitted as soon as possible to the university’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity

If, as of the time you are approved for LTD benefits, you have not requested and been approved for a reasonable accommodation by the university (and provided that you have exhausted any Family and Medical (“FMLA”) leave you may be eligible for), your employment at the university will terminate no later than the date LTD benefits are approved.

If you have requested and been approved for leave as an ADA accommodation or are on another job protected leave at the time LTD benefits are approved, your employment status will remain unchanged. Should your job-protected leave end while you are approved for LTD benefits, and you are unable to return to work, your employment at the university will terminate no later than the date your job protected leave ends.

If the LTD carrier managing your LTD claim determines that you are able to work, with or without reasonable accommodation, and you are interested in employment with the university, you are welcome to apply and compete for any position that interests you. For information on job openings, please visit the GW Jobs website at https://www.gwu.jobs/ or contact University Human Resources at 202-994-8500. If you believe that you may need a reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, or after being selected for a position in order to perform the essential functions of the position, please contact the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity at (202) 994-9656 or eeo@gwu.edu.