Time away from work for a pregnancy, illness or unexpected injury could mean months without a paycheck. While UC’s basic employer-paid disability insurance offers some protection — a benefit capped at $800 per month for six months — it probably won’t be enough to cover your expenses. 

For a modest monthly premium, UC’s Voluntary Disability Insurance replaces much more of your income — 60 percent of your eligible pay up to $15,000 per month — for increased financial security when you need it most.

UC is changing its voluntary disability insurance options to give all eligible employees — those currently covered and those not enrolled — new options for protecting their finances. For 2017, you can choose Voluntary Short-Term Disability (benefits up to six months), Long-Term Disability (benefits after six months, up to your Social Security retirement age) or both, depending on your needs and budget. Since you pay premiums with after-tax dollars, income from Voluntary Disability Insurance is generally not taxable.

If you are not enrolled in Supplemental Disability Insurance:

If you’ve never thought about disability insurance, this is the year to take a look. During Open Enrollment in November, you cannot be denied coverage due to an existing medical condition. Later, you’ll need a statement of health to qualify.

UC has also expanded eligibility to all employees eligible for full, mid-level or core benefits, so this may be your first opportunity to enroll.

If you are already enrolled in Supplemental Disability Insurance:

To ensure continuing protection, those who are currently enrolled in Supplemental Disability and don’t take action during Open Enrollment will be automatically enrolled in both Short- and Long-Term Voluntary Disability Insurance. This change will affect your premium costs, though, so take the time to choose the coverage you need. You can reduce or discontinue coverage at any time.

Learn more

You’ll get more information, including a tool to help you estimate your monthly premiums, during Open Enrollment in November. But you don’t have to wait to learn about your new choices for Voluntary Disability Insurance. For all of the details — and for more information about why disability coverage is important — visit UCnet’s 2017 Disability Insurance page