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Virginia Sickness & Disability Program

How to Access VSDP Benefits

  • If you become ill or injured, and you expect to be unable to work for more than seven calendar days, call UNUM at 1-800-652-5602. If you are unable to call, a family member or your supervisor may call on your behalf. You can even call before you miss work (for example, for planned surgeries or maternity leave).
  • The Customer Service Representative (CSR) at UNUM will collect some basic information from you, and make sure we know how to contact your licensed treating professional.
  • The CSR will send you a benefit packet that describes the program and how to use your disability credits (if applicable).
  • The UNUM nurse will call your licensed treating professional. Together they will agree on a return-to-work plan for you.
  • If your return-to-work plan includes modified duty or restricted hours, the nurse will coordinate these arrangements.
  • The UNUM will send information to the Department of Human Resources about how long you will be away from work and what your level of benefit will be. This information also determines the amount of your compensation.
  • The UNUM nurse will continue to assist you until your return to work.
  • The UNUM nurse will contact you and your licensed treating professional if your absence goes longer than expected. For more information on the VSDP, consult the VSDP Handbook.

Employees hired after January 1, 1999 and those employed prior to January 1, 1999 who chose to enroll are provided sick leave and family/personal leave under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program. A third party, UNUM administers this program.

Current employees are allotted a certain amount of sick leave and family/personal leave on January 10 of each year as shown on the following chart:

Full-time Classified Employees

Months of State Service Sick Leave Hours Family/Personal Leave Hours
Fewer than 60 months 64 32
60 to 119 months 72 32
120 months or more 80 40

Part-time Classified Employees

Months of State Service Sick Leave Hours Family/Personal Leave Hour
Fewer than 120 months 32 32
120 months or more 40 40

New employees are allotted a certain amount of sick leave and family/personal leave on their hire date as shown on the following chart:

New Full-time Classified Employees

Employment Begin Date Sicks Leave Hours Family/Personal Leave Hours
January 10 - 9 64 32
July 10 - January 9 40 16

New Part-time Classified Employees

Employment Begin Date Sick Leave Hours Family/Personal Leave Hours
January 10 - July 9 32 32
July 10 - January 9 20 16

Neither VSDP sick leave or family/personal leave may be carried over at the end of the calendar year or paid out upon the employee's separation.

VSDP sick leave will allow employees to continue to receive full pay when they take time off from work. However, VSDP sick leave is only used for the waiting period prior to an absence under short-term disability or for illness not qualifying as short-term disability. Family/personal leave may be used for absences due to personal and family reasons, as well as for personal illnesses or injuries. It may also be used for time off for vacation or for absences in excess of the credits available for other kinds of leave.

VSDP sick leave is a privilege to be used for valid health reasons and may be taken for any one of the following purposes:

  • an illness or injury incapacitating the employee from performing his or her duties which does not qualify for short-term disability;
  • an exposure to contagious disease such that presence on duty could jeopardize the health of others;
  • a physician's appointment for examination and treatment related to health (this includes medical, dental, and optical appointments);
  • conditions or health problems which do not qualify as short-term disability that prevent employees from performing their duties;
  • the seven (7) day waiting period prior to an absence under short-term disability.

Under the VSDP sick leave policy, use of sick leave for maternity reason qualifies as short-term disability and will be limited to the number of days certified by a physician as medically necessary. If additional leave time is requested beyond the period of medical disability, this time must be charged to annual leave, other paid leave, or leave without pay.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 requires the employer to give eligible employees job-protected leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child; or the serious health condition of the employee or the employee's immediate family member. Employees who are approved for FMLA leave for qualifying family reasons may use up to 33% of their personal sick leave hours held at the beginning of the FMLA leave.

Verification of Sick Leave

Supervisors may request a physician's certification of illness which indicates that the employee is temporarily unable to work and the estimated period of absence when employees are out for personal health reasons and the absence does not qualify for short-term disability. If a supervisor requests an employee to produce a physician's statement to verify absences for health reasons, and the employee fails to produce the verification, the supervisor can charge the employee's annual leave balance or consider the leave to be unauthorized. Disciplinary action may also be taken.

Employees are encouraged, when possible, to schedule medical appointments during non-work hours. VSDP sick leave applies to the time required for the medical appointment plus reasonable travel time. Supervisors may request a physician's verification of the medical appointment to cover the period missed.

Short-Term Disability Benefits

Under the VSDP, employees who must be out for extended periods of time for health reasons must contact UNUM at 1-800-652-5602 and seek qualification for short-term disability. The UNUM staff will work with the employee's physician to determine whether the health condition qualifies for short-term disability and the length of the period of short-term disability. An employee does not use VSDP sick leave or any other leave hours when he or she is out on short-term disability unless he or she is supplementing periods of 80% or 60% pay in order to receive 100% pay. Annual leave, family/personal leave, overtime leave, or compensatory leave can be used to supplement periods of 80% or 60% pay.

Employees on short-term disability are entitled to the following income replacement:

Months of State Service Work Days of Income Replacement at 100% Work Days of Income Replacement at 80% Work Days of Income Replacement at 60%
Fewer than 60 5 20 100
60 to 119 25 25 75
120-179 25 50 50
180 or more 25 75 25

If the disability is due to a work-related injury compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, the short-term disability program provides the difference between what the employee receives under Workers' Compensation and the short-term disability benefits as outlined in the following chart:

Month of State Service Work Days of Income Replacement at 100% Work Days of Income Replacement at 80% Work Days of Income Replacement at 60%
Fewer than 60 65 25 35
60 to 119 85 25 15
120-179 85 40 0
180 or more 85 40 0

*NOTE: Short-term disability benefits cover up to 125 days per incident or six months.

Long-Term Disability Benefits

Long-term disability benefits provide income replacement if an employee is unable to work for a long period of time due to an illness or injury. Long-term disability benefits begin after short-term disability benefits end. The waiting period for long-term disability benefits is 6 months (the length of short-term disability coverage).

Long-term disability benefits provide an income replacement of 60 percent of creditable compensation. These benefits continue until the earlier of the following:

  • The employee is able to return to work full duty and full schedule.
  • The employee reaches normal retirement age.
  • The employee's wages and salary exceed 85 percent of pre-disability earnings.
  • The employee begins receiving a VRS service retirement benefit.
  • The employee dies.