State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_135 > GS_135-105

§ 135‑105.  Short‑termdisability benefits.

(a)        Any participant whobecomes disabled and is no longer able to perform his usual occupation may,after at least 365 calendar days succeeding his date of initial employment as ateacher or employee and at least one year of contributing membership service,receive a benefit commencing on the first day succeeding the waiting period;provided that the participant's employer and attending physician shall certifythat such participant is mentally or physically incapacitated for the furtherperformance of duty, that such incapacity was incurred at the time of activeemployment and has been continuous thereafter; provided further that therequirement for one year of contributing membership service must have beenearned within 36 calendar months immediately preceding the date of disabilityand further, salary continuation used during the period as provided in G.S. 135‑104shall count toward the aforementioned one year requirement. As to therequirement that a participant applying for short term disability benefits haveat least one year of contributing membership service within the 36 calendarmonths immediately preceding the date of disability, a participant who wouldhave qualified for a benefit under this section but for service in theuniformed services shall not be denied a benefit under this section because ofthat interruption for military service provided all other requirements of thissection are met.

Notwithstanding therequirement that the incapacity was incurred at the time of active employment,any participant who becomes disabled while on an employer approved leave ofabsence and who is eligible for and in receipt of temporary total benefitsunder The North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, Article 1 of Chapter 97 ofthe General Statutes, will be eligible for all benefits provided under thisArticle.

(b)        The benefits asprovided for in subsection (a) of this section shall commence on the first dayfollowing the waiting period and shall be payable for a period of 365 days aslong as the participant continues to meet the definition of disability.However, a disabled participant may elect to receive any salary continuation asprovided in G.S. 135‑104 in lieu of short‑term disability benefits;provided further, such election shall not extend the 365 days duration of short‑termpayments. An election to receive any salary continuation for any part of agiven day shall be in lieu of any short‑term benefit otherwise payablefor that day, provided further, any lump‑sum payout for vacation leaveshall be treated as if the beneficiary or participant had exhausted the leaveand shall be in lieu of any short‑term benefit otherwise payable.

(c)        The monthly benefitas provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be equal to fifty percent(50%) of 1/12th of the annual base rate of compensation last payable to theparticipant prior to the beginning of the short‑term benefit period asmay be adjusted for percentage increases as provided under G.S. 135‑108plus fifty percent (50%) of 1/12th of the annual longevity payment to which theparticipant would be eligible, to a maximum of three thousand dollars ($3,000)per month reduced by monthly payments for Workers' Compensation to which theparticipant may be entitled. The monthly benefit shall be further reduced bythe amount of any payments from the federal Veterans Administration, any otherfederal agency, or any payments made under the provisions of G.S. 127A‑108,to which the participant or beneficiary may be entitled on account of the samedisability. Provided, that should a participant have earnings in an amountgreater than the short‑term benefit, the amount of the short‑termbenefit shall be reduced on a dollar‑for‑dollar basis by the amountthat exceeds the short‑term benefit.

(d)        The provisions ofthis section shall be administered by the employer and further, the benefitsduring the first six months of the short‑term disability period shall bethe full responsibility of and paid by the employer; Provided, further, thatupon the completion of the initial six months of the short‑termdisability period, the employer will continue to be responsible for the short‑termbenefits to the participant, however, such employer shall notify the Plan, atthe conclusion of the short‑term disability period or upon termination ofshort‑term disability benefits, if earlier, of the amount of short‑termbenefits paid and the Plan shall reimburse the employer the amounts so paid.

(e)        During the short‑termdisability period, a beneficiary may return to service for trial rehabilitationfor periods of not greater than 40 continuous days of service. Such return willnot cause the beneficiary to become a participant and will not require a newwaiting period or short‑term disability period to commence unless adifferent incapacity occurs. The period of rehabilitative employment shall notextend the period of the short‑term disability benefits.

(f)         A participant orbeneficiary of short‑term disability benefits or his legal representativeor any person deemed by the Board of Trustees to represent the participant orbeneficiary, or the employer of the participant or beneficiary, may request theBoard of Trustees to have the Medical Board make a determination of eligibilityfor the short‑term disability benefits as provided in this section or tomake a preliminary determination of eligibility for the long‑termdisability benefits as provided in G.S. 135‑106. A preliminarydetermination of eligibility for long‑term disability benefits shall notpreclude the requirement that the Medical Board make a determination ofeligibility for long‑term disability benefits.

(g)        The Board ofTrustees may extend the short‑term disability benefits of a beneficiarybeyond the benefit period of 365 days for an additional period of not more than365 days; provided the Medical Board determines that the beneficiary'sdisability is temporary and likely to end within the extended period of short‑termdisability benefits. During the extended period of short‑term disabilitybenefits, payment of benefits shall be made by the Plan directly to thebeneficiary. (1987,c. 738, s. 29(q); 1989, c. 717, s. 10; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1032, s. 1;1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 779, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 769, s.7.30(t); 2003‑284, s. 30.20(k); 2004‑78, s. 2; 2007‑325, s.1.)