Church Pension Group | Short-Term Disability Benefits

Short-Term Disability Benefits


The Short-Term Disability Plan is intended to provide an income replacement benefit to assist employers with expenses incurred if you are unable to work due to a short-term disability. To qualify, you must be an Active participant in the Clergy Pension Plan immediately prior to the time you become disabled (as defined below), your physician must certify that you are disabled, and CPF’s Medical Board, designated as Aflac, must also concur. CPF may require that any determination of disability be made by an appropriate provider of CPF’s choosing and at CPF’s expense. CPF may also require that you receive regular and appropriate care from a qualified health care provider in order to continue to be considered disabled.

You will be considered disabled if you are unable to perform (or are limited in performing) the material and substantial duties of your own job for more than 14 calendar days due to illness or injury. (This 14-day period is referred to as an elimination period.) Interpersonal conflicts or environmental or other hazards in the workplace will not be a factor considered when determining whether you can perform your own job. You also will be considered disabled if you give birth to a child. (There is no elimination period if your disability is due to childbirth.)

Once approved for short-term disability, your employer will receive the benefits described below, but only if your employer continues to provide you with 100% of your compensation and benefits, including paying Assessments to CPF, that it was providing prior to your disability.

Weekly Benefit and Offsets

The weekly short-term disability benefit is equal to 70% of your weekly compensation on which Assessments were last paid, as determined immediately prior to your disability. The short-term disability benefit will be offset by any formal salary continuation, earnings from work, and other compensation (excluding passive income). In addition, any fully insured, group disability benefits (both employer- and employee-paid) that you receive also will offset your short-term disability benefit, but only if the total amount that you receive from all sources of income (as described in this paragraph) exceeds 100% of your pre-disability compensation. The maximum weekly benefit is $1,500 for a disability occurring on or after January 1, 2024 ($1,000 for a disability that occurred prior to that date).

Commencement and Duration of Benefit

Short-term disability benefits will begin once the 14-day elimination period, if applicable, has ended. Benefits will be paid for up to 24 weeks or until you are no longer disabled, if earlier.

If your disability is due to childbirth, short-term disability benefits will begin on the date that you give birth and will continue for 12 weeks (or longer, in accordance with the paragraph above, if you continue to be disabled).

Short-term disability benefits will end if

  • the benefit is paid for the maximum period described in the two paragraphs above, as applicable, or
  • you are no longer disabled, as defined under the Short-Term Disability Plan, or
  • you are able to earn 80% or more of your Total Assessable Compensation, as determined immediately prior to your disability, or
  • the Short-Term Disability Plan is no longer offered.

Notice Requirement

You must notify CPF of your disability within 60 days of its occurrence in order for short-term disability benefits to begin immediately following the end of the elimination period (or, if applicable, as of the date of childbirth).

If you notify CPF after 60 days, no short-term disability benefits will be payable for any period that is more than two weeks before you provide notice, unless you can demonstrate that it was not reasonably possible to provide notice sooner (for example, you were hospitalized for a serious condition).

Successive Period of Disability

A successive period of disability is a disability that

  • occurs within 30 days after you return to work or are determined to be no longer disabled, and
  • is related to the prior disability for which short-term disability benefits were previously paid.

If you receive short-term disability benefits due to a successive period of disability, it will be treated as part of the prior period of disability.

When Short-Term Disability Benefits Are Payable to You

Although short-term disability benefits are usually paid to your employer, there are generally four situations when short-term disability benefits may be paid directly to you:

  • During the period of short-term disability, your employer does not continue to provide you with the same compensation and benefits, including paying Assessments to CPF, that it was providing prior to your disability.
  • Your employment is terminated while you are on short-term disability.
  • You were not employed when you became disabled.
  • You were paying your own Assessments on an Extension of Ministry.

In addition, if both you and your employer were paying Assessments to CPF immediately prior to your disability, the short-term disability benefits will be split pro rata between you and your employer based on the percentage of the total Assessments paid by each of you.

Credited Service for Short-Term Disability Period

If Assessments are paid while you are on short-term disability, you will earn Credited Service toward your pension benefit and, if monthly Assessments are paid on at least 1/12 of the Hypothetical Minimum Compensation, toward the post-retirement health subsidy.

If Assessments are not paid in full, you will not earn any Credited Service while you are on short-term disability, although you will continue to be eligible for short-term disability benefits, even if you become Inactive while receiving these benefits.