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    Voluntary Short Term Disability (VSTD)

    Disability Business Partner Changes for 2022.

    In 2022, we’re switching the Business Partners who administer our disability programs to streamline the leave of absence experience for all Crewmembers. Here’s the new line-up:

    • Short Term Disability—Claims will be managed by Sedgwick.
      • NEW for Pilots
      • No change for all other Crewmembers
    • Long Term Disability—Claims will be managed by The Hartford.
      • NEW for all Crewmembers, including Pilots
    • State Mandated Disability Benefits
      • NEW—Sedgwick will administer state-provided disability benefits if you work in New Jersey or New York

    Note: If you’re a Pilot approved for Voluntary Short Term Disability (VSTD) or any Crewmember approved for Long Term Disability (LTD) with a disability date prior to January 1, 2022, you’ll need to contact MetLife for your return to work process.

    Click here for more details.

    The basics.

    Did you know that your income stops while you’re on disability leave? Voluntary Short Term Disability (VSTD) coverage allows you to get paid a portion of your salary when you are unable to work because you get sick or injured—or have a baby—without using up your PTO bank. Since you pay the full cost of VSTD coverage with post-tax dollars, any benefits you receive will be tax-free. There are three coverage Options: Low Option, Core Option and High Option.

    How it works.

    How it works.

    Some Crewmembers are automatically enrolled in VSTD. If you wish to opt out of coverage or change plans, you must do so when you enroll in your benefits for the first time as a New Crewmember or wait until the annual Open Enrollment period. Here are the automatic enrollments:

    • New Full-Time Crewmembers (except those based in California, New Jersey or Puerto Rico): You are automatically enrolled in the Low Option at your own cost.
    • Newly-hired Pilots: You are automatically enrolled in the Core Option at your own cost.

    Comparing options.

    Comparing options.

    VSTD benefits begin on the 8th day you miss work due to an illness or injury and continue paying for up to 26 weeks. Here’s how the three Options compare.

    Low Option

    This option pays:
    • 40% of your basic earnings* from pay periods ending either the two or six full calendar months prior to the leave start date, whichever is higher.
    • Weekly benefit paid cannot be more than $1,500.**

    Use the formula and rate table below to calculate your VSTD rate per paycheck.

    Low Option Formula

    Use the lesser of $195,000 or your current annual pay in the calculations. The number of paychecks is either 24 or 52.
    • Annual pay ÷ 52 = weekly pay x 0.40 = your weekly benefit ÷ 10 = ______ x rate table below = your monthly premium.
    • Your monthly premium x 12 = annual cost ÷ number of paychecks (24 or 52) = cost per paycheck.

    See VSTD rates in the chart below.

    Core Option

    This option pays:
    • 60% of your basic earnings* from pay periods ending either the two or six full calendar months prior to the leave start date, whichever is higher.
    • Weekly benefit paid cannot be more than $1,500.**

    Use the formula and rate table below to calculate your VSTD rate per paycheck.

    Core Option Formula

    Use the lesser of $130,000 or your current annual pay in the calculations. The number of paychecks is either 24 or 52.
    • Annual pay ÷ 52 = weekly pay x 0.60 = your weekly benefit ÷ 10 = ______ x rate table below = your monthly premium.
    • Your monthly premium x 12 = annual cost ÷ number of paychecks (24 or 52) = cost per paycheck.

    See VSTD rates in the chart below.

    High Option

    This option pays:
    • 60% of your basic earnings* from pay periods ending either the two or six full calendar months prior to the leave start date, whichever is higher.
    • Weekly benefit paid cannot be more than $3,000.**

    Use the formula and rate table below to calculate your VSTD rate per paycheck.

    High Option Formula

    Use the lesser of $260,000 or your current annual pay in the calculations. The number of paychecks is either 24 or 52.
    • Annual pay ÷ 52 = weekly pay x 0.60 = your weekly benefit ÷ 10 = ______ x rate table below = your monthly premium.
    • Your monthly premium x 12 = annual cost ÷ number of paychecks (24 or 52) = cost per paycheck.

    See VSTD rates in the chart below.

    Note: Your rates are based on your base salary as of January 1 or date of hire whichever is latest. However, any benefits paid will be based on your pre-disability earnings.

    *Basic earnings include regular salary or wages, shift differential, premium and overtime pay, and do not include commissions, bonuses, incentive pay, PTO Sell back, per diem or other additional compensation.

    **The earnings are annualized to determine the higher weekly benefit payment.

     

    Voluntary Short Term Disability rates.

    If you work in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, Massachusetts or Puerto Rico, your rates will be slightly lower because your state already provides disability coverage that is mandatory and paid through your state taxes. Please note: VSTD benefits are offset by the maximum state benefit.

     

    VSTD
    CA CT MA NJ NY RI PR WA Other
    Low Option $0.500 $0.592 $0.540 $0.489 $0.680 $0.567 $0.691 $0.592 $1.070
    Core Option $0.546 $0.648 $0.590 $0.536 $0.745 $0.620 $0.756 $0.648 $1.102
    High Option $1.389 $1.646 $1.501 $1.362 $1.887 $1.574 $1.921 $1.646 $1.984

    Limits on pre-existing conditions.

    Limits on pre-existing conditions.

    When you first elect VSTD, it does not cover disabilities from pre-existing conditions for 12 months. Pre-existing conditions are conditions you already had or have been treating during the three months prior to your coverage effective date, including pregnancy. If you increase coverage during Open Enrollment, the Option will pay at your prior benefit level for any pre-existing conditions identified three months prior to the new coverage effective date.

    State disability benefits.

    If you work and pay for disability coverage in a state that offers government-mandated coverage (California, Connecticut (as of 1/1/2022), Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, District of Columbia or Puerto Rico), you may purchase VSTD at a lower rate to supplement your state coverage. You may also be able to add, as applicable, VSTD coverage (within 90 days of your transfer date) if you transfer into or out of one of the areas that does not offer state disability. Check the level of benefits provided by your state before you elect VSTD with JetBlue because government benefits will be subtracted from any benefits you are eligible to receive under JetBlue’s VSTD Option. Crewmembers who work in all other states will pay at a slightly higher rate.

    Here’s an example of how this works:

    If your eligible earnings were $100 a week and your VSTD benefits pay 60% of earnings while your state disability pays 50% of earnings, you’d receive $10 from your VSTD benefits and the other $50 from your state, equaling a total of $60, which is 60%. The VSTD Option assumes you are receiving the maximum benefit from your state unless you provide proof otherwise. If your state benefit was approved for $48 a week, your weekly VSTD benefits would be updated to $12 effective from the first date benefits are payable.

    Need to go on Short Term Disability?

    Find detailed information about taking Short Term Disability leave, including how to apply and return to work, here.

    Contacts

    New York State Disability (Non-Pilots)
    Leaves of Absence
    New Jersey State Disability (As of 1/1/22)
    Short Term Disability (All Crewmembers)
    Long Term Disability (All Crewmembers) and Short Term Disability (Pilots)
    State Disability