Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 51.1. Pensions, Benefits, and Retirement
Chapter 11.1. Disability Program for Hybrid Retirement Program Participants
3/4/2021

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 51.1-1150. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Act" means the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.).

"Company" means an insurance company issuing a long-term disability insurance policy purchased by the Board pursuant to this chapter.

"Continuous service" means an uninterrupted period of service as a participating employee with the same employer.

"Disability" means a partial disability or total disability.

"Disability benefit" means income replacement payments payable to a participating employee under a short-term or long-term disability benefit program pursuant to this chapter. Disability benefits do not include benefits payable under the Act.

"Eligible employee" means a person who is (i) not eligible for the disability program pursuant to Chapter 11 (§ 51.1-1100 et seq.) and (ii) participating in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169.

"Partial disability" means a disability that exists during the first 24 months following the occurrence or commencement of an illness or injury when an employee is earning less than 80 percent of his predisability earnings and, as a result of an injury or illness, is (i) able to perform one or more, but not all, of the essential job functions of his own job on an active employment or a part-time basis; or (ii) able to perform all of the essential job functions of his own job only on a part-time basis.

"Participating employee" means any eligible employee required to participate in the program.

"Program" means the program providing short-term disability and long-term disability benefits for participating employees established pursuant to this chapter.

"Service" means a period of service as a participating employee.

"Total disability" means a disability that exists (i) during the first 24 months following the occurrence or commencement of an illness or injury if an employee is unable to perform all of his essential job functions or (ii) after 24 months following the occurrence or commencement of an illness or injury if an employee is unable to perform any job for which he is reasonably qualified based on his training or experience and earning less than 80 percent of his predisability earnings.

"Work-related injury" means an injury, as such term is defined in § 65.2-101, to a participating employee for which benefits are payable under the Act and the employer for purposes of the Act is the Commonwealth or other political subdivision through which the participating employee became eligible for the program.

In addition to the definitions listed in this section, the definitions listed in § 51.1-124.3 shall, as the context requires, apply to this chapter except as otherwise provided.

2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-1151. Sickness and disability program; disability insurance policies.

A. The Board shall develop, implement, and administer a short-term disability and long-term disability benefits program in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The Board is authorized to delegate or assign to any person any of the duties required to be performed by the Board pursuant to this chapter. The Board is authorized to purchase long-term disability insurance policies for participating employees. The policies shall be purchased from and carried with a disability insurance company that is authorized to do business in the Commonwealth.

Each policy shall contain a provision stipulating the maximum expense and risk charges that are determined by the Board to be consistent with the general level of charges made by disability insurance companies under policies of long-term disability insurance issued to large employers. The Board may require that the policies have reinsurance with a disability insurance company incorporated or organized under the laws of and authorized to do business in the Commonwealth.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the Board may self-insure long-term disability benefits in accordance with the standards set forth in § 51.1-124.30.

2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-1152. Additional powers of the Board.

In addition to any other powers granted to the Board under this title, the Board shall have the power to:

1. Establish policies and procedures to implement and administer the program and the provisions of this chapter;

2. Contract for the provision of comprehensive case management;

3. Take all other actions necessary for the implementation and administration of the program; and

4. Adopt rules and policies that bring the program into compliance with any applicable law or regulation of the Commonwealth or the United States.

2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-1153. Participation in the program.

A. All eligible employees shall become participants in this program, provided, however, that the governing body of an employer may adopt a resolution on or before January 1, 2014, which shall be submitted to the Board, requesting that its eligible employees not participate in the program because the employer has or will establish, and continue to maintain, comparable disability coverage for such eligible employees. The election by the governing body of an employer not to participate in this program shall be irrevocable. The employer need not consider the provisions of § 51.1-1178 when determining the comparability of its disability coverage to this program. As the context requires, the term "participating employee" includes the employees of an employer electing not to participate in the program under this subdivision.

B. The effective date of participation in the program for participating employees shall be their first day of employment or the effective date of their participation in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, whichever is later.

C. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, no participating employee shall receive benefits under Article 2 (§ 51.1-1154 et seq.) until the participating employee completes one year of continuous service.

D. Eligibility for participation in the program shall terminate upon the earliest to occur of an employee's (i) termination of employment or (ii) death. Eligibility for participation in the program shall be suspended during periods that an employee is placed on nonpay status, including leave without pay, if such nonpay status is due to suspension pending investigation or outcome of employment-related court or disciplinary action.

2012, cc. 701, 823; 2014, c. 356; 2015, c. 660.