Frequently Asked Questions

Upon approval, LTD benefits will begin approximately 30 days following the 90 working day waiting period or the exhaustion of sick leave, whichever is greater.  The waiting period begins the day after your last day at work or when you reduce your hours.  Principal Life Insurance will send you a letter notifying you of approval and the exact date of your first payment.

It can take from 6 to 12 weeks for a Principal Life Insurance claims analyst to review the claim for a decision.

Principal Life Insurance will review the claim.  The decision is based on whether or not you meet the definition of disability as defined in the contract the University of Iowa has with Principal.  Basically, disability is defined as the inability to perform the duties of your normal job as a result of a sickness or injury.

You may apply to participate in the Catastrophic Leave program.  This program allows staff and faculty who earn vacation to donate vacation to you to be used as sick leave time.  You may use the catastrophic leave donations pending a decision on the disability benefits.   More information can be found on the Catastrophic Leave page.

Principal will continue your life insurance if you are under age 70.  If you are over age 70 at the time of LTD application, however, there will be no life insurance benefit.  If you are carrying AD and D coverage at the time of your disability, this coverage will also remain in place at no cost to you.  Principal will continue contributions to TIAA/CREF at the same level as your employment contributions.  You will be allowed to continue in The University’s group for health and dental insurance by paying the full rate for the plan(s).

Principal does not automatically require you to apply for SSDI.  You will be required in the application process to sign an agreement to apply for SSDI when Principal requests it, however.  Principal will reduce its payment to you by the Social Security Disability Income payment.  In most cases SSDI is not taxable.  Medicare will become available to you two years after your SSDI approval date.

Yes.  The University disability plan offers a partial disability option.  If you are unable to earn more than 80% of your income prior to disability due to illness or an injury, you may qualify to receive partial disability income.  Once your claim is approved by Principal, the Benefits Office will send Principal your monthly earning statements.  Principal then calculates the income owed to you.  If you work for another employer, Principal will request copies of your earning statements from you directly.

If your disability payments begin before you are age 65, until the later of the date 36 months after the Benefit Payment begins, or the date you attain Social Security Norma Retirement Age; or

If your disability payments begin at or after age 65, until the later of the date of Social Security Normal Retirement Age, or the date of completion of the number of months shown below after the Benefit Payment Period Begins.

Members age when disability begins Months of Benefit Payment Period (beginning with the date the benefit payment period begins)
Months of Benefit Payment Period
65-67 24
68-69 18
70-71 15
72 and over 12


Your salary determines the amount of income you would receive. Please contact the Benefits Office for your benefit amount.