Short Term Disability

The Cornell Short-Term Disability (STD) Plan provides benefits and partial compensation when you are unable to work for qualified health reasons unrelated to workers compensation. 

You typically use health and personal leave to cover your lost wages for the first 7 calendar days of a disability-related absence. After the7 calendar day waiting period, you receive 50% of your base pay for the time you are medically approved as disabled from work, up to a maximum of 26 weeks in any 52 weeks period(or approximately six (6) months) and your job will be heldin accordance with Cornell’s job hold policy provisions.

If you qualify, you may use health and personal leave and vacation time to supplement the other 50% pay. You will also receive holiday pay for any holiday that falls during a period of approved disability. Your time off is not used on a university holiday.

You may choose to use these days together or return to work up to half-time, and receive 50% pay for the time not worked with agreement from you, your physician, and your supervisor. Leave accruals may still be used to supplement this partial disability time. If you exhaust all of your STD benefits, you may be approved for long-term disability.

Short Term Disability FAQ


To be eligible for this benefit, you must:

  • be employed for at least 4 weeks by Cornell, or worked 4 or more consecutive weeks elsewhere in New York and be re-employed with Cornell within 4 weeks from the last day previously worked in New York
  • be absent from work for 7 consecutive calendar days
  • provide proper medical certification of disability from a licensed New York medical provider, both at the start of disability, and via periodic medical certification if the absence from work is lengthy. Cornell may seek independent medical verification of your disability as a condition of continuing your benefits
  • be a regular full-time or part-time nonacademic Cornell employee
  • notwork for wages elsewhere when you are disabled and receiving benefits from Cornell. Any outside employment requires the express written authorization from Cornell.

Employees working outside New York State:

Employees working in other states with state-provided paid family and/or medical leave benefits will be covered under the terms of their respective state's policies. If you are unsure whether your state provides its own paid family or medical leave benefit you may contact Medical Leaves Administration (MLA) at 607-255-1177, and MLA can direct you to the appropriate state agency which would receive your request for paid leave.

Temporary and Cooperative Extension Employees

  • Temporary, non-benefits eligible employees must meet the same criteria as above and the benefit is limited to the weekly rate as per current New York law.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Association employees are not covered under the Cornell Short Term Disability plan.

How to Apply

First talk to your supervisor and your local human resources representative. You’ll be asked to do the following:

  • Provide written notification: It is your responsibility to present written notification to your supervisor certifying you are able to return to work after an absence of five (5) consecutive working days or more. Employees who cannot produce such notification cannot be allowed to return to work.
  • Complete the DB-450 form: If you are absent for more than seven (7) calendar days you must have a DB-450 form completed by your doctor. If you see more than one physician, a DB-450 must be filed for each doctor you see during your period of disability. Medical Leaves Administration will send you this form automatically – your department will notify us. Medical Leaves Administration treats this information confidentially. Under no circumstances will this information be released to your department.
  • Submit all other forms: Claim forms and information will be sent to your home. It is your responsibility to promptly complete and submit all forms received from Medical Leaves Administration. You are also required to provide continuing medical reports of your disability when required by Medical Leaves Administration.

Returning to Work

Once your disability has ended, you must be medically certified to return to your job. This will require you to present a medical note from your physician to your supervisor that you are able to resume your job. This note must be presented either before your return or on the day you return. Cornell may seek independent medical verification of your ability to return to work.

If you become disabled as a result of the same illness or accident within three months of your return to work, disability benefits under this program will begin immediately.