Life Events - You Become Disabled

How do I apply for disability benefits?

Contact Work Connections as soon as possible after you are disabled and are no longer actively at work, or anticipate an absence from work for a period of 10 consecutive days. You will work with Work Connections staff to determine the appropriate time to apply for LTD benefits.

The Benefits Office, in partnership with Work Connections, is the only office authorized to release and process an application for Expanded Long- Term Disability benefits.

To apply for benefits, you will need to complete the following forms:

In addition:

  • Your supervisor will need to provide a job description, and
  • Your physician will need to complete a Health Care Provider Statement (HCPS), and
  • Your physician will need to complete a Functional Abilities Form (FAF), and
  • You may be required to participate in independent medical evaluations and/or meetings with vocational rehabilitation specialists or nurse case managers.

Follow the checklist below to apply for Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefits. See Long-Term Disability Plans for further information.

LTD Application Claims Process Checklist

What to do When to do it
  1. Contact Work Connections at 734-615-0643 or toll free at 1-877-869-5266, or visit their website at: workconnections.umich.edu
As soon as possible after you are disabled and are no longer actively at work or anticipate an absence from work for a period of 10 consecutive days.
  1. Fully cooperate with Work Connections and provide to medical information and documentation as requested.

As directed by Work Connections.

  1. Complete all the LTD application claim forms you receive from the Benefits Office.
Within 30 days from the date of the cover letter included with the forms that are mailed to you.
  1. If requested by the external Claims Administrator, meet with a nurse case manager and/or a vocational rehabilitation specialist.
As directed, by appointment.
  1. If requested by the external Claims Administrator, attend one or more independent medical evaluations.

As directed, by appointment.
  1. Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits for you and your eligible dependents. Contact SSA by calling 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website at ssa.gov

Immediately upon approval of LTD benefits, if not already done.

You will be notified in writing once the Benefits Office has all the necessary documentation from Work Connections and your completed LTD application claim forms. The external Claims Administrator at ManageAbility will make the determination that will result in the approval or denial of LTD benefits. The Benefits Office will notify you by phone and in writing if your LTD claim is approved. The Claims Administrator will notify you in writing if your LTD claim is denied.

What if my claim is denied?

If your claim for benefits from this Plan is denied, either in full or in part, the Claims Administrator will promptly send you a written notice indicating the reason(s) for denial. Upon written request, you may appeal the decision within 180 days of the date of denial. Detailed instructions for submitting an appeal will be included in the written notice from the Claims Administrator.