Long-Term Disability Plan

The MIT Long-Term Disability Plan protects you from loss of income when you cannot work because of illness or injury.

Enrollment is automatic, and MIT pays the full cost of your coverage. If you become totally disabled while employed at MIT, the Long-Term Disability Plan pays you 60% of your monthly base pay up to maximum monthly payments of $15,000. The amount of your payments will be reduced by

  • primary Social Security disability benefits
  • Workers' Compensation benefits
  • disability benefits from other employers for the same disability
  • veteran's disability benefits
  • earnings from rehabilitative employment (subject to certain conditions)

Because MIT pays the entire cost of your long-term disability coverage, any benefit payments you receive are taxable as regular income.


You are eligible for the MIT Long-Term Disability Plan if you are paid by MIT, are appointed to work at MIT for at least three months, and work at least 50% of the normal full-time work schedule.

Who is not eligible
  • visitor
  • contractor
  • affiliate
  • teaching or research assistant
  • honorary lecturer
  • summer appointment
  • non-MIT student program worker
  • international visiting student
  • post-doctoral fellow
  • paid by MITemps
  • student in a work-study program
  • family member who is not employed by MIT
  • member of the armed services assigned to MIT
Members of collective bargaining units

All the plan provisions are subject to the terms of your collective bargaining agreement. 

What is totally disabled?

You are considered totally disabled if you are prevented by bodily injury, sickness, disease, or mental disorder from engaging in

  • your own occupation during the first two years of your disability
  • any occupation for which you are reasonably fitted by education, training, or experience, following the first two years of your disability

Disability coverage and your MIT benefits

As long as you are receiving long-term disability payments under the plan, MIT pays the full cost of the following benefits (if you were enrolled when you became disabled):

  • MIT Basic Retirement Plan (based on your pay when you became disabled)
  • MIT health and dental plans
  • MIT Basic Life Insurance (if you are not eligible for a premium waiver from MIT's group life insurance provider). Note: You continue to pay for your Supplemental Life coverage unless you apply for and receive a premium waiver from MIT's group life insurance provider.

MIT continues to make contributions to your Basic Pension Plan. MIT also contributes to your MIT Supplemental 401(k) account an amount equal to 10% of your pay when you became disabled — even if you were not contributing to your account when you became disabled. You may not contribute to your MIT Supplemental 401(k) account when you are receiving disability payments from MIT.

Your child will continue to be eligible for the same tuition privileges under the Children's Scholarship Plan while you are receiving long-term disability benefits from MIT.

If enrolled, coverage in the following benefits end when you are approved for Long-Term Disability:

  • Vision Plan
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • Business Travel Insurance
  • Spouse Life Insurance
  • Dependent Life Insurance
  • Tuition Assistance

When your benefits end

Your long-term disability benefits will be terminated when the earliest of the following occurs:

  • you are no longer totally disabled
  • you are no longer under appropriate physician's care
  • you fail or refuse to be examined by a physician, provide requested information, or participate in a review, treatment, rehabilitation, or other similar program as required by the plan administrator or service provider
  • your rehabilitative employment ends
  • you fail to apply for Social Security disability benefits within 31 days of receiving approval for payments under the MIT Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan
  • the plan is terminated by the provider or MIT
  • you reach the end of the maximum benefit period
  • you die

Maximum benefit period

Regardless of your circumstances, your long-term disability benefits terminate when you reach the end of the Maximum Benefit Period as described in the chart below. If you were younger than age 61 when you became disabled, check the second chart below to determine your Social Security Normal Retirement Age.

Your age when you became disabledMaximum benefit period
less than 61until you reach Social Security Normal Retirement Age (see below)
614 years
623 years and 6 months
633 years
642 years and 6 months
652 years
661 year and 9 months
671 year and 6 months
681 year and 3 months
69 or older1 year

If you were younger than 61 when you became disabled, your Social Security Normal Retirement Age depends on your birth year as described in the chart below.

Social Security Normal Retirement Age Chart
Birth yearSocial Security normal retirement age
1937 or earlierage 65
1938age 65 and 2 months
1939age 65 and 4 months
1940age 65 and 6 months
1941age 65 and 8 months
1942age 65 and 10 months
1943 to 1954age 66
1955age 66 and 2 months
1956age 66 and 4 months
1957age 66 and 6 months
1958age 66 and 8 months
1959age 66 and 10 months
1960 or laterage 67

How to apply

You must apply for long-term disability payments within 90 days of the end of your disability waiting period.

  • For most eligible individuals, the waiting period is the six months following the date the disability occurred.
  • To avoid unnecessary delays in the start of your payments, begin the application process within three to four months of becoming disabled.

Contact MIT Benefits for details and assistance with the application process.