Disability and Leave Information

Disability Information

If you are seriously ill or injured and unable to work for an extended period of time, and if you provide acceptable medical documentation, you may be eligible to continue to receive income under Harvard's disability coverage.

With the University's two disability plans, Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability, a portion of your income continues along with your other benefits if you are unable to work due to a non-work related illness or injury. 

Work related injuries may be covered by Workers' Compensation.

Short term Disability (STD)

The purpose of the Short Term Disability Plan is to help staff avoid or minimize the financial burdens that may result from an extended non-work related accident or illness.

Workers' Compensation

All employees of Harvard University are covered by Workers' Compensation during the course of their employment. Supervisors are responsible for the accurate completion and submittal of the Accident Report. The Accident Report must be submitted within 24 hours of the incident and should be sent to Heidi Shea at hshea@seas.harvard.edu. Please see the University’s policies for Workers' Compensation.

Long Term Disability

The purpose of the Long Term Disability Plan is to provide continued income to eligible faculty and staff in the event he or she is unable to work due to non-work-related total disability.

Leave Information

The policies that are used by SEAS for maternity/parental leave are the same policies and practices that Harvard University applies. 


The 13 week maternity leave period begins on the day of the birth of the child. There are a few important details that outline the regulations surrounding maternity leave.

A birth mother is eligible for 13 weeks of maternity leave with the assurance of return to the same position. It is Harvard University practice to designate this leave as Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

This 13 week period of maternity leave can be a combination of the following:

  • Eight weeks of short term disability (STD). This option must be taken within 8 weeks of birth of the baby. Appropriate percentage of pay you will receive is based on your years of service. The percentage of pay you receive cannot be supplemented by other accrued paid time.
  • 4 weeks of Paternal Leave. This must be taken within 13 weeks following the birth of the baby. Unlike STD, the 4 week paid paternal leave can be supplemented with vacation or personal time.  Sick time may not be applied.

Birth and Adoptive Parents

Two options for parental leave are available to birth or adoptive parents. Up to 4 weeks of paid parental leave is available to be taken within the 13 weeks following birth or placement for adoption.

Option #1: One week of leave paid at 100% of the current rate of pay;

Option #2: Four weeks of leave paid according to the following University service-related pay replacement schedule:

  • Employees with 7 or more years of service are paid at 100% of current rate of pay.
  • Administrative professional, non-bargaining unit staff get 75% (HUCTW 70%) if they have fewer than 7 years.

More Information on Types of Leaves of Absence