Skip to main content

Taking Qualifying or FMLA Leave

Whether you need to be away from work for an extended time to care for yourself or a family member, the university’s leave administration process and vendor partner will help guide you through the necessary steps. 

Qualifying leave became available to eligible staff in 2024 as part of the university's transition to a PTO model. For more information, see the Leave Program Changes webpage.

  Applying for Extended Leave  

The extended leave request process follows the same steps for all qualifying leaves for Short-Term Disability, Caregiver and Parental Leave (available to staff only), as well as for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leaves of absence (available to both faculty and staff):

  1. Discuss extended absence with supervisor to plan for time off. 
    • Provide as much notice as possible as circumstances permit.  
    • Apply at least 30 calendar days before anticipated need, where possible.
  2. Register with MetLife’s MyBenefits portal, the university’s primary tool for submitting and reviewing leave requests and recording time while on leave. 
  3. File and submit a leave claim request via the myBenefits portal or to MetLife by phone. (Review the How to Submit a Leave Request Guide (PDF) for step-by-step instructions.)
    • You will receive confirmation and claim number once submitted. Supervisors will also receive notification that a claim has been filed. 
    • You may be asked to provide additional information or documentation while your claim is under review (see below). 
  4. Complete instructions included in your packet from MetLife once a claim is submitted.
    • Packets are available online within a few hours and typically mailed within two business days).
    • For caregiver leave, proof of relationship must be on file with the university. If needed, complete the Affidavit of Qualifying Family Relationship (PDF) and return to the Leave Administration Team.

Supervisors and timekeepers can request a qualifying leave on behalf of someone else by emailing the Leave Administration Team at

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Eligibility

Claims are automatically reviewed for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility. FMLA provides job protection while the qualifying leave provides income replacement. For more information on FMLA leave of absence, visit the FMLA webpage. 

  While on Leave  

Most of the information you need while taking an extended absence from work will be provided to you via MetLife. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

  •  If you need to begin leave before your claim is approved, use your available PTO and/or banked vacation time when completing your timesheet.
    • The Leave Administration Team will adjust the timesheet once your leave claim is approved. This helps ensure there are no payroll processing interruptions.
  • Reporting time:
    • While on continuous leave: The university's Leave Administration Team will enter your approved time off in your timesheet.
    • While on intermittent leave: Report time away from work to MetLife via phone or the myBenefits portal, as well as your normal call-in procedure. The Leave Administration Team will enter the approved intermittent time off in your timesheet.
  • For questions:

Pay and Benefits

Employees will receive payment from the university following the standard payroll schedule and usual deductions. In instances where a qualifying leave is approved after the payroll cutoff, the Leave Administration Team will work with the employee for necessary payroll adjustments.

Annual Base Benefit Rate (ABBR)

The Annual Base Benefit Rate (ABBR) covered by the qualified leave programs includes total income before taxes. Your ABBR does not include:

  • Bonuses
  • Car, housing or moving allowances
  • Employer contributions to a qualified deferred compensation plan (e.g., for retirement, such as the DC Plan or DC component of the Hybrid Plan)
  • Income received from part-time, non-benefit eligible university employment
  • Overtime pay or shift differential
  • Pre-tax contributions to:
    • A qualified deferred compensation plan
    • Section 125 (cafeteria) plan
    • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Any other extra compensation or income received from sources other than the university.

  Returning to Work  

In general, your MetLife packet will walk you through any steps needed for returning to work from an extended absence. However, there may be a few additional steps depending on the type of leave(s) being used:

Reviewed 2024-04-04


Notice of Nondiscrimination

If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call UnitedHealthcare at 1-844-634-1237 for translation assistance.

Español   繁體中文   Tiếng Việt   Srpsko-hrvatski   Deutsch   العربية   Русский   한국어  
Français   Tagalog   Deitsch   فارسی   Oroomiffa   Português   አማርኛ

UnitedHealthcare’s Transparency in Coverage (exit UM System site)