Life Events - Leaves

If you are on an approved leave, you may be eligible for benefits continuation. Call the SSC Contact Center at 734-615-2000 locally or 866-647-7657 toll free, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All leave of absence premiums are due on the first of the month for that month's coverage (i.e., premium for the coverage period of June 1st through June 30th is due on June 1st.) Any late or partial payments will be processed and refunded.

Military Leave

University of Michigan faculty and staff members in the Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard who are called to active duty are placed on Military Service Leave. For more information, view the Military Service Leave section.


The university supports leaves of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA leaves are available to all faculty and staff members.

If you meet the criteria, you are entitled to receive university contributions toward medical and dental premiums for up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period. The 12 weeks will be offset by any sick leave used prior to the FMLA leave. The 12-month period renews on the same date as your short-term sick leave.

The criteria are:

  • You must have worked at least 12 months (which do not have to be consecutive) for the university; and you have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the date FMLA leave begins. If a faculty or staff member is maintained on the payroll for any part of a week, including any periods of paid or unpaid leave (sick, vacation) during which other benefits or compensation are provided by the university (e.g., workers' compensation, group health plan benefits, etc.), the week counts as a week of employment. The 1,250 hour requirement does pertain to the immediate prior 12 month period. Whether a faculty or staff member has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to the principles established under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for determining compensable hours of work.

  • Your leave of absence must be approved, and provided for under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA legislation provides for three types of leave: Personal Medical, Child Care, and Family Medical.

Seasonal Leave of Absence

If you are placed on a seasonal leave of absence, university contributions toward your benefits will continue during your leave provided:

  • You had at least a 75% appointment prior to the leave (AFSCME members need only a 50% appointment);
  • Your union contract provides for it; and
  • You continue paying for the faculty or staff member contribution.

Sabbaticals or Scholarly Activity Leaves

During your Sabbatical or Scholarly Activity Leave, your benefits will continue the same as when you are a regular, active staff member if you pay the employee contribution.

If you are on a Scholarly Activity Leave without a salary, you will be responsible for making arrangements to pay your portion of your benefits. Call the SSC Contact Center for more information.

If you are enrolled in a managed care plan and will be moving out of the service area during your Sabbatical or Scholarly Activity Leave, you may want to consider changing your health plan. See "Moving Out of a Managed Care Service Area" for more information. Medical plan providers reserve the right to deny claims and terminate coverage if you move out of the service area for six months or more.

Benefits Coverage During a Leave of Absence

If you are placed on a leave of absence, you must notify the SSC Contact Center prior to or immediately after the date your leave begins. This is to your advantage as the timing is critical if you want to maintain your benefits coverage.

If you call the SSC Contact Center in time to pay the premiums on your benefits before the 20th of the month in which your coverage is scheduled to end, and you agree to pay the premiums, you can continue your health plan, prescription drug plan, and dental plan coverage, Expanded Long-Term Disability, group life insurance, Long-Term Care insurance, Group Legal coverage, and Health Care Flexible Spending account for the duration of your leave.

Returning From a Leave

When you return from a leave of absence or layoff to an appointment eligible for benefits, call the SSC HR Center to have your benefits reinstated.

Any change in dependent status that occurred during the leave or layoff must be reported:

  • Within 30 days of your return if you did not continue your benefits during your leave; or
  • Within 30 days of the event if you did continue your benefits during your leave.

If you continue your benefits through the university during a leave, and you do not return to the university at the end of your leave, you will be offered COBRA for your health plan, dental plan, prescription drug plan, and Health Care Flexible Spending Account. Under COBRA, you may continue these benefits at your own expense for up to 18 months.

Call the SSC Contact Center at 5-2000 from the Ann Arbor campus, 734-615-2000 locally, or 866-647-7657 toll free, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Paying for Your Benefits

The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.