Skip to Navigation

Texas Income Protection Plan for State Employees, ERS

TIPP ERS logo

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I enroll? How much will I receive? Whom can I call for help? Get answers to these and other questions below. You can also download the FAQs document (119k).

GENERAL FAQ

TIPP is the name of the self-funded disability income benefits plan for the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) through the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS).

This refers to short-term and long-term disability coverage that protects your income by paying a percentage of your paycheck to you when you become disabled and cannot work due to illness, injury or pregnancy.

ReedGroup is the third-party administrator for TIPP. In addition to providing customer service, they also administer claims processing for both the short-term and long-term disability plans offered through TIPP.

Guardian Life Insurance is the underwriter for TIPP. If you are required to submit evidence of insurability (EOI) to apply for coverage, your application must be approved by Guardian Life Insurance before coverage can start.

The Master Benefit Plan Document (MBPD PY 2018—Effective 1/1/18) (1.1MB) describes TIPP benefits available to eligible employees. It includes information regarding:

  • who is eligible;
  • when coverage begins and ends;
  • how benefits are calculated;
  • when benefits are not payable (called Limitations and Exclusions);
  • how benefits are paid; and
  • more about the TIPP program.

The Master Benefit Plan Document (MBPD PY 2018—Effective 1/1/18) (1.1MB) supersedes all other print and electronic documentation about the TIPP program.

See the prior year’s Master Benefit Plan Document: Master Benefit Plan Document (MBPD PY 2018—Effective 9/1/17) (306k).

ENROLLMENT AND COVERAGE FAQs

You can enroll within 31 days after your hire date. In this case, you don’t need to submit evidence of insurability (EOI).

After 31 days, you can apply for coverage during Summer Enrollment or if you have an applicable qualifying life event (QLE), such as marriage or the birth of a child. To apply, you will need to provide EOI. To apply:

  1. Log in to your ERS account.
  2. Select short-term and/or long-term disability coverage.
  3. 3. Follow the prompts to initiate the EOI process with Guardian Life Insurance (the underwriter for TIPP).

Your application must be approved before your coverage starts.

How do I get TIPP disability coverage?
New Hire

How: Log in to your ERS account.

When: Elect TIPP disability coverage within your first 31 days of employment.

What else: You do not need to submit evidence of insurability (EOI).

Qualifying Life Event (QLE)

How:

  1. Log in to your ERS account.
  2. Identify and use the correct reason for the QLE when making changes to your account.
  3. Select short-term and/or long-term disability coverage.
  4. Follow the prompts to initiate the EOI process with Guardian Life Insurance (the underwriter for TIPP).

See the following FAQ to learn more.

When: Apply within your first 31 days of the QLE date.

What else: Guardian Life Insurance must approve your application before your coverage starts. Coverage starts the first day of the month after Guardian Life Insurance approves your coverage.

For example, if your application is approved on October 15, your coverage will start November 1.

Evidence of insurability (EOI) is used to determine eligibility for coverage. You don’t need to submit EOI to enroll in disability coverage within 31 days of your hire date.

If you miss your hire enrollment deadline, you may apply during Summer Enrollment or if you have an applicable qualifying life event (QLE). However, you will have to submit EOI.

Your application must be approved by Guardian Life Insurance, the underwriter for TIPP, before your coverage can start. If you are approved, you will be enrolled in coverage and do not need to take any other action to enroll.

During the first 24 months of a disability claim, “total disability” refers to a participant who can’t do his or her job due to a disability that has been certified by an approved practitioner. After the first 24 months, this definition changes.

See the Master Benefit Plan Document (MBPD PY 2018—Effective 1/1/18) (1.1MB) for more information.

Yes. You cannot submit a disability claim for a medical condition for which you had medical treatment, advice or services, or prescription drugs or medicine in the three months prior to the date your disability coverage started.

After six months of coverage, you may submit a disability claim for that condition.

Yes, provided your pregnancy did not begin prior to the effective date of your coverage. Call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711) for information about your particular situation.

Most participants have disability premiums deducted from their paychecks on an after-tax basis. Then, any disability payments you receive are not taxable.

If your employer pays your short-term and/or long-term disability premiums, disability payments are taxable income. If your employer pays a percentage of your disability premiums, then the same percent of any disability payments you receive are taxable income.

SHORT-TERM DISABILITY FAQ

Before you can get benefit payments, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be certified as totally disabled by a physician.
  • Your claim must be approved.
  • The waiting period may be extended beyond 30 days, if you have more than 30 days of sick leave, extended sick leave, donated sick leave or sick leave pool.

See the TIPP User’s Guide (1.6MB) for more information about eligibility.

You have two ways to file a claim:

  1. Use the online self-service option.

    First time using the site? Select “Are you a new user?” and follow the instructions to create your User ID and password. You must be actively employed and paying your TIPP premiums to have access to self service.

    Forgot your User ID and/or password? Select “Forgot User ID or Password” on the self-service login page. Enter the requested information to retrieve your User ID. To retrieve your password, select “Forgot Password”. You will need to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number plus your date of birth. Next you select from the options and follow the prompts.


  2. Call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

Within 24 hours after you file a claim, a claim manager will contact you to get additional information.

Please call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

You can check the status of your claim by calling TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

Once approved, your STD benefit is 66% of your insured monthly salary.* Here’s an example of how this works.**

Calculate Your TIPP Monthly Benefit Example
Insured monthly salary

$ 3,200

% of salary provided

x 66%

Your TIPP monthly short-term disability payment

$ 2,112

Your monthly payments are less if you get benefit payments from other sources:

  • Workers’ Compensation,
  • Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) disability retirement benefits,
  • Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas disability retirement benefits, or
  • other disability payments.

See the Master Benefit Plan Document (MBPD PY 2018—Effective 1/1/18) (1.1MB) for complete details.

The date of your first payment depends on when you complete the waiting period. After the first payment, all other payments are issued the first business day of the month.

The safest and quickest way to get your disability payments is direct deposit. To set up direct deposit, use the Direct Deposit Form (103k) or call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711). You can also have your payment mailed to your home.

Your waiting period is the time you wait before you can get disability benefits. For short-term disability, the waiting period is 30 days.

You also must use all your sick leave (including extended sick leave, donated sick leave and/or sick leave pool). So if you have more than 30 days of sick leave, benefits are not payable until all of your sick leave is used. You are not required to use your vacation or other annual leave.

If your disability claim is denied, you may file an appeal. Here’s how the appeals process works.

Appeals Process Overview
1.

SUBMIT APPEAL

Call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

2.

RECEIVE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT LETTER

The TIPP administrator will mail you an acknowledgement letter within 48 business hours after receiving your appeal.

3.

RECEIVE DECISION AFTER APPEAL REVIEW

Your TIPP claim manager will call and inform you of the decision within 48 business hours after a decision is made.

LONG-TERM DISABILITY FAQ

Before you can get benefit payments, you must meet all of the following requirements.

  • You must be certified as totally disabled by a physician.
  • Your claim must be approved.
  • Once you become disabled, you must be totally disabled for 180 consecutive days and use all of your sick leave entitlements before you can get benefit payments. The waiting period may be extended beyond 180 days, if you have more than 180 days of sick leave, donated sick leave, extended sick leave or sick leave pool.

See the TIPP User’s Guide (1.6MB) for more information about eligibility.

You have two ways to file a claim:

  1. Use the online self-service option. First time users need to register on the site by following the instructions on “Are you a new user?” to create a User ID and password.

    Forgot your User ID and/or password? Select “Forgot User ID or Password” on the self-service login page. Enter the requested information to retrieve your User ID. To retrieve your password, select “Forgot Password”. You will need to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number plus your date of birth. Next you select from the options and follow the prompts.

  2. Call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

Within 24 hours after you file a claim, a claim manager will contact you to get additional information.

Please call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

You can check the status of your claim by calling TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

Once approved, your benefit is 60% of your insured monthly salary.* Here’s an example of how this works.**

Calculate Your Monthly TIPP Payment Example
Insured monthly salary

$3,200

% of salary provided

x 60%

Your TIPP monthly long-term disability payment

$1,920

Your monthly payments are less if you get benefit payments from other sources:

  • Social Security disability payments (applies to long-term disability only),
  • Workers’ Compensation,
  • Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) disability retirement benefits,
  • Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas disability retirement benefits, or
  • other disability payments, including short-term disability payments made by TIPP, if paid concurrently.

See the Master Benefit Plan Document (MBPD PY 2018—Effective 1/1/18) (1.1MB) for complete details.

The date of your first payment depends on when you complete the waiting period. After the first payment, all other payments are issued the first business day of the month.

The safest and quickest way to get your disability payments is direct deposit. To set up direct deposit, use the Direct Deposit Form (103k) or call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711). You can also have your payment mailed to your home.

Your waiting period is the time you wait before you can get disability benefits. For long-term disability, the waiting period is 180 days.

You also must use all your sick leave (including extended sick leave, donated sick leave and sick leave pool). So if you have more than 180 days of sick leave, benefits are not payable until all of your sick leave is used. You are not required to use your vacation or other annual leave.

If your disability claim is denied, you may file an appeal. Here’s how the appeals process works.

Appeals Process Overview
1.

SUBMIT APPEAL

Call TIPP Customer Care toll-free at (855) 604-6230 (TDD – 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.

2.

RECEIVE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT LETTER

The TIPP Administrator will mail you an acknowledgement letter within 48 business hours after receiving your appeal.

3.

RECEIVE DECISION AFTER APPEAL REVIEW

Your TIPP claim manager will call and inform you of the decision within 48 business hours after a decision is made.

(back to top)