University of Illinois System

Shared Benefits

The shared benefits program provides eligible employees who have exhausted all accumulated sick leave and, if applicable, vacation leave, with the opportunity to receive additional leave days when a disability claim is pending with the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).

Employees must donate to the pool to receive leave from the pool.

Select one of the following links or scroll down for specific information:

Benefits Continuation
Donation of Shared Benefits Leave
Withdrawal of Shared Benefits Leave
Withdrawal Requirements
Appeal Procedure
Covering Costs


Civil Service, Faculty, and Academic Professional employees are eligible to participate in the Shared Benefits Program. 

To donate leave to the pool, an employee must:

  • Be a Civil Service, Faculty, or Academic Professional employee who participates in SURS or the Federal Retirement System.
  • Be appointed at least 50 percent time to a position for which service is expected to be rendered for at least nine continuous months.
  • Have a cumulative balance of at least 11 days of leave.

Postdoctoral research associates, medical residents, graduate assistants, and annuitants in SURS or the Federal Retirement System are not eligible to participate.

When you log into the Donation of Leave Form the system will determine your eligibility.

Benefits Continuation

While using leave time from the shared benefits pool, employees continue to receive the same State and University benefits as when actively working. All State-paid contributions continue.

Donation of Shared Benefits Leave

Donation of leave to the shared benefits pool is completed through the Donation of Leave Form.

  • The donating employee's leave balance will be reduced by the number of days donated.
  • Employees may not designate that a particular employee receive their donated leave.
  • If an employee changes employee groups (i.e. from Academic Professional to Civil Service, or vice versa) after donating to the Shared Benefits pool, they will NOT be required to donate again under the new employee group.
  • If an employee changes universities within the UI System (e.g., moves from a position at UIC to UIUC) after donating to the Shared Benefits pool, they will be required to donate again at their new university.
IMPORTANT:  If the employee has 11 days of accrued/cumulative sick leave and donates 1 or more days of sick leave, he/she will only be required to exhaust sick leave in order to withdraw from Shared Benefits. If, however, the employee's cumulative balance of at least 11 days of leave requires vacation leave to meet the threshold,  he/she will be required to exhaust both types of leave (sick and vacation) before withdrawing from the pool.

Withdrawal of Shared Benefits Leave

Employees who use leave from the pool are not required to pay it back, unless the same dates are retroactively covered by Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Provisions of University leave policies must be followed when using shared benefits.

Employees should complete the Withdrawal of Shared Benefits Application Form and return it to the appropriate office indicated on the form. The university or system human resources office will provide a status and/or a final decision once all appropriate documentation is submitted, Electronic submittal of the Withdrawal of Shared Benefits Application Form is not available at this time.

Withdrawal Requirements

Requests for withdrawal of shared benefits are subject to the following requirements.

  • Employee has previously donated at least one full day of benefit leave to the pool under the Shared Benefits Program.
  • Employee has a disability claim pending with SURS.
    • Employee may contact their Human Resources office to begin the SURS disability application process. Human Resources will coordinate with SURS to verify submission of the disability claim.
  • Prior to or after applying for disability through SURS, the employee must exhaust of accumulated sick leave and, if applicable, vacation leave.
  • Employees or their designee must complete a Withdrawal of Shared Benefits Application Form requesting leave from the pool and submit to Human Resources. 
  • Application to withdraw leave from the pool should be made as soon as possible or practicable. 
  • The amount approved cannot exceed one-third of the balance in the pool or 45 working days, whichever is less.
  • Employees may apply for leave from the pool once per academic appointment year.

Appeal Procedure

In the event an employee’s shared benefit withdrawal application is denied, the employee may appeal the decision. The appeal procedure will follow the guidelines established for the employee’s university or system office.

Covering Costs

Departments/units are responsible for the cost of all shared benefits leave pay resulting from use of the shared benefits program.

Resources and Forms

Disability Approval Instructions
Donation of Leave Form
Shared Benefits Withdrawal of Leave Application Form

Policy and Rules for Civil Service Staff

Sick Leave
Shared Benefits Program

University Policies

Urbana: Sick Leave for Academic Staff | Shared Benefits (Sick Leave) Policy for Academic Staff
Chicago: Sick Leave for Academic Employees | Shared Benefit Program
Springfield: Contact the campus Human Resources Office.