GAIP: Leave of absence

Article 17 of the UAW contract provides that the University will grant an academic student employee’s (ASE) reasonable request for leave of absence (LOA) for the appropriate benefit duration due to:

  • Personal illness and/or disability
  • Care of a family member (as defined below), childbirth, or adoption
  • Bereavement due to the death of a family member (as defined in Article 17, Section 2)

The process for requesting coverage under the leave definitions of the contract varies depending on whether you are also taking an academic leave at the same time as the UW/UAW contract leave. Academic leave is not required in order to take leave from an ASE position.


This benefit does not apply to all GAIP-covered students. It only applies to students employed as ASEs in job codes covered by the UW/UAW collective bargaining agreement.

File a LOA request

If you are also taking academic leave at the same time, take these steps to maintain University-paid GAIP coverage. Two weeks prior to the start of the quarter in which you will be taking leave, you should request leave from the UW Graduate School using the MyGrad Program and submit the following document to the UW Benefits Office:

  • A copy of your Graduate Leave Approval Confirmation which you will receive after your leave request is approved by your graduate program and you have paid the graduate leave fee.

International Student leave requests will also have an additional approval requirement from the International Student Services Office.

If you are not taking academic leave at the same time, the following procedure is required to maintain University-paid GAIP coverage. Your department will need to send a request to the UW Benefits Office indicating that you have been approved for a LOA as defined by Article 17 of the UW/UAW contract. The request should spell out the dates of your unpaid leave (not to exceed 12 weeks) and it should also indicate that you will maintain academic enrollment during this time and are therefore not requesting academic leave.

After request is approved

Once the written notice of approved leave is received from you (when also requesting academic leave), or your department (when not taking academic leave), the UW Benefits Office will coordinate the continuation of coverage with LifeWise under this provision for a period not to exceed 12 weeks. During the approved LOA, you must make all applicable dependent premiums payable to the “University of Washington” in order to cover eligible dependents. The University will continue to provide coverage for you at no charge. You will be responsible for paying 100% of the premiums (for yourself and your eligible dependents) for leaves that are in excess of the “Benefit Duration” described in the UAW contract in Article 17 – Section 4.

Requests beyond 12 weeks

Should you need to continue GAIP coverage past the 12-week duration allowed by the UW/UAW contract, you will be subject to the self-pay policies described in Self-Pay – Loss of UW Paid Coverage.