Health-Related Leave

A voluntary health related leave of absence (HRLOA) may be appropriate for students who experience a medical (including a mental health/psychological concerns) event that significantly limits their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students.

Overview

St. John's University recognizes that health needs may on occasion interfere with a student’s ability to remain in their academic program. The University aims to support students so they are able to address their health needs by utilizing a health related leave of absence (HRLOA).

Health Related Leave of Absence Policy (PDF)

Update for COVID-19

As students adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19, the University recognizes that as a result of the physical and mental health difficulties associated with the pandemic some students may request a Health Related Leave Of Absence (HRLOA).

To support our students during this time, the HRLOA Committee is relaxing the requirements for students requesting a HRLOA for the spring 2020 semester.

Due to the fact that students may not be able to obtain documentation from a health care provider, we are temporarily waiving this requirement.

  • All students requesting a HRLOA related to COVID-19 and are unable to provide documentation from a health care provider will be asked to complete a telehealth clinical interview with a staff member from the Center for Counseling and Consultation or Student Health Services
  • Complete the Request for Health Related Leave of Absence and Informed Consent Form for CCC Clients forms. Once we receive your request, we will reach out via email to discuss next steps.

Advantages of a Health Related Leave of Absence

A HRLOA does not necessarily disrupt the student's guarantee of scholarships or funding.

A HRLOA may allow a student to initiate a leave of absence and withdraw from classes later in the semester than is normally permitted for personal leaves of absence.

The length of time a student may take to recover while on a HRLOA is typically longer than the length of time permitted by an academic program for a personal leave of absence.

Things to Consider Before Applying

You may be eligible to take other types of leave from your academic program. Please consult the University Academic Bulletin and contact their academic Dean.

International students should consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars before taking a HRLOA in order to understand the impact of taking a HRLOA on visa status.

All students should contact Student Financial Services to determine how the HRLOA process could impact their financial aid package, e.g., loans, scholarships, grants.

All student should review their current health insurance coverage to determine how the HRLOA process could impact their health insurance.

  • Students who are covered by the St. John’s University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), www.universityhealthplans.com, when they convert to "On Leave" status are automatically covered for the remainder of the plan year and may be eligible to purchase a one-time, one-year extension of their SHIP if needed.
  • Students who are covered by a parent’s employer plan when they convert to "On Leave" status may need to apply for continuation of coverage (i.e., COBRA) with the parent’s plan. Enrollment in COBRA is time sensitive.

How to Apply to Request a Health Related Leave of Absence

  1. Download and obtain signed Authorization for Release of Treatment Records forms
    • These forms will enable the HRLOA Committee to communicate with your providers and the following offices regarding your HRLOA request and eventual return from a HRLOA.
    • You should submit at least two Release of Information forms: (1) one for the medical provider who is recommending you take a Health Related Leave of Absence and (2) one for University offices and departments that will need to be notified regarding your HRLOA request. These offices may include:
      • Academic Dean
      • Student Financial Services
      • Office of the Registrar
      • Your parent/guardian
      • Your health care provider
      • Residence Life (If applicable)
      • International Student and Scholar Services Office (If applicable)
      • Veterans’ Success Center (If applicable)
  2. Complete the Request for Health Related Leave of Absence online form
    • Please to be sure to include your signed release forms when you submit your application.

Students should apply for a HRLOA at the time that they experience a medical (including a mental health/psychological concerns) that significantly limits their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students.

Please note: Absent extenuating circumstances, the HRLOA Committee will not approve a HRLOA for the semester in which the student has completed final exams, e.g., student completes Fall 2019 final exams and requests a HRLOA for Fall 2019 semester. Examples of extenuating circumstances may include: (a) evidence the student was unaware of the HRLOA process; (b) evidence the student was unable to function successfully or safely at the University prior to the final exam period and the student’s failure to apply for a HRLOA at that time was reasonable; or (c) evidence the student withdrew completely from the University during or immediately after the semester in which a HRLOA is sought. 

  1. Have the medical professional who is supporting your request download and complete the HRLOA Request - Provider Form
    • This form should be submitted via email, fax or mail to the HRLOA Committee:

      Health Related Leave of Absence Committee
      St. John's University
      8000 Utopia Parkway
      Marillac Hall, Room 130
      Queens, NY 11439

      Fax: 718-990-2609
      Email: [email protected]

Within 14 business days of receipt of your complete application (i.e., Release of information forms, submitted request form, and the Student and Provider HRLOA Forms) you will be notified by the HRLOA Committee via your St. John’s email if your HRLOA application has been approved or denied by the University.

When Your Request Is Approved:

The HRLOA Committee will communicate this decision with the following offices, which will take appropriate action related to your temporary separation from the University:

  • Your Academic Dean (who will advise you the HRLOA Committee has approved your HRLOA)
  • Student Financial Services
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Office of Residence Life (If applicable)
  • International Student and Scholar Services Office (if applicable)
  • Veterans’ Success Center (If applicable)

Students who are granted an HRLOA will be withdrawn from all courses for the semester that they have requested an HRLOA.

A “WD” notation will be entered by your Dean on your transcript for the courses you were enrolled for the semester that an HRLOA was granted, reflecting a separation from the University.

If you have registered for an upcoming semester you will be unregistered for these classes and will have to re-register once your application to return from a HRLOA has been approved.

A hold will be placed on your account limiting your ability to enroll in any future courses.

You are unable to be employed by the University while you are on a HRLOA.


How to Apply to Return from a Health Related Leave of Absence

  1. Download and obtain signed Authorization for Release of Treatment Records forms
    • These forms will enable the HRLOA Committee to communicate with your providers and the following offices regarding your HRLOA request and eventual return from a HRLOA.
    • You should submit at least two Release of Information forms: (1) one for the medical provider who is recommending you take a Health Related Leave of Absence and (2) one for University offices and departments that will need to be notified regarding your HRLOA request. These offices may include:
      • Academic Dean
      • Student Financial Services
      • Office of the Registrar
      • Your parent/guardian
      • Your health care provider
      • Residence Life (If applicable)
      • International Student and Scholar Services Office (If applicable)
      • Veterans’ Success Center (If applicable)
  2. Complete the Request for Return from a Health Related Leave of Absence online form
    • Please to be sure to include your signed release forms when you submit your application.

The deadlines to submit these forms are as follows:

  • July 1 for the fall semester
  • November 1 for the winter session
  • December 1 for the spring semester
  • April 1 for the summer session

Please note: These deadlines ensure that the HRLOA Committee will have sufficient time to review the request. If materials are received shortly after the relevant deadline, the University will attempt to be flexible and review the student’s request to return for the desired semester. However, if there is missing information and/or the University needs additional time to contact the student’s treatment provider, consideration for a return may be made for the following semester rather than the semester for which they were initially seeking to return.

  1. Have the medical professional who is supporting your request to return download and complete the HRLOA Return Request - Provider Form
    • This form should be submitted via email, fax or mail to the HRLOA Committee:

      Health Related Leave of Absence Committee
      St. John's University
      8000 Utopia Parkway
      Marillac Hall, Room 130
      Queens, NY 11439

      Fax: 718-990-2609
      Email: [email protected]

Once you have submitted your application to return from a HRLOA, please should notify your Academic Dean or Academic advisor of your intention to return.

Students should not (nor should a dean, faculty member, administrators, etc.) register for classes (i.e., re-enroll at the University) until the HRLOA Committee has officially approved the request to return to the University.

If you intend to live in University housing, please contact the Office of Residence Life regarding your intention to return from a HRLOA. Students should not be accepted into University housing until the HRLOA Committee has officially approved the student's request to return to the University.

If you are an international student, you must contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office directly regarding your intention to return from a HRLOA. Students should not return to the USA until the HRLOA Committee has approved a student’s return to the University.

If you have a pending case with the Office of Student Conduct, the case must be resolved before you return to the University. Your application to return from a HRLOA is independent of the outcome of a pending student conduct case.

After You Submit a Request to Return from a HRLOA:

The HRLOA Committee will review your application for return from a HRLOA for evidence demonstrating readiness to resume studies and be a successful member of the University community, with or without accommodations.

Within 14 business days of receipt of your complete application (i.e., Release of information forms, submitted request form, and the Student and Provider HRLOA Forms) you will be notified by the HRLOA Committee via your St. John’s email if your HRLOA application has been approved or denied by the University.

The HRLOA Committee reserves the right to require additional documentation from the applicant and/or provider.

The HRLOA Committee will communicate this decision with the following offices, which will take appropriate action related to your temporary separation from the University:

  • Your Academic Dean (who will advise you the HRLOA Committee has approved your HRLOA)
  • Student Financial Services
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Office of Residence Life (If applicable)
  • International Student and Scholar Services Office (if applicable)
  • Veterans’ Success Center (If applicable)

If Your Request Is Denied

If the HRLOA Committee had denied your request, you may appeal this decision by contacting in writing:

Luis G. Manzo, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Student Wellness & Assessment
St. John's University
8000 Utopia Parkway
Bent Hall, Garden Level
Queens, NY 11439
Tel: 718-990-6911
Email: [email protected]