FAQ: Benefits

  • Q: How can an employee become a member of the Leave Bank?

    A: 

    An eligible employee can enroll during an enrollment period using the “Leave Bank Membership” tab in ITAS. Existing employees may enroll during the annual fall open enrollment, which runs from mid-November to mid-December. A new employee may enroll within 60 days of his/her enter-on-duty date.  A membership contribution of one pay period’s accrual of annual leave is required.  Visit our membership page for more information.

  • Q: What is the Leave Bank?

    A: 

    A Leave Bank is a pooled fund of donated annual and restored leave. Eligible members draw leave from the bank to cover time out the office due to a personal or family medical emergency.

  • Q: If an employee is unable to make the Leave Bank membership contribution, are they unable to join?

    A: 

    If the applicant doesn't have sufficient leave to make the membership contribution or they're a VLTP or Leave Bank recipient, the membership contribution is automatically waived.

  • Q: When can I enroll and become a member of the Leave Bank?

    A: 

    During the annual open enrollment period, which runs from mid-November through mid-December. The open enrollment period will last for at least 30 calendar days. A new employee may enroll within 60 days of his/her enter-on-duty date.

  • Q: How much leave must I contribute to join the Leave Bank?

    A: 

    The yearly contribution amount will be one pay period’s worth of annual leave based on the employee’s annual leave category. This minimum contribution requirement also applies to part-time employees.

  • Q: What are the eligibility requirements for becoming a Leave Bank recipient?

    A: 

    An applicant must:

    • Be a current Leave Bank member;
    • Experience a qualifying medical emergency, which is projected to result in at least 24 hours of non-pay status; and
    • Complete and submit a Leave Recipient package to the Leave Bank Office no later than 30 calendar days following the termination of the medical emergency.
  • Q: Can an employee apply to be a recipient in both the Leave Bank and the VLTP?

    A: 

    Yes. Since the Leave Bank provides 100% of the medical need up to the yearly hourly caps (480 hours for personal and family medical emergencies), the only time a recipient would need leave under VLTP, in addition to the Leave Bank, is if he/she exceeds the cap.

  • Q: Will I need to join the Leave Bank each year to continue my membership?

    A: 

    Once you join the Leave Bank, you will automatically be re-enrolled each year unless you take action in ITAS to opt out during the open enrollment period.

  • Q: Must I be enrolled in a Self and Family plan for the five (5) years immediately preceding retirement in order to be eligible to continue Self and Family coverage into retirement?

    A: 

    The five (5) year requirement applies to coverage under the FEHB program.  If you are covered under a Self Only or a Self and Family enrollment for the five (5) years immediately preceding retirement, you are eligible to continue your FEHB coverage into retirement.

  • Q: Can I continue health insurance coverage if my spouse dies while employed?

    A: 

    It depends.  The following applies:

    If the employee had a Self and Family enrollment at the date of death and a survivor annuity is payable, the surviving spouse can continue health insurance coverage.

    • The enrollment must be immediate, and there can be no lapse in coverage.
    • The premiums will be deducted from the survivor annuity.

    If the employee had a Self and Family enrollment at the date of death, but no survivor annuity is payable--these survivors are not eligible for Temporary Continuation of Coverage.

    • The enrollment in Temporary Continuation of Coverage will terminate within 30 days.
    • The survivor has the right to convert to an individual policy within 30 days.

    If the employee had a Self Only enrollment at the date of death, the enrollment terminates at death with no right to enroll or convert for the survivor.

  • Q: Does an employee have to recertify their medical certification?

    A: 

    Your leave approving official may require subsequent medical recertification on a periodic basis, but not more than once every 30 calendar days. If your health care provider has specified on the medical certification a minimum duration of the period of incapacity, NIH may not request recertification until that period has passed.

  • Q: Where can I obtain a copy of my W-2?

    A: 

    You can view and print your W-2 in myPay.  A copy will also be mailed to your home address of record.  There is a function in myPay to turn off the mailed copy if you do not desire to receive a mailed copy.  

  • Q: How can I verify if my home address is correct?

    A: 

    You can verify the accuracy of your home address by accessing myPay and selecting “Correspondence Address.”  If your address is incorrect, make the change and select “Save.”

  • Q: Who can expect a W-2?

    A: 

    You will receive a W-2 if you are a Federal employee employed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

    If you are not a Federal employee employed by NIH (such as an IRTA, Visiting Fellow,  or Special Volunteer) you will receive a 1099, 1099G, or 1042S. These documents must be obtained from the Office of Financial Management (OFM).  

    For 1099s, contact OFM’s Customer Service number at 301-496-6088.

    For 1099G or 1042S, you may call 301-496-5635.

  • Q: Where can I obtain a copy of a prior year’s W-2?

    A: 

    You can view and print a prior year’s W-2 in myPay. If you are separated and no longer have access to myPay, you may submit a Request for Duplicate, Corrected or Prior Year W-2, Wage and Tax Statement Form to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch located in Building 31, Room B3C23. You must indicate on the form whether you want a duplicate W-2 from HHS (prior to pay period 10/2005) or DFAS or both. Your request will then be forwarded to HHS for processing. Please make sure that the current address and the address to which the W-2 should be sent is correct on the form.

  • Q: How can I get a corrected W-2?

    A: 

    If your W-2 is incorrect, you may submit a Request for Duplicate, Corrected or Prior Year W-2, Wage and Tax Statement Form to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch located in Building 31, room B3C23.  You must supply a legitimate justification for the correction.  Your request will then be forwarded to HHS for processing. Please make sure that the current address and the address to which the W-2 should be sent is accurate on the form.

  • Q: I am already enrolled in Basic and Options A and B under FEGLI. Can I elect Option C now?

    A: 

    Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses and children of legal same-sex marriages are now eligible family members, so you may add coverage for them under Option C.  The Option C coverage can only be elected during an Open Season or if you have a Qualifying Life Event.  

  • Q: May I decrease or cancel my FEGLI coverage?

    A: 

    Yes.  Enrollees may decrease or cancel their coverage at any time.  However, there are only certain instances in which you may enroll.

  • Q: Will employees on “leave restrictions” be allowed to apply and receive donations from the Leave Bank?

    A: 

    The Leave Bank Office will consult with the Employee Relations Specialist and make determinations on an individual basis.

  • Q: Can I donate sick leave to the Leave Bank?

    A: 

    No. By law, sick leave cannot be donated to a Leave Bank or a recipient of the VLTP.

  • Q: Can I change my mind after I have donated leave to the Leave Bank and request to have my leave returned?

    A: 

    No. By law, donations to a Leave Bank or to a Leave Recipient cannot be returned to the donor after the donation has been processed.

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