FAQ: Benefits

  • Q: Is there a limit on how much leave a person can receive under the ELTP?

    A: 

    Yes. You may not receive more than 240 hours of donated leave at one time.

  • Q: Do I have to exhaust all my own annual and sick leave before I can receive leave donated under ELTP?

    A: 

    No.

  • Q: I am a member of the Commissioned Corps. Can I donate annual leave to the ELTP?

    A: 

    No. Commissioned Corps members are not eligible to participate in the HHS ELTP, either as a leave donor or as a recipient.

  • Q: May I give my donated annual leave to a specific individual, as is the case under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP)?

    A: 

    No.  According to government-wide regulations, donations to an ELTP may not be directed to a specific individual.  Donations made to an ELTP are applied towards a central pool.

  • Q: Can I use ELTP to volunteer for disaster relief efforts?

    A: 

    No.  ELTP, as described above, is only for those employees directly affected or employees whose family members were directly affected by a major disaster or emergency. ELTP cannot be used in order to “volunteer” to help the situation.

  • Q: Do I have to have a medical condition (or be caring for a family member who has one) because of a major disaster or emergency in order to apply to receive leave under ELTP?

    A: 

    No. The ELTP covers more than just medical conditions.  Perhaps you need time to file insurance claims for lost property, or to assist a family member relocate from a major disaster or emergency area.  In order to receive leave under ELTP, you need only to demonstrate “severe hardship resulting in required absence from work.”

  • Q: Can I use ELTP leave to assist a family member?

    A: 

    Perhaps.  It depends on the amount of leave in the bank available.  Employees directly impacted by the major disaster or emergency have first priority to available leave.  Employees who need to assist family members impacted by the event have secondary priority to the leave.

  • Q: What if the annual leave I donate to the ELTP does not get used?

    A: 

    When the emergency ends, you will receive a proportional share of any unused leave remaining in the bank.

  • Q: Under ELTP, what if I do not use all of the leave I am given?

    A: 

    If you have not used all the leave you were granted within a month of your estimated end date, you will be asked whether the time needs to be extended. If the original need for the leave is over, any remaining leave will be returned to the leave bank to be distributed.

  • Q: How do I apply to become an ELTP Recipient?

    A: 

    Submit an OPM Form 1637, Application to Become a Leave Recipient under the Emergency Leave Transfer Program and OPM Form 71, Request for Leave or Approved Absence (both can be found on the OPM website) to your supervisor for approval.

  • Q: What is the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)?

    A: 

    The CFC is the annual fundraising drive conducted by Federal employees in the workplace each fall. To contribute, you must work through your IC CFC contact person. When signing up during the CFC drive in the fall, the salary deductions begin the first leave period of the following year. You may start making contributions at any time throughout the year; however, you cannot retroactively contribute to the CFC. For more information, visit OPM’s CFC website.

  • Q: How is a Missing Check or Electronic Funds Transfer Payment Traced?

    A: 

    If you do not receive an expected direct deposit payment by the official Friday payday, you must complete the Missing Electronic Funds Transfer Request Form to initiate the tracer process. Once completed submit the form to Bldg 31, Room B3C23. This paperwork is forwarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which sends the information, in turn, to DFAS. DFAS queries the financial institution to which the payment was sent. If the financial institution returns the funds to DFAS, DFAS will alert DHHS that the funds have been returned. In the interim, employees may be entitled to an Emergency Salary Loan Payment.

    If your check is mailed to your address of record and is lost, stolen, destroyed or mutilated, you must complete a Statement of Claimant Requesting Recertified Check to request a re-certified check. Once completed submit the form to Bldg 31, Room B3C23. This paperwork is forwarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which sends the information, in turn, to DFAS. DFAS will use the information to make the determination to reissue a recertified check, based on the information provided, and for canceling the original check. The information will also verify a proper mailing address.

  • Q: What do I do if my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) loan repayment hasn't started?

    A: 

    After the necessary paperwork has been completed and a TSP loan check has been issued, the TSP Service Office sends paperwork to DFAS. Because there can be a timeliness issue in forwarding the paperwork, you may wish to FAX your TSP paperwork to the Retirement and Employee Benefits Branch at (301) 402-5506. Faxing this paperwork will help to ensure that the TSP loan repayment process is started in a timely manner and that the TSP Service Office is receiving your loan payments.

  • Q: What happens to my health benefits coverage if I'm in Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status and have insufficient salary to cover the cost?

    A: 

    Your coverage will continue for up to 365 days of non-pay status. You have the option of terminating your coverage during the period of non-pay status or continuing the coverage. If you elect to continue your coverage, you must incur a debt or make direct payments to DFAS while in non-pay status. You will need to sign a Notice of Intent Agreement for LWOP Status. Please notify your benefits contact for additional information. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides additional information on LWOP and its impact on Federal benefits.

  • Q: What happens when my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) loan is paid in full?

    A: 

    When you have paid your TSP loan in full, The TSP Service Office will automatically inform the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), our payroll provider. Typically the payments should terminate within 2 pay periods. If payments associated with your TSP Loan have not terminated after 2 pay periods, please call the Retirement and Employee Benefits Branch at 301-496-2404.
     

  • Q: How do I request a pay adjustment?

    A: 

    Your timekeeper may audit your record and determine that your pay must be adjusted.  The timekeeper may complete Form 411A Pay Error Notice to correct issues with your pay.  This process is your timekeeper’s responsibility; direct any questions you may have to him/her.

  • Q: How do I correct issues with my leave balance?

    A: 

    Your timekeeper may audit your record and determine that your Leave and Earnings Statement must be adjusted.  The timekeeper may complete Form 411B Leave Error Notice to correct issues with your leave balance.  This process is your timekeeper’s responsibility; direct any questions you may have to him/her.

  • Q: What happens if I don't get paid?

    A: 

    The NIH Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU), under certain circumstances, offers a 60-day interest free emergency payroll loan. In order to take advantage of this emergency loan, one must be or become a member of the NIHFCU.  If a payroll error has significantly decreased the amount of your net pay and you want to apply for an emergency loan, contact the NIH Benefits & Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB) at 301-496-2404.

  • Q: How do I transfer leave balances?

    A: 

    When you transfer to NIH from another Government agency, the staff in the Client Services Division (CSD) requests your SF-1150 (Record of Leave Data). Upon receipt of the SF-1150, the staff in the Client Services Division of OHR forwards this document to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch who in turn forwards the information to the Department’s Payroll Services Division for processing. You will need to routinely review the annual and/or sick leave portion of your DFAS LES in myPay.

  • Q: I've misplaced my myPay login and/or password. How do I obtain a new one?

    A: 

    If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay (DFAS), contact the DFAS Centralized Customer Support Unit toll-free at 1-888-332-7411. This support line is available Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. They can provide assistance on how to use the options available to you in myPay. They will also provide support for establishing and changing your Login and/or Password.

  • Q: What if the payday falls on a federal holiday?

    A: 

    If the regular bi-weekly payday falls on a Federal holiday, it is to your benefit to check with your financial institution before making any financial transactions. The official payday is Friday of payday week. The Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch has no control over when funds will be made available through the financial institution.

  • Q: How do I find information on savings bonds?

    A: 

    Information on Savings Bonds can be found at Treasury Direct. To purchase a Savings Bond, simply go to myPay . Address changes for Savings Bonds are also accomplished through myPay. Once you make your address change in myPay, EHRP/Capital HR will be updated and the Department of Treasury will be notified. Any problems with Savings Bonds should be directed to your HR Client Services Division contact, or you may access the Treasury’s website.

  • Q: How do I manage debt collection/garnishment (includes child support and alimony)?

    A: 

    The processing/termination of personal debt collection and wage garnishment is the responsibility of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Employees must deal directly with DFAS at 888-332-7411. The address is Garnishment Operations-HGA, P.O. Box 998002, Cleveland OH 44199-8002. Documents related to this subject may also be faxed to 216-522-6960.

  • Q: How do 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 Leave, Payroll, and Workforce Support Branch located in Building 31, Room 3B63. You must indicate on the form whether you want a duplicate W-2 from HHS (prior to pay period 10/2005), 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.

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