FAQ: Benefits

  • Q: How do I obtain a copy of a prior year's 1099, 1099G, or 1042S?

    A: 

    Duplicate copies of 1099, 1099G, or 1042S 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: How do I manage direct deposit of pay and allotments (Electronic Funds Transfer - EFT)?

    A: 

    As an NIH employee, it is strongly encouraged that you have your salary directly deposited into your account at the financial institution(s) of your choice. If you decide to change accounts or financial institutions, DO NOT CLOSE YOUR OLD ACCOUNT until you have received your direct deposit in your new account. Once that happens, you may then close your old account. If you want to begin or change your net deposit account, you need to do so through myPay.

  • Q: I am already enrolled in Option C. Are my newly eligible same-sex spouse and children automatically covered?

    A: 

    Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses and eligible children of legal same-sex marriages are automatically covered.

  • Q: Is my child that is incapable of self-support eligible to be covered under Option C-Family?

    A: 

    Yes. Your unmarried dependent child age 22 or over is eligible to be covered under Option C if he/she is incapable of self-support because of a physical or mental disability that existed before the child reached age 22.  

    The criteria for determination are the same as those for the FEHB Program and FEDVIP. If you have already established eligibility for your child under the FEHB Program, you do not need to establish eligibility again under FEGLI.  To continue your child's eligibility under Option C once he/she reaches age 22, you must submit a doctor's certificate about your child's disability.  For additional information, contact the Benefits Office at 301-496-24046.

  • Q: Is my same-sex spouse eligible for coverage under FEDVIP?

    A: 

    Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses are now eligible family members under a Self and Family enrollment or a Self Plus One enrollment. Current enrollees can make changes to their coverage options during the annual Open Season, or after a Qualifying Life Event.

  • Q: Can I request reimbursement for eligible health care expenses incurred by my legally married same-sex spouse and eligible child(ren)?

    A: 

    Yes.  An employee who is enrolled in FSAFEDS may request reimbursement for eligible health care expenses incurred by a legally married same-sex spouse or eligible child. In addition, childcare for a child of an enrollee’s same-sex spouse is eligible under a Dependent Care FSA. Questions should be directed to FSAFEDS at 1-877-372-3337/ TTY 1-800-952-0450.  

  • Q: Is my same-sex spouse entitled to coverage under FEHB?

    A: 

    Yes, same-sex spouses are now eligible family members under a Self and Family enrollment.  In addition, the children of same-sex marriages will be treated just as those of opposite-sex marriages and are eligible family members according to the same eligibility guidelines. This includes coverage for children of same-sex spouses as stepchildren. 

  • Q: Can my same-sex spouse receive coverage under FLTCIP?

    A: 

    Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses of current employees and active members of the uniformed services have 60 days following their marriage date to apply for FLTCIP coverage with abbreviated underwriting.  After 60 days, applications will be subject to full underwriting. To apply for coverage, contact the Long Term Care Partners directly at 1-800-582-3337.

  • Q: I have Self and Family FEHB coverage, what do I do to add my same-sex spouse to my plan?

    A: 

    Notify your health carrier that you have a newly eligible family member. Coverage for your same-sex spouse will begin immediately. Your carrier may request supporting documentation to verify eligibility.

  • Q: Can I elect a survivor annuity for my same-sex spouse?

    A: 

    Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses of retiring employees are now eligible for a survivor annuity.  Retirees who are in legal same-sex marriages will have two years from the date of the Supreme Court’s decision (i.e., until June 26, 2015) to inform OPM that they have a legal marriage that now qualifies for recognition and elect any changes to their retirement benefits based on their recognized marital status.  

  • Q: I have Self Only FEHB coverage, how do I add my same-sex spouse to my plan?

    A: 

    You must submit a Health Benefits Election Form, SF-2809, along with supporting documentation to support eligibility to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB), Bldg 31/Rm B3C23.  Your election will be effective at the beginning of the first pay period after your enrollment form is received in BPLB.

  • Q: Do I need to complete beneficiary forms to designate my legally-married same-sex spouse as my beneficiary?

    A: 

    No.  Beneficiary forms are not required if the order of precedence meets your needs:  

    Order of Precedence:  If there is no beneficiary designated, to your widow or widower; if none, to your child or children, with the share of any deceased child distributed among descendants of that child (a court will usually have to appoint a guardian to receive payment for a minor child); if none of the above, to your parents in equal shares or the entire amount to your surviving parent; if none of the above, to the executor or administrator of your estate;  if none of the above, to your other next of kin as determined under the laws of the state where you lived.

    If you wish to designate a different order, you must complete Designation of Beneficiary forms.  If you do complete Beneficiary forms, it is your responsibility to keep them up-to-date to reflect your current wishes.

  • Q: Can I enroll during the annual Open Season?

    A: 

    Yes.  Each year, Open Season runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December.

  • Q: I have already filed beneficiary forms naming my current same-sex spouse. Do I need to complete them again due to the new ruling?

    A: 

    No.  You do not need to complete new forms, but it is important to regularly review your beneficiary forms to ensure they reflect your wishes.  A relationship change does not invalidate a previously filed beneficiary form.

  • Q: In addition to my Basic coverage, can I elect Optional coverage?

    A: 

    Yes.  All legally married same-sex spouses and children of legal same-sex marriages are now eligible family members under the FEGLI Program.  This means that employees may add coverage for a same-sex spouse and any newly eligible children under Option C. Optional coverage can only be elected during Open Season or if you have a Qualifying Life Event. FEGLI offers three types of Optional coverage:

    • Option A (Standard) has a $10,000 value.
    • Option B (Additional) equals one to five multiples of your annual basic pay (after rounding up to the next $1,000).
    • Option C (Family) provides coverage for your spouse and eligible children. Again, you can choose one to five multiples of coverage. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 (up to a $25,000 maximum) for your spouse and $2,500 (up to a $12,500 maximum) for each eligible child.
  • Q: How do I access myPay?

    A: 

    To access the myPay system, you will need your login and password. If you have forgotten your login or password, click the "Forgot Your Login ID?" or "Forgot or Need a Password?" link on the left side of the myPay screen. Using this method, your Password can be e-mailed to you if you pre-registered your e-mail address, or it can be mailed to your current home address of record within 7 to 10 business days.

    If you encounter problems with your login and/or password or technical issues using myPay, contact the DFAS Centralized Customer Support Unit toll-free at 1-888-332-7411.

  • Q: Can an employee be denied FMLA leave?

    A: 

    FMLA leave is an entitlement to employees who qualify under all conditions of eligibility, notice, certification, usage purpose, and if the FMLA leave entitlement has not been exhausted within the 12 month period. By satisfying all eligible conditions, an employee may not be denied FMLA leave.

  • Q: Who is eligible for FMLA?

    A: 

    All federal employees who have completed at least 12 months of federal service.

    The following employees are not covered:

    • Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps Officers
    • Employees with intermittent appointments
    • Employees with temporary appointments of less than 13 months
    • Individuals not appointed by the government, such as:
      • Intramural Research Training Award Fellows
      • Guest Researchers
      • Visiting Fellows
      • Special Volunteers
  • Q: For whom can FMLA leave be used?

    A: 

    Family members under FMLA fall under a narrow definition. FMLA leave may be used for:

    • Employee (self)
    • Employee’s child(ren)
    • Employee’s parent(s)
    • Employee’s spouse (legal marriage regardless of sex or state of residency)
    • “Next of kin” under military caregiver leave
  • Q: What types of family and medical needs qualify under FMLA?

    A: 

    FMLA leave may be used for:

    • the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter
    • the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care
    • the care of a spouse, son or daughter, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition
    • a serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her position
    • qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, a son or daughter, or a parent of the employee is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces
    • military caregiver leave
  • Q: What is a serious health condition under FMLA?

    A: 

    A serious health condition can involve some or all of the following:

    • Conditions that require inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility
    • Conditions that incapacitate an employee or employee’s family member for more than three consecutive days and require ongoing medical treatment
    • Chronic conditions that cause occasional periods when an employee or employee’s family member are incapacitated and require treatment by a health care provider
    • Pregnancy and childbirth

    This definition includes conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes, severe injuries, Alzheimer's disease, and/or terminal diseases. A serious health condition is not intended to cover short-term condit ions for which treatment and recovery are very brief, such as common cold, influenza, earaches, upset stomach, headaches (other than migraines), and/or routine dental or orthodontia problems unless complications arise.

  • Q: What is a qualifying exigency related to covered active duty in the Armed Forces?

    A: 

    FMLA can be used when a family member is called to or is on covered active duty. FMLA can help in the following situations.  Specific terms can be found on the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) fact sheet.

    • Short-notice deployment
    • Military events and related activities
    • Childcare and school activities
    • Care of service member’s parent
    • Financial and legal arrangements
    • Counseling
    • Rest and recuperation
    • Post-deployment activities
  • Q: What is covered active duty for FMLA qualifying exigency?

    A: 

    FMLA can be used when a family member is called to or is on active duty. Covered active duty or call to covered active duty status refers to:

    • Regular component of the Armed Forces - duty during the deployment of the service member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty (or notification of an impending call or order to active duty)
    • Member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces - duty during the deployment of the service member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty (or notification of an impending call or order to active duty)
  • Q: What is military caregiver leave under FMLA?

    A: 

    Military caregiver leave allows eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a family member (spouse, son or daughter, parent, next of kin) who is a covered service member/veteran with a serious injury or illness. Military caregiver leave is available to an eligible employee once per service member, per serious injury or illness.

    The “next of kin” of a covered service member/veteran is the nearest blood relative, other than the veteran’s spouse, parent, son, or daughter, in the following order of priority:

    1. a blood relative who has been designated in writing by the service member as the next of kin for FMLA purposes
    2. blood relative who has been granted legal custody of the service member
    3.  brothers and sisters
    4. grandparents
    5. aunts and uncles
    6. first cousins

    A veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness is a cover ed veteran if he or she:

    • was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves)
    • was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable
    • was discharged within the five -year period before the eligible employee fir st takes FMLA military caregiver leave to care for him or her

    A serious injury or illness is one that is incurred by a service member while on active duty that may cause the service member to be medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating. A serious injury or illness also includes injuries or illnesses that existed before the service member’s active duty and that were aggravated by service while on active duty.

  • Q: For what other purposes can an employee use FMLA leave?

    A: 

    Federal employees can use 24 hours of leave without pay during any 12-month period to fulfill certain family obligations:

    • School and Early Childhood Educational Activities - to allow employees to participate in school activities directly related to the educational advancement of a child
    • Routine Family Medical Purposes - to allow parents to accompany children to routine medical or dental appointments
    • Elderly Relatives' Health or Care Needs - to allow employees to accompany an elderly relative to routine medical or dental appointments or other professional services
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