Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How do core hours impact an employee’s leave?

    A: 

    Core hours impact an employees’ leave in several ways. Employees may find that they do not need to take as much leave on Maxiflex because they are able to work additional hours throughout the pay period. Conversely, an employee may not simply record one hour of leave on a day that they have a core hour from 10 am – 11 am. Because an employee must always work or take leave in 2 hour increments, they must take two hours of leave. If an employee will be out of the office for an extended period of time, i.e. a full week, a Leave Approving Official may request that the employee record 8 hours of leave per day.

  • Q: Under Maxiflex, am I entitled to night differential?

    A: 

    An employee is not entitled to night differential for voluntarily working flexible hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

  • Q: Are employees on Maxiflex entitled to night differential?

    A: 

    If an employee voluntarily works before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. while on a Maxiflex Work Schedule, they are not entitled to night differential.

  • Q: Do I need supervisory approval to participate in Maxiflex?

    A: 

    Yes.  Maxiflex, like all other work schedules, is subject to supervisory approval based on organizational work requirements such as duties of the position, office coverage, or participation in collaborative projects.

    Employee participation is an employment benefit and not an entitlement. Bargaining unit employees may participate in Alternative Work Schedules only under the terms provided in a negotiated agreement.

  • Q: Am I required to be in a work status during core hours if I participate in Maxiflex?

    A: 

    Yes. During core hours, employees must be in a working status or on leave. Working status includes time in the office as well as time teleworking for those employees on an approved telework agreement.

  • Q: Maxiflex requires that I work or take leave for at least 2 hours if I am recording any hours on that day. What happens if I get to the end of the pay period and have between 78 and 80 total hours?

    A: 

    You have several options.

    • If there are several days left in the pay period, you can work additional hours. You will need to record any time beyond 80 hours as credit hours, if you are eligible.
    • You can extend your work day if you have not reached your IC/O’s total hours cap and are within flexible hours.
    • You can also take leave to reach 80 hours. If you attempt to record less than 2 hours of leave on a day that doesn’t have additional regular hours, ITAS will present an error message.

    Note: If you have core hours on remaining days in the pay period, you must work or be on leave during that time.

  • Q: What is the best time to submit or update my timecard if I participate in Maxiflex?

    A: 

    Employees are strongly encouraged to enter their projected hours of work on the Certify Timecard page in ITAS at the beginning of the pay period. That information can be updated as often as needed until the timecard is verified at the end of the pay period.

  • Q: Can I certify a timecard prior to the end of the pay period when I participate in Maxiflex?

    A: 

    Yes, a timecard can be certified at any time during the pay period. However, it is strongly recommended that you do not certify your timecard until the end of the pay period. Once a timecard has been certified, you can no longer make changes and must request assistance from your timekeeper.

  • Q: As an employee who works from an alternate time zone, how do I account for my hours of work and ensure I meet core hours?

    A: 

    Employees that work in an alternate time zone and are on a Maxiflex Work Schedule are expected to work (or take leave) during the core hours set by their organization, at the time they are occurring in their organization's time zone. They are expected to record their hours of work/leave using their organization’s time zone.

  • Q: How do I account for my meal period on Maxiflex?

    A: 

    An employee who works 8 or more hours is entitled to a 30-minute, unpaid meal period. If you are required to enter your start and stop times, ITAS will automatically deduct a meal period for you when you enter a total of 8 or more hours. For example, if you enter a start time of 8 a.m. and a stop time of 4:30 p.m. then ITAS will reflect 8 total hours worked. If you are taking an optional meal period when working less than 8 hours, you must reflect this by using a split in your schedule.

  • 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.
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