FAQs for New Employees

  1. Question: If I can’t get into the USA Staffing Onboarding system, who do I contact?
    Answer: Contact the Office of Human Resources Representative who signed your tentative or final offer letter.
  2. Question: Where will I find my National Institutes of Health (NIH) Tentative and Final offer letters?
    Answer: Your NH Tentative and Final Offer Letters are sent via the USA Staffing Onboarding system to your e-mail address associated with your USAJOBS account.
  3. Question: Where can I find information about my leave and benefits?
    Answer: You can find the information on the NIH New Employee Benefits Enrollment page. You will also find the NIH Employee Intranet very useful and it is available to you once you start work at the NIH.
  4. Question: What documents do I need to bring with me to the New Employee Orientation (NEO)?


    1. Valid, government issued photo ID to get on campus
    2. Printed, completed USA Staffing Onboarding Entry on Duty (EOD) forms: 
      NOTE: Do not sign any of the forms listed below prior to coming to Orientation. These forms must be signed in the presence of an HR Representative.
      • Appointment Affidavit Form (SF-61)
      • Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 ) (see attachment I-9 for acceptable documents)
      • Declaration for Federal Employment Form (OF-306)
    3. A copy of your Final offer letter
    4. Appropriate identification to complete your I-9 form (see the I-9 document for a listing of appropriate identification)
  5. Question: Will my health benefits be effective on the day I start at NIH?
    AnswerVery Important: Enrollment is not retroactive, and it cannot be made effective the day you enter on duty as you must have been in a pay status during some part of the pay period which precedes the one in which your enrollment becomes effective. Once this requirement has been met your enrollment will become effective on the first day of the first pay period that begins after your employing office receives your enrollment request. Thus, the earliest your health insurance can possibly become effective is the beginning of the pay period that begins after the pay period in which you are hired. You cannot be reimbursed for any medical expenses incurred prior to the effective date. You need to consider this in cancelling any other health insurance coverage you may already have, and for scheduling doctor visits or tests. U.S. Office of Personnel Management Health Care and Benefit Website
  6. Question: How much time do I need to allow to go through security once I arrive at NIH?
    Answer: You will need approximately ½ hour to get through security at the Gateway Center.
  7. Question: Where should I park when I come to the New Employee Orientation?
    Answer: If it is your first day with the NIH, you should park in the MLP-11 Parking Garage and park in an all-day space. You will receive parking validation from the NIH New Employee Orientation when you arrive in building 45/Natcher. Map provided below:
  8. Question: How can I find the W4 tax withholding form and what information is available to help me complete it?
    Answer: The W4 should have been part of the forms for you to complete in the Onboarding system. Please access the IRS website for comprehensive guidance on how to complete the W4, which includes an estimator and a listing of FAQs: https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w-4. If the W4 was not part of your onboarding forms, please contact the HR representative who extended the job offer to you.  

  9. Question: Can the NIH Office of Human Resources (OHR) provide advice on how to complete my federal and state tax forms?
    Answer: Unfortunately, OHR is not permitted to advise or assist an employee with tax-related matters. Please consult a tax professional for advice and guidance. If you do not complete the W4 or their associated state tax form, our payroll system will withhold tax as if you are single with no withholding allowances.  


  10. Question: What can I do if I was provided the wrong state tax form or I want to change the state for taxes to be withheld?
    Answer: If you have not begun employment at NIH yet, please contact the HR representative who extended the job offer to you. They can provide you with the correct form so it is updated before any state taxes are withheld.  

    If you have started working at NIH and state tax has already been withheld from the incorrect state, then you will need to manually complete the correct state tax form and send it to the Client Services Division. You can email these requests to OHRProcessingTeam@nih.gov. In these cases, we will need to contact our payroll provider to ensure taxes are withheld from the correct state. Please note that this process can take several weeks. Additionally, our payroll provider cannot rectify state tax issues for the previous calendar year.

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