Active Eligibility FAQs

What are the requirements to be eligible for active health coverage?

In order for Active Members to be eligible for Health Benefits, you must be in the eligible class and have the required amount of hours in the qualifying work periods:

To be eligible for May 1st:

600 hours between August 1st through January 31st, or

1200 hours between February 1st through January 31st

 

To be eligible for November 1st:

600 hours between February 1st through July 31st,

1200 hours between August 1st through July 31st

 

Please be sure to check your hours regularly for discrepancies. You can view them on the Work Record Report that is mailed out quarterly. If hours are not reported on your behalf please click here to have the Fund Office review your hours.

 

If I or one of my dependents become ineligible for Health Coverage, does the Fund Office have any coverage we may elect to enroll in?

Yes, you may elect to enroll in COBRA coverage. COBRA information is sent to any eligible member or dependent who is losing Health Coverage. You may elect to enroll in the COBRA coverage up to 18 months if you are losing eligibility due to lack of hours. A dependent may elect COBRA for up to 36 months in the event of a divorce, the death of the Member, or if a dependent child turns 26 and is no longer eligible to be covered under the Member.

I am losing my coverage. What are my options?

COBRA is sent to any Participant who is losing their coverage, as well as any Qualifying Beneficiary. You may also elect to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange at https://www.healthcare.gov.

What is the cost of COBRA Coverage?

The type of coverage you elect will determine your cost for COBRA coverage. For additional information, please contact the Fund Office at (215) 568-0430 and ask for the Medical Department.

How long does COBRA coverage last?

18 or 36 months, depending on the reason for loss of coverage.

Amwell Telehealth FAQs

What is Amwell?

Amwell is a faster, easier way to see a doctor. You can have video visits with a doctor anytime. It's easy to use, private, and secure.

Amwell offers:

  • Your choice of trusted, U.S. board-certified doctors
  • Video visits using the web or mobile app
  • Consultation, diagnosis—even prescriptions (when appropriate)

Amwell can be used any time, day or night. It’s perfect when your doctor’s office is closed, you’re too sick or busy to see someone in person, or even when you’re traveling.

Note: Telehealth is available in all 50 states, but some states do not allow phone only telehealth or prescriptions. View complete list at http://info.americanwell.com/where-can-i-see-a-doctor-online.

 

How do I sign-up for Amwell?

There are 3 easy ways to sign up:

  1. Download the iOS or Android App by searching “Amwell”
  2. Sign-up on the web at amwell.com
  3. Sign-up by phone, call 1.844.SEE.DOCS

Enter Service Key: PHILACARP to launch into the Carpenters Benefit Funds of Philadelphia’s practice to have a visit.

Select Carpenters Funds Of Philadelphia as your health Plan.

When would I use Amwell?
  • I should probably see a doctor, but can’t fit it into my schedule
  • My doctor’s office is closed
  • I feel too sick to drive
  • I have children at home and don’t want to bring them with me
  • It's difficult for me to get a doctor's appointment
  • I'm traveling and need to see a doctor
What is the cost for a visit?

There is NO COST for eligible Participants to have an urgent care visit on Amwell!

How do I add my spouse?

Your spouse should create a separate account to enroll and enter in the service key PHILACARP.

How do I add a child to my account?

Parents and guardians can add their children who are under the age of 18 to their account and have doctor visits on their behalf.  Enroll yourself first and then add your child or dependent to your account.

What do I do if I have a child age 19-26 who is still on my Carpenters health coverage?

They should enroll as an adult and create their own separate account and add the service key PHILACARP.

Who are the doctors?

Clinical services on Amwell are provided by Online Care Group – the nation’s first and largest primary care group devoted to telehealth. Doctors on Amwell:

  • Average 15 years’ experience in primary and urgent care
  • Are U.S. board-certified, licensed and credentialed
  • Have profiles, so you can see their education and practice experience
  • Are rated by other patients, so you can review and select the doctor that meets your needs
What can doctors treat on Amwell?

On Amwell, you can meet with a doctor to receive treatment for conditions such as:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Pinkeye
  • Ear infection
  • Rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Migraines
Can I use Amwell when I am traveling?

Amwell is great when you’re on the road for vacation or work. Telehealth is available in all states, but some states do not allow phone telehealth or prescriptions. View complete list at http://info.americanwell.com/where-can-i-see-a-doctor-online.

Annuity Plan FAQs

What is the present interest on my Annuity account?

The interest earned on your Annuity balance for the Plan year May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021 is 1.46%

Click here to check your balance...

How often are our Annuity Statements mailed out?

Annuity Statements are mailed once a year, usually around the end of July.

Click here to check your balance...

Can a Participant make contributions into their own Annuity account?

No.  Participants are not permitted to make contributions to the Plan.

Can a Participant take a loan from their Annuity account?

No, the loan program was discontinued as of June 1, 2004.

Dependent Care FAQs

Can I change my Dependent Care election?

Your election of the Dependent Care FSA remains in place for the entire year unless you have a qualifying change in circumstances. For the Dependent Care FSA, that means you can make a change that corresponds to a change in your life that affects dependent care needs such as the following events.

  • There is a significant change in the cost or coverage of dependent care, such as a change in the dependent care provider (subject to limits on care by relatives in the Internal Revenue Code).
  • Your legal marital status changes, including marriage, death of a Spouse, divorce or dissolution of a marriage or qualified covered partnership, legal separation, or annulment;
  • You have a new child, by birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.
  • A dependent passes away.
  • You or your spouse stops working, returns to work, or needs to relocate
  • A change in employment status of an Eligible Employee, Spouse, or dependent of an Eligible Employee that causes the individual to become or cease to be eligible for this Plan;
  • Your dependent loses eligibility for the Dependent Care FSA, such as reaching age 13.
  • You move to a new residence.

You must notify the Fund Office in writing within 30 days of a change and submit a new election form on a timely basis to make a change. The change will only affect future deposits to your Dependent Care FSA for the year.

How does the Dependent Care FSA work?

You can allocate Vacation Benefit money to the Dependent Care FSA up to an annual maximum under Section 129 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The maximum current annual limit generally is $5,000 per year. The limit is $2,500 if you are married and reside together, but file a separate federal income tax return and also cannot exceed the lesser of the earned income (as defined in IRC Section 32) of you or your spouse (with a special limit for student and disabled spouses). The more practical limit is the sum
of your Vacation Benefit payments which are the most you can allocate to the Dependent Care FSA.

If you elect to allocate Vacation Benefit money to the Dependent Care FSA, a non-interest bearing dependent care account will be set up to keep a record of claims and payments for the Dependent Care Reimbursements to you. The Dependent Care FSA is not an actual account; it is merely a bookkeeping account in the Fund office.

When you complete a Vacation / Dependent Care form with an allocation to the Dependent Care FSA, your quarterly Vacation Benefit payments will be allocated to the Dependent Care FSA until the FSA allocation is funded.

  • For example, assume you will work 2,000 hours in a year and earn gross Vacation Benefits of $1,500 for a year ($375.00 per quarter). If you elect $750.00 for the Dependent Care FSA, the gross amount of the quarterly Vacation Benefit payment for $375.00 in May will be allocated to fund your Dependent Care FSA, and another $375.00 will be allocated in August for a total of $750.00 in the Dependent Care FSA for the year. Your November and February payments will then be made as Vacation Benefits, net of taxes. 
  • You will not have to pay Social Security or income taxes on money that is allocated the Dependent Care FSA. The amount that is available to your Dependent Care FSA account at any particular time will be whatever has been credited to such Account less any reimbursements already paid for the year.

The Dependent Care FSA is not insured and is funded solely by employer contributions.

What is an eligible Dependent Care Expense?

Generally, an expense must meet all of the following conditions for it to be a Dependent Care Expense:

  • Annual Period: The expense is incurred for services rendered after your election and during the calendar year to which it applies. In other words, an allocation for 2019 only covers expenses incurred in 2019.
  • Dependent: The person for whom you incur the expense is:
    • A dependent age 12 or under who resides with you and for whom you are entitled to a personal tax exemption as a dependent (on your federal tax return) or lives with you after a divorce, even if you have permitted the non-custodial parent to take the exemption; or 
    • A spouse or other tax dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself. If the expense is incurred for services outside your household and such expenses are incurred for the care of a dependent who is age 13 or older, the dependent must regularly spend at least 8 hours per day in your home.
  • Dependent Care: The expenses you incur are for the main purpose of the well-being and  protection of a qualifying dependent. Fees you pay to find or retain a provider and transportation charges by a provider can qualify. Child support payments do not qualify.
    • Education: Expenses for a child in nursery school, preschool, or similar programs for children below the level of kindergarten are expenses for care. Expenses to attend kindergarten or a higher grade are not expenses for care. However, expenses for before or after school care of a child in kindergarten or a higher grade may be expenses for care.  
    • Summer Break: Summer school and tutoring programs are not for care and the cost of sending your child to an overnight camp is not considered a work related expense. However, the cost of sending your child to a day camp may be a work-related expense, even if the camp specializes in a particular activity, such as computers or soccer.
    • Living Expenses: Expenses for household services qualify if part of the services is for the care of qualifying persons. Expenses for care do not include amounts you pay for food, lodging, clothing, education, and entertainment, unless they are incidental to and cannot be separated from the cost of care.
  • Help for Work: The expense is incurred for dependent care to enable you (and your spouse if you file a joint tax return) to work or look for work for pay. The work can be for others or in your own business or partnership and can be either full time or part time, but cannot be volunteer work (even with a nominal salary). Work also includes actively looking for work. (However, if you or your spouse do not find a job and have no earned income for the year, you may hit an alternative test of the annual limit and lose the ability to exclude reimbursements from your income. See, How does the Dependent Care FSA work above.) An expense is not considered work-related merely because you incurred it while you were working. The purpose of the expense must be to allow you to work.
  • Non-Family and Authorized Provider: The expense cannot be paid to you, your spouse, a parent (of the child receiving care), another child of yours who is under age 19 or an individual for whom you or your spouse is entitled to a personal tax exemption as a dependent on your federal income tax return. If the expense is incurred for services provided by a dependent care center (namely, a facility that provides care for more than 6 individuals not residing at the facility), the center complies with all applicable state and local laws and regulations.

You are encouraged to consult your personal tax advisor or IRS Publication 503 (Child and Dependent Care Expenses), for further guidance as to what is or is not a Dependent Care Expense if you have any doubts.

How do I claim reimbursement under the Dependent Care FSA?

Claims: When you incur an eligible Dependent Care Expense, you submit a claim to the Fund Office on a claim form that will be supplied to you, which may require details on the provider and proof of payment or a debt for a Dependent Care Expense.

  • If your Dependent Care FSA account balance is sufficient, you will be reimbursed for your Dependent Care Expenses on the next scheduled processing date.
  • If your claim was for an amount that was more than your current Dependent Care Account  balance, the excess part of the claim will be carried over into following months, to be paid out as your balance becomes adequate.
  • However, you cannot be reimbursed for any expenses above your annual payments to your Dependent Care FSA account or for any expense incurred after the close of the Plan Year.

You will be notified in writing if any claim for benefits is denied.

You must submit all claims for reimbursement of Dependent Care Expenses incurred during a calendar year by February 1 of the following calendar year or the amount may be forfeited.

Tax Returns: In order to exclude the amount you receive as reimbursement for Dependent Care Expenses from your taxable income, you are generally required to provide the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the dependent care service provider and other information on your federal income tax return by completing IRS Form 2441.

If you participate in the Dependent Care FSA, you cannot claim the household and dependent care credit  or any other tax benefit for the tax-free reimbursement amounts you receive from the Dependent Care FSA. The balance of your Dependent Care Expenses (namely, those for which you do not receive reimbursement) may be eligible for the dependent care credit.

Can I lose my Dependent Care FSA?

If you over-estimate your Dependent Care Expenses for a year, you will only be entitled to receive payments for which were actually contributed to your account. Any Dependent Care FSA allocation over the amount of eligible receipts submitted by the deadline for the year must be forfeited under IRS rules. This is the trade-off for the tax free benefit, so be careful on your allocation.

Your Dependent Care FSA will also terminate and be forfeited for any reason that would cause you to lose Vacation Benefits for a year, such as fraud or misconduct against the Fund.

Disability & Workers' Compensation FAQs

When are you considered an Active Covered Participant?

To be considered an Active Covered Participant, you must be in the Eligible Class and either have 600 or more Credited Hours in the consecutive 6 calendar month period or have 1,200 or more Credited Hours in the consecutive 12 calendar month period.

What are Health & Welfare Credited Hours?

Credited Hours are used to determine your eligibility to receive benefits under the Plan. Credited Hours are a combination of:

  • Payment Hours, also called “Contribution Hours” (hours you worked for which employer contributions are made to the Health and Welfare Fund for your work).
  • Delinquent Hours are hours you worked for which employer contributions are due but which have not been paid (through no fault of yours) to the Health and Welfare Fund for your work by the delinquent employer. You must provide evidence of your work such as a pay stub or similar record to the Fund Office to receive credited hours.
  • Weekly Disability or Workers’ Compensation Hours. (Currently, you may receive credit for up to 30 hours per week to a maximum of 104 weeks),
  • School hours for Apprenticeship training with the Joint Apprenticeship Committee of Philadelphia and Vicinity after April 30, 1988.
  • Qualifying Family and Medical Leave of Absence, and
  • Qualified Military Service. Military service up to 5 years for the United States is credited if you leave work with a contributing Plan employer for military service and return within the periods provided by law. You must present yourself for work in Covered Employment:
    (a) within 90 days after your discharge from military service over 180 days, (b) within 14 days for military service between 30 and 180 days and (c) immediately for service under a month. For military service before 1994, you had to return to Covered Employment within 90 days of discharge regardless of the length of your military service. Military service for the United States is also credited if you leave work with a contributing Plan employer for military service and you either pass away or become disabled after December 31, 2006 while performing military service. Service is credited as though you had returned to work on the date of your passing or on the date of the onset of your disability. Hours credited for Qualified Military Service are treated the same as “Payment Hours.”
What are Pension Credited Hours?

Credited Hours are used to determine your eligibility and benefits from the Fund. In order to receive credited service you must obtain Credited Hours.

Generally after 1981, Credited Hours are a combination of:

  • Payment Hours, also called “Contribution Hours” (hours you worked for which employer contributions are made to the Pension and Annuity Fund for your work).
  • Delinquent Hours are hours you worked for which employer contributions are due but which have not been paid to the Pension and Annuity Fund for your work by the delinquent employer. You must provide evidence of your work such as a pay stub or similar record to the Fund Office to receive credited hours.
  • Weekly Disability or Workers’ Compensation Hours for which you receive benefits from the Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity.(Currently, you may receive credit for up to 30 hours per week to a maximum of 104 weeks per disability without an intervening return to work for at least 500
    hours.)
  • School hours for Apprenticeship training with the Joint Apprenticeship Committee of Philadelphia and Vicinity after April 30, 1988.
  • Qualified Military Service. Military service up to 5 years for the United States is credited if you leave work with a contributing Plan employer for military service and return within the periods provided by law. You must present yourself for work in Covered Employment:
    (a) within 90 days after your discharge from military service over 180 days, (b) within 14 days for military service between 30 and 180 days and (c) immediately for service under a month. For military service before 1994, you had to return to Covered Employment within 90 days of discharge regardless of the length of your military service. Military service for the United States is also credited if you leave work with a contributing Plan employer for military service and you either pass away or become disabled after December 31, 2006 while performing military service. Service is credited as though you had returned to work on the date of your passing or on the date of the onset of your disability. Hours credited for Qualified Military Service are treated the same as “Payment Hours.”
  • Reciprocal Hours. You are credited with hours for which contributions are paid to the Pension & Annuity Fund under the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America National Reciprocal Agreement
What does Eligible Class mean?

"Eligible Class" means those persons whose chief source of livelihood is work at Covered Employment, and who, at any given time, are working in Covered Employment; are ready, willing, and able to work at Covered Employment; or, are seeking work in Covered Employment. 

When are you considered an Inactive Participant?

You will be considered an “inactive” participant if you have less than 200 Credited Hours during any Plan Year. You may also become “inactive” earlier if you cease to be available for and seeking Covered Employment. When you work again in Covered Employment for 800 or more Credited Hours in a Plan Year, you will become an active participant at the end of the Plan Year.

Are my Dependents eligible for these benefits?

No, Disability and Workers' Compensation Benefits are for the member only. Spouses and Dependent Children are not eligible. 

Do you have to eligible for benefit coverage to claim these benefits?

Yes, You must be eligible for benefit coverage in both the Benefit Period in which the illness or injury occurs and the Benefit Period prior to the onset of the illness or injury.

When should you report the injury or illness to apply for these benefits?

You should report and apply for these benefits within 30 days of the injury or illness. 

Hearing Aid FAQs

What does the Benefit Fund pay if I don't use AudioNet?
  • Hearing aid examination by licensed physician (every two years). Up to $25
  • Hearing aid repair of device (only one repair per device). Up to $75 per device over one year old.
  • Hearing aid including audiogram (every two years). Up to $400 for a full shell, or $600 for a canal device, after $50 deductible per hearing aid.

Heart & Lung Scan FAQs

How do I schedule a heart and/or Lung scan?

Submit the online authorization request form or call the Fund office at 215-568-0430 to obtain your authorization number.

Than call the Temple Access Center at 215-707-8800, Monday-Friday between 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, to set-up your appointment date and time.

When/where is the scan performed?

Temple University Hospital - 3509 N. Broad Street (enter on Tioga), 4th Floor, Boyer Pavilion, Philadelphia, PA 19140.

Monday - Friday* 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

 

Can I get a heart and/or Lung scan if I am under the age requirement?

Yes, you will need a Letter of Medical Necessity from your Primary Care Physician.  

Medical Coverage FAQs

Are Doctor and Specialist visits covered?

All Primary Care and Specialist visits at a Participating Independence Administrator's (IA) provider are covered at 90% of IA's allowed amount, leaving you responsible for only the 10% coinsurance. All testing and procedures done during your visit will also be covered at 90% of IA's allowed amount. Please visit www.MyIBXTPABenefits.com for a list of Participating Providers.

What is the difference between a deductible, a co-pay, and coinsurance?

A deductible is the initial amount of money you must pay for health care services before your insurance starts to pay for covered services. For all In Network Claims through Independence Administrators or Mental Health Consultants, your coverage does not have a deductible.

A co-pay is a fixed dollar amount you are required to pay for health care services. For example, if you visit a Participating Chiropractor, the copay is $5.

Coinsurance is the set percentage of the allowed amount you are required to pay for health care services. Currently, the coinsurance amount of an office visit through a Participating Independence Administrator provider is 10%.

Is there an "Out-of-Pocket Maximum," and what does that mean?

Out-of-Pocket Max means the total amount of money you can spend of your pocket in a Plan Year (May 1st through April 30th). The out-of-pocket maximum for In-Network Services through Independence Administrators and MHC is $2,000.00 for an individual and $4,000.00 for a family.

Please note, there is a separate out-of-pocket maximum for Out of Network Services through IBX and MHC is $15,000.00 for an individual and $30,000.00 for a family after the Out of Network Deductible is met.

 

What is the Out-of-Network Out-of-Pocket?

If you utilize Out-of-Network Facilities, after the deductible ($10,000.00 individual/$20,000.00 family) is met, your Out of Pocket Maximum is a combination of your copays and coinsurances with a limit of $15,000.00 for individuals and $30,000.00 for family.

Can I use an Urgent Care Facility, or a Minute Clinic at a pharmacy?

Yes, you may utilize an Urgent Care Facility or a Minute Clinic at a pharmacy as long as they are participating with Independence Administrators (IA). Urgent Care visits and all testing and procedures are covered at 90% of IA's allowed amount. Please visit www.MyIBXTPABenefits.com for a list of Participating Providers.

Is there a Deductible?

For In-Network claims processed through Independence Administrators Personal Choice (IA) and Mental Health Consultants (MHC) there is currently NO DEDUCTIBLE.

For Out of Network claims processed through Independence Administrators Personal Choice (IA) and Mental Health Consultants (MHC) there is a $10,000.00 deductible for an individual and a $20,000.00 deductible for a family. If you are seeking services and the provider is Out of Network, contact IA or MHC and ask for alternative physicians.

 

Where can I find a list of Participating Independence Administrator's Providers?

You may find a list of Participating Providers for Health Care Professionals on the Independence Administrators Website at www.MyIBXTPABenefits.com.  

You may also contact Independent Administrators directly at 1-833-810-BLUE.

What is considered Preventative Care?

Preventative Care encompasses procedures such as: Vaccinations, Immunizations, and Wellness Visits. Preventative Care eligibility will be determined by your Primary Care Physician based on medical necessity and your unique individual situation. All preventative care is covered at 100%.

Where do I send my Independence Administrators Claims to?

If you visit a Independence Administrator's Participating Provider, there shouldn’t be any claims forms for you to submit. As long as you are supplying your Independence Administrators Card, the provider will submit the claim for you.

Mental Health FAQs

What does Individual Counseling cost?

If you visit a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Counselor from Mental Health Consultants (MHC) Network of Participating Providers, you will be responsible for 10% of the charges. However, if you visit a Non-Participating Provider, you will be responsible for all charges until you reach your annual $10,000 (Individual) or $20,000 (Family) Deductible.

I want to go out of state for in-patient treatment. What are my options?

Mental Health Consultants (MHC) offers an extensive list of Participating Behavioral Health Providers, and Treatment Facilities for Mental Health & Substance Abuse. If you are considering obtaining any type of Behavioral Health Services, including in-patient facility stays, it is imperative you contact MHC at 1-800-255-3081 to discuss which facilities and locations are best for your course of treatment. Failing to choose an in-network facility will result in a $10,000 (Individual) or $20,000 (Family) Deductible, in addition to a 90/10% Coinsurance.

What is the out-of-network deductible?

Any out of network treatment / counseling has a $10,000 deductible per individual or $20,000 deductible per family before payment is made. If you have chosen a provider who is out of network, please contact Mental Health Consultants (MHC) for more assistance

Retiree Health Care FAQs

What is considered "Consecutive" in the Pension Plan?

Consecutive is uninterrupted years of credited service in the Pension Plan with no breaks in service.

If there is a break in service,the missed years of credited service must be made up before retirement.

What is considered "Consecutive" in Health & Welfare Coverage?

Consecutive is uninterrupted Health & Welfare benefit periods with no break in coverage.

If there is a break in coverage, the missed Health & Welfare periods must be made up before retirement.

What options are available if I do not retire with health coverage?

COBRA COVERAGE

Allows you to buy coverage in order to stay in the same Plan you are as an Active Carpenter:

  • Members: offered for 18 Months
  • Spouse/Dependents: offered for 36 Months

2020 Rates for Full Coverage:

  • Single Coverage: $509.25/mo*
  • Family Coverage: $1,222.21/mo*

COBRA payments are HRA Eligible

*Monthly COBRA costs are subject to change each year on January 1st. 

As a Retired Participant, what are my spouse's healthcare options if I pass away?

In the event a member passes away, their spouse will be entitled to healthcare coverage for the duration of the current six-month eligibility period, plus an additional 12 months of coverage.

For example:

  • If you are to pass away in January 2020, your spouse would be entitled to healthcare for the duration of the benefit period ending April 30, 2020.
  • Then the additional 12 months would carry them through April 30, 2021.

The cost for this healthcare coverage would be automatically deducted from your monthly Pension or lump sum Death Benefit.

COBRA Coverage

After the additional 12 month period, the surviving spouse will have the opportunity to purchase COBRA insurance through the Fund for up to 36 months. The 2020 monthly costs are listed below.

Non-Medicare:

  • Single (Basic) - $372.32/mo*
  • Family (Basic) - $893.56/mo*
  • Single (Full) - $509.25/mo*
  • Family (Full) - $1,222.21/mo*

Medicare:

  • Single - $410.98/mo*
  • Family - $821.96/mo*

*Monthly COBRA costs are subject to change each your on January 1st.

What is the Health & Welfare Death Benefit for Retired Covered Participants?

If You Pass Away...
Death benefits are provided to eligible, Retired Covered Participants. If you are an eligible, Retired Covered Participant, your beneficiary will receive a death benefit of $1,000 upon your death.

You may name anyone you wish as your beneficiary at any time by filling out the proper beneficiary designation
form.

If your beneficiary causes your death, no death benefit shall be paid to that person.

An application must be filed with the Fund Office to claim these benefits. If these benefits are denied by the Fund Office, your beneficiary can appeal under the applicable procedures in the Death Benefits Appeals section of this booklet.

Vacation Benefit FAQs

How do I become eligible for a Vacation Benefit?

You are eligible for a Vacation Benefit if:(1) you are an active participant, and (2) the wage and benefit package for your work has a “Cafeteria Benefit” or vacation benefit contribution or the Board allocates a portion of the Health & Welfare contribution for your work to a Vacation Benefit.

How is the Vacation Benefit Calculated?

The Vacation Benefit is a portion of the “Cafeteria Benefit” contribution for your work as allocated to this benefit by the Plan. Only contributions actually paid to the Plan for your work are used in the calculation.

The Vacation Benefit contribution is a gross payment to the Plan before taxes. Any payment will be reduced by any withholding or employment taxes which the Plan is required to pay or to withhold, directly or as an agent of the Employers.(Dependent Care FSA contributions and reimbursements will have tax adjustments).

The Vacation Benefit is not insured and is funded solely by employer contributions.

How do I claim my Vacation Benefit?

Except for amounts allocated to a Dependent Care benefit, you do not need to apply for a Vacation Benefit. The Fund Office will issue payments automatically to eligible Employees on each of the designated Vacation Payment Dates. Payments will be deposited into a financial institution of your choosing, or if none is provided, an account will be created for you at the Union Building Trades Federal Credit Union.

The Fund Office expects to issue payments around the 15th of each Vacation Payment Date month, but  can adjust the actual payment date to account for holidays and other banking or operational issues.

Are there any alternative Vacation Benefit payment options?

The Plan provides options beyond a direct payment for your Vacation Benefit.

Union Dues and Assessments: If you have elected to have your Vacation benefit deposited into the Union Building Trades Federal Credit Union, you will be able to assign the Credit Union to transfer funds to the Council or a Local Union for the payment of union dues and assessments on your behalf. This is a convenient way to make sure you do not become delinquent.

Dependent Care Expenses: You will be offered the option to allocate vacation contributions to a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) each year. The Dependent Care FSA can reimburse you for eligible childcare expenses in a calendar year on a pre-tax basis.

If you have a delinquent Annuity Plan loan, your vacation benefit will continue to be applied to that debt under your Pledge Agreement with the loan.

Can I lose my Vacation Benefit?

You will lose any unpaid Vacation Benefits if you lose eligibility for active employee health benefits due to leaving Covered Employment as your chief source of livelihood or perpetrate fraud or similar misconduct against the Fund.

All Vacation Benefit payments which are returned from the financial institution on file can only be re-issued if a written request is filed with the Fund office within 36 months of the original payment date.

How can I appeal a Vacation Benefit error?

If you do not receive a vacation payment or believe the amount is wrong, you can appeal the absence or the amount of your vacation payment within 180 days after the end of a Vacation Payment Date month. The appeal must be sent to the Fund Office in writing; include paystubs or comparable documentation of your work hours and be received by the Fund office by the due date. An appeal will follow the procedures for a Post Service Benefit.

Vacation benefits are not insured and are based and paid solely on contributions actually paid to the Health & Welfare Fund. Your employer may fail to remit monies deducted from your pay due to financial troubles, bankruptcy or other reasons. It is your responsibility to retain payroll documents supplied by your employers to verify your Vacation Benefit contributions. If there is a discrepancy in your Vacation Benefit account, it is your responsibility to supply the Fund Office with documentation to allow collection of any additional amounts due from your employer.