Frequently Asked Questions

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Benefits

Q: What benefits does the county offer?

  • Anthem BCBS Health Insurance and Blue View Vision (Package)
  • WellDyneRX (Pharmacy provider with all Anthem Health Insurance plans)
  • Kaiser Permanente Insurance and Vision coverage with Kaiser Permanente(Package )
  • Delta Dental Standard Option Plan
  • Delta Dental High Option plan (includes orthodontia)
  • Supplemental Vision – VSP
  • Flexible Spending Accounts through P&A Group
    • Health Care Reimbursement Plan
    • Dependent Care Assistance Plan
  • Supplemental Retirement with Lincoln Financial (403(b) and 457 Plans)
  • Life Insurance
  • Optional Life Insurance
  • VRS – Retirement
  • ROP – Retirement Opportunity Program
  • Leave Benefits
  • Sick Leave Bank
  • Long Term Disability  through Standard
  • Employee Assistance Program through ComPsych
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Savings Bonds
  • Prince William County Employees Credit Union
  • Apple Federal Credit Union
  • AFLAC plans

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HEALTH INSURANCE PACKAGE

Q: What is included in the health insurance package offered by PWCS?

A: The health insurance package includes health insurance with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, prescription drug coverage with WellDyneRX and routine eye care insurance with Blue View Vision (PDF) through Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Q: Who is eligible for the health insurance package?

A: All permanent full-time and part-time employees working 17 ½ hours or more per week. Temporary/substitute employees are not eligible for insurance benefits.

Q: Who are eligible dependents for insurance?

A: Eligible dependents include:

  • Your spouse,
  • Your biological children, adopted children (or children placed for adoption), and children for whom you have been appointed legal guardian or granted legal custody and who are under the age of 26 (special provisions apply for disabled children).

Q: What is the age limit for dependent children?

A: Effective July 1, 2011, children are eligible to be covered until the last day of the month they turn 26.

The age limit does not apply for the initial enrollment or maintaining enrollment of an unmarried child who cannot support himself or herself because of mental retardation, mental illness, or physical incapacity that began prior to the child reaching the age limit. Coverage may be obtained for the child who is beyond the age limit at the initial enrollment if you provide proof of handicap and dependence at the time of enrollment.

Q: Are there any preexisting conditions?

A: PWCS health insurance plan has no preexisting condition clause. Everyone is eligible regardless of previous health conditions.

Q: When can I make changes to my health insurance package?

A: Employees may make changes to their insurance during the open enrollment period, which is April 15 through May 15 each year. Changes become effective on July 1. In addition, employees who have a qualifying status change, at any time during the year, have 30 days from the date of the event to make changes to their insurance. Qualifying status changes are listed on the Midyear Change form (PDF).  The Midyear Change Form can be accessed on the PWCS Benefits Office Intranet Page (requires PWCS login information)

Q: When will my coverage start?

A: Employees must submit their enrollment forms within 30 days of their date-of-hire. The effective date of health insurance for new employees is the first of the month following your first 30 days of employment. For example, if your hire date is August 12, you would be eligible for benefits to begin October 1.

Q: A qualifying status change has occurred, and I would like to enroll, cancel or make changes to my health insurance package. What is needed?

A: We will need the following forms completed within 30-days of the status change:

Q: I had a baby. What do I need to do to add the baby to my health insurance package?

A: You must contact the Office of Benefits within 30 days of the baby's birth. We can add the baby with information you give us by phone, but we will need the following forms completed within 30-days of the baby’s birth.

  • Midyear Change form 
  • PWCS Enrollment Forms
  • Birth certificate or proof of birth letter from the hospital

Forms for Midyear Changes can be accessed on the PWCS Benefits Office Intranet Page=(requires PWCS login information)

Q: How can I find a doctor participating in my health plan?

A: Anthem has an online directory of doctors. You may access this through the Anthem website.  Use the link to "Find a Doctor."

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DENTAL AND VISION INSURANCES

Q: Can I enroll in Dental or Vision without enrolling in the Health Insurance package?

A: Yes – PWCS offers two dental programs -Delta Dental High option and Delta Dental Standad option - and Vision Service Plan  insurances that are completely separate policies. A comparison of the two plans  is available on the PWCS Benefits Office Intranet Page (requires PWCS login information).

Q: How can I find a doctor participating in my dental plan?

A: Delta Dental has an online directory of dentists. You may access this through the Delta Dental website.

Q: How can I find a participating Vision Service Plan (VSP) provider?

A: Use the VSP provider finder at the VSP website

Q: How do I get a VSP insurance card?

A: VSP uses a paperless system. They do not issue insurance cards.Inform your provider that you carry VSP, and your benefits can be verified in the VSP system by your provider using your Social Security Number.

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FLEXIBLE BENEFITS PROGRAM

Q. What is the Flexible Benefits Program?

A. The Flexible Benefits Program is a plan that was established by PWCS under the regulations and guidelines of the IRS Regulation Code 125 and Code 129. This program has two components: the Health Care Reimbursement Plan and the Dependent Care Reimbursement Plan. The plan year for this program is from July 1 through June 30.  P and A Group, a third party provider, will administer the program for Prince William County Schools.

Q. What is the Health Care Reimbursement Program (HCRP)?

A. The Health Care Reimbursement Program (HCRP) helps you pay for eligible health expenses that are not covered or reimbursed by any other insurance plan. HCRP is not insurance, but it can help you receive more for your money by using pre-tax dollars to stretch the money you would normally spend out-of-pocket on health care services.

You make an annual election to HCRP. The election is taken from your salary in equal allotments before any Social Security, Federal, state or local taxes are calculated. Since your taxable income is reduced, you will pay less Social Security and taxes. PWCS does not make a contribution to the program, but does pay for all administration fees. The maximum amount you can put aside in the HCRP is $2,600 (per employee) for the 2017-18 plan year.

The HCRP cannot be used to pay for health, dental, vision, life, Long Term Care, Long Term Disability or any other insurance premium. Eligible expenses include most out-of-pocket health, dental, vision, and prescription costs.  You can find a list of eligible expenses on the P&A Group Website

Q. What is the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)?

A. The DCAP can help you pay for day-care type expenses for your children and other family members who may need care and who are qualifying individuals. If you are a working single parent or a guardian, you are eligible to contribute to a DCAP. If you are married, you are eligible if your spouse is working, searching for a job, attending school and enrolled as a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or is mentally and/or physically unable to provide for a dependent.

An eligible dependent is a child 12 years old or younger, a child 13 years and older who is physically and/or mentally incapable of self care, a spouse if he or she is physically and/or mentally incapable of self care, and a qualifying relative if he or she is mentally and/or physically incapable.

Eligible expenses are for fees paid to Day Care Centers, babysitters or companions, including relatives (your children must be age 19 or over) whom you do not claim as exemptions on your federal income tax return. Each year you can set aside up to $5,000 if you are a single parent or married and filing taxes jointly. If you and your spouse are filing your taxes separately then you may only set aside a maximum of $2,500. You may not receive reimbursement for dependent care if you itemize the expense as a deduction on your tax return.

Q: How do I contribute part of my salary to the Flexible Benefits Program?

A: Each year you may elect to have PWCS contribute on your behalf enough of your salary to pay for the benefits covered under the plans in which you are enrolled. You authorize your salary contribution by completing the appropriate salary redirection form for the plan or plans in which you enroll . Your annual salary contribution is prorated and deducted from your pay over the course of the year.

Q: What happens to the portion of my salary that I contribute to the Flexible Benefits Program?

A: Before a plan year begins, you select the benefits/plans you want and elect the amount of your salary you want to contribute to the plan or plans over the course of the year. Your annual contribution election is prorated, deducted from your pay, and placed in a special account(s) over the course of the year. Then these contributions are used to pay for your covered benefits or expenses as they arise during the plan year. It is very important that the amount you decide to contribute to the plan(s) is what you actually expect to spend on each covered benefit or expense (i.e., out-of-pocket medical expenses, dependent care expenses, health insurance premiums) during the plan year.

Q: When must I decide if I want to participate and which account(s) I want to use under the Flexible Benefits Program?

A: You are required by Federal law to decide if you want to participate in any of the plans under the Flexible Benefits Program during the plan’s “election period."

You must decide two (2) things: First in which plans do you want to enroll to receive the pretax benefits, and secondly, how much of your salary do you want to contribute toward the plan’(s) benefits.

Q: When is the “Election Period” for the Flexible Benefits Program?

A: For new employees, the first election period will be the 30-day period beginning on your date of hire. For current employees, the election period will be April 15 to May 15.

Q: May I change or stop my elections during the plan year?

A: Generally, no. Elections cannot be changed or stopped after the beginning of the plan year. However, if there is a change in family status, you can change your elections. Currently, federal law considers the following to be examples of a change in family status.

  • You get married or divorced.
  • You have a child or adopt one.
  • Your spouse and/or child/children die(s).
  • Your spouse commences or terminates employment.
  • You or your spouse's employment status changes from full-time to part-time or from part-time to full-time.
  • You or your spouse takes an unpaid leave of absence.
  • Your spouse has a significant change in health coverage directly attributable to your spouse's employment.

There may be other events which are considered to be a change in family status. Any election change must coincide and be consistent with the Change in Status Form.

If you have a change in family status, you should contact the Office of Benefits & Retirement Services, who will provide you with the required forms for changing your benefit elections.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in the Flexible Benefits Program?

A: All full-time employees and part-time employees working 17 ½ hours or more per week.

Q: What is the benefit of participating in a Flexible Spending Account?

A: Plan Contributions are not subject to state, federal, social security, or Medicare taxes.

Q: How much can I contribute to the Health and Dependent Care Accounts?

A: Employees may choose to contribute up to $5,000 for dependent care and $2,750 for health care for the full plan year or a maximum of $208.33 per pay for dependent care and a maximum of $114.58 per pay for health care. Employees who are married and file taxes separately may only contribute up to $2,500 to the Dependent Care account.

Q: How do I receive reimbursements?

A: Reimbursements are processed by P&A Group.  All participants in the healthcare reimbursement program will be issued a debit card to use to make Health flex payments as accepted by providers. This provides a convenient way to pay for prescriptions, office co-pays, and other eligible expenses, contingent on the provider. An additional card can be issued for a family member by contacting P&A Group at the P&A website. For health expenses not processed with the debit card and all dependent care expenses, employees may log into their accounton the P&A Group website and complete the on line reimbursement process. 

Q: What happens if I am unable to produce receipts to cover the elected amount?

A: Employees must submit qualifying receipts in order to be reimbursed. For health care flexible spending plans, participants can roll up to a maximum of $500 over to the new plan year if you enroll for the next plan year. Any dependent care contributions withheld that an employee is unable to submit a receipt for is forfeited at the end of the plan year.

Q: What happens if I am a participant in flexible spending and I terminate my employment mid year?

A: Employees may continue to submit receipts until September 30, for the expenses “dated” prior to the date of termination.

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Long Term Disability

Q: Does PWCS offer Long Term Disability (LTD)?

A: Yes. All VRS Hybrid employees are automatically enrolled in a Short-term (PDF) and Long-term (PDF) disability insurance with The Standard Insurance Company through their membership in the Hybrid plan.  All other full-time employees, in VRS plan 1 or plan 2, may apply for our voluntary Long-Term Disability coverage (PDF) through The Standard Insurance Company. Employees have 30 days from their initial full-time date-of-hire to submit the Standard Enrollment Application (PDF). Those that apply after this initial 30 day enrollment period must complete Standard’s Medical History Form (PDF)and be approved for coverage. The Medical forms should be mailed directly to Standard at the address listed at the top of the form. The cost of this benefit is determined by the employee’s age and annual salary. Click here for the LTD cost calculator.

Q: What does Standard LTD Insurance cover?

A: Standard LTD provides up to 60% of a participant’s pre-disability salary, after the participant has been continuously disabled for 180 days (6 months), and remains disabled. If an employee became disabled before age 62, the LTD benefits may continue during the disability until age 65. For more information about this plan select “Insurance Plans,” and then select “Standard LTD Insurance.”

As an added benefit, Standard LTD coverage also comes with an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP). Those that participate in Standard LTD insurance are automatically enrolled in the EAP program. For more information about the EAP benefits, click here (PDF).

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403(b), ROTH 403(b) AND 457 PLANS

Q: What Supplemental Retirement Plans can employees participate in?

A: An employee may participate in a retirement plan with Lincoln Financial:

  • Traditional pre-tax 403(b)
  • ROTH after-tax 403(b)
  • 457 Plan (excluding temps/subs)

Effective January 1, 2014, new employees hired are enrolled into the VRS Hybrid Plan and are eligible to make voluntary contributions, up to 4% of salary, into a 457 account with the Hybrid Plan.

Q: What is the 403(b) plan and what is the matching schedule?

A: Employees may set aside pre-tax dollars into a 403(b) retirement account or after-tax dollars in a ROTH 403(b) account. The county offers a match on the first 2% of contributions, up to $3,614 per calendar year, based on the following schedule. Once you have completed:

  • 1 year of service 15%
  • 3 years of service 25%
  • 5 years of service 50%
  • 10 years of service 75%
  • 15 years or more 100%

Matching contributions are always pre-tax.

Q: I would like to enroll in the 403(b) program. What do I need to complete?

A: Enrollments into the 403(b)or 457 plan with Lincoln Financial must be done either through www.lincolnfinancial.com or via telephone 1.800.234.3500 of by working with a Lincoln Financial Retirement Consultant.

Q: How often can I make changes to my 403(b) or 457 accounts? Is there an open enrollment?

A: You may make changes as often as necessary. There are no open enrollment periods for the 403(b) or 457 programs. You may enroll, stop, or modify your contribution percentages. You may also change your investment fund choices at any time. These changes must be made either through the www.lincolnfinancial.com or via telephone at 1.800.234.3500. 

Q: How can I change my 403(b) and 457 contributions?

A: To update your salary deferrals for contributions to our retirement this needs to be either from the Lincoln Financial Group website or via telephone at 1.800.234.3500.

Q: What can a Lincoln Representatives assist me with?

A: The Lincoln Representatives can help you determine your contribution percentage, asset allocation mix based on your risk tolerance and investment horizon, and assist with transfers and rollovers. They can also answer questions about your retirement plan benefits, distributions, hardships and loan provisions.

Lincoln Retirement Consultant Contact information 

Q: I would like to schedule a meeting with a Lincoln Representative. How can I contact them?

A: The Lincoln Representatives are assigned by work location.  Click here for Lincoln contact information. We also have a Lincoln Retirement Consultant available at the Kelly Leadership Center on Wednesdays for appointments. Contact Jill Argueta in the Office of Benefits and Retirement Services to schedule an appointment.

Q: When can I make a withdrawal from my 403(b) account?

A: Traditional 403(b) participants who are 59½ or employees who have severed employment with PWCS are eligible for a distribution. ROTH 403(b) participants must have severed employment to be eligible for a distribution.

Q: What is the difference between a 403(b), ROTH 403(b), and 457 plans?

A: PWCS 403(b) Plan allows pretax and/or after-tax (ROTH) contributions. Participants in PWCS 403(b) Plans are eligible to receive employer matching contributions after 1 year of employment.

PWCS 457 Plan only allows pretax contributions with no matching contributions.

Participants in the Traditional pretax 403(b) Plan can apply for loans and/or hardship distributions provided that they meet the necessary requirements and they may also take in-service withdrawals after age 59 1/2. ROTH 403(b) and 457 Plan participants may not take a loan, hardship distribution or in-service withdrawals. However, 457 participants will not have a 10% penalty for taking distribution of the plan after separation of service regardless of age.

Q: How do I change my beneficiary(s) for Lincoln ?

A: You can elect a beneficiary by phone at 1.800.234.3500  or on the web.

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LIFE INSURANCE

Q: How much Life Insurance do I have?

A: Full-time employees receive two times their salary of life insurance, at no cost to them. In the event that the employee passes away in an accident this coverage doubles to four times their salary. PWCS pays 100% of the cost of this coverage.

Q: Can I purchase additional Life Insurance or may I insure my spouse or children?

A: Full-time employees may purchase an additional 1, 2, 3, or 4 times their salary. In addition, spouse and children coverage is available. Employees may apply at any time for coverage; however after the initial 30 day new hire open enrollment, a medical evidence of insurability form must be completed. For additional life insurance, initial 30 day new hire open enrollment is defined as 30 days from "date of hire" and not "date of orientation."

Q: How much does Optional Life Insurance cost?

A: The cost of life insurance is based on the employee’s age, salary, amount of coverage, and spouse's age (if electing spouse coverage). A life insurance cost estimate may be obtained utilizing the calculator. Visit the PWCS Benefits Life Insurance page for forms and calculator. 

Q: I would like to enroll in Optional Life Insurance, but I am no longer within my 30-day open enrollment period, what do I need to do?

A: Complete a Minnesota Life Insurance Application. In addition a Medical Evidence of Insurability form  must be completed for everyone you wish to insure. Upon completion these forms should be forwarded to Payroll.  Visit the PWCS Benefits Life Insurance page for forms and calculator.

Q: How do I change or cancel Optional Life Insurance?

A: Complete a Request for Change Under Optional Group Life Insurance Plan form.  Visit the PWCS Benefits Life Insurance page for forms and calculator.

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RETIREMENT

Q: Am I eligible for VRS retirement? What forms are needed to enroll?

A: All full-time employees are automatically enrolled in VRS Plan 1,VRS Plan 2, or VRS Hybrid plan. No forms are necessary.

Q: How do I know which VRS plan I am enrolled in?

A: Full-time employees who begin employment with PWCS on or after January 1, 2014, with no service credit in VRS will be members of the VRS Hybrid Plan. Additional information is available www.varetire.org.

Q: When is an employee considered vested in VRS retirement?

A: All full-time employees are fully vested after five years of service.

Q: I worked for another public (military, state, federal, or local government) entity and I cashed out of that retirement plan. Can I purchase those years of service into VRS?

A: Employees may be eligible to purchase years of public service, by completing the VRS Application for Purchase of Prior Service Credit (PDF).

Q: I worked for another employer that participated with VRS. Do I need to complete any forms?

A: If you did not take a withdrawal on the funds, no paperwork is necessary. VRS tracks the service credits based on your social security number. Additional service credit will be applied to what you already have with VRS. If, however, you cashed out of your VRS retirement and are interested in purchasing the service credit back, you may do so by completing the VRS Application for Purchase of Prior Service Credit (PDF).

Q: How do I change my beneficiary(s) for Life Insurance and VRS Retirement?

A: Complete the VRS Designation of Beneficiary Form (PDF), have the form notarized, and send the form to VRS directly. The address is on the top of the form.  There is an additional Beneficiary Form (PDF)for the Defined Contribution portion of the VRS Hybrid plan.

Q: How can employees view their VRS retirement benefits and obtain retirement estimates?

A: You can visit the VRS web page at http://www.varetire.org. Select the Member Tab and then My VRS Member Log-In.

Q: I’m getting ready to retire. What is the process?

Q: Can I borrow from my VRS retirement account?

A: The Code of Virginia prohibits borrowing from your VRS member account.

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RETIREMENT OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM (ROP)

Q: When may an individual begin ROP?

A: Retirees may begin ROP after a 30-day severance from all PWCS employment unless retirement is after January 1.

Q: How do I find a ROP position?

A: It is the responsibility of the retiree to find a ROP position.  You can contact different schools or departments where you are interested in working to best the skills from your position at PWCS.

Q: What forms are necessary and who is responsible for the forms?

A: It is the responsibility of the retiree to obtain the necessary ROP assignment and completion forms on an annual basis. These forms are located on the Benefits Web page under Forms. The ROP forms required are the ROP Work Assignment (PDF)ROP Time Sheet (PDF), and ROP Work Completion (PDF). The ROP Time Sheet should be submitted to the Time and Leave Designee at your work location each pay period. The ROP Work Assignment and ROP Work Completion forms are due in the Office of Benefits & Retirement Services no later than July 1 each year.

Q: Who will be responsible for signing and overseeing a ROP assignment?

A: Retirees will enter into an agreement with a ROP supervisor who shall be a “manager” in a position of higher authority than the ROP participant formerly held before retiring.

Q: How is a ROP work assignment determined?

A: The supervisor and retiree agree upon a work assignment. The supervisor can reassign a ROP participant to an alternative assignment or location if the need should arise.

Q: Can a work assignment be out of an individual’s area of expertise?

A: The work assignment shall be compatible with the retiree’s training, experience, and qualifications.

Q: Can an individual be paid for additional work in PWCS?

A: Yes, but only after a retiree has completed his/her ROP days for that fiscal year. A copy of the retiree’s ROP Work Completion form must be sent to the Office of Benefits & Retirement Services before entering into a temporary or substitute position.  You must notify the Office of Benefits & Retirement Services of your intent to sub or do temp work so the temporary assignment can be set up for pay.

For more information regarding the Retirement Opportunity Program (ROP), please go to the ROP page or refer to PWCS ROP regulation

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SAVINGS BONDS

Q: What is TreasuryDirect?

A: TreasuryDirect is a Web-based system that allows investors to establish accounts to purchase, hold, and conduct transactions in Treasury securities online. Currently, you can purchase electronic Series EE and I savings bonds through TreasuryDirect. In the future, Treasury plans to offer other electronic securities, such as Treasury bills and notes, in TreasuryDirect. Paper savings bonds are not sold through TreasuryDirect.

Q: How does this change payroll savings?

A: TreasuryDirect offers an electronic alternative to the traditional payroll savings plan. You establish your own TreasuryDirect account and, with direct deposit (payroll) deductions that are just like any other direct deposit deduction, purchase a Certificate of Indebtedness (C of I). The C of I is a Treasury security that does not earn any interest and is used as a source of funds to purchase electronic Series EE and/or Series I savings bonds. You then access your account and use the C of I to schedule the purchase of savings bonds you desire.

Q: How does TreasuryDirect work with payroll savings?

A: It's simple...

  • You open a TreasuryDirect account at the TreasuryDirect website.
  • You submit a savings bond direct deposit deduction form to the Payroll Department.
  • Your employer establishes a direct deposit deduction from your pay in the amount you request. Your deduction is used to purchase a Zero-Percent Certificate of Indebtedness (C of I), which does not earn any interest, but is used as a source of funds to purchase savings bonds within your TreasuryDirect account.
  • You may buy a savings bond after accumulating a minimum of $25 in the C of I or by scheduling a purchase in advance. Savings bonds are then posted to your TreasuryDirect account.T

Q: To use TreasuryDirect, do I need to have Internet access and an e-mail account?

A: Yes, to use TreasuryDirect, you must have Internet access to log in to your TreasuryDirect account and an e-mail address to receive important messages from TreasuryDirect, including the receipt of your account number.

Q: Can I participate in TreasuryDirect without using direct deposit (payroll) deduction?

A: Absolutely! You can open a TreasuryDirect account and make purchases having TreasuryDirect debit your savings or checking account.

Q: Does a deduction need to be a particular amount?

No, you can request a deduction in any amount; however, your payroll system may have a minimum dollar amount on deductions.

Q: Do my deductions earn interest as soon as they reach my account?

A: No. When you send payroll deductions to your TreasuryDirect account you are actually purchasing a non-interest bearing Certificate of Indebtedness (C of I). This special C of I is a Treasury security that does not earn any interest, but holds your deductions until you access your account and direct that the C of I be redeemed and the funds used to purchase the electronic Series EE and/or I bonds you want on the date or dates you specify. Recurring purchases may be scheduled up to five years in advance.

Q: What is the smallest denomination bond I can buy in TreasuryDirect?

A: Electronic savings bonds are not sold by denomination. The minimum amount to purchase a savings bond in TreasuryDirect is $25 and the maximum is $30,000. In between, you can purchase any amount-down to the penny. There is a $30,000 annual limit per series.

Q: How do I get started with TreasuryDirect?

A: Open your TreasuryDirect account. Full instructions for setting up the payroll feature can be found in "View My Funding Options" under the Manage Direct tab within your account. It's that simple.

Q: When is the issue date established on a bond I buy in TreasuryDirect?

A: Bonds purchased in TreasuryDirect are posted to your account one business day after they are purchased. The issue date of the bond is the first day of the month in which the bond is posted. For example, if the purchase is made May 31 and the bond posts on June 1, the issue date is June 1; but if the purchase is made on May 26 and the bond posts on May 27, the issue date is May 1.

Q: What happens if I forget to schedule a purchase?

A: The money will remain invested in a non-interest bearing C of I until you redeem it to purchase a bond.

Q: What happens if I stop my deduction, but don't have enough available in my account to buy a bond?

A: You can direct payment of the balance to a designated checking or savings account at your bank or credit union.

Q: What happens if I stop my deduction, but forget to stop scheduled future purchases of bonds?

A: When an insufficient balance is available to cover the purchase of a bond, the purchase will not take place. TreasuryDirect will notify you by e-mail

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TUITION REIMBURSEMENT

Q: Am I eligible for Tuition Reimbursement?

A. Tuition Reimbursement eligibility is based on your license type.  You must enroll in a course at a college or university for university credits (not Continuing Education credits or recertification points).  You must maintain employment with PWCS for at least 12 months from the date of your reimbursement or funds will be retracted from you through payroll deduction. Reimbursement is not available for administrators or employees holding a 5-year license who are not currently working in a classroom instructional position.

 If you are currently working in a classroom instructional position and hold a 5-year teaching license, you qualify for the PWCS Tuition Reimbursement Program for a maximum of $800.00 per fiscal year.

If you hold a provisional license in a core course subject ( Regular K-6 education, English, Math, Reading, Language Arts, Science, Civics or Government, Economics, Art and Music or History and Geography), you qualify for the Every Student Succeeds Act Grant (ESSA), for a maximum of $400 per course for up to 3 courses, for a maximum of $1200 per fiscal year.

If you hold a provisional license in a non-core course or special education subject, you qualify for the PWCS Tuition Reimbursement Program for a maximum of $800 per fiscal year. 

If you are a Teacher Assistant or a classified employee enrolled in a state approved teacher education program, you qualify for the PWCS Tuition Reimbursement Program for a maximum of $350.00 per fiscal year.

Please note that your course must be directly related to your current teaching position. Contact Jill Argueta in the Office of Benefits & Retirement Services for more information at arguetjd@pwcs.edu or 703-791-8927.

Q: How do I participate in Tuition Reimbursement?

A. Complete the correct form according to your license type. Submit the following to the Office of Benefits & Retirement Services upon registration for your course:

  • Correct Tuition reimbursement for your your license type .  Forms can be accessed on the PWCS Benefits Office Intranet Page (requires PWCS login information)
  • Course Description (from syllabus or university course catalog)
  • Proof of Payment (university receipt/canceled check/credit card statement

WE WILL NOT ACCEPT FORMS FOR COURSES ON OR AFTER THE COMPLETION DATE OF THE COURSE.

Upon completion of your approved course, complete the Tuition Reimbursement Payment Request and provide a copy of your transcript showing a “B” or higher within 45 days of the completion of your course.  Forms can be accessed on the PWCS Benefits Office Intranet Page (requires PWCS login information)

Q. How do I receive reimbursement for an approved Tuition Reimbursement Request?

A. Upon receipt of your grade report or transcript, you will be reimbursed directly in your payroll check. Your reimbursement will not be taxed. You will receive a confirmation at your work site when your payment has been processed.

Q. May I receive reimbursement for the Praxis, VCLA or VRA tests?

A. Through the NCLB grant, teachers taking a Praxis test in a core subject, the Praxis, VCLA and RVE are eligible for a one-time $150 lifetime maximum reimbursement. To receive payment, submit the following to the Office of Benefits & Retirement Services:

  • Testing Reimbursement Form. Forms can be accessed on the =PWCS Benefits Office Intranet Page (requires PWCS login information)
  • Proof of Payment
  • Copy of score sheet showing a passing score

Approved reimbursements will be processed in your payroll check.

Q: Who do I contact for questions about Tuition Reimbursement?

A. You may contact Jill Argueta at arguetjd@pwcs.edu or 703-791-8927.

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TIME AND LEAVE

Q: I have sick leave from a previous school system. Can I transfer that to PWCS?

A: Employees may transfer up to 60 days of sick leave from an accredited private, parochial, or public school. We will also accept sick leave transfers from Prince William County Municipalities (local city and governmental agencies/police dept., etc.). Employees interested must complete the Transfer Sick Leave form (PDF).

Q: I work half time only. Do I get the same number of sick days as a full time employee?

A: All employees receive the same number of sick leave days, based on the number of days worked in their contract. Leave is show in hours on your earnings statement; therefore your balance reflects full or part-time hours.

Q: Before I was a classified employee, I was a substitute/temporary employee. Does any of that time count in terms of how much leave I will receive when I pass my probation?

A: No, your time as a substitute/temporary employee does not factor in when determining how much leave you will receive upon passing probation.

Q: Is there use/lose leave for PWCS employees?

A: All sick leave that is unused at the end of the school year, will roll into the next contract year. Any unused personal leave will be converted to sick leave at the start of the new contract year. For employees who earn annual leave, there is a maximum of forty (40) days that can be carried over from year-to-year. Anything in excess of that will be lost before any new leave can be accrued.

Q: What is Sick Bank?

A: Sick Bank is our in-house short-term disability program (Only available to employees who are not enrolled in the VRS Hybrid Plan.) This benefit will pay you for 45 working days at your full rate of pay should you need it in the event of illness/injury. As an employee, you will need to cover the first twenty (20) days of your absence with your own leave or leave without pay, and once you have met that criteria and have submitted a physician’s note, you could access the sick bank once every twelve (12) months for up to 45 working days. Employees must exhaust their unused accrued sick leave before being eligible to access the Sick Bank. Sick Bank participants are required to complete twelve months of employment before they can utilize Sick Bank benefits.

Q: Can you use Sick Bank for maternity leave?

A: Sick Bank may be used for maternity leave. Your attending physician would have to provide documentation that keeps you off of work for longer than 30 working days.

Q. What type of short term and Long Term Disability is available to VRS Hybrid members:

A. Short Term (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD)- (VRS Hybrid covered employees)

  • STD benefit provides income replacement for 60% of an employee's earnings after 12 months of continuous participation. The employee's percent of income replacement increases over the course of an employee's full-time employment. After 12 months of continuous employment the benefit waiting period is seven (7) days. Maximum benefit is 125 days (excludes weekends).
  • LTD benefit provides income replacement at 60% after STD benefits are exhausted. These benefits may continue until an employee reaches social security age.
  • Both plans contain medical management with an aggressive return to work policy.

Q: What type of maternity leave does PWCS offer?

A: All employees are entitled to use their accumulated leave for the six or eight week recovery period. Any time off requested after that recovery would be unpaid, unless a physician’s note is turned in stating why employee needs to continue using sick leave, short-term disability or Sick Bank.  Call 703.791.8568 for more information. 

Q: What types of unpaid leave does PWCS offer?

A: There are several types of leave without pay, such as Family Medical Leave, Parental Leave, Military Leave, Medical Leave, Professional Leave, and Educational Leave. If an employee is anticipating a leave without pay situation, they are urged to contact the Leave Specialist in Human Resources for detailed information regarding pay, eligibility, length of time off, etc.  Contact Judy Reo at reoja@pwcs.edu or 703-791-769 for specific questions.

Q: What happens to my leave benefits when I resign?

A: You can elect to either transfer sick leave to another school district, if applicable, or be paid out at a rate of 10 percent of your per diem for every day of earned unused sick leave. Any earned and unused annual leave is eligible to be paid out at your full per diem rate. You may elect to have your leave paid out in cash or rolled into a Lincoln Financial retirement account - 403(b) or 457.  You must complete the request forms found in your exit packet (PDF) within 60 days. To roll into your retirement account, the forms must be received 30 days prior to your last check, and must be signed by a Lincoln Financial retirement consultant.

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Anthem BCBS

  • PPO 800-445-7490
  • HMO 800-421-1880

Delta Dental

  • 800-237-6060

Achieve Solutions EAP

  • 877-215-9776

Standard Long Term Disability (LDT)

  • 800-428-2938

VRS – Retirement

  • 888-827-3847

Optional Life Insurance - Minnesota Life

  • 800-441-2258

Supplemental Vision Insurance – VSP

  • 800-877-7195

Lincoln Alliance 403(b) and 457 Plans

  • 800-234-3500

Previous 403(b) and 457 Vendors

  • GreatWest 800-701-8255
  • ING ( Aetna) 800-525-4225
  • Lincoln Life 800-454-6265
  • Valic/AIG 800-448-2542

PWCS Benefits Specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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