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UFT increases Welfare Fund benefits

The UFT is enhancing its Welfare Fund optical benefit and hearing aid benefit for in-service members and retirees effective March 1, 2022.

If there are no more optical certificates, how will I access my benefits?

Eligibility information is available electronically via and the GVS mobile app (on iOS or Android), as well as via a dedicated phone line at 212-729-5395 . As always, you have the option to access your benefits either in-network, or...

Have our benefits in the optical program changed? Will these changes cost me anything?

Moving away from paper certificates does not affect benefit levels or eligibility; they only serve to improve speed and ease of access by eliminating the need to wait for a paper certificate before you or your dependents access your benefits. As of...

Who is General Vision Services (GVS)?

For years, GVS has served as the third-party administrator for the Welfare Fund’s optical program, providing services such as claim processing. GVS will now also maintain new resources such as the program's website and mobile app. Their dedicated UFT...

What do the GVS website and GVS mobile app do in regards to our optical benefits?

Both the GVS website and the GVS app (on iOS or Android) allow you to verify eligibility for optical benefits, locate in-network providers, and submit claims.

Health benefits highlight value of UFT membership

Telling the story of why the union matters, Geof Sorkin, the executive director of the UFT Welfare Fund, discussed the “very robust benefit package” that UFT-represented employees have.

Special coordination of benefits for the optical plan

Does Special Coordination of Benefits (SCOB) apply to the Optical Plan? Yes. Members and their spouse/ domestic partner who are also members are entitled to SCOB.

Direct Reimbursement Program

Under direct reimbursement, which can only be used if you utilize a non-participating provider, you are required to pay for the full cost of the service at the optician and submit to the Fund for payment.

Participating Panelist Program

Information on your eligibility for benefits will be available not only to you and your eligible dependents, but also to optical service providers, making it easier to schedule appointments and use your benefits for covered services.