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It will soon become easier than ever to access your optical benefits. Starting on Feb. 1, you will no longer need an optical certificate. Details to come.

As a member of the UFT Welfare Fund, you and your eligible dependents can obtain optical services once every two years. These benefits start with an optical certificate, so the first step is to request one from the UFT Welfare Fund.

Request an optical certificate

Use the online form

Guide to Optical Benefits

Members can use the optical benefit once every two (2) years by bringing a validated certificate to any of the participating optical centers. The service, if used at a participating optical center, includes a discounted benefit.

For those members who wish to use their optical plan benefit at any non-participating optical provider, they may submit their validated certificate along with original receipts and a copy of the prescription for reimbursement.

For more information on the optical benefit, please select one of the following topics:

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the most commonly asked questions.
Are contact lenses covered under the optical plan?

Yes, the Fund will pay for contact lenses as per the fee schedule, but not in addition to glasses.

If I am married to another UFT member, do I get additional optical benefits?

Yes, you are entitled to another optical benefit. This entitles each eligible family member, upon presentation at the same time of two (2) validated certificates, to two (2) covered services, one (1) service under each member's benefit record, or you may use one at a later time, whether using a participating provider or the direct reimbursement method. In either event, reimbursement to the provider or the member may not exceed the actual charge for the optical service under SCOB

If I get an exam but choose not to get glasses, should I use the certificate?

We suggest that you use the certificate only for a full service, including glasses or contacts. If you use the certificate and only get the exam we will pay the $20 exam fee, but you will be deemed to have used the entire $125 benefit and you will not be eligible for another certificate for two years. Instead, if you pay the $20 and save the $125 benefit, you can use it when you are ready to purchase your frames and lens.

Can I go to an optician not listed on the UFT Welfare Fund panel?

Yes, however it is to your advantage to use a participating provider. First, you can take advantage of additional discounts our panelists provide. Second, if you have a problem, the UFT Welfare Fund will help resolve any issues. With a non-participating provider, you are required to pay the full cost of the service and then, within 90 days, submit an itemized paid receipt and a copy of the prescription along with a validated optical certificate to the Fund for payment. You will be reimbursed $125 or the actual charge, whichever is less.

How do I get the UFT Welfare Fund optical benefit?

You can obtain your service once every two years from your optician or through our network of participating panelists. Read the list of optical panelists or request it by calling our Fund office at 212-539-0500. You’ll also need an optical certificate, which you can request on our website or via the Forms Hotline. Then bring this certificate to the provider when you buy your glasses or lenses, no more than 90 days from the validation date. The reimbursement is up to $125.00.