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Frequently Asked Questions

Check our FAQ on the 2020-21 school reopening for the latest updates and information.

See the FAQ

A list of the most commonly asked questions.
As a new DOE employee, what healthcare insurance options are available for medical and hospital coverage?

City of New York employees, and employees of Participating Employers, hired on or after July 1, 2019, and their eligible dependents, will only be eligible to enroll in the EmblemHealth HIP HMO Preferred Plan, and must remain in the HIP HMO Preferred Plan for the first year (365 days) of employment.

After 365 days of employment, the employee will have the option of either remaining in the HIP HMO Preferred Plan or selecting a different health plan within 30 days before the end of the 365 day period. If a new health plan is selected, the new plan will be effective on the 366th day. Only after the 365th day can the employee participate in any Annual Fall Transfer Period.

An employee who needs to request an exemption from the required enrollment in the HIP HMO Preferred Plan can do so by submitting an Opt-Out Request Form to EmblemHealth. An employee, or eligible dependent, must meet certain criteria and the request must be approved by EmblemHealth before the exemption is granted. The Opt-Out Request Form can be downloaded from the EmblemHealth website at:

How can I submit documentation to the Welfare Fund online?

When you submit a Welfare Fund Enrollment or Change of Status Request online, we may require additional documentation, such as a copy of a birth certificate, copy of marriage certificate, etc., to complete the request. You can now upload and submit supporting documents when you complete these forms online. 

This is the fastest, easiest and most secure method to submit documents. The Welfare Fund’s online application’s Confirmation/Summary page will provide a link to upload your documents.

It’s best if you already have your documents (scanned files, images, photos) saved on your computer or phone and ready for upload when you are completing the application.  After scanning or photographing your documents, to upload:

  • Return to
  • Log in with your UFT user name & password
  • Click on My Account
  • Click on the appropriate application button, either Enroll in the Welfare Fund or Change of Status Form

When we receive your uploaded documents, we will send you an email to notify you that your upload was successful. 

Watch a video demonstrating the upload process.


What is the process to upload documents to the Welfare Fund?

Follow these steps to upload documents to the Welfare Fund: 

  1. Login at
  2. Click on My Account
  3. Locate and click on the appropriate application button, either Enroll in the Welfare Fund or Change of Status Form
  4. On the Confirmation or Pending page, locate and click on the link to upload documents
  5. On the Upload Required Document page, select the correct person who you are submitting documents for, as well as the corresponding required document from the dropdown menus. 
  6. Click on Choose Files, then select the file (from your saved files on your computer or phone).
  7. When the file displays, click on Upload Document.

When we receive your uploaded documents, we will send you an email to notify you that your upload was successful.

Watch a video demonstrating the upload process >>

What if my Welfare Fund documents are paper-based? How can I scan them successfully onto my computer or phone?

Scanning documents provides the highest quality images. There are several ways to scan a document for upload: 

  1. Use a scanner, if you have access to one
  2. Use an application like the Adobe Scan app on your phone or mobile device, or
  3. Use the camera on your phone or mobile device.

Once you scan or take a picture of the document, save it on your computer or phone. If you’re taking a picture, be sure to set the document on a flat, clear surface that’s darker than the document. 

Some technical guidelines & tips for documents: 

  • File size: 8 megabytes (MB) or smaller
  • File types: GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG, or TIFF
  • Documents should be clear, legible, and include the entire page (verify pages are not cut off).
  • If they are multi-page documents, make sure all pages are included.

View a helpful video explaining the upload process here

What are the rules for borrowing/taking out a loan from my retirement/pension funds?

As a UFT member, you have two sources from which to borrow money. If you are in pension tiers 3, 4 or 6, you can borrow from your Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) against your Member Contribution Accumulation Fund and against part of your additional member contributions. You may also borrow from your Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) account.

The maximum amount you can borrow from your pension and your TDA is $50,000, provided you have sufficient funds in those accounts.

Loans from those account are typically available within two weeks after you apply and, under normal circumstances, are not taxable.

Both have convenient repayment plans. The interest rate for TDA loans is 7% per year and the interest rate for QPP loans is 6% per year.

For more information, see the Teachers' Retirement System (TDA) FAQ page*

I am a paraprofessional and I received a termination notice from the DOE because I have not completed all of my certification requirements. What can I do to meet these requirements before I am let go?

First, log on to your New York State Education Department TEACH account to find out what requirements you are missing.

If you received a notice of termination for lack of college credits, you can apply between 2/1/20 and 3/31/20 to the DOE's Career Training Program for the summer semester. The program will pay tuition from 3-6 credits per semester for undergraduate study at participating colleges and universities. Two & 1/2 hours per week of release time and/or a summer stipend are also provided.

If you have more specific questions, contact the UFT's certification specialists: Monica Christie, Jeremiah Bornemann or Stephanie Forbes at (212) 331-6311.

What is the SHIP health insurance program for retired teachers?

The Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a unique package of benefits developed by the Retired Teachers Chapter of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT-RTC) exclusively for its members. It provides a supplement to coverage available through city's regular health insurance providers and is activated only after those providers have paid their benefits.

SHIP is a low-cost program to coordinate with most health plans available to retirees of New York City systems. For a modest yearly fee, SHIP will supplement certain payments provided by your New York City health coverage up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $100,000/$10,000 for pre-existing conditions.

SHIP does not require a medical examination for enrollment.

SHIP is separate from your health plan and welfare fund and therefore must be notified of any changes (i.e., death, divorce, marriage). 

Helpful links

What is the address and what are the hours of the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS)?

The offices of the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) are located at:
55 Water Street
New York, NY 10041
(888) 869-2877
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am - 5pm

Directions: 2/3 to Wall Street, 4/5 to Bowling Green Station, J to Broad Street or R/W to Whitehall Street Buses: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, M15, M15+, X27, X28, SIM1C, SIM4C, M20, M55

How can I get discounted tickets to Broadway shows and theater tickets?

All full-time teachers are eligible to join the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), and once you are a member, you can purchase deeply discounted tickets. The Theatre Development Fund is a not-for-profit organization for the performing arts that works to make theater affordable and accessible to all.

UFT members are eligible to become members of TDF for $40 per year, which gives them access to Broadway, off-Broadway and other ticket offers at prices between $11-$45 a ticket. Members must submit a copy of their current UFT ID card to qualify. For more information and to apply for membership, visit the TDF website at:

In my recent paycheck, salary step adjustments were made and it seems like my pay has been frozen. Why is this?

UFT instructional employees who are rated via the Advance system may have their pay frozen if they received an "ineffective"/I rating for the previous school year. Employees paid below Step 8B and who received an ineffective rating for the 2018-2019 school year will have their pay frozen on their 12/16/19 paycheck. You should have received prior notification from the DOE to your school email. If there have been overpayments, payroll will notify you and those will be recovered in January 2020.

However, if you were previously frozen due to an ineffective rating in a prior school year, but received a 2018-2019 rating of highly effective, effective, or developing, your pay will be unfrozen and restored on the 12/16/19 paycheck. The check will include any arrears due since 9/5/19.