FAQs

INSURANCE**

Short Term Disability

What is the difference between Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability insurance?

The Short-Term Disability (STD) plan helps supplement your weekly earnings if you’re disabled and cannot work. STD benefits can continue for up to 26 weeks and are payable on the first day of a covered accident. When your claim is approved for an illness/sickness (including pregnancy), benefits are payable on the 8th day from the date of disability. For the first 12 months following the effective date of insurance or an increase in insurance, benefits are not payable for disabilities caused by, contributed to by, or resulting from a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is one for which an insured has received medical treatment, consultation, care or services, including diagnostic measures or prescribed drugs or medicine within the 3 months prior to his or her effective date of insurance or increase in insurance. Please refer to your certificate for additional details. Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance provides a monthly benefit to someone, who due to a covered on-the-job or off-the-job illness or injury is unable to work for an extended period of time. All dues-paying members of PEF working at least 17.5 hours per week on a regularly scheduled basis are eligible for this plan. The LTD plan offers 2 levels of coverage: 50% or 60% of your monthly income up to $7,500 a month. The LTD plan begins to pay benefits after a 6-month Elimination (waiting) Period. Once the Elimination Period ends and your claim is approved, you are eligible for monthly income for as long as you’re disabled up to age 65. (Disabilities that start between the ages of 62 and 69 are covered from 1 to 3.5 years. Disabilities that start at or after age 69 are covered for 12 months. Consult your insurance certificate for details.) The LTD benefit is based on your base salary (excluding items like hazard pay and overtime) and does not take into account earnings from investments or savings plans. The LTD benefit is reduced, or offset by, your benefit payments from other sources of income for which you may be eligible, such as: • Workers’ compensation • Social Security (Primary and Family source) • disability pension or any New York state retirement payments • any other group benefits for disability, retirement, or unemployment • benefits from your sick pay program (these will offset benefits payable under this LTD program only when the combined benefits exceed 85% of income). However, your LTD benefit payments will not be reduced if Social Security benefits increase for general cost-of-living adjustments. Regardless of how much in other benefits you may be eligible for, your LTD benefit will not be less than $200 a month. For a complete list of other income benefits, please refer to the plan certificate. If you enroll within 120 days of the date you were first eligible to become a member of PEF, your application will automatically be approved. After 120 days, you will have to complete an Evidence of Insurability application that must be approved by Sun Life before coverage can begin. Click here for more information.

Can I collect short-term disability benefit if I am receiving other benefits or income?

Yes, your short-term disability plan helps replace your weekly earnings if you are disabled and cannot work due to a disability. Short-term disability is not reduced by any other income, by sick leave pay, or if you have other insurance coverage, or if you are collecting workers’ compensation. Click here for more information.

If I collected on my short-term disability, do I pay taxes on the funds I received?

Benefits payments are not subject to federal income tax. Click here for more information.

Can I collect on short-term disability after I give birth? And for how long?

Yes, you can collect for 6 weeks for a normal delivery and 8 weeks for a C-section if you meet the definition of disability. For the first 12 months following the effective date of insurance or an increase in insurance, benefits are not payable for disabilities caused by, contributed to by, or resulting from a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is one for which an insured has received medical treatment, consultation, care or services, including diagnostic measures or prescribed drugs or medicine within the 3 months prior to his or her effective date of insurance or increase in insurance. Please refer to your certificate for additional details. Click here for more information.

Do I have to provide Evidence of Insurability when I enroll?

If you enroll within 120 days of the date you were first eligible to become a member of PEF, your application will automatically be approved for increments of $100, $200, and $300. After 120 days, or for all elections of $400 or $500, you will have to complete an Evidence of Insurability form, which must be approved by Sun Life before coverage can begin. Click here for the form.

How can I cancel my Short-Term Disability insurance benefits?

If you would like to discontinue your coverage for Short-Term Disability, you may do so at any time by sending us a written request with your name, date, PEF ID and signature to: Membership Benefits Program, PO Box 12414, Albany, NY 12212-2414. Please make sure you are specific about which type of insurance you wish to cancel. Cancellations are effective the day we receive your request, and will be stopped on the next available payroll. We will mail an acknowledgement letter that will include the effective date of your cancellation. Click here for more information.

Long-Term Disability

Do I have to provide Evidence of Insurability when I enroll?

If you enroll within 120 days of the date you were first eligible to become a member of PEF, your application will automatically be approved. After 120 days, you will have to complete an Evidence of Insurability application, which must be approved by Sun Life before coverage can begin. Click here for the form.

If I become disabled, how long will I have to wait before receiving Long-Term Disability benefits?

When your claim is approved, payments start after you have been disabled for 6 months and remain disabled. Click here for more information.

What if I go back to work after being disabled, and then get sick again?

If during the Elimination Period, you return to work for less than 15 consecutive days and become disabled from the same cause, there will be no interruption in calculating the Elimination Period. You can be partially disabled during the elimination period and still be working; however, benefits still will not be paid until after the Elimination Period. If after receiving benefits, you return to work for less than 6 months only to become disabled again from the same cause, you will not have to go through another Elimination Period to resume benefit payments. Click here for more information.

Does this plan cover illnesses that occur before the insurance goes into effect?

If you received treatment or took medication for a condition in the 6 months before your effective date, benefits will not be payable for the first 12 months. This applies only to the first 12 months after your effective date. Click here for more information.

Does this plan cover mental and nervous illnesses?

Yes, but those benefits are limited to 24 months. This limitation does not apply to periods of confinement in a hospital, or another qualified institution, for treating mental and nervous disorders, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Click here for more information!

What happens if I leave my present job and I am no longer a PEF member?

If you are no longer in a PEF-represented position or have left state service, you are no longer eligible for this coverage. Click here for more information.

How can I cancel my Long-Term Disability insurance benefits?

If you would like to discontinue your coverage for Long Term Disability, you may do so at any time by sending us a written request with your name, date, PEF ID and signature to: Membership Benefits Program, PO Box 12414, Albany, NY 12212-2414. Please make sure you are specific about which type of the insurance you wish to cancel. Cancellations are effective the day we receive your request, and will be stopped on the next available payroll. We will mail an acknowledgement letter regarding your cancellation, which will include the effective date of your cancellation. Click here for more information.

Group Term Life Insurance

Do I have to provide Evidence of Insurability when I enroll?

If you enroll within 120 days of the date you were first eligible to become a member of PEF, your application will automatically be approved for increments of $100, $200, and $300. After 120 days, or for all elections of $400 or $500, you will have to complete an Evidence of Insurability form, which must be approved by Sun Life before coverage can begin. Click here for more information.

Can I apply for group term life insurance coverage on my dependents only?

No, you must have coverage on yourself to be eligible to apply for dependent coverage. Click here for more information.

How much will my premiums be for my dependent coverage?

Premiums are based on the member’s current age and are a flat bi-weekly rate. Spouse/Domestic partner level of coverage cannot exceed the member’s coverage. Click here for more information.

I’m retiring. Can I maintain my current benefits?

Yes, but you must maintain your membership in the PEF Retirees. Failure to maintain your membership in the PEF Retirees will result in you being in an ineligible class for this insurance, resulting in cancellation of your policy. The PEF Retiree dues can be paid by either a flat rate of $21.00 per year, or by Pension Deduction at $1.50 per month ($18.00 per year). For further information, you may contact the PEF Retirees directly at: (800) 342-4306, ext. 289, or (518) 785-1900, ext. 289. Click here for more information.

Who is my beneficiary?

We are unable to tell you over the phone who your beneficiary is, due to privacy. We will mail a letter to the address we have on file stating who your current beneficiary is along with a change of beneficiary form. Click here for more information! If you need to change your beneficiary, click here to print out a Change of Beneficiary form and send it back to us. Once we receive the form, we will then send you a written confirmation of the change.

What does “Group Term Life Insurance Accelerated Death Benefits (ADB)” mean?

To take advantage of the “Group Term Life Insurance ADB Benefits”, members must be terminally ill—a sickness or physical condition that is certified by a Physician to reasonably be expected to result in death within 12 months or less. Members may request up to 80% of the amount of their Group Term Life insurance in force. Click here for more information!

How can I cancel my Group Term Life insurance benefits?

If you would like to discontinue your coverage for Group Term Life insurance, you may do so at any time by sending us a written request with your name, date, PEF ID, and signature to: Membership Benefits Program, PO Box 12414, Albany, NY 12212-2414. Please make sure you are specific about what type of the insurance you wish to cancel. Cancellations are effective the day we receive your request, and will be stopped on the next available payroll. We will mail an acknowledgement letter that will include the effective date of your cancellation. Click here for more information.
DISCLAIMER: These questions and answers explain the general purpose of the insurance described but in no way change or affect the policy as issued. In the event of any discrepancy between this information and the policy, the terms of the policy apply. Complete details are in the certificate of insurance issued to each insured individual**

STATE EXAMS

Can I get reimbursed for the State Open Competitive and/or Promotional Exam fees?

PEF members can apply for reimbursement of both New York State Open Competitive Exams and Promotional Exams. To qualify, you must:

  • Be an active dues-paying member of PEF at the time of the exam AND at the time the application is received by PEF MBP.
  • Provide a copy of the exam mark/grade to verify that a passing mark/grade is received. Only exams receiving a passing mark/grade will be reimbursed.
  • Provide proof of payment through a copy of the cancelled check or copy of the receipt from New York State. Only Promotional Exams taken after 2010 will be considered for reimbursement.

Applications for reimbursement must be submitted within 60 days of your receipt of the exam mark/grade notification from NYS Civil Service.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Funds for the program are $50,000 per fiscal year and are paid on a first come, first serve basis.

I do not have a receipt from Civil Service for my state exam. How can I provide proof of payment?

We will accept any proof of payment for a civil service exam, including a cancelled check or a debit/credit card statement.

What is an Exam Mark Notification?

The Exam Mark Notification is your test score sent to you by NYS Civil Service. To be eligible for reimbursement, you MUST include your notification along with the exam reimbursement application, and proof of payment. Access the state open competitive and promotional exam fee reimbursement application now.

MILITARY LEAVE

I’m going on Military leave. What happens to my benefits?

Group Term Life Group Term Life insurance coverage can be continued for up to 12 months at no charge to you for your approved military leave. A death claim would be eligible for payment, if death occurs while covered under this policy. No benefits would be paid under the Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD& D) feature of your policy for a loss caused or contributed to by war or any act of war whether war is declared or not. Short-Term Disability Coverage cannot be maintained while on an approved leave of absence. The current contract specifically excludes disability caused by “war or act of war” and states that coverage will be terminated on the date you cease to be in an eligible class including leave for military service. When you return to active employment, you must notify PEF to initiate reinstatement of your coverage. You must request reinstatement of your policy within 120 days of your return to active work. Long-Term Disability You may continue your coverage for 6 months while on an approved leave of absence. When you return to active employment with NYS you must notify the PEF Membership Benefits Program and request to reinstate your group LTD policy. You may contact the PEF Membership Benefits Program at: (518) 785-1900, ext. 243 or (800) 342-4306, ext. 243. Click here for an application to maintain your voluntary insurance benefits while on Military Leave.

FREE BENEFITS

Are there any FREE benefits I receive just for being a PEF member?

The following benefits are at no cost to you, for being dues paying PEF members: $15,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage, Assault Trauma and Captivity Coverage (ATAC), Financial Counseling, and Identity Theft Services. Click here for more information.

ATAC: ASSAULT, TRAUMA, & CAPTIVITY COVERAGE

I was recently attacked at work. Am I entitled to any additional coverage?

All PEF Members are automatically covered for an assault while in the pursuit of his/her occupational duties. An assault will be deemed to have occurred when such action would be a violation of the state penal code dealing with assault and results in the insured person being disabled from their usual occupation for a period of 5 consecutive working days or more. Evidence of assault is a Police or Peace Officer’s report charging the person with assault and member is willing to press charges. The plan will use the NYS Penal Law definition of “assault” as the guideline for all claims. Click here for more information!

How many days do I have to be out of work to collect this benefit?

To be eligible, you must be absent from work for a MINIMUM of five (5) working days from with authentic certifications by a medical doctor starting on the date of the incident, also including supportive documentation in the form of your time sheets. Click here for more information!

How much would I get if I were totally disabled due to the assault?

The amount received for total disability is $10,000, minus whatever award you have received previously from the program. ie: You received $2,500 previously, you would now received $7,500 for a total of $10,000. Click here for more information!

What would I need to apply for total disability under the ATAC program?

A member must get a letter from their employer stating that they have been out of work for twelve (12) consecutive months since the attack. Also, the member must send PEF copies of all the documentation that they have sent to Social Security Disability. If the member is approved for Social Security Disability, they must also send PEF a copy of the award as well. The member MUST be beyond the hope of improvement by a certified physician. *Please note: If the member is able to have surgery to help them and did NOT elect to have the surgery, then the member will be denied. There would be hope of improvement if they had the surgery, even if they are awarded Social Security Disability. Click here for more information. To print out the entire ATAC claim application, click here.

FREE FINANCIAL COUNSELING

What can the FREE Financial Counseling assist me with?

It covers issues from Retirement to Debt Management, Investments to estates, Elder Care to Education and any other financial topics. Contact Stacey Braun Associates at (888) 949-1925 for more information. Also, all PEF members and PEF retirees are entitled to one (1) hour of free consultation yearly. Click here for more information.

TICKETS

How can I get my order faster?

First class shipping is FREE and please allow up to 2 weeks. If you want next day or 2-3 day shipping choose one of these shipping options:

  • Overnight: $15.00. Allow 1 day, if ordered by noon, Monday – Thursday. Note: if ordered by noon on Friday, UPS will deliver on Monday. And if ordered Friday afternoon, UPS will pick up on Monday and deliver to you on Tuesday.
  • Trackable: $5.00. Allow 2-3 days. Order ships via USPS same day if ordered by noon, Monday – Friday.

Is the office open on weekends?

We are open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, except on state recognized holidays.

I entered a promo code and it didn’t reduce my total cost, what’s wrong?

You need to type in the promo code that you are using then click on the yellow arrow and then the promo code will be applied. Once that is done the promo code will appear below the box and tell you that this promo code has been applied. For more information on how to apply the code click here.

Can I order tickets online and still pick the tickets up at the office?

Yes. Go through the shipping and billing information and you will get to the shipping option screen. Here you will select “pickup at our Latham office” and we will have your order waiting for you when you arrive, but please allow 2 hours for us to process your order before your intended arrival time.

Can I order tickets online and have someone pay when they get there?

To order tickets a payment must be applied. We do not have the capability to place tickets on hold because some tickets have a very limited quantity.

What ordering method will get me my tickets the fastest?

Ordering via our eStore, which is open 24/7, is always the best. You can select “pick up” shipping if you live within driving distance. Please allow 2 hours for your order to be processed before your intended pick up time. Otherwise, you can select overnight or USPS trackable shipping for an additional fee, and if your order is received by noon, Mon-Thu (non-holiday) your order will ship the same day.

Can I use someone else’s PEF ID with their permission to purchase tickets?

Yes, if you are paying with cash. Note: Only PEF member credit cards/checks will be accepted.

Why aren’t we able to get e-tickets for everything?

Not all vendors have them available and/or the best savings are available. They are expanding. Check our eStore for updates.

Why don’t you accept American Express or Discover?

To keep ticket costs low we accept credit cards that charge a smaller processing fee.

Is your office open during lunch?

Yes, but please keep in mind that lunch is a very busy time and our staff rotates to accommodate lunch hours, so if you try calling in to place an order you might not get through to a staff member.

Can I order over the phone?

Yes, you can Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. Online hours are 24/7. Always check our eStore for the most current information on ticket selections. And if tickets are sold out, it will state “Out of Stock”. This is usually only temporary while we await new inventory unless it’s a limited engagement such as a Broadway show.

When is the best time to visit your office to place an order in person (i.e. slow times)?

9am to noon Monday-Friday is usually the slowest time. You can save time waiting in line in our lobby if you live locally by ordering your tickets online at least 2 hours before your intended arrival. We will process your order and have your tickets ready and waiting for you when you get here.

Do you offer “will call” tickets?

We do offer “will call” tickets for certain “PEF Night” events, but this is rare. If you are within driving distance of our Latham office, you may select the “Pick-Up” shipping option. Please allow 2 hours for your order to be processed before your intended pick up time.

Can a non-member pick up my order?

Yes, you can have someone else pick up your order if you tell us the name of the designated person. If you are placing the order online, there is a note section in the screen that comes up AFTER you enter your credit card information. If you order over the phone tell us at the time of ordering and we will make a note on the order. The person picking up the tickets will need to show a photo ID.

Can tickets be emailed to me?

A growing number of tickets can be emailed. They will be marked in the eStore.

Can I just show my PEF ID and get a discount?

Certain venues or retail locations will offer our members a discount with their PEF ID card. Check the MBP eStore for which destinations offer this option.

Can I add a personalized message to the order that I am having shipped to someone else?

No. Our system has a box for “Special Instructions”, but the PEF MBP staff members are the only people that see those notes. This section is designed for you to be able to tell us if you plan to pick them up at a certain time or day, or if someone else will be picking up the tickets for you.

I emailed a question online. It’s been 15 minutes and I haven’t gotten a response.

We make every effort to respond to emails as quickly as possible during our weekday office hours, but depending on the number of members being serviced at any given time we cannot always respond immediately.

Where can I get an order form to place an order by mail?

While we highly encourage orders to be placed online, it is possible to order by mail. Send a letter which includes your full name, PEF ID number, a detailed list of items ordered, and a check made payable to PEF Membership Benefits Program, 1168-70 Troy-Schenectady Road, Albany, NY 12212. Also include a day time phone number in case we have questions on your order.

How many tickets can I order?

Terms & Conditions as it varies by vendor and season.

My order has not arrived. What should I do?

We estimate two (2) weeks from date of order to delivery. If you have not received your order, please contact us in writing with a description and date of your order or email us.

How can I get more help with my order?

You can call or email us Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:00 to 5:00 Eastern: (800) 342-4306 ext. 243 (518) 785-1900 ext. 243.

e-TICKET QUESTIONS

How do e-tickets work?

Important notice regarding e-tickets
It’s fast, simple and convenient! Here’s how it works:
1) Shop: Select those products in our eStore that say “e-tickets” (in their product description)
2) Buy: Purchase your ticket(s)
3) Print: Tickets will be emailed to you as an attached PDF. Save the attachment onto your computer. You now have your ticket stored. Print them at your convenience. All you’ll need is Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0. or higher. (If you don’t have it, download it for free.)
4) If you do not want to wait for your email with your e-tickets to arrive: go to www.buymbp.com and:

  • Click “Your Account” at top right of page.
  • Click “Ticket Order History”.
  • Choose the order with your e-tickets and each link to display the PDFs and print.

5) Enjoy: At the venue, your tickets will be scanned at the gate for entry into the event.

Are there benefits to choosing e-tickets?

Yes! Convenience.
1) You receive your tickets within 48 hours. No waiting in will call lines or for mail delivery.
2) You can print them out anytime. No more worrying about misplacing your tickets!
3) You can forward them to the individuals who will be using the tickets so they can print their own tickets and meet you at the event.

Which email from PEF MBP contains my e-tickets?

When you select e-tickets as your delivery method during your purchase, you’ll get two e-mails. The first is your order confirmation email. This email only confirms your order and may not be used for entry into the event. Shortly after, you’ll get another email containing your e-tickets as a PDF attachment. You must open the attachment and print out the ticket(s) for entry into the event.

Do I need any special hardware or software to use e-tickets?

1) Printer – Any ink-jet or laser printer (color or black & white) with a resolution of 300 dpi or more is able to print e-tickets . Use 8.5″ x 11″, white paper for best results. If you’re unsure of your printer’s resolution/dpi, check the printer manual.
2) Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher. If you do not have it, download it now for free.

Will the e-ticket be accepted for entry into the event?

Yes!
The ticket that is printed through your printer is a valid, legitimate ticket. Make sure you keep it in a safe place like you would cash, and protect it just like you would any other ticket!

What if I print more than one copy of my ticket or a photocopy is made?

Only the first scan of the barcode on your ticket will be allowed entry.
Make sure you keep the printed ticket in a safe place like you would cash, and protect it just like you would any other ticket! If more than one copy were to be used, the barcode scanner will alert the attendant that the ticket has already been scanned. If there is a dispute, the purchaser’s name and their unique PEFMBP ID number is on each ticket.

Why aren’t e-tickets available for all types of tickets?

Only venues with the appropriate scanning equipment can offer e-tickets.
As e-tickets become more popular, more venues will use them, increasing the availability of e-tickets for you to take advantage of.

What if I cannot print my tickets?

  • Check to make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 (Free) or higher.
  • Make sure your printer is on and the cables are connected to your computer.
  • Make sure your computer has enough memory available; try closing any unnecessary programs.

When I print the e-tickets I didn’t see a bar code, is there a problem?

Yes. Close out of your PDF viewer and try opening up the attachment again. If you are still not seeing a bar code please contact PEF MBP.

What if I get disconnected or experience other problems while placing my e-ticket order?

Go to your PEF MBP web store “Your Account” and check your order. If your order was placed successfully, you will see a message at the top where you can download/print your e-tickets. If you do not see the order, that means that it was not successfully completed and you should try again.

What if I did not receive my confirmation email?

If you did not receive your confirmation email, please contact us during our office hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm EST at (518) 785-1900, Ext. 243 so we can help you with your order. Or, go into the estore, click on “Your Account”, and look for your order to confirm it was placed. You may print your e-ticket from your account as well.

Can I show the e-ticket to the vendor from my phone?

No. Vendors need to have the physical print out of the e-ticket in order to scan it. Scanning of e-tickets from a mobile device is not available as a method of entry into a venue at this time. It is important that you print your e-ticket at home and bring it with you.

What if the background for my tickets prints, but not the ticket information?

Try this:

  • Open the pdf file in Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Select “File,” then “Print” from the top menu
  • In the printer window, check the box that states “Print As Image,” then click “Okay.”
  • Still unable to print? Contact us for help at (518) 785-1900, Ext. 243.

If I order multiples of a single type of ticket, on a single order, how many emails will I get?

You will receive one confirmation email, plus one email with a PDF attachment containing all tickets purchased for that order. The PDF file will contain multiple pages with one ticket per page. Please note: If you place an additional order for more tickets to the same event, you will receive another set of emails.

If I order different types of tickets, how many emails will I get?

You will receive one confirmation email, plus one email with a PDF attachment for each event.
For example, if you purchase one Six Flags New England ticket and one Six Flags Great Escape ticket within the same order, you will receive one confirmation email confirming your entire purchase order for both venues and then one email with a PDF attachment for the Six Flags New England ticket, and then a third email with another PDF attachment for the Six Flags Great Escape ticket, for a total of three emails.

I did not use my e-tickets and would like to return them.

Attractions do not allow PEF MBP to return or reissue e-tickets. Therefore, as clearly marked throughout our website, no refunds or returns are accepted on e-tickets.

Will my email address or other personal information be distributed to third parties?

See our Privacy Policy statement.

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