1. How will I receive my paycheck?
    Direct deposit will be the easiest and quickest way to receive your wages. If you are not currently enrolled, but are interested in direct deposit, please visit our website to enroll under My Payroll and Benefits or email for an application. We strongly encourage you to enroll in Direct Deposit immediately.

  2. How will my wages continue if I am unable to come to work for an illness related to COVID-19?

    Special COVID-19 Sick Leave: RFCUNY has provided a temporary leave benefit of up to 14 days of paid sick leave to its employees for their own COVID-19 illnesses and to take care of ill family members with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This benefit can be used for a COVID-19 illness, any disabling condition from a COVID-19 illness, and any mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation. Special COVID-19 Sick Leave is not applicable in cases where an employee is deemed asymptomatic or has not yet been diagnosed with any medical condition and is physically able to work.  Sick leave, annual leave, or unscheduled holiday leave may be used in those cases. 

  3. Will I still be paid if I can’t work because of a personal illness or to care for family members?

    You may use sick leave and/or Paid Family Leave for this purpose. 

    Paid Sick Time:  RFCUNY provides its employees with significant paid sick time both for their own illnesses and to care for ill family members.  Paid sick time should be charged for any illness not attributable to a confirmed case of COVID-19.  A description of these benefits is available in RF Policy No. 506-H, Time Off and Leave Benefits

    Paid Family Leave (PFL):  RFCUNY employees may use PFL to care for a sick family member whose illness is not attributable to a confirmed case of COVID-19.  A description of this benefit is available in RF Policy No. 506-H, Time Off and Leave Benefits

  4. Currently, I need a note from a physician if I am out of work for a personal illness for more than 5 days. Will I need a similar note if I am out because of COVID-19 illness?

    We will follow established sick leave and disability policies. Therefore, you will need a note from a physician if you are out of work for more than 5 days due to personal illness. If you are unable to get a doctor’s note due to reasons related to COVID-19 and want to return to work, please contact RF Human Resources by email

  5. I am using sick leave for issues related to COVID-19. How do I complete my timesheet?

    If you are ill with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you are caring for an ill family member with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or you are subject to an order of Mandatory Isolation or Precautionary Quarantine, select “Other Paid” on the timesheet and select COVID-19 Sick from the drop-down list. 

  6. Am I required to use my existing sick leave accruals if I have a confirmed case of COVID-19, am caring for an ill family member with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or are in Mandatory Isolation or Precautionary Quarantine due to COVID-19?

    No, the up to 14 days of Special COVID-19 Sick Leave is in addition to any sick leave, annual leave or unscheduled holiday leave accruals you may already have.

  7. I am not feeling well but I can’t get to a doctor. Is there an alternative?

    Yes, Empire Blue Cross provides telemedicine services through their Live Health Online program. This telemedicine program allows members enrolled in the PPO, POS, and EPO plans to access medical and mental healthcare remotely. Live Health Online can be accessed online at or by calling 1-844-784-8409.  You may also contact the 24/7 Nurseline at 800-337-4770. Remember to have your Empire Member Enrollment Number handy. You can access your Empire information including member ID number, check on prescription details, view claim history, or find a provider through the Empire App - Sydney Health.  

  8. Would I be covered for COVID-19 testing or treatment? Do I have to pay co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles?

    Your Empire PPO, POS, or EPO plan covers COVID-19 test with no out-of-pocket costs. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, your health plan benefits will apply. All cost-sharing, including co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for COVID-19 services received by in-network participating providers. 

  9. I am concerned about my prescriptions. What if there is a shortage of my medication?

    Ingenio Rx, Empire’s prescription drug manager, is closely monitoring the supply of medications available to members. If they see there could be a shortage of a certain drug, they will find alternate medications that you could take for about the same price. This is a great time to think about changing from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply of any prescription medicines you take on a regular basis. If you don’t have a prescription for a 90-day supply, talk to your doctor to see if a 90-day supply would work for you. You can even get them through home delivery pharmacy. If you have specific questions about the medicine you take, call the pharmacy services number on your member ID card 833-271-2374.  

  10. Whom can I contact with my benefits questions?

    You may contact your assigned Campus Benefits Coordinator by calling 212-417-8600, option 4, or email Please allow for some longer response times due to the high volume of calls and emails.

    Further information from our health insurance carrier, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, can be found at:
    Anthem Coronavirus FAQs
    Anthem Coronavirus Flyer
    Sydney Care Mobile App
    Live Health Online Telemedicine
    COVID-19 Coverage Options

  11. What happens to all my benefits if I am placed on unpaid leave (furloughed)? Do I continue to have health insurance, retirement contributions, and flexible spending plans?

    Health Insurance – Typically, benefits-eligible employees have one month of coverage beyond the last month in which they worked. In other words, if your last day of work is March 15th your health insurance remains in effect through April 30th.  Another example is that if you are furloughed on April 2nd your health insurance will run through May 31st.   
    Pension and Retirement Benefits – Contributions to the TIAA Defined Contribution Plan, TIAA Tax Deferred Annuity Plan, and TIAA 457(b) Plan will be suspended should you be placed on an unpaid leave of absence. Mandatory employer and employee contributions as well as elective contributions will resume when you return from leave without pay. Should you wish to change your TDA or 457(b) elected deferrals please submit a new Salary Reduction Agreement and/or 457(b) Deferral Agreement form to your Campus Benefits Coordinator. You may email for more information. You may call 800-842-2252 to speak to a TIAA representative. 
    Flexible Spending Plans - Employees enrolled in the RF’s Pre-Tax Flexible Spending Program (Medical, Transit, Parking, or Dependent Care) through ABS may submit receipts for expenses incurred for up to 120 days from when their unpaid leave of absence starts.  Participants will have an additional 60 days until May 31st to submit claims for 2019. ABS may be contacted at 877-732-8125. Claims may be submitted online, by email or by fax to 860-673-2207. 
  12. Can a furloughed employee collect unemployment insurance?

    Yes.  A furloughed employee may apply for unemployment insurance benefits online at, or call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-209-8124. You will need the following information when filing a claim: 

    • New York State Registration Number – 0458396
    • RFCUNY Federal Identification Number (FIN) - 131988190         
  13. I am feeling anxious and am having a difficult time dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. With whom can I speak?

    Anxiety is a normal response to a stressful situation. Knowing the difference between typical and atypical stress is important. Monitoring your stress level will let you know when you need to seek additional help. Health Advocate may be reached 24/7 by calling 866-799-2728. They ensure all personal information is kept confidential. A licensed EAP professional provides short-term counseling by phone or email to help the individual better cope. For additional information, you may visit:
    Managing Anxiety in an Anxiety-Provoking Situation

  14. What important benefit contacts should I be aware of?

    Research Foundation Unemployment information: 
    Empire Customer Service: 800-453-0113; 
    Cigna Dental Customer Service: 800-244-6224; 
    Advanced Benefits Strategies: 877-732-8125; 
    Aflac: Denise Perez 201-739-6897; 
    Health Advocate: 866-799-2728; 
    TIAA: 800-842-2252; 

  15. What other resources exist?

    New York State Department of Health
    New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    World Health Organization
    Supporting At-Home Children. Resources for Parents. 

Related Content

Contact Us

Contact Us with your Questions, Concerns or Suggestions

Return to top