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February 2016 - What documents will I need to apply for Social Security?


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Work-Life Services Home Page

Work-Life Services Brochure

Work–Life Services (WLS) are five negotiated benefits programs for Executive Branch employees resulting from a collaboration between NYS and the public employee unions. These programs are designed to increase employee productivity and morale by improving the quality of work and life for employees and include: Employee Assistance Program, Worksite Child Care Centers, Flex Spending Account, NYS–Ride, and Pre–Retirement Planning.

To view or print the Work-Life Services Brochure click here.

The NYS-Balance Contract Has Ended

The contract for the NYS-Balance resource and referral service, jointly funded by the State and the unions, expired on December 31, 2015. If you need information or assistance related to resources and referrals, please contact the NYS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at (800) 822-0244 (24/7) or nyseap@eap.ny.gov. You will be connected with an EAP coordinator who will be able to provide you with customized resources and referrals for a wide range of issues including work, family, daily life, finances, health and well-being, mental health, addiction, and stress. A list of EAP coordinators is available at EAP Coordinator Directory

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Some people suffer from symptoms of depression during the winter months, with symptoms subsiding during the spring and summer months. These symptoms may be a sign of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light. SAD affects half a million people every winter between September and April, peaking in December, January, and February. The "Winter Blues," a milder form of SAD, may affect even more people.

Prevalence

  • Three out of four SAD sufferers are women.
  • The main age of onset of SAD is between 18 and 30 years of age.
  • SAD occurs in both the northern and southern hemispheres, but is extremely rare in those living within 30 degrees latitude of the equator.
  • The severity of SAD depends both on a person's vulnerability to the disorder and his or her geographical location.
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NYS-Ride

NYS-Ride allows eligible state employees to pay up to $255 per month for certain work-related transportation expenses on a pre-tax basis. More than 8,000 participants who use public transportation to get to work currently enjoy the saving this program provides, while contributing to a greener environment by reducing carbon emissions, greenhouse gasses, and dependence on foreign oil.

The NYS-Ride website provides employees with quick and easy access to all the information they would need to learn about the program, calculate their savings and impact on the environment, enroll in NYS-Ride, make changes to their elections, or view their accounts. Please visit the website at www.nysride.com

Welcome to the Family Packet

Work-Life Services introduces the "Welcome to the Family Packet". Parenting is an exciting and challenging experience. Today's parents often face unique circumstances balancing their work and family responsibilities. As a New York State Executive Branch employee parent, you are entitled to several negotiated benefits designed to assist you with balancing work and life. The "Welcome to the Family Packet" will outline these benefits programs as well as provide educational child care and parenting brochures. We invite you to request a "Welcome to the Family Packet" if you are expecting or recently added to your family through the birth or adoption of a child. Email your request along with your name and home address to: worklife@goer.ny.gov.

"Parenthood, it's not a job. It's an adventure" – –author unknown

WellNYS Everyday

The NYS Work-Life Services Employee Assistance Program recently launched a wellness initiative called WellNYS Everyday. The initiative is dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering New York State employees and their families by encouraging participation in healthy behaviors, particularly the Monthly Challenges. In addition to the Monthly Challenges, the WellNYS Everyday website features a portal titled Eating for Your Health. Click here to find monthly food themes with recipes, and general tips for healthy eating.

2016 Flex Spending Account Changes in Status and New Employees

The FSA 2016 open enrollment period ended on November 24, 2015. Employees who experience a valid change in status on or after November 25, 2015 or during the 2016 plan year, may be eligible to enroll by submitting a Change in Status application. Visit www.flexspend.ny.gov to review the 2016 Change in Status information to determine if your situation qualifies you to enroll during the plan year.

Retirement Planning Videos

Monitor displaying YouTube video

A series of short videos — the Planning Your Successful Retirement Video Guide — highlighting key information from the popular DIRECTIONS: Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars is now available. Designed for executive branch employees, the 23 videos were created in partnership with the Office of the State Comptroller, the Department of Civil Service, the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan, and the Social Security Administration. Employees can view the videos along with other pre-retirement planning information on this Work-Life Services website and also on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/GOERWebServices.

Retirement Planning Resources Workshops

The Retirement Planning Resources Workshop is a free, one-hour training, available to state agencies for their employees, regardless of years of state service. The training will not cover specific retirement information, and is not a substitute for the full-day DIRECTIONS seminars. Instead, the goal of this training program is to educate executive branch employees about the resources available so they can begin planning their retirement.

If you would like to schedule this one-hour training, you may contact Beth Brumaghim, Seminar Program Manager, at Beth.Brumaghim@goer.ny.gov or 518.473.4018.


Funding is provided by the negotiated agreements between the State of New York and CSEA, PEF, UUP, GSEU, DC-37, Council 82, and NYSCOPBA, and by the NYS Governor's Office of Employee Relations for employees designated M/C.

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