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Frequently Asked Questions

This page is provided as a quick reference for questions most frequently asked by our employees. Click on a topic to view the questions and the answers.

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When is the Annual Enrollment period?
The Annual Enrollment period begins July 1 and runs through July 31 each year. Any changes you make to your benefits during this time will be effective on September 1. Premium changes will be reflected on the first paycheck you receive for services you perform in the new fiscal year. For example, if you are paid monthly, premiums for your September coverage will be reflected on your October 1 paycheck.
How are flu shots covered under my insurance? / How can I get reimbursed for a flu shot?

All HEB pharmacies can provide a flu shot. The shots must be billed through your medical plan (BlueCross BlueShield) and not the pharmacy plan (Express Scripts|Medco) and the cost should be zero. The BlueCross BlueShield network representative is reaching out to HEB pharmacies across the State to provide a reminder about filing flu shot claims. To avoid issues, be prepared to provide your BCBS insurance card and kindly remind the HEB staff that the shot will need to be billed to BlueCross Blue Shield. If the staff tries to file the flu shot through the pharmacy plan, the patient will charge the employee a $27.00 administrative fee.

All Walgreens are also contracted with BlueCross BlueShield as immunization clinics. Walgreens must also file the flu shots as a BlueCross BlueShield provider rather than process the shot through pharmacy plan with Express Scripts|Medco. To avoid issues, please be prepared to provide your BCBS insurance card and The employee’s cost should be zero.

Tarleton’s nursing department and other local public agencies are providing flu shots at various times during the next few months. Employees and retirees who have gone to other places such as CVS, or who may have gone to HEB and been charged the $27.00, can submit a paper claim to BlueCross BlueShield and be reimbursed using the BCBS Claim Form.

What are the different types of "Changes in Status" and how do they impact my benefits?

Federal regulations define situations called Changes in Status that allow employees and retirees to change their Flexible Spending Accounts contributions or health, dental, vision or AD&D coverage during a plan year within 60 days of the Change in Status. Changes in Status are:

  • Employee’s marriage, divorce or death of employee’s spouse
  • Birth, adoption or death of a dependent child
  • Child becoming ineligible for coverage due to reaching age 25 or marrying
  • Change in employee’s, spouse’s or dependent child’s employment status that affects eligibility for coverage
  • Change in employee’s, spouse’s or dependent child’s residence that affects eligibility for coverage
  • Employee’s receipt of a qualified medical child support order or letter from the Attorney General ordering the employee to provide (or allowing the employee to drop) medical coverage for a child
  • Changes made by a spouse or a dependent child during his/her employer’s annual enrollment period
  • The employee, spouse or dependent child becoming eligible or ineligible for Medicare or Medicaid
  • Significant employer-initiated or carrier-initiated changes in or cancellation of the employee’s, spouse’s or dependent child’s coverage
  • Change in day care cost due to a change in provider, change in provider’s fees (if the provider is not a relative) or change in number of hours the child needs care (for Dependent Day Care Spending Accounts)

A court order against the spouse of an A&M System employee does not constitute a Change in Status. Also, a change in income, which may affect coverage affordability, does not constitute a Change in Status.

How do I report a "Change in Status" and what is the deadline?
If you experience a Change in Status and would like to change your benefit coverages, complete a Benefit Change Form and, if applicable, a Dependent Enrollment Form/Certification within 60 days of the Change in Status. If it has been longer than 60 days since the Change(s) in Status occurred, you must wait until the next Annual Enrollment period to make the change(s).
I need to change by beneficiaries. What do I do?
Beneficiary information may be updated any time of the year. You can change your beneficiary(ies) for Basic/Alternate Basic Life, Optional Life and/or Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) in iBenefits or by completing a Beneficiary Designation Form (available from Human Resources).
If you participate in the Teacher Retirement System, complete the TRS 15 form or contact TRS at (800) 223-8778 to request this form. If you participate in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), Tax Deferred Annuity Program or Deferred Compensation Plan, notify your vendor(s) of your new beneficiary.
How do I change my name on my records?

You will need to apply for and obtain a new Social Security card reflecting your new name and provide a copy of the card to your departmental employment processor. Upon receipt of the appropriate paperwork from your department, your Human Resources office will update your personnel and payroll records. If you want to add or drop dependent(s), complete a Dependent Enrollment Form/Certification.

Can I add my grandchild to my insurance coverage?
Yes. Your grandchild must be living in your home and you must provide proof of this to your Human Resources office in order for this the grandchild to be added.
What forms do I need to complete and how can I continue my insurance coverage if my employment is ending?
COBRA forms to continue health, dental and/or vision coverage will be sent to you through the mail or provided to you at your "exit interview". Other coverages, such as Life and AD&D, may be continued through portability or conversion. Your Human Resources office will have this information and is a good resource for additional questions.
I am under the care of a periodontist and have my teeth cleaned twice a year at the periodontist’s office and twice a year at my regular dentist’s office. Will the plan cover all of my cleanings?
The A&M Dental plan (PPO) covers the reasonable and customary cost of three cleanings per year whether the cleanings are done at a regular dentist's office or a periodontist's office. The DeltaCare USA Dental HMO plan covers the reasonable and customary cost of two cleanings per year, one every six months, whether the cleanings are done at a regular dentist’s office or a periodontist’s office. If you have your teeth cleaned more often, you must pay the cost of the additional cleanings.
How do I find a Delta Network or Premier dentist in my area?
The most up-to-date list of participating dentists is online at You can also call Delta at (800) 336-8264.
How do I find a DeltaCare USA dentist in my area?
To find a DeltaCare USA dentist, go to You can also call DeltaCare USA at (800) 422-4234. However, because the A&M System is rural-based, network dentists are not available in all areas where we have employees and retirees.
What is the difference between Basic Life/Basic AD&D, Alternate Basic Life and Optional Life?
Basic Life/Basic AD&D is automatically provided to those who enroll in an A&M System health plan, and the employer contribution pays the premium. Those who do not take System health coverage and do not certify that they have other health coverage may buy Basic Life/Basic AD&D, but must pay for it themselves. Alternate Basic Life is available to employees and retirees who do not enroll in an A&M System health plan, but certify that they have other health coverage. Because they certify that they have other health coverage, they can use half of the employer contribution to buy other coverages, including Alternate Basic Life, which has a maximum coverage level of $50,000. Optional Life is available to all employees except those in Alternate Basic Life, but the employer contribution may not be used to pay the premiums. Those eligible for Alternate Basic Life may choose to buy either Optional Life or Alternate Basic Life, but not both.
If my doctor submits evidence that I must have a drug not on the formulary list for medical reasons, can I get the non formulary drug by paying the formulary copayment?
If your doctor provides documentation to Medco before the prescription is filled stating that you have tried the formulary drug and you must have the non formulary drug for medical reasons, and if Medco approves the substitution, you will pay only the formulary copayment. Formulary information is available at or from your Human Resources office.
What is a formulary list?

The formulary is a list of preferred brand-name drugs that have been compared and evaluated with other brands and provide maximum quality and value. Many therapeutic categories (for example, ulcer medications) have two or more brand-name drugs that are used for the same purpose.

To maximize your savings, you should present the list to your physician each time you are to receive a prescription and, when possible, ask your physician to consider the use of generically equivalent alternatives. You are not required to use the drugs on this list, and they are not the only drugs covered by the plan.

How will I know if my prescription will be filled with a brand-name or a generic medication?
Generic alternatives will be dispensed by the pharmacist whenever available and legally permitted, unless your physician specifically indicates on the prescription "dispense as written." The generic version of a drug has the same chemical compound as its brand-name counterpart. The use of generic drugs offers a simple and safe alternative to help reduce your prescription drug costs. If a generic drug is available and you have your prescription filled with a brand-name drug, the plan will pay only the cost of the generic. You will be responsible for paying the difference, plus the brand-name copayment. You pay only the brand-name copayment when no generic is available.
What are the key phone numbers for BlueCross BlueShield of Texas?
Member services: (866) 295-1212
Precertification: (800) 441-9188
Mental health precertification: (800) 528-7264
BlueCard (for network physician information outside Texas): (800) 810-BLUE
Both precertification numbers can be dialed directly or accessed by calling member services. Member services representatives will be available from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
What online services/information is available?

The HRConnect online information system is located at You will need to enter your Universal Identification Number UIN) and a password. If you do not already have a password or do not remember your password, follow the instructions on the login page. HRConnect provides personal, employment, benefits and payroll information on you. It also has a searchable database to help you find answers to your questions on human resource programs. The utilities function can help you calculate your TRS and/or Social Security benefits, how your net pay will change if you contribute to (or increase your contribution to) a Tax-Deferred Account and how much you need to be saving to meet your retirement goals.

More information is also available online. Check the System Benefits website at for information on benefits and retirement or the System Human resources website for information on holidays and employment opportunities.

I need to change my address and other personal data. What do I do?

You can update or correct your residence and/or mailing address and phone number in HRConnect, or you may contact your Human Resources office for the appropriate form. To change or correct your personal data, such as employment address/phone number, e-mail address, gender, marital status, education level, EEO minority code, disabled/handicapped indicator, veteran status and privacy flag, you may submit your changes through HRConnect or complete an Employee Personal Data Form.

If you participate in the Teacher Retirement System, complete the TRS 358 Change of Address form or contact TRS at (800) 223-8778 to request this form. If you participate in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), Tax Deferred Annuity Program, or Deferred Compensation Plan, notify your vendor(s) of your new address.

Compensation, Position Descriptions, and Job Postings

What username and password do I use to log-in to Tarleton Connection?
You will use your NTNET username and password, which is the same one you use to log-in to the computer.
How do I update to my job duties that are listed on my job description?

Please contact your immediate supervisor and discuss the changes with him/her. If the changes are needed, your supervisor will then begin a new action in Tarleton Connection as an update ONLY, which will then be approved by Human Resources to make the changes permanent.

What does "Reclassification" mean?

Reclassification is a change from one job position/title to another that typically results in an increase in pay. 

Reclassification usually occurs as a result of one of the following:

  • A vacant position exists that a supervisor wants to change to a different position to better meet the needs of the department.
  • An employee in a current position has mastered all job elements to the point where they now meet the requirements of an existing higher level position. 
  • An employee in a current position has mastered all job elements to the point where they should meet the requirements of a higher level position, but none currently exist within the University's classification plan. 
How do I get my position reclassified?

Employee-Discuss your need to have your position reclassified with your supervisor. Have a list of all of your current duties available to discuss with your supervisor.

Supervisor-You will need to show that the position warrants the need to be reclassified and not just the fact that the employee does more than required. It could be that additional duties are going to be required of the position or that an employee who is currently holding the position has mastered that level of the job. If it is to reclass a current employee a job evaluation will also need to be prepared to accompany the reclass action.

If I am non-exempt how is my salary grade determined?

Your salary grade is determined by comparing the market value for similar external positions to yours and then comparing your position to the pay of other jobs in the organization that require the same level of knowledge, skills and abilities.


How do employees document their leave request?
Employees will submit a leave request using LeaveTraq. Some departments have alternate processes for entering leave requests, so check with your supervisor if you are not certain how your department enters information into LeaveTraq.
What happens to an employee’s accrued vacation leave if it exceeds the employees maximum annual carry forward amount at the end of the fiscal year?
Per System Regulation 31.03.01 Vacation, all hours of accumulated vacation leave above the maximum hours allowable to be carried forward into the next fiscal year may be credited to an employee's sick leave balance as of the first day of the next fiscal year.
When I retire, how will I be compensated for the annual leave (vacation leave) I have not used?
Employees may elect to be paid in lump sum, or, if it is mutually agreeable to both the employee and the employer, may elect to remain on the payroll, in a budgeted or wage position, for the period of accrued vacation.
Are eligible employees who terminate state employment, but remain on the payroll to exhaust vacation entitlement or accrued state or FLSA compensatory time entitled to payment of longevity?
Eligible employees who terminate state employment and remain on the payroll to exhaust vacation entitlement or accrued state or FLSA compensatory time are entitled to payment of full longevity or hazardous duty pay for each month or fraction of a month they continue on the payroll. However, longevity and hazardous duty pay will not be considered in the calculation of the lump-sum pay for vacation of eligible employees who terminate state employment. A lump-sum payment for accrued FLSA compensatory time will include longevity or hazardous duty pay.
What is the vacation and sick leave accrual rate for 75- or 50-percent budgeted employees?
Per System Regulation 31.03.01 Vacation, the vacation leave accrual rate is based on the percentage work effort and the number of years of State service as shown on the schedule in the regulation. Per System Regulation 31.03.02 Sick Leave,  the sick leave accrual rate is also earned as a percentage of time worked in relation to a normal accrual for a 100% employee.

For example, a 50%-effort leave-eligible employee with less than two years of state service will earn 4 hours of vacation and 4 hours of sick leave per month.
What absences qualify for Sick Leave use?

You may use sick leave for the following reasons:

  • Your Condition – when injury, illness, or pregnancy prevents you from performing your duty
  • Care for Your Immediate Family
    • Who lives in your household 
      • Eligible: related by kinship, adoption, or marriage
    • Who do NOT live in your household
      • Eligible: employee’s child, spouse, parent; must have a documented medical condition
When must I provide documentation associated with my sick leave?

You must account for your use of sick leave in the following instances:

  • Absences of three continuous working days or less
    • Family member not residing in your household: Must provide an explanation of the immediate family member’s relationship and need for care and assistance that results from a documented medical condition.
  • Absences in excess of three continuous working days
    • Your Condition: Medical documentation required indicating estimated date of recovery and cause of illness or some other written statement of the facts concerning the illness that is acceptable to the CEO or his/her designee
    • Care for Immediate Family
      • Must specify if leave is for family member
      • Eligible family members residing and not residing in your household: Must provide a physician’s statement that indicates the cause or nature of the illness and estimated recovery date, or other written statement of the facts concerning the illness that is acceptable.
What happens to my sick leave when I retire?

Employees who retire may not have their previous sick leave balances restored in the event they re-employ with another state agency. Employees planning to retire have three options regarding sick leave upon retirement:

  • Donate any or all remaining sick leave to the sick leave pool.
  • Lose any remaining sick leave upon retirement.

An employee may use any or all of these options; however, upon retirement, the employee’s sick leave balance will be zero.


How often can I change my contribution amount to my Tax-Deferred Account (TDA)?
You may change your contribution amount once each month. Just fill out the TDA Salary Reduction Agreement/Change of Vendor form ( and submit it to your Human Resources or Payroll Department.
How often can I change Optional Retirement Program (ORP) or TDA vendors?
You may change your ORP or TDA vendor whenever you choose. Just fill out the TDA Salary Reduction Agreement/Change of Vendor form ( or the ORP Salary Reduction Acknowledgement/Change of Vendor form ( and submit it to your Human Resources or Payroll Department. However, your new vendor must be listed on the A&M System active vendor list (
Am I permitted to transfer my account to a vendor that is not on the approved ORP or TDA list?
No. Both the ORP and TDA plans only permit transfers to vendors on the A&M System Active Vendor List located at unless you are actively contributing to a grandfathered vendor. Under this circumstance, you may transfer funds to the account at the grandfathered vendor in which you are actively contributing.
Do I have to transfer my existing ORP or TDA account in order to change vendors?
No. You may leave your existing ORP or TDA account with your former vendor and change your future contributions to a new vendor. You may also contribute to two different TDA vendors at the same time, if you wish.
What is the difference between a “Roth” TDA and a traditional TDA?

With a traditional TDA, your contribution is deducted from your pay before federal income tax is calculated, so you do not pay current income tax on your contributions. Likewise, you do not pay current income tax on the investment earnings on your TDA savings. When you make withdrawals from your TDA account upon retirement, you will pay federal income tax on the withdrawals.

With a Roth TDA, your contribution is deducted from your pay after federal income tax is calculated, so you pay current income tax on your contributions. You do not pay income tax on your investment earnings now or in the future. When you make withdrawals from your Roth TDA account upon retirement, you will not pay federal income tax on the withdrawals.

Are loans or hardship withdrawals allowed from an ORP account?
No. Texas state law prohibits distributions, including loans and hardship withdrawals, under the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) until a participant retires, dies, reaches age 70½ or terminates employment with all Texas public institutions of higher education.
Are loans or hardship withdrawals allowed from a TDA account?
Yes. The TDA program does allow loans and hardship withdrawals regardless of the participant's employment status. However, not all TDA vendors offer loans. For more information, employees should contact their vendor representatives.
Am I permitted to take a distribution from my ORP account while employed with the A&M System?
Texas state law prohibits distributions under the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) until a participant retires, dies, reaches age 70½ or terminates employment with all Texas public institutions of higher education.
Am I permitted to take a distribution from my TDA account while employed with the A&M System?
The TDA program allows distributions from your account once you have reached age 59 ½, retire, or terminate employment with the A&M System. The TDA program also allows hardship withdrawals. This includes major un-reimbursed medical expenses, college costs for immediate family members, purchase of your primary residence or payments to prevent eviction from or foreclosure on your primary residence. If you receive a financial hardship withdrawal, federal law requires that contributions to the plan be suspended for six months.
How much am I permitted to contribute to a TDA account?
The answer to this question varies based on a number of factors. Check with your ES Representative for further guidance.
How much am I permitted to contribute to the Texa$aver 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) account?
The answer to this question varies based on a number of factors. Check with your ES Representative for further guidance.
Can I contribute to the TDA and the Texa$aver DCP at the same time?
Yes. The TDA and the Texa$aver DCP are two separate plans with separate contribution limits.
Can I contribute to both a traditional TDA and a Roth TDA?
Yes. However, both the traditional TDA and the Roth TDA are subject to the same total TDA limit. The combined total cannot be greater than this limit. Check with your ES Representative for additional information.

Student Worker and Graduate Assistant Employment

Where can I find a Student Worker?
To post a job go to Career Services’ website and click on Hire a Texan for Employers.
How do I hire a Graduate Assistant?
Submit a PBA with Department Head and Dean Signature along with a Graduate Assistant Requisition form, (form can be found on Graduate Studies website under Graduate Assistant forms).
What paperwork do I submit to hire a GA or Student Worker?

New hire packets for Student Workers and Graduate Assistants can be found on the Human Resources’ website under employment packets at:

Do I have to submit a PBA to terminate my GA even though I put a stop date on the PBA?
Can a GA be employed as a Student Worker also?
Yes, unless they are a foreign national.  Foreign national student employees can only work a total of 20 hours during a Spring or Fall Semester.
What paperwork do I need to submit if I am hiring a GA that is currently or has been a Student Worker?
If the SW was hired in the past year, just submit a completed Employee Acknowledgement Questionnaire (can be found in GA packet), otherwise, please have the GA complete new GA packet.
Do I need to submit a new I-9 Employment Verification form for each employee?
You will need to submit a completed I-9 within three days of the date of hire for GA or Student Worker if they are new or have been terminated from their previous position.
How do I hire a Work Study Student?
Contact Financial Aid to ensure the student is approved for work study, if so, send the PAF to Financial Aid for approval.  If your employee is a new hire, send the packet to Human Resources along with a copy of the PAF and send the original PAF to Financial Aid.

Training and Development

Are student workers and graduate assistants required to complete the assigned on-line training?
All employees are required to complete the assigned training to ensure compliance with Texas state laws and System regulations. An employee is anyone who receives a paycheck from Tarleton, including student workers, graduate assistants, and temporary employees.
How do I access the required training courses?

First, you must log-in to Single Sign On (, then click on TrainTraq. When TrainTraq opens your assigned training should be listed and you will click on "Start" to launch the course.

The following link web page provides links to more detailed instructions for logging in to Single Sign On and navigating through TrainTraq:

Required Employee Training

Where can I find a listing of upcoming training classes?
All scheduled training classes are listed on the University Calendar under the category of "Training". Training classes may be added, deleted, or rescheduled, so you should periodically check for changes to the calendar.
How do I make training assignments for new requirements, such as new training mandated by legislation or regulation?
A review and approval process for making training assignments is provided in SAP 33.05.02.T0.01, Required Employee Training. Following the approval of the required training, Human Resources will make the assignment for the affected employees, departments, or divisions.
How do I request a training course be offered?
You may request training by simply asking your supervisor or by sending a request to Human Resources. Your supervisor may approve your request to attend a specific class offered outside of the University or if it is a class offered on campus, but is not scheduled, the supervisor should forward the request to Human Resources. A needs analysis may be conducted to determine the exact training need and as appropriate develop or schedule the class.
When are performance evaluations required?

Performance evaluations are required at least annually for budgeted faculty and staff positions. Normally, the annual evaluation period will start near the beginning of March and end near the middle of May. The exact dates may vary depending on specific requirements for the evaluation.

New staff employees are required to have a performance evaluation completed within the first six months of employment.

Existing employees who have been promoted are required to have an evaluation completed within the first 90 days of the promotion.

The supervisor has the option of performing an evaluation more frequently, especially if it is in conjunction with a performance improvement need.

Student workers must be evaluated before a pay raise can be submitted. Periodic evaluation of a long term student worker is recommended as part of that workers development.

How do I initiate a self appraisal?

Self appraisals for faculty and staff are initiated in Tarleton Connection. Instructions for initiating the self appraisal are located on the Performance Management web page in the Human Resources web site.

Performance Management

What are my actions as a supervisor for performance evaluations?

As a supervisor, you have on-going actions associated with performance management, such as setting goals, communicating expectations, and providing periodic feedback on performance.

The performance evaluation is the formal culmination of all of those actions and instructions are provided on the Performance Management web page in the Human Resources web site.

Performance Management

Can I view previous year's evaluations?
Yes. By logging into Tarleton Connection and clicking on Historical Evaluations, you may view any performance evaluations documented in the system. For evaluations conducted prior to the use of Tarleton Connection, you will need to check with your supervisor or Human Resources for a copy.

Worker's Compensation

What is Workers' Compensation Insurance?
A form of coverage specifically designed to provide for medical payments and in some cases financial payments, to employees whose name appears on the payroll.  Coverage is only extended to employees who suffer injury, occupational diseases, or work related death in the course and scope of employment while doing some activity that furthers the affairs of the employer.
What is a compassable injury?
An injury that arises out of and in the course and scope of employment for which compensation is payable under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act.
What is course and scope?
An activity of any kind or character that has to do with and originates in the work, business, trade, or profession of the employer and that is performed by an employee while engaged in or about the furtherance of the affairs or business of the employer.
Are there any exceptions to what may be covered by Worker's Compensation?

You may have the right to receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for your injury with a few certain exceptions, such as:

  • You were intoxicated at the time of the injury
  • You injured yourself on purpose or while trying to injure someone else
  • You were injured by another person for personal reasons
  • You were injured by an act of God
  • Your injury occurred during horseplay
  • Your injury occurred while voluntarily participating in an off-duty recreational, social, or athletic activity
If I am injured on the job and need to seek emergency medical attention (ER), will I have to use my paid leave to seek such attention?
No. If you are injured on the job and need to seek immediate medical attention, such as the emergency room, you will not be required to use your Paid Leave. However, for follow up visits and medical attention that is not considered to be emergency care, the injured employee will need to use paid leave to cover the time he/she is out. The injured employee must schedule his/her follow-up visits along with non-emergency care appointments so that it does not deter or place a hindrance on the daily operations of the business.
What is the employer required to provide to the employee?

Upon hire a Notice of Coverage is given to all employees to sign.

When an injury occurs the injured employee will receive a Copy of employee's rights and responsibilities along with a copy of the first report of injury via mail to the last known address of the employee.

A Notice of the Ombudsman Program is posted for employees to review along with a notice regarding certain work-related communicable diseases on the employer's premises.

What should the injured employee provide to the employer?

The injured employee is responsible for informing his/her employer and Insurance Carrier about any changes regarding the following items:

  • Changes in home address or phone number
  • Changes in work address or telephone number
  • Changes in salary, such as income increase or decrease, or change in employer
What is a Bona Fide letter of employment?

It is a letter that is put into place when employee is returned to work at light duty status.  It should be signed and dated before employee returns to work.

What makes a Bona Fide offer valid?
  • Offer must be in writing
  • Offer must include copy of Work Status Report the offer is based upon
  • Location where the employee will be working
  • Schedule the employee will be working
  • Wages the employee will be paid
  • Description of the physical and time requirements of the position
  • Statement that the employer will only assign tasks consistent with the employees physical abilities, knowledge and skill, and will provide training if necessary