Frequently Asked Questions

COBRA:

What is COBRA?
COBRA is the continuation coverage offered once eligibility terminates. Employees and/or their covered dependents are able to continue their health benefits by making monthly premium payments. For more information see page 10 or (pdf page 20) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
How will I be notified if I am eligible for COBRA?
You will receive notification from the Fund Office when you or one of your Covered Dependents has a COBRA event. For more information see page 12 or (pdf page 22) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
How long is COBRA offered?

For up to 18 months for you and your Covered Dependents if you become eligible for COBRA because of:

  • A reduction in hours; or
  • Termination of employment for any reason except gross misconduct.

For up to 36 months for your covered spouse and children from the date they would lose coverage due to one of the following events:

  • Your death
  • Your divorce or legal separation from your spouse;
  • Your child's loss of status as a Covered Dependent child; or
  • Your entitlement to Medicare.
For more information see page 10 or (pdf page 20) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
How do I elect COBRA continuation coverage?
FULLY complete the COBRA election form you receive. Be sure to list ALL the individuals to be covered, sign and date the form and return it to the Fund Office in the postage paid envelope provided. For more information see page 12 or (pdf page 22) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
How much does COBRA cost?
COBRA rates are determined on an annual basis and are noted on the COBRA election form you are sent.
For more information see page 13 or (pdf page 23) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
Do my health benefits change under COBRA coverage?
You will be eligible for the same health benefits that you had prior to COBRA, with the exception of Short Term Disability benefits.
For more information see page 10 or (pdf page 20) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
Does the signing of the COBRA election form obligate me for 18 payments under the COBRA Plan?
No. If you do not make a required COBRA payment your COBRA coverage terminates.
For more information see page 10 or (pdf page 20) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet

Dependent Coverage:

How do I remove my spouse from my medical coverage once the divorce is final?
You must complete a new Employee Identification Card located under the forms tab and return it to the Fund Office along with a copy of your Divorce Decree and the marriage Settlement Agreement.
For more information see page 3 or (pdf page 13) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet

***This must be done promptly or you could be held responsible if your ex-spouse uses your insurance after the date of your divorce***
How do I add a dependent to my medical coverage?
Complete an Employee Identification Card located under the forms tab adding your new dependent. Send a copy of their long form Birth Certificate listing both parents. If the dependent child is over 19, but not 26 yet then an Adult child medical coverage Form also needs to be completed located under the forms/medical forms tab.

If you are adding a dependent spouse a copy of your Marriage License is required. For more information see page 4 or (pdf page 14) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet

Eligibility:

What are the eligibility requirements and effective date of eligibility?

  • If reported through hours worked (CIP)
  • Work Period and Benefit Periods

    Initial eligibility for coverage during a six month Benefit Period must be established by hourly contributions through work for one or more contributing Employers for at least 425 paid hours during the prior Work Period.

    Future eligibility during subsequent six month Benefit Periods can be established in one of two ways:

    (a) work for one or more contributing Employers for at least 425 paid hours during the one Work Period immediately prior to the Benefit Period for which eligibility is sought; or (a) work for one or more contributing Employers for at least 425 paid hours during the one Work Period immediately prior to the Benefit Period for which eligibility is sought; or
    (b) work for one or more contributing Employers totaling at least 1,100 paid hours during the two Work Periods immediately prior to the Benefit Period for which eligibility is sought. Examples are detailed below:

    Full explanation on Page 8 (pdf Page 18) of Welfare Fund Summary Plan Description Booklet

  • If reported monthly (Conjunct)
  • Conjunct Welfare Fund Reporting submitted by employer(s) on your behalf.

    As a Conjunct Employee when your employer pays contributions for a work month you will receive benefit coverage the following month.

    Full explanation on Page 9 (pdf Page 19) of Welfare Fund Summary Plan Description Booklet

Short Term Disability:

What are Short Term Disability benefits?
Short Term Disability benefits are weekly benefits payable to an actively employed Covered Employee who is fully and continuously disabled as the result of a non occupational injury or illness.
For more information see page 48 or (pdf page 58) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
What it the amount of the Short Term Disability benefits?
It is a $300 a week benefit for a maximum of 26 weeks.
For more information see page 48 or (pdf page 58)
Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
Is there a waiting period before I can receive benefits?
Short Term Disability benefits start on the 1st day for an injury and the 8th day for a sickness.
For more information see page 48 or (pdf page 58)
Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
Who administers the Short Term Disability benefits?
Principal Life Insurance Company is responsible for the administration of the Short Term Disability benefits.
For more information see page 48 or (pdf page 58) Welfare Fund Plan Description Booklet
How do I apply for these benefits?

Click here for the forms needed to apply

You can also contact Principal Life Insurance at 1-877-257-6978.
Will taxes be taken out of the Short Term Disability benefits received?
Yes, this benefit is considered as part of your wage and will have taxes deducted. The amount of Short Term Disability paid to you as well as any taxes withheld will be included in the W2 you receive from the employer you worked for immediately prior to when your disability began.
Are there any exclusions?
For a detailed explanation of the exclusions please see Page 48 (pdf Page 58) of
Welfare Fund Summary Plan Description Booklet
How do I qualify for a pension?
You will need to work at least 5,000 hours AND have at least 5 years of Service Credited without a Break in Service.
For more information see page 6 or (pdf page 11) Summary Description Booklet
To learn more about Service Credits see page 9 or (pdf page 14) Summary Description Booklet
What is a Break in Service?
You will incur a Break in Service if you work less than 300 hours in two consecutive calendar years.
For more information see page 7 or (pdf page 12) Summary Description Booklet
How are Service Credits calculated?
Your Service Credits are determined by the lesser of:
  • Your total years in the Plan OR your total hours divided by 1,000
  • General rule of thumb: 1,000 hours = 1 credit

To learn more about Service Credits see page 6 or (pdf page 11) Summary Description Booklet
Can I borrow Against my Pension?
There are no current provisions in the Plan for borrowing against the pension.
I am no longer working through the Laborers' Local Union, can I withdraw my pension out of the Fund?
There are no current provisions in the Plan to permit a lump sum withdrawal.
If I retire, how long will I receive the monthly benefit?
Your monthly benefit will be payable for your lifetime.
Once I apply, how long until I can receive a check.
Approximately 2 months. Pension checks are issued the first of every month.
What documents will I need to provide the Fund Office upon retirement?
The following documents are required to complete your application for retirement:
  • Birth Certificates for Participant and Spouse
  • Social Security Cards for Participant and Spouse
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decree
  • Marriage Settlement Agreement
  • If your spouse's last name on his/her birth certificate is different from the last name on the marriage license, then a divorce decree or death certificate from the previous spouse will be required.

  • A legible copy, fax, or email of all required documents will be accepted.

    For more information see page 26 or (pdf page 31) Summary Description Booklet
I worked a few years in the Labor Industry and would like to withdraw the money that was contributed on my behalf.
In order to be vested (qualify) for a benefit from the Fund Office, you will need to work at least 5,000 hours AND have at least 5 years of Credited Service without a Break in Service. Otherwise, there would be no benefits due.

If you are a vested member, the only option available under current rules is a monthly pension benefit at retirement age.
When are pension checks mailed?
Printed checks are mailed the last business day of each month, dated for the first of the following month.
When can I expect my pension benefit to be deposited into my checking or savings account?
Retirees who have elected direct deposit of their monthly pension payments can typically expect the deposit to post to their account on the first banking day of each month. Please contact your bank for more information on their posting procedures.
For more information see page 29 or (pdf page 34) Summary Description Booklet
I am married but separated. Can I change my pension beneficiary?
Under Federal Law your spouse must remain your primary beneficiary on your pension plan unless she/he agrees to complete Section 6 of the Employee Identification Card in the presence of a notary public.
I am divorced and my ex-spouse is entitled to a portion of my pension as stated in our Marriage Separation Agreement. Can I apply for my portion of the pension?
Not until a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is approved by the Board of Trustees.
For more information see page 29 or (pdf page 34) title Non-Assignment of Benefits
Summary Description Booklet
When I apply for my pension benefits, are there options that will provide benefits to my spouse?
Yes. There are there options that will provide a monthly survivor benefit to your spouse upon your death. Please contact a Pension Fund Representative for further details.
For more information see page 15 or (pdf page 20) Summary Description Booklet
Need a letter to verify your monthly pension amount?
If you are retired and a registered member through our website, you can generate your own Pension Verification letter. We can provide a letter for a member, a surviving spouse, or a disabled member. You must Sign In to access this feature. Once Signed In you will find it under the My Benefits Tab. You can also request a Pension Verification letter by calling our Pension Department at (412)263-0900, toll free at 1-800-242-2538, or email your request to pension@lcfowpa.com.