FAQs

Who at the VA will be working with me on my VA offer letter, benefits, etc,.and how do I obtain this information?

Your VA Service Line Chief will coordinate with the Staffing Team regarding your official offer letter and with the Benefits Team regarding the particulars of your benefits. The Staffing front desk can be reached at 404-321-6111 extension 6300. Click here for Benefits Team contact information.

You will also be provided detailed benefits information at your orientation. If you are unable to attend orientation or have lost your paperwork, you may visit the liaison for benefits and records at the Atanta VAMC, Room 3A125 for printed copies of your benefits. 

You may also refer to the Emory-VA Benefits Quick Reference Guide for links to your benefits.

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Who at Emory will be working with me on my Emory offer letter, benefits, etc,. and how do I obtain this information?

You may make an appointment to see the designated Emory University HR Benefits Specialist for your department. If you do not know who that person is, you may call the main Benefits Department at 404-727-7613 (or email at hrbenef@emory.edu) to be transferred to the appropriate Benefits Specialist for your department. 

As a part of your onboarding, you will be scheduled to meet with TEC Physician Human Resources who will guide you through orientation, benefits, and parking. They will discuss what benefits you have with Emory Clinic and those available through Emory University.  TEC HR can be reached at 404-778-5696. 

New Emory physicians have the option of viewing benefits orientation and videos online during the Pre-Start process.You may also learn about benefits and view benefits videos from the SOM Human Resources website. There is a 31-day time limit for enrolling.

You may also refer to the Emory-VA Benefits Quick Reference Guide for links to your benefits.

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What types of Emory orientation will be provided?

As a new physician, you will attend several orientations in which you will learn about TEC and Emory University benefit plans.

  • SOM Department Orientation: Each department has an HR representative who will provide this orientation. This person will work with you to provide benefits information and direction on where to find additional benefits resources.
  • Emory University Orientation: This face-to-face orientation is provided by the EU Benefits Department; however, you must register for it on the Onboarding website. Orientation is usually on 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. Here you will be provided a copy of the Benefits Guide and a one-page comparison of the medical plans. 
  • TEC Physician Orientation: This orientation given by Physician HR will provide information about benefits available from TEC, as well as an overview of EU benefits. TEC physician orientation is usually every month and twice per month in the summer. Physician orientation for the TEC is scheduled by the SOM in coordination with TEC Physician HR. You must attend within 90 days of your start date. 
  • SOM Dean’s Office Orientation: This annual event, usually in September, provides an orientation and welcome from the school and includes networking and a resource fair.

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What types of VA orientation will be provided?

The Atlanta VAMC holds orientation every two weeks. The start date on your offer letter is the first day of your orientation. See the VA Physician Orientation page for more details. 

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How are Emory and VA Benefits eligibility determined?

Your eligibility for VA benefits is determined by your type of VA appointment (regular or temporary). Regular employees are eligible for all VA benefits and your rates are determined by the number of hours you work per week. See the 2015 FEHB Rates Worksheet to determine your rates. Temporary employees are only qualified for benefits if they work greater than one year and one day.

Your eligibility for Emory benefits is determined by your allocation of work effort (FTE) at Emory. See the Emory Benefits Eligibility Chart for more details. Emory Dean's Office has simplified FTE determination if you are changing levels of effort as follows (This would apply only to those transitioning. We continue to expect that Emory job FTEs would be coded accurately for new VA recruits without regard to Emory benefits eligibility):

Emory FTE Determination

From

To

Code As

>= FTE .75

< FTE .75

FTE .75

Between FTE .5 and .75

< FTE .5

FTE .5

All other

All other 

Actual Emory FTE

**If you are eligible for benefits at both the VA and Emory, it is extremely important that you do not elect to receive retirement or health coverage from both institutions. 

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How will my Emory benefits be affected if I change my FTE allocation?

Moving from > .75 FTE to < .75 FTE or from between .5 and .75 FTE to <.5 FTE at Emory results in a “part-time premium” for Emory health coverage.  Emory’s goal is to prevent adverse impact on Emory benefits, or triggering an obligation to pay the part-time health coverage premium, for those Emory faculty who are transitioning effort between Emory and the VA with the encouragement of both institutions. Emory will allow coding of the Emory job FTE so as to prevent these adverse consequences. This would apply only to those transitioning. We continue to expect that Emory job FTEs would be coded accurately for new VA recruits without regard to Emory benefits eligibility.

See the chart below FTE determination under these specific circumstances. Also see the Emory Benefits Eligibility Chart for more details. You will still be able to contribute to a 403(b) Savings Plan and 403(b) Roth retirement, regardless of your FTE. Contact your Emory HR Rep to discuss individual circumstances. In certain circumstances, at the request of Emory-VA leadership, it may be possible to preserve your current benefits. Emory will work with you to explore this.

Emory FTE Determination

From

To

Code As

>= FTE .75

< FTE .75

FTE .75

Between FTE .5 and .75

< FTE .5

FTE .5

All other

All other 

Actual Emory FTE

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How will my VA health benefits be affected by a decrease in 8ths?

The VA will prorate your heatlhcare premium based on your 8ths. So, if you decrease your VA 8ths and want to keep your same VA health insurance, you will have to pay more to keep it. If you are in this situation, contact your VA HR representative for specifics and make sure that you keep Emory department administrator aware of any changes to your benefits status.

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How much leave do part time VAMC employees earn?

Part-time employees earn 1 hour of annual paid leave per 10 hours worked in pay status, and the ceiling for accumulated time is 240 hours. 1 hour of sick leave is earned for every 20 hours of work in pay status. 

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What does an Emory all-source salary mean?

All-source salary is the total amount of salary from all sources combined, bonuses not included. Some clinical VA faculty have Emory funding from TEC and the University; some faculty also receive Emory salary for leadership positions or from a grant. All-source salary includes amounts from these sources as well as salary from the VAMC. Note: Emory-VA joint faculty get separate paychecks from each institution. 

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Why does Emory's offer letter include my total all-source salary?

The Emory offer letter includes your total all-source salary because, as an accredited medical school, the School of Medicine has various administrative obligations that require knowledge and documentation of its faculty’s all-source salaries. The SOM is responsible for reporting faculty information to various internal and external bodies (such as the accrediting agency LCME, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Office of the Provost), including counts of full-time and part-time faculty and faculty all-source salaries. These obligations extend to all faculty working at the VAMC, even those who receive no salary from Emory.  Additional considerations apply to faculty who are compensated from both the VAMC and Emory, including the need to accurately and timely coordinate shifts in effort and salary so that VA faculty are neither underpaid nor overpaid. The SOM is also responsible for verifying all-source salary equity for all non-voluntary faculty, even those who receive no Emory salary.

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Why does Emory need my salary and effort information?

Periodically, Emory will request salary and effort information from the VA as a condition of your faculty status. The VA has authorized the release of faculty information as a result of your faculty position. This information is used to report out to external agencies such as the AAMC and publications such as the US News and World Report who require knowing how much time and funds Emory spends educating its students. Emory must know your all-source salary to effectively manage and maintain equity. 

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What constitutes a VA salary?

A VA salary is made up of two main components: base pay and specialty pay. Base pay is determined by your credentials. Specialty pay is based on your performance through the year, which can be 7.5% of your base salary up to $15,000 per year. This is determined based on an agreement with your section chief.

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How do I know if I am eligible for the Emory Courtesy Scholarship?

From Emory University Policy 4.96:

Regular full-time employees who have completed 1 year of consecutive service may enroll in undergraduate, graduate or professional level courses not to exceed 5 credit hours per academic session.  For the purpose of this policy, 36 hours or more is considered regular full-time.

Regular part-time employees working at least 20 hours per week and completing 2 years of consecutive service, may enroll in undergraduate, graduate or professional level courses not to exceed 4 credit hours per academic session.

An employee who enrolls for more than the applicable five (5) or four (4) credit hours covered by Courtesy Scholarship will be personally responsible for the payment of tuition in excess of the applicable five (5) or four (4) credit hours.

School of Medicine faculty at the rank of Assistant Professor or above with an appointment at the VA Medical Center may be eligible for courtesy scholarships in accordance with the criteria specified elsewhere in this policy even if the VA is the sole source of salary and they receive no salary from Emory University.

Employees, who would meet the eligibility for Courtesy Scholarship for themselves or dependents within a 31-day period after the start of the class are considered to have met eligibility. For example, an employee hired 9/15/2001 who wanted to take a class that begins on 8/28/2002, may receive Courtesy Scholarship for the fall semester rather than waiting until spring semester.

For more information, see the Emory Human Resources page on Courtesy Scholarships or contact Elizabeth Barrett at elizabeth.barrett@emory.edu or (404) 727-1202

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What are the enrollment periods for Emory & the VA and how do I deal with discrepencies in effective dates?

Emory's annual enrollment takes place in the fall of each year. Announcements for the annual enrollement dates are mid-July and communications begin in mid September. The VA's annual enrollment is also in the fall of each year and communications about this will begin in August or September. 

Benefits enrollments must be considered separately, as there is no coordination between Emory and the VA due to being separate institutions. 

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Are there any other factors that I should be aware of when changing 8ths and FTEs?

VA retirement benefits are calculated using the average of the highest 3 consecutive years of VA slaary, excluding bonuses such as performance awards. This average may be affected if you frequently change levels of effort.

Take extra precaution when contributing to your retirement accounts. Employees are able to over-contribute to their retirement accounts and often do not realize this until tax season. Correcting this issue is very intensive. Neither the VA nor Emory have visibility that this is happening. 

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