Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank
The NEISD Castastrophic Sick Leave Bank
The NEISD Sick Leave Bank is a voluntary employee sharing program that permits temporary salary for eligible employees who have exhausted all paid leave when an employee experiences a catastrophic illness or injury or when an employee is needed to care for a family member who has experienced a catastrophic event. It may provide up to 45 days of leave.
The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank is neither a replacement for nor equivalent with disability income replacement insurance. These are two distinct benefit programs with different eligibility criteria and coverage. The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank has much stricter criteria and is for such conditions that typically require prolonged inpatient hospitalization for medical conditions that may result in severe physical disability or death. Disability Income Replacement Insurance provides income replacement benefits when an employee is unable to work as prescribed by a doctor. The eligibility criteria for disability insurance is less restrictive and more conditions are covered. The district offers disability insurance to benefit eligible employees during open enrollment.
All employees of the North East Independent School district earning local sick leave benefits from the District are eligible for membership.
Employees may join the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank during the annual open enrollment period or, if a new employee, during the first thirty-one (31) days of employment.
To become a member of the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank, an employee must contribute three (3) days from his/her accrued or anticipated local sick leave for the current school year.
These days will be subtracted from the member's local sick leave record. The three days become the property of the NEISD Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank. Employees desiring to join the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank shall elect the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank benefit during their online new hire or open enrollment elections using LAWSON.. Employees may also call the Risk Management & Employee Benefits Office for additional guidelines.
All employees who join the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank as a newly hired employee or within the open enrollment period are eligible for benefits beginning the first of the month following the hire date (for new hires) or January 1 (for open enrollment elections). All sick leave days donated remain in force and cannot be returned even upon cancellation of the membership. Membership continues from year to year, without any additional contributions, unless:
- The member uses one or more days from the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank during the year;
- The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank falls below one time (1X) the number of members, then
members must contribute 1-2 days for the current school year.
- A member decides to cancel his/her membership in the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank; or
- A member terminates employment with the District.
Qualifying For Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank Days
A member may request days from the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank only after he/she has exhausted all accumulated state and local leave days. Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank days can be granted only for absences for working days and will not be granted for holidays, vacation days, or other such days for which the member is not paid.
Days from the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank are granted only for qualifying catastrophic illness or injury that necessitates an absence for five consecutive days or longer. A member who suffers a catastrophic illness or injury may apply for an initial thirty (30) days from the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank. If the employee is unable to return to work after the initial thirty (30) days are exhausted, he/she may reapply for up to fifteen (15) additional days.
The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank may be used for members whose immediate family has suffered a catastrophic illness or injury. Immediate family is defined as the member´s parent(s), spouse and any eligible children. The maximum number of days that may be granted to an employee is fifteen (15) days per illness/injury. The maximum number of Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank days that may be granted to an employee during the year (August 1 - July 31) is forty-five (45) days.
What Is Considered Catastrophic?
An illness or injury that is serious in nature, as defined by the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank handbook, and necessitates and necessitates a minimum of five (5) consecutive days absent from work. Determination of catastrophic is based, in part by, the physician's statement with diagnosis, and proof of inpatient hospitalization. A few examples of conditions that could be considered catastrophic are:
- Qualifying High-Risk Pregnancy
- Cancer with Chemotherapy Treatment
- Inpatient Hospitalization (room and board charges required)
- Multiple Trauma
- Organ Transplants
When an employee has suffered a catastrophic illness or injury, the member may submit to the Employee Benefits Specialist a request for days from the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank. This request will include the Application for Sick Leave Bank Days (Member Statement) and the NEISD Sick Leave Bank Physician's Statement which can be obtained from the Risk Management & Employee Benefits Office or by downloading the forms from the NEISD Intranet web site.
Applications will be processed by the Employee Benefits Specialist/Sick Leave Bank Executive Officer, in accordance with the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank Handbook.
The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank will grant up to three (3) days for bereavement due to the death of a member´s spouse, child, parent, or parent-in-law. The employee must contribute the days granted by the Sick Leave Bank at the beginning of the following school year to retain their membership.
Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank Board of Directors
The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by the members and representing all employee groups. The purpose of the Board of Directors is to audit Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank usage and to hear all appeals regarding the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank.
Plan Year Changes
- Changing the Sick Leave Bank name to Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank
- Include Parent in-laws for granting of bereavement days
- Catastrophic guidelines clearly defined by making available to all members, a list of catastrophic illnesses/ injuries. A list of diagnosis and conditions including criteria
used will be included in the NEISD Sick Leave Bank Regulations.
- Catastrophic guidelines are raised and more clearly defined by adding a list of catastrophic
illnesses/injuries to the Sick Leave Bank regulations.
- Members released to return to work on a part-time or modified duty basis will no longer
receive partial days from the Bank.
- New employees have the first 31 calendar days of employment to join the Bank.
- New members may only receive days from the Bank after they have worked enough days
to earn their membership.
- If the Bank falls below one time (1X) the number of members, current members will give
an additional 1-2 days, depending upon the need, to replenish the Bank. Members who do
not wish to contribute the additional day(s) may forfeit membership upon written
notification to the Risk Management Office.
- The Preexisting condition exclusion is increased from 90 days to the first six months of
- Exclusions now include normal pregnancy and/or post-natal care; elective or routine
surgery; outpatient procedures; mental disability that is not considered as "serious
mental illness" as defined by Texas law; workers' compensation income eligibility;
and part-time absences or modified duty.
These changes were implemented effective August 1, 2003.
Updated: August 23, 2016