Employee Benefits

Here's how you'll benefit by becoming a State of Nebraska, Department of Health and Human Services Employee.

Health Insurance
The State of Nebraska offers several types of health insurance plans for employees working 20 hours or more per week.  Premiums for part-time employees are pro-rated.   The state pays approximately 79% of the total premium of whichever plan type you choose.  Health insurance premiums are tax sheltered under the IRS Section 125.  Details of the health insurance selections are at the DAS State Personnel Benefits page.

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Other Insurance

Some of the plans available to you at your own expense are dental, vision, long-term disability and life insurance.  Contributions to dental and vision insurance plans are tax-sheltered under the IRS Section 125 plan.   Details about these insurance plans are found at DAS State Personnel Benefits page .

Life Insurance
The state provides a $20,000 basic term life insurance policy to all eligible employees regardless of age.  This policy is paid for entirely by the State of Nebraska for full-time employees.  In addition to the basic term life insurance provided by the state, you have a number of options for purchasing additional life insurance for yourself and your dependents. Within the 30-day eligibility period, you may choose the optional term life coverage (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4 or 5 times annual) and/or Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and/or either level of dependent term life without providing evidence of insurability.

Changes to Insurance
Selections must be made within the first 30 calendar days of employment and changes must be made within 30 calendar days of a "qualifying event."   Qualifying event changes allow employees to change insurance coverage, but not carriers. Qualifying events are defined as:

  • Marriage
  • Legal Divorce (when final)
  • Death of Spouse or Dependent Child
  • Birth or Adoption of a Child
  • Change in Dependent Child's Eligibility Status (a child becomes ineligible when they have turned 26 years old).
  • Change in employment status of the employee or spouse (i.e. layoff, disability, increase or reduction of hours).
    • employee or spouse terminates employment
    • employee or spouse commences employment
    • employee or spouse reduces or increases hours
    • employee or spouse takes an unpaid leave of absence
    • employee or dependents becoming eligible or ineligible for Medicaid, worksite and residence transferring more than 35 miles or a dependent child moving 35 or more miles from home residence
    • employee was covered under their spouse's policy through another employer and the spouse has an employment status change
    • Spouse's open enrollment period, at their place of employment

Employees experiencing one of these qualifying events must initiate a change to their insurance through the Employee Work Center at link.nebraska.gov.  Changes to insurance must be initiated within 30 calendar days of the event and require supporting documentation of the event.  Instructions are available here: PDF Benefit Changes

Insurance changes, which do not involve a qualifying event, are allowed during the open enrollment period. This period occurs once a year usually in the spring. Notices are sent to all employees announcing this event including deadlines.   

If you leave state government, you’re eligible for COBRA which provides for the continuation of your health, dental and vision insurance coverage.

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Flexible Spending
There are two types of Flexible Benefit program accounts available. 

  • Medical care reimbursement account pays you back with pretax dollars for health care expenses not covered by insurance.  Maximum reimbursement is $2,500 per plan year.
  • Dependent care reimbursement account will reimburse you with pretax dollars for expenses incurred for dependent care.  The annual maximum is the lesser of your earned income, your spouse's earned income, or $5,000.  The plan year is July 1 through June 30.

Plan carefully; there are no refunds for unused monies you have set aside.

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Leave Information
Many different types of leave are available for use by permanent employees.  Leave must be approved in advance in most cases. 

 PDF NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract

 PDF Chapter 10 - Provisions for Leave (Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations)

Employees can take advantage of a leave balance tracking system that will detail leave requested and subsequent balances.

Employee leave balances are maintained in the Payroll and Financial Center via the LINK website.  Your individual  leave balances may be viewed in the Payroll and Financial Center at link.ne.gov

Vacation leave must be requested in advance and must be earned before it can be used.

Sick leave must be requested in advance, when possible. You must inform your supervisor as soon as possible when you are not able to report to work as scheduled and complete a leave request when you return to work.     

When the illness, disability, injury, or major surgery of an immediate family member requires the employee's presence, sick leave may be requested.  The immediate family shall be considered as:  spouse, children, parents, and others being the same relationship to the employee's spouse.  At the Agency head's discretion, the definition of immediate family may be broadened.


Download and give this MS Word Document Return To Work Form (RTW) to your doctor to provide medical documentation when needed for medical absences.

Bereavement leave may be granted for up to five days upon request for a death in the immediate family.  "Immediate family" means spouse, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, sister, brother, child, grandchild, spouse of any of these, or someone who bears a similar relationship to the spouse of the employee. Step-persons bearing these relationships are included. At the agency head’s discretion, the definition of immediate family may be expanded to include other individuals with a similar personal relationship to the employee as that of an immediate family member.

Civil leave is available for jury duty, election board duty or voting time.  This type of leave is separate from any other type of leave.

Military leave is granted in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.  Military orders must accompany any requests for military leave.

Injury leave is granted as a result of a job-related injury.  If you are injured on the job, please report this to your supervisor immediately.

Catastrophic leave allows an eligible employee to receive donated vacation leave hours from other employees. There are certain eligibility criteria established for both the requesting and donating employee.

Leave requests are made with the PDF Catastrophic illness Leave Request Form.  Catastrophic leave may only be used for the illness of the employee.  The PDF Catastrophic Leave donation form can be downloaded for use in donating hours to eligible DHHS employees.  Please complete the donation form, print and submit the completed form to your payroll contact.

Family Medical Leave eligibility is dependent on two factors.

  1. The employee or immediate family member has a qualifying event.
  2. Must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the prior twelve months. 

Family Leave is unpaid time off from work except when an employee chooses to use vacation or sick leave as part of their 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave.

Requests for Family Medical Leave are submitted on forms available here.
For more details, refer to the Department of Health and Human Services Human Resources Policies or the NAPE/AFSCME labor contract.

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Most permanent employees receive 12 paid holidays per year.   Employees working part time should receive part time off on holidays on a pro-rated basis.  Employees covered under the E bargaining unit of the NAPE/AFSCME labor contract do not receive a paid holiday on Columbus Day. 

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Tuition Assistance
If you’re a permanent employee and are enrolled in courses of instruction related to your work or future advancement within the DHHS, you may be eligible for reimbursement of 50% to 75% of your tuition costs.  Up to 9 credit hours of coursework or the equivalent may be taken during any one fiscal year. Request forms must be submitted before the class starts. To be eligible for reimbursement, you must receive a course grade of  "C" or better for an undergraduate course, a "B" or better for a graduate course, or "pass" for pass/fail courses.

However, if you leave the DHHS employment within one year (365 days) of completing the course, you're required to reimburse a pro-rated amount to the DHHS for your tuition costs.

Get a tuition assistance request form at the Tuition Assistance web page
(Only available to DHHS employees on the DHHS network.)

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Training Opportunities
Training and development opportunities are available to all DHHS staff. These range from personal growth to specific technical skills and management development. Classes are offered free of charge and are held during work time. Visit the Learning & Development page for additional information.

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Employee Assistance Program
All employees are eligible to use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This benefit, provided by Deer Oaks EAP Services, is designed to help employees and their families work through personal problems including, but not limited to, stress, depression, anxiety, workplace difficulties, substance abuse, marital problems, family or parenting conflicts, grief, violence and unhealthy lifestyles.  The EAP can also provide additional assistance with childcare and eldercare resources with referrals, financial and legal issues, child and parenting support services, retiree assistance, college resources and unlimited health coaching.  EAP assures complete confidentiality and is available to permanent employees and their families by simply calling 1-866-792-3616. For more information, please visit the EAP page and review the Guide for Accessing Deer Oaks EAP Services.  Any questions regarding EAP may be directed to your Human Resources & Development contact.

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Deferred Compensation
A deferred compensation plan allows setting aside a portion of wages under a tax deferred program. This money is then available upon retirement. The State of Nebraska Deferred Compensation Plan is a voluntary way to accumulate supplementary retirement income.  Enrollment in this program may begin at any time during employment.

At retirement, the account value may be converted into annuity payments which are taxed as received.  The payments may be a fixed monthly amount or may vary according to the performance of the investment if a systematic withdrawal is selected.  One-time lump sum payments may also be selected.

Questions regarding the plan, termination procedures, and retirement procedures may be directed to the State of Nebraska Retirement Systems at (402) 471-2053.

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State employees are eligible to participate in the Nebraska State Employees Retirement System. Membership in the plan begins immediately upon employment.   Deductions are 4.8% of gross pay each pay period.

Temporary employees are not eligible to participate in this plan.

The law does not allow you to contribute more than the specified amount.

The state matches your contributions at the rate of 156%.

For additional information contact the Nebraska State Employee Retirement System at (402) 471-2053.

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Other Benefit Options

Credit Union
The Nebraska State Employees Credit Union offers savings and checking accounts. As a member, you’re eligible to apply for loans and major credit cards with competitive interest rates and use payroll deduction for checking, savings and loan accounts.

The Credit Union also offers travelers’ checks to members.

Easy Payment Service provides automatic payroll deductions for child support payments.

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If  you have payroll or benefit questions, please send an email to:



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