Revision 16-1; Effective March 14, 2016

 

Note: This section is for both individuals and providers.

 

1100 Optional Benefits

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

Optional benefits must be accrued. Funds to cover the costs of the benefit must be accrued (saved) over a period of time to be available for payment in the future. Funds are accrued from hours worked, not based on hours scheduled. Funds cannot be accrued from hours that were scheduled but not worked by the employee.

Optional benefits are not calculated to determine overtime. Optional benefits are not hours worked. Only the hours an employee actually works in awork week are considered to determine if overtime is applied.

Optional benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

1110 Sick Leave

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

The employer must describe:

  • how the employee earns the benefit (a number of days or hours based on actual hours worked each month, pay period or other time period);
  • when the employee will begin to earn sick leave (first workday, after 30 days of employment, etc.);
  • when the employee will be able to use sick leave (must be accrued before used based on actual hours the employee worked);
  • how the employee will be able to use the leave time (personal illness only, immediate family, etc.), and if a physician'srelease to return to work will be required (after a certain number consecutive sick days, etc.); and
  • how the Consumer Directed Services agency (CDSA) is to accrue the benefit (amount per hour worked.)

Other conditions may also be specified by the employer, such as how the employee is to notify the employer when work will be missed due to sickness, what happens to hours accrued but not used, etc.

 

1120 Vacation Leave

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

The employer identifies:

  • how the employee earns the benefit (a number of days or hours based on hours worked each month, pay period or other time frame);
  • when the employee will begin earning the leave (first workday, after 30 days of employment, etc.);
  • when the employee can begin using vacation leave; and
  • how the CDSA will accrue the benefit (amount per hour worked, etc.).

The employer may list conditions for the employee's use of the vacation leave – that is, when time off is available, length of benefit time that can be taken at any one time and/or how much notice must be given to the employer before the leave is to be taken, etc.

 

1130 Holiday

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

The employer identifies:

  • how the employee earns the benefit (a number of days or hours based on hours worked each month, pay period or other);
  • when the employee will begin to earn the leave (first workday, after 30 days of employment, etc.);
  • when the employee can begin using holiday leave;
  • specific holidays that will be paid or day that may be taken as the holiday (on the holiday, week of the holiday, etc.); and
  • how the CDSA will accrue the benefit (amount per hour worked, etc.).

In addition to the information provided, the employer may also want to explain conditions for the employee's use of the holiday leave.

 

1140 Work-Related Expenses

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

Benefits are taxed and budgeted as compensation and benefits. However, if the employer is reimbursing an employee for actual expenses incurred, it is not a benefit and the reimbursement is not taxed. Reimbursed expenses are to be budgeted as "Administrative Expenses." Refer to Appendix XI, Allowable and Non-Allowable Expenditures.

The employer identifies:

  • each benefit to be paid (for example, commuting);
  • what documentation is required for payment (mileage log, bus ticket receipt, etc.);
  • when the employee can begin using the expense and any limits or circumstances when the expense is paid or not paid (for example, paid only when working an unscheduled shift, etc.); and
  • how the CDSA will accrue the benefit (amount per hour worked, etc.).

If the employee is reimbursed for actual expenses, the employer must inform the employee of requirements for reimbursement(paid receipts). The CDSA must reimburse receipts within 30 workdays of receipt.

A mileage log or receipts are required if commuting expenses are reimbursed. If the employee is reimbursed for actual expenses(taxi, bus, etc.), a receipt is required.

Payment for projected expenses to assist with the cost of commuting is a benefit since actual expenses are not being reimbursed.

The employer must verify with the CDSA to be sure that the expenses are allowable, reasonable and budgeted. The CDSA must determine if the employee will be taxed for the benefit through payroll or reimbursed for actual documented expenses.

 

1150 Bonuses

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

A bonus is an optional benefit. A bonus must be pre-planned and budgeted. Funds for a bonus must be accrued (saved) from each hour worked by the employee before the bonus payment is made.

Example:

The employer calculates that the employee will work 40 hours per week for 50 weeks, for a total of 2,000 hours.

The employer wants to budget a $500 bonus to be paid at the end of the 12 months. The budget is calculated at $.25/hour from each hour the employee works to accrue (save) $500.

As the employee works through the year, the funds are accrued at $.25 of each hour worked by the employee. If the employee only worked 1800 hours, only $450 will have been accrued at the end of the 12 months. The bonus amount would be limited to$450.

The budget must reflect the bonus and the amount per hour worked and the total amount to be accrued.

 

1151 Hire-On Bonus

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

The amount of the bonus must be covered by the budget within the first three months (12 weeks) of the employee's work schedule based on hours the employee works.

A hire-on bonus is the only type of bonus that can be paid before accruing the funds required to make the payment. If the employee does not remain employed long enough to capture the full amount of the bonus, the employer must adjust the budget with CDSA approval to compensate for the remaining amount.

 

1152 Other Bonus Payments

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

Performance Bonus: Based on the employee's work performance or improved performance over a period of time.

Longevity Bonus: Based on the length of employment with the employer (after 90 days, six months, one year).

Funds to cover the costs must be accrued (saved) over a period of time to be available for payment. Funds are accrued from hours worked, not from hours scheduled.

 

1160 Other Benefits

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

The employer may provide other benefits or contribute to an employee's optional benefits when allowable, reasonable and budgeted with approval of the CDSA.

Other optional benefits may include, but are not limited to, benefits provided through other employment settings, such as:

  • premiums for health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, disability insurance or life insurance; and
  • contributions to employee deferred compensation plans, retirement/pension plans, child day care or accrued leave.

The CDSA must review and approve an expense before it is offered as a benefit or as a reimbursement.

  • Each benefit must be:
    • allowable (reasonable and necessary, cost-effective and considered reimbursable for Medicaid);
    • reasonable (the amount spent is not excessive); and
    • budgeted (a planned, scheduled cost approved by CDSA) before being offered to the employee.
  • The CDSA must determine if a payment is
    • a taxed benefit (compensation); or
    • a non-taxed reimbursement (administrative); and
    • budgeted in the correct category before being offered to the employee.

 

1200 Garnishments

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

Garnishments include court-ordered withholdings from an employee's paycheck. Examples of court-ordered garnishments include:

  • child support, and
  • alimony (spousal maintenance payments).

Other garnishments to an employee's wages may include mandated withholdings by a federal or state agency. Examples of mandated garnishments include:

  • guaranteed student loan payments, and
  • income tax payments.

An employee may have one or more garnishments. A garnishment is taken from the employee's gross pay as a withholding by the CDSA. The CDSA is required to then deposit the withheld funds with the court, an agency or an entity.

  • Garnishments do not need to be authorized by the employee to be valid under the Texas Payday Law.
  • Deductions for court-ordered garnishments and mandated garnishments might take an employee's average hourly wage below the required minimum wage hourly amount. This is valid under the Texas Payday Law as long as wage from which the garnishment(s) is made is at or above the minimum wage hourly amount.

The employer and the CDSA are required to have a copy of any court order or governmental agency mandate that requires a garnishment. The CDSA must follow the directions of the order in making the withholdings and deposits for each garnishment.

 

1300 Voluntary Withholdings

Revision 05-0; Effective August 1, 2005

 

The employee may request that funds be withheld from the paycheck and be deposited on his/her behalf by the CDSA. The CDSA must approve any requested voluntary withholding before the employer approves a requested withholding.

Voluntary withholdings may be added to an employee's benefit paid by the employer. The employee must authorize the withholding in writing.

Example: The employer pays an insurance premium for the employee. The employee makes a voluntary withholding to pay for his/her spouse or family to be covered by the premium.