Adding a Family Member
Adding a new member to your family is a time of joy and anticipation. Let CBP help you with this transition by providing you with the resources you need to plan for the arrival of your new child and later for your return to work.
CBP can also provide guidance and support to employees who are adding a new stepchild to their family through marriage or who are welcoming a new child through adoption.
Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides a number of resources for employees who are greeting a new family member. Contact your EAP for assistance with any of the following:
- Prenatal kit with books and informational guides to help welcome your new addition
- Adoption support - including information on the process and referrals to adoption agencies
- Child care search - including verified availability
- Lactation support – including discounts and information
In addition, your EAP provides employees and their eligible family members with up to 12 free face-to-face counseling sessions per year, per issue. This counseling is confidential. Contact your EAP 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-755-7002.
Adding a new dependent to your health insurance is simple, as long as you already have a self-and-family plan. If you already have a self-and-family plan, you will need to notify the health carrier that you wish to enroll your new child. The health carrier may require that you submit a copy of child's birth certificate or adoption paperwork.
If you are changing your coverage from self only, you may increase to self-plus-one or to self-and-family coverage by completing and submitting the Health Benefits Election Form (SF-2809) and a copy of your child's birth certificate or adoption paperwork to Retirement and Benefits Advisory Services (RABAS) to change your coverage because of the addition of a family member.
NOTE: You will have the period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of birth or adoption to change your FEHB enrollment.
If you are enrolled under the Self Only FEDVIP plan, you may increase to self-plus-one or to self-and-family coverage. You must change your enrollment online at: www.benefeds.com or by calling 1-877-888-3337.
You will have the period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of the qualifying life event to make your change.
You may be able to enroll in an FSAFEDS health care flexible spending account and/or dependent care account or change your current election(s) from 31 days before the event to 60 days after the event. For the health care account, you must also be eligible to enroll in the FEHB Program. Your requested change must be consistent with the event and you cannot enroll or increase your election(s) after October 1st (you have to wait until the annual Federal Benefits Open Season).
To enroll or change your enrollment, contact FSAFEDS at: 1-877-372-3337, or visit the website at: www.fsafeds.com.
You may elect to increase your FEGLI coverage and/or elect coverage under the Family Option, because of a qualifying life event. If you currently have Basic coverage, you may elect Option B; you may add as many multiples as additional family members (spouse and eligible children) that you have resulting from the marriage up to five multiples. Under Option C, you may designate from one to five multiples, regardless of the number of eligible family members you have.
You must submit the Life Insurance Election Form (SF-2817) along with a copy of your marriage certificate to RABAS to make these changes.
NOTE: You will have the period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of the event to submit this form.
Any time you are adding a new family member, you should take the opportunity to review your Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) for any current Designation of Beneficiary Forms that you may have on file. If there are none and you do not complete any new forms, upon your death all of your federal benefits would go, by law, to your surviving spouse, unless you have designated other beneficiaries. If you previously filed Designation of Beneficiary Forms and named one or more beneficiaries, you will need to review the forms to determine whether you wish to make any changes. If you revise any beneficiary forms, the original forms should be sent to the Retirements and Benefits Advisory Service (RABAS). The designations are not valid until received and certified.
The forms can be obtained on the Designating a Beneficiary webpage on the OPM website.
Family Care Programs
The Child Care Subsidy Program applies to full- and part-time employees whose children are under the age of 13, or disabled and under the age of 18, and are enrolled or will be enrolled in licensed family child care homes or center-based childcare. The child care must be licensed and/or regulated by State and/or local authorities. Before/after school care and summer camps may also qualify. To be eligible to participate in this program, your gross household income must fall into one of the fee categories below:
|Fee||Total Adjusted Gross Household Annual Income||Maximum Monthly Amount Paid By CBP|
|I||$120,000 and below||$400.00|
|II||$120,001 - $144,000||$300.00|
For more information on how to apply, please go to CBPChildcareSubsidy.com or call the CBP Child Care Program Administrator at 202-559-7042.
The CBP Backup Care Program offers you and your family more family care options. This program will help employees find and pay for temporary short-term center or in-home care so you can be at work when your regular child/adult/elder/pet care is unavailable. Backup care might be needed when:
- Your child’s school is closed
- Your adult or eldercare arrangements fall through
- You have an important meeting to attend and your regular caregiver is unavailable
- You have to travel, attend training, or work longer hours, and your care provider is unavailable or
- You need help recovering from a personal illness or injury in order to return to work.
Access to high-quality backup care helps you get to work with the confidence of having a reliable, emergency backup provider at a cost you can afford.
For more information or to schedule backup care, please go to CBPBackupCare.com or call 1-844-222-5871.
Employees have a wide variety of leave-related benefits available to them to help balance their work and family obligations. The links below provide information on various leave and work scheduling programs available to employees for family care purposes.
- Definition of Family Member
- Sick Leave (General Information)
- Sick Leave for Family Care and Bereavement
- Sick Leave to Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition
- Funeral Leave and Other Bereavement Options
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- FMLA Qualifying Exigency Leave
- FMLA Leave to Care For a Covered Servicemember
- Voluntary Leave Transfer Program
- Voluntary Leave Bank Program
- Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care
- Handbook on Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs for Elder Care
On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which included the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA). FEPLA amended the Family and Medical Leave Act (5 U.S.C. § 6382(d)) to allow the use of up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave granted in connection with the birth of an employee’s child or the placement of a child with an employee for adoption or foster care.
To be eligible, the employee must meet FMLA eligibility requirements of having at least 12 months of federal service in a part-time or full-time work schedule (temporary appointments not to exceed 1 year and intermittent work schedules are not eligible). Additionally, CBP employees who request paid parental leave must provide documentation and a signed work obligation agreement in which they agree to work for CBP for 12 weeks once the paid parental leave concludes. A list of frequently asked questions are available here.