Author Topic: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?  (Read 6765 times)

Future Lazy

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How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« on: January 13, 2015, 01:22:52 PM »
Hi Forum!

I need some help deciding what to do with my benefits this year...

Total Paid Time Off Hours Awarded: 144 hours, use them or lose them!
Total Extended Illness Bank: 40 hours, rolls over from year to year (max 240 hours can be banked)

Last year I worked hard to keep exactly 40 extra PTO hours and put them in my EIB. The other 104 hours went almost completely to doctor's appointments, only 16 hours were taken as vacation (4 day weekend) and 8 hours were taken as a sick day.

This year, I'd like to take a 1.5 week or 2 week vacation and road trip the southwestern US, meaning I need to hang on to ~80 hours for that plan, leaving ~64 hours left over.

Of these 64 remaining hours, how many more hours should I commit to my EIB?

I'm 22 and in fairly good health. I don't smoke or drink, I eat fairly well on a daily basis - being overweight is my biggest issue, and is solved by exercise. I don't plan on having kids for quite some time, and won't even have this job anymore by then.

How many hours would you save up, in my situation? More than 40? More than 80? Or just save whatever is left over at the end of the year, if anything?


electriceagle

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 01:28:14 PM »
Are these hours payable on termination? That is, will you get a payout for them when you leave your job (or your job leaves you)?

If you will get a payout for these hours, then go ahead and fill the bank. If the banked hours are not your property, I would take time off and "spend" them.

Future Lazy

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 01:32:18 PM »
Are these hours payable on termination? That is, will you get a payout for them when you leave your job (or your job leaves you)?

If you will get a payout for these hours, then go ahead and fill the bank. If the banked hours are not your property, I would take time off and "spend" them.

No, I don't get paid for them if I quit or get laid off. That's one of the things that incites me to neglect the bank beyond 40 hours. I can't imagine many illness situations that would call for more than a sudden unpredictable week off.

PTO is prorated, and if I used all 144 hours in Feb, and then quit in March, I would actually owe the company for those hours used.

Catbert

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 03:34:29 PM »
If I understand correctly you "automatically" get 40 hours a year for the extended illness bank (?)  If that's the case then I would just additionally contribute whatever is leftover from your PTO account.  I don't know how long an illness has to be to use "extended illness bank"; however, I would avoid using time from it until you have several weeks built up.

I went for almost 30 working years without a medical absence exceeding two days.    Then I was hit with two unexpected major surgeries in two years.  Glad I had that sick time on the books.


Future Lazy

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2015, 03:42:04 PM »
If I understand correctly you "automatically" get 40 hours a year for the extended illness bank (?)  If that's the case then I would just additionally contribute whatever is leftover from your PTO account.  I don't know how long an illness has to be to use "extended illness bank"; however, I would avoid using time from it until you have several weeks built up.

I went for almost 30 working years without a medical absence exceeding two days.    Then I was hit with two unexpected major surgeries in two years.  Glad I had that sick time on the books.

It's not automatic. To clarify:

In 2014, I received:
PTO: 144 hrs
EIB: 0
I used 104 hours of PTO and chose to put 40 hours in my EIB.

In 2015, I have:
PTO: 144 hrs
EIB: 40 (from 2014)

So if I want to continue to add to my EIB, I need to use only 104 hours of my 2015 PTO, and put the remaining 40 in my EIB.

If I am fired, my EIB hours are not payable. I can use EIB hours for doctor's appointments if I choose to, so there's no "minimum length of sickness" or however that might be. If Jan 1st, 2016 rolls around and I have 60 hours of PTO remaining, I can only put 40 hours in my EIB, and 20 of it goes bye bye forever.

How many weeks is "several weeks"? If I only plan to work for this company 2-3 more years at the most, should I really save that many non-payable EIB hours, instead of taking them as payable PTO hours?

thedayisbrave

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 04:45:16 PM »
Maybe I'm a complete noob but I've never heard of the Extended Illness Bank. 

It makes sense to me though.  And if I were you I'd probably just leave it at 40.  If you have some left over at the end of the year after doing what you want to do, fine.  But since it's not payable upon job termination I would definitely not want to overfill it.  I think you're fine (but I only just heard about it 35 seconds ago so take that with a grain of salt!)

Dee

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 04:59:15 PM »
What happens if you are legitimately sick for a period of time but don't have the PTO to cover it (either in the current year or in the bank) -- is the implication simply that you don't get paid? Or are there other possible implications related to job security or anything? If the bank just means you can get paid if you are unexpectedly sick, you are probably better off having sufficient savings to cover the same amount of sick time yourself. The disadvantage of the bank is that it doesn't pay out if you leave your employment without needing it.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2015, 05:54:56 PM »
Do you have short term disability coverage?  If so, when does that kick in?  I would take that into account when deciding how much you want to bulk up this account and probably err on the side of not adding a whole lot more if this is a use-it-or-lose-it pile upon you leaving this employer.  That way if you had anything major (car accident, surgery, whatever), STD would kick in fairly quickly and your EIB could cover the gap until it did. 

RelaxedGal

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 09:16:24 AM »
Ditto what Mrs. PoP said.  Do you have short term disabilty insurance?  Do you have long term disability insurance?  Do you have dangerous hobbies?  Extended Sick bank at my office is sort of like Short Term Disability and I'm planning to drop STD when my Extended Sick gets to 3 months (which is when our long term disability kicks in).

At 22, no spouse, no kids, I think the odds you'll need more than a week off are pretty low.  If you have Short Term Disability it will cover the unforeseen broken leg/car crash/ebola.  If you have a good savings cushion that will work as well.  If you had dependents you would probably use the EIB to care for them in case of sickness which is where it's really useful, but when that's on the horizon you can start padding it again.

I say burn as much PTO as you can.  Live life now, enjoy your vacation!

Bob W

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2015, 09:21:17 AM »
I'm very confused on the number here?

You say you are healthy yet used 104 hours for Doctors appointments in a year?   Is that code for didn't feel like working those 12 days?

I'm 55 and haven't used 104 hours for medical appointments in my entire life.

Please explain this apparent anomaly?   Is this dentist, eye doc, regular doc, massage therapist?

Future Lazy

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2015, 09:47:14 AM »
I'm very confused on the number here?

You say you are healthy yet used 104 hours for Doctors appointments in a year?   Is that code for didn't feel like working those 12 days?

I'm 55 and haven't used 104 hours for medical appointments in my entire life.

Please explain this apparent anomaly?   Is this dentist, eye doc, regular doc, massage therapist?

For a clear and total breakdown:
144 hours Awarded
40 hours saved for EIB
16 hours taken as 2 days of a self granted 4 day weekend (days I didn't feel like working :) )
8 hours called in sick
~48 hours used over 12 monthly afternoon appointments with a psychologist for PTSD, depression
~24 hours used over 6 family doctor visits to get vaccinated (varicella, HPV), 2 blood tests looking for diabetic risk factors and vitamin d deficiency, reproductive health check up, change in birth control methods.
8 hours taken to be the escort person for DH's inguinal hernia outpatient surgery.

Total: 144 hours

I have decided that I feel emotionally well enough to ditch the psych visits for 2015, freeing up that chunk of time. 2014 was the first year of my life that I've had health insurance, and that put a lot of "catch up" tasks on the table for my family doctor. I don't expect to have this many family doctor appointments in 2015.

netskyblue

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 09:50:33 AM »
I'm 31, and have historically been in excellent health.  I average 1-2 sick days a year (generally for a bad cold or flu).  We "earn" 6 sick days a year.

Last year I fell and broke my femur (FREAK accident) and I was off work for 18.5 days.  (17 days off, then came back to work for 3 half days before doing full days).  I didn't have any short term disability, but that wouldn't have covered anything but like 3 days.  I did have 27 sick days banked (our max is 30). 

So maybe decide how many sick days you're comfortable banking, then make sure you have enough in savings to cover any deductibles + lost wages if you had an accident?

electriceagle

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 03:29:09 PM »
"Banking" days is a bad term to use if the days are not your property, i.e. you don't get paid for them when you leave. You're trading a known paid day off for the possibility of a paid day off in the future.

The only possible way for you to benefit is if your salary is appreciably higher when you take the "extended sick leave" than it is when you bank the days.

I would "bank" zero under this scenario.

Are these hours payable on termination? That is, will you get a payout for them when you leave your job (or your job leaves you)?

If you will get a payout for these hours, then go ahead and fill the bank. If the banked hours are not your property, I would take time off and "spend" them.

No, I don't get paid for them if I quit or get laid off. That's one of the things that incites me to neglect the bank beyond 40 hours. I can't imagine many illness situations that would call for more than a sudden unpredictable week off.

PTO is prorated, and if I used all 144 hours in Feb, and then quit in March, I would actually owe the company for those hours used.

Bob W

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2015, 12:13:47 PM »
I'm very confused on the number here?

You say you are healthy yet used 104 hours for Doctors appointments in a year?   Is that code for didn't feel like working those 12 days?

I'm 55 and haven't used 104 hours for medical appointments in my entire life.

Please explain this apparent anomaly?   Is this dentist, eye doc, regular doc, massage therapist?

For a clear and total breakdown:
144 hours Awarded
40 hours saved for EIB
16 hours taken as 2 days of a self granted 4 day weekend (days I didn't feel like working :) )
8 hours called in sick
~48 hours used over 12 monthly afternoon appointments with a psychologist for PTSD, depression
~24 hours used over 6 family doctor visits to get vaccinated (varicella, HPV), 2 blood tests looking for diabetic risk factors and vitamin d deficiency, reproductive health check up, change in birth control methods.
8 hours taken to be the escort person for DH's inguinal hernia outpatient surgery.

Total: 144 hours

I have decided that I feel emotionally well enough to ditch the psych visits for 2015, freeing up that chunk of time. 2014 was the first year of my life that I've had health insurance, and that put a lot of "catch up" tasks on the table for my family doctor. I don't expect to have this many family doctor appointments in 2015.

Thanks for the clarification!  Bet you use less than 24 hours this year.  Love those self granted mental health days.  My office is so open that I'm not even sure we have sick days or vacation days.  Everyone just does as they please.  Weird I know, but I love it.

Astatine

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Re: How many hours to keep in Extended Illness Bank? WWYD?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2015, 12:54:03 PM »
If you genuinely have PTSD, then if it were me, I'd have the maximum amount allowable in my illness bank. Even if you've made significant improvements in managing PTSD, all it takes is one big bad trigger coming out of nowhere to make you non-functional for weeks (or months if it's a particularly bad trigger).

And even without that, accidents can happen at any time (eg car accidents). Likelihood - low. Consequences - major. I'm risk averse, but maybe you're more comfortable with taking more risk? I dunno.