employee benefits

Essential Job Functions

The fundamental duties of a position -- those things that the person holding the job absolutely must be able to do. An employee with a disability must be able to perform the essential job functions, with or without a reasonable accommodation, to be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS that allows certain aliens them to work legally in the U.S. during the time the EAD is valid. Aliens who require an EAD include asylum seekers, foreign students and refugees.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, www.uscis.gov

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

A federal law that sets minimum standards for pension plans and health benefit plans, to protect the employees covered by these plans. ERISA requires plans to provide certain information to plan participants, imposes responsibilities on those who manage and control the plans, and requires plans to establish procedures for participants to get benefits from their plans, including an appeals process.

Disability Benefits

Disability benefits refers to money available from the government for disabled persons.  These benefits are available under Title II of the Social Security Act as Social Security, and under Title XVI as Supplemental Security Income.  Additionally, several states have enacted statutory disability programs, known as disability insurance.

Federal Disability Benefits:  http://www.ssa.gov/disability/

Information on Social Security Disability:  http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html

Information on Supplemental Security Income:  http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/

Defined Contribution Plan

A type of retirement plan that creates an individual account for each employee funded by contributions by the employer, the employee, or both. The amount contributed is set, either as a dollar amount or by formula (for example, a certain percentage of the employee's earnings). Unlike a defined benefit plan, which guarantees that the employee will be paid a certain amount on retirement, a defined contribution plan guarantees the employee only the value of his or her account upon retirement: amounts contributed to the plan plus or minus investment gains or losses. A 401(k) plan is a type of defined contribution plan.


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