Maryland Courts

Frequently Asked Questions

General | Family and Medical Leave Act | Health Benefits | Judges |
On-the-Job-Injuries | Payroll/Leave Accounting | Retirement


General

How do I reach staff members?

Staff members each have their own telephone number and e-mail address. Our staff list contains names and  contact information, as well as areas of responsibility. In addition to their individual phone numbers, all staff members may be reached by calling 410-260-1280.

There are staff members available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for State Holidays.

I'm moving, what do I need to do?

Complete a Change of Address in Connect, and then complete a new W-4 form. If you have any health benefits through the state, you will also need to complete this form. Once completed, return form(s) to Human Resources.

What benefits does the Maryland Judiciary offer?

The Maryland Judiciary offers a full range of benefits to it's employees.

[back to top]

Family and Medical Leave Act

While we attempt to answer the most common Family and Medical Leave questions here, more information can be found at the Family and Medical Leave section of the United States Department of Labor website.

What is Family and Medical Leave?

Family and Medical Leave is a benefit brought about by Federal Law. It gives job protection (and continued subsidized health benefits) to employees who either suffer a serious illness, or have a close family member suffer a serious illness. For more information, please review the FMLA Notice to Employees.

Who is eligible for Family and Medical Leave?

Employees who have worked for the State of Maryland for 12 months and worked 1,250 hours in the past 12 month period are eligible for this valuable benefit.

How much leave can I get?

Family and Medical leave is capped at 12 weeks during a rolling calendar year. This leave does not need to be used continuously.

How do I apply for Family and Medical Leave? Do I need any medical documentation?

To apply for Family Medical Leave, simply notify your supervisor or the FMLA Coordinator with Judiciary Human Resources Department that you or a family member has a serious health condition. If the leave is used for a situation other than the birth or adoption of a child, medical documentation will be required. You may use the FMLA Certification of Health Care Provider, form, or a note on the provider's letterhead. Completed forms may be given to your supervisor or Administrative Official. or sent directly to the FMLA Coordinator in the Judiciary Human Resources Department for processing.

How do I code Family and Medical Leave on my time sheet?

Family and Medical Leave runs concurrently with your leave, and all leave policies remain in effect, including call in procedures and the leave bank/leave donation policy. If an employee has exhausted all their leave, but still has not exhausted their Family and Medical Leave, the time sheet should be coded as Leave Without Pay. Enter code for desired type of leave and add a line for “00 FMTAK – FMLA Take”

What about my health insurance?

If you are in paid leave status during your Family and Medical Leave, your health insurance will remain the same. If you do not have leave, the State will continue to pay the subsidy, however, you will be billed for your portion of the insurance premium. If you do not pay these bills, your health insurance will be canceled and you will be unable to renew insurance until Open Enrollment, and the insurance would be effective the beginning of the following fiscal year.

What family members are covered by this leave?

Federal law limits the eligible family members to spouse, child or parent. See the FMLA policy or call the FMLA Coordinator for the Judiciary Human Resources Department for details.

Why are you charging me Family and Medical Leave when I haven't requested it?

As a protection to employees, the law requires employers to designate qualifying employees absences as Family and Medical Leave.

How much notice do I have to give?

You must notify your supervisor as soon as you anticipate the need for Family and Medical Leave, at least 30 days in advance if possible. If you require this leave for an emergency situation, you must notify your supervisor no later than 2 days after you determine the need for this leave. 

If I'm using Family and Medical Leave, do I still have to get all my leave approved?

Yes. You must still get leave approved and use standard call-in procedures.

[back to top]

Health Benefits

When does my health coverage begin?


If you are …

Coverage becomes effective…

A new active employee enrolling for the first time

1st of the month after date of hire.  If hired on the first of the month, date of hire.

An active employee making an authorized mid-year change in coverage

1st of the month following the qualifying status change.  Exceptions are births and adoptions which are effective on the date of the event.

Newly retired and enrolling for retiree benefits for the first time

1st of the month, following retirement or confirmation of retirement

A retiree making an authorized mid-year change in coverage

1st of the month following the qualifying status change.  Exceptions are births and adoptions which are effective on the date of the event.

How do I reach my health plan or get a listing of doctors participating in my plan?

A listing of links for all State health plans is available here.

How do I make changes to my benefit plans?

Unless you've experienced a "change in family status" (for example, a birth, death, divorce, or loss of insurance through your spouse), you must wait until Open Enrollment to make any changes. Open Enrollment is held in the fall and any changes you make are effective January 1 of the following year.

If you have questions of what is and is not a "change in family status", please contact your local health benefits coordinator.

When is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is held in the fall, with changes effective January 1st.

I need to add or delete a dependent. What do I do?

If you need to add or delete a dependent, contact your local health benefits coordinator. There are very specific deadlines and documentation requirements, so make the contact as soon as possible.

What dependents can be carried on my insurance?

Generally, the dependents you can cover include your spouse, children, step children, dependent grandchildren and legal minor dependents. 

How long can I cover my dependent child?

Dependent children will be covered through the end of the month in which he or she turns age 26.  A COBRA notice will be sent directly to the dependent child to your home address.  COBRA is not subsidized by the State.

How do I update my address with the Department of Budget and Management, Employee Benefit Division?

Complete the Department of Budget and Management Personal Information Change Form.

Retirement

What benefits are provided through State Retirement and Pension System?

In addition to providing income when you retire, your plan provides important coverage throughout your career.  Your plan provides coverage while you work: survivor protection if you die before retirement, disability coverage in the event that you are unable to continue working due to a disabling injury or illness.   Your plan provides retirement benefits to include a basic monthly allowance based on your age, service and salary, options for a continuing allowance to your survivor and annual cost-of-living adjustments, when applicable.

How much do I contribute toward my State Retirement plan?
Employees contribute 7% of their earnable compensation.

What is the difference between Eligible and Creditable Service for State Retirement?

Eligible Service determines when you qualify for a retirement benefit.  Creditable Service determines the amount of your retirement benefit.

What is the difference between a primary and contingent beneficiary?

You may designate both primary and contingent beneficiaries during your membership.  Primary Beneficiary: This is your first choice for the individual(s) who would receive survivor benefits should you die during membership.  Contingent Beneficiary: This is your choice for the individual(s) who would receive the one-time benefit in the event that all designated primary beneficiaries predecease you.

What is a Vested Benefit and when do I become vested?

As an active member, you should be aware that your accumulated benefits are protected if you leave the State Retirement and Pension System and you are vested.  Members of the Reformed Contributory Pension Benefit (those who entered service on or after July 1, 2011) become vested once they have accrued at least 10 years of eligibility service. All other members are vested after five years of eligibility service. Once you are vested, if you should leave your job for any reason, you are guaranteed to receive a future benefit for the years and months of service earned before termination unless you withdraw your accumulated contributions.

How do I verify my retirement benefits?

As an active member as of June 30, each fall you will receive an individualized statement of your retirement benefits. Your Statement of Benefits highlights everything you need to know about your account—from the amount of service credit and beneficiaries on record to estimates of future pension income. We encourage you to use this statement to verify the accuracy of your account data.

What is Disability Retirement?

Disability retirement is a benefit provided by State Retirement and Pension System for eligible members who are deemed to be totally and permanently disabled and unable to perform their normal job duties.

Are there different types of disability retirement?

Ordinary Disability covers any permanent disabling physical or mental condition which includes occupational diseases.  Accidental Disability covers injuries that you sustained as the direct result of a specific accident or accidents which occurs at a definite time and place.

What is the Maryland Supplemental Retirement Plan?

The Maryland Supplemental Retirement Plans offer State employees* a low cost way to save additional money for retirement—through the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, 401(k) Savings & Investment Plan, and 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan. All contributions are made through payroll deduction. You choose to contribute before- or after-taxes (Roth), or use a combination. You choose how much to save and how to invest your contributions.

[back to top]

On-The-Job Injuries

If I'm injured on the job, do I need to report it? If so, to who?

Yes, you must report all work-related injuries to your supervisor immediately. Your supervisor has the responsibility of investigating and reporting the details of your accident so that you can receive all the benefits to which you are entitled, and to reduce the possibility of someone else getting hurt.

Who's eligible for these benefits?

All employees (regular, temporary and contractual) are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Only regular employees are eligible for Accident Leave. Jurors are also eligible for certain benefits.

What benefits can I be entitled to?

If your injury is deemed compensable by the Injured Workers' Insurance Fund, your medical bills will be paid and you may be eligible for Accident Leave instead of having to use your own leave.

How do I know if my injury is deemed compensable?

Once we are notified by IWIF, we will in turn notify your Administrative Official whether or not your injury is deemed compensable.

How much Accident Leave can I get?

Accident Leave may be available to employees for documented work-related accident absences, for a period of six calendar months after the initial incident. In order to receive Accident Leave, the injury must be deemed compensable by the Injured Workers' Insurance Fund or the Workers' Compensation Commission.

Is Accident Leave guaranteed?

No. In some instances Injured Workers Insurance Fund will approve payment of medical bills, but not Accident Leave. 

I have a letter saying that I'm approved for medical bills only. What does that mean?

It means that IWIF will pay your bills, but has not approved you for accident leave. Any absence will be charged to your accumulated leave or else leave without pay.

How do I get my bills paid?

Send the bills directly to IWIF at:
Injured Worker's Insurance Fund
8722 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore 21286-2235

A copy of the bill should be sent to the Judiciary HR office at:   

Judiciary Human Resources Department
580 Taylor Avenue, Bld. A-1
Annapolis, MD 21401

Inquiries about outstanding bills should be directed to IWIF at 800-264-4943.

What if IWIF does not deem my injury compensable?

Your medical insurance will cover all bills, based on the terms of your policy. Your leave (or leave without pay) will cover your absences. If you wish to dispute IWIF's determination, you can file a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission. Click here to go to their web site.

[back to top]

Payroll/Leave Accounting

I need a written employment verification for a loan. What do I do?

Have the potential creditor fax us a standard release form to 410-260-1214. Our payroll staff will be happy to complete the form and send it back to the potential creditor.

I think my leave is wrong. What do I do?

Give our payroll staff a call at 410-260-1735. They'll be happy to research any issues you may have.

[back to top]

Judges

What is the process for becoming a judge?

The judicial selection process in Maryland is based on the principle of merit selection. For more detailed information, including the qualifications of a Maryland judge, a list of current vacancies, and an application, visit the Judicial Selection Process website.

[back to top]