Sick Leave Bank Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is the Sick Leave Bank (the Bank) a good benefit for employees?
The Bank provides paid sick leave to qualifying members who are medically certified as unable to perform the duties of their jobs as a result of a personal illness, injury, accident, disability, medical condition, or quarantine and who have exhausted all their personal annual, compensatory, and sick leave balances.
2. How do I join the Bank?
Open enrollment for the Bank begins August 1st and continues through October 31st of each year. On-line enrollment** is easy. Go to the Sick Leave Bank website at https://www.tn.gov/hr/employees1/sick-leave-bank.html and after reading the Sick Leave Bank Guidelines, click on "Sick Leave Bank On-line Enrollment". This will take you to the IRIS enrollment page and you just follow the prompts. It is that simple.
3. How many sick days do I need to be eligible to join the Bank?
Employees joining the Bank must have a minimum sick leave balance of 6 days as of October 31st of the enrollment year.
4. Do I have to contribute additional days to the Bank to maintain my membership?
Eligible employees electing to join the Bank will initially have four days of sick leave deducted from their sick leave balance and donated to the Bank. Bank members are assessed one day of sick leave each October 1st following their enrollment year to maintain membership in the Bank.
5. May I donate annual days if I do not have a sick leave balance available to join the Bank or for assessment to maintain my membership?
No. You may not substitute annual leave for sick leave to enroll or for assessments.
6. Am I required to re-enroll every year if I am already a member of the Bank?
No. You maintain your membership in the Bank as long as you meet the annual assessment requirement.
7. After joining, when may I apply for grants of leave from the Bank?
New members may apply for benefits from the Bank beginning February 1st following enrollment. New members are not eligible to receive grants from the Bank for pre-existing conditions until November 1st of the year following enrollment. For example, a new member who joins on November 1st is not eligible to apply for benefits for a pre-existing condition until November 1st of the year following enrollment in the Bank.
8. What is a pre-existing medical condition?
"Pre-existing" means a condition that existed for which a member received treatment or advice during the 12 month period prior to the effective date of initial Sick Leave Bank membership.
9. What forms do I need to submit to apply for grants from the Bank?
Members must apply for grants from the Bank using a current Withdrawal Request Application and Medical Certification form. You must submit a new Withdrawal Request Application with each Medical Certification form.
10. Where do I send my request to use the Bank?
To receive grants from the Bank, you must:
- Submit a Withdrawal Request Application and Medical Certification form. You will submit your completed, signed, and dated Withdrawal Request Application to your human resources office who will forward it to the Bank.
- Provide a Medical Certification form to your treating medical doctor/surgeon who must complete the form and send it directly to the State of Tennessee Employee Sick Leave Bank, Second Floor, James K. Polk Building, 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0635 or by fax directly to (615) 532-3209. Medical forms must be faxed directly to the Sick Leave Bank from the medical provider's office.
Note: Please keep in mind that all Medical Certification forms must be completed (in their entirety) by the current attending medical doctor or surgeon and forwarded directly from the treating medical office to the Bank. You may obtain these forms from your agency's human resources office or at https://www.tn.gov/hr/employees1/sick-leave-bank.html.
11. Where do I find the Withdrawal Request Application and Medical Certification form?
You may obtain Sick Leave Bank forms from your agency's human resources office or by visiting the Bank's website at https://www.tn.gov/hr/employees1/sick-leave-bank.html.
12. When do I submit the Withdrawal Request Application and Medical Certification form?
A Withdrawal Request Application must be submitted no earlier than two weeks prior to, but no later than 30 workdays after the eligibility date absent any extraordinary circumstances. The Medical Certification form must be based on a treatment visit with the current treating medical doctor/surgeon that falls within the same timeframe.
Application for grants from the Bank received later than the 30 workday period, where no extraordinary circumstances are found, will be denied. The Bank will not accept further applications for sick leave during that period of absence from work for that specific illness/injury.
13. How long may I draw from the Bank?
A member may receive a maximum of 90 days from the Bank as a result of a personal illness, injury, accident, disability, medical condition, or quarantine or a condition related to, resulting from, or recurring from a previously diagnosed condition for which the Bank granted sick leave.
Sick leave grants from the Bank are based on medical certification from your current treating medical doctor/surgeon. Grants from the Bank shall not be more than a maximum of 30 consecutive days for which the member would have otherwise lost pay. Grants may be less depending on medical certification.
14. Am I able to receive benefits from the Bank if I have a work related injury or illness?
If a member sustains a job or service related injury or illness, he/she must first submit a claim for workers' compensation (or the equivalent if service related) and receive a determination prior to receiving grants from the Bank. Members who sustain a job or service related injury or illness must file a claim for workers' compensation (or the equivalent if service related) and receive a determination prior to receiving any grants from the Bank. If your workers' compensation claim is denied, you have up to 30 workdays after notification of the denial to file an application with the Bank.
Note: Members who received lost time and/or a settlement based on a workers' compensation claim or any other employer provided benefits for job or service related injuries or illnesses are not eligible for Bank grants for any claims involving the same injuries or illnesses.
15. How often may I draw from the Bank?
A qualifying member may receive a maximum of 90 days of sick leave from the Bank within a 12 month period. The initial 12 month period starts on the date your sick leave grants first begin and extends 12 months forward from that date. A new 12 month period would begin the first time grants from the Bank begin again after completion of the previous 12 month period.
16. May I receive grants from the Bank when my family is ill?
Grants from the Bank are for personal use only. Members are not eligible to receive grants from the Bank for illnesses of family members or anyone other than the member.
17. If I decide to leave the Bank, may I get my donated sick days back?
No. All initial donations as well as annual and special assessments contributed to the Bank are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
* Please read the complete Bank Guidelines at https://www.tn.gov/hr/employees1/sick-leave-bank.html.
** Submitting an application for membership in the Bank does not guarantee acceptance into the Bank. After meeting all other eligibility requirements, an applicant must have a minimum sick leave balance of six (6) days as of October 31st and donate four (4) of those days to the Bank.