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Disaster Pay Benefit Questions and Answers for Employees and Managers

Who is the primary approver of the DPB?

Just like any request for time off the request needs to be submitted to the supervisor. On the DPB Verification request form the staff member must have reported their house as uninhabitable in order to be eligible for the paid time off benefit (not to exceed a two week work schedule or a maximum of 80 hoursThe supervisor will approve when the leave time will be taken.

Who do supervisors contact if they have questions?

Managers should email if they have questions on whether or not a specific situation warrants approval.

If my residence was destroyed or is uninhabitable due to the flood, do I qualify for the additional leave benefit?

Yes. Please fill out the Verification Form at and submit it to your employer. You may be asked to submit additional documentation to support your claim.

How do I know if my house qualifies as uninhabitable?

If from now until October 31, 2010, your residence is either damaged or being repaired such that you cannot live in your residence, then you qualify for this additional leave benefit.

During the time period of May 1-May 8, 2010, I was unable to report to work due to the weather, road closures, and I followed the directions from local government officials to stay home, or my department was without power or internet service, do I still have to use my accrued leave time to cover this absence?

Yes. While we understand this flooding was unprecedented, Vanderbilt University employees are often faced with weather and school closing challenges. We appreciate all who have made great efforts to report to work during these challenges. Any leave time taken other than for those whose residences were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable will need to be charged to employees’ leave balances, however it will not count as an occurrence under the Time and Attendance Policy.

Why is the special paid time off benefit not applicable for people who volunteered to help others or who had less than catastrophic damage at home?

Many staff members who missed time from work, especially in the days of the flood and its immediate aftermath, have asked why those whose dwellings were destroyed or made uninhabitable are eligible for paid time off from Vanderbilt, while those whose houses were less damaged or who volunteered time to help neighbors were required to use their own leave.

The issue of additional benefit or personal time for those who were unable to report after the flood is not one that the Flood Resource and Coordination Center, which advised the University administration on the policy, addressed lightly. The Center had a mix of persons from Human Resources, Administration, VUMC operations, and other areas talk over this issue. The question that the group returned to, time and time again, was, “How can Vanderbilt help those persons who were most vulnerable.” Those who talked about the issue felt those most vulnerable were those who lost their housing, and that is the reason the additional benefit time has been designated for those whose homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.

It’s important to remember that even though Vanderbilt did not grant additional benefit time to all persons affected by the flood, we did make the decision that any unscheduled absence in the week following the flood would not count as an occurrence under our attendance policy. An employee in certain departments that operate in a 24/7 manner incurs an occurrence when they call in sick or have an unscheduled absence.

Among the policies that address the issues of absence are the VU Attendance and Punctuality Policy, HR # 26, and the VUMC Inclement Weather Policy, OP 30.10.08. At the crux of these policies is the issue that many of our departments operate 24/7 and persons reporting to work when scheduled is key to our operations. There were a great number of people who reported to work during and immediately after the flood disaster even though they had a crisis going on in their homes, and there were also those who needed to stay home or in their neighborhoods and deal with the flood and its damage. Those who came to work enabled Vanderbilt to continue with its vital missions. Those who did not in order to volunteer did so at the sacrifice of their own comfort and some of their accrued leave. Both are to be thanked and honored.

If I answer the survey online incorrectly, can I update it?

Yes, you can do another survey; the system is set up to find the duplicates and take the most current version.

What constitutes the use of the DPB code?

Any employee, staff, faculty or trainee who will be taking additional leave as a result of their home being destroyed or uninhabitable.

Does an employee need manager approval to use the DPB code?

Yes; We are counting on managers to be compassionate and to use a high level of trust.

If an employee is working on damage to his/her residence but is still able to live in the residence, can they use the DPB code?

No, only if uninhabitable; otherwise, the employee would use vacation or Paid Leave Time. Discuss with manager for special cases.

Does the DPB benefit go further than 2 weeks time?

Not at this time; if an employee needs additional time, that is up to the Manager’s discretion and the use of vacation or Paid Leave Time.

How do I code time for those working Grants or Federally Funded projects?

Please do not charge your Grant centers with the DPB codes; instead use your EDC centers, utilizing your institutional resources. We realize this will change your budget line items. We will assist you as your budget year comes to a close. We will continue to discuss; if you have a specific question, please e-mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

How many hours does an employee receive if utilizing DPB?

  • If your employee is 20 hrs, they are eligible for 40 hrs of DPB
  • If your employee is 36 hrs, they are eligible for 72 hrs of DPB
  • If your employee is 40 hrs, they are eligible for 80 hrs of DPB

If an employee needed time for the first week, can the DPB be used?

Yes, this time counts toward the total DPB.

How does an employee receive the DPB?

Does an absence a Medical Center employee had during the first week count against them as an occurrence?

NO. If they do not meet the DPB requirements, they need to use their vacation or Paid Leave Time, but it will not count as an occurrence.

Where do I find the Verification Request Form?

The web address is:

If an employee is on Kronos, how do we code the DPB?

The timekeeper is the only one who can put the DPB code into Kronos.

How do I report when I use the Disaster Benefit Pay if I am non-Kronos?

Non-Kronos employees who are eligible to use the earnings code of DPB will use it in one of these three ways depending on their classification and timekeeping tool they use:

  1. Exempt – Managers note on the monthly leave report the time and the earnings code DPB
  2. Non-Exempt Paper Timesheet – Employees/Managers note on the paper timesheet the code DPB and the hours.
  3. Non-Exempt New Timesheet Application – Employees/Managers fill out a blank timesheet for this time only, and note on the paper timesheet the code DPB and hours.

If a close family member of an employee has been affected, is the employee eligible for DPB?

NO. The employee can use FLMA for sick family members; but for Flood relief, they will need to use vacation or Paid Leave Time after manager’s approval.

As a manager, how will I be able to track the DPB?

It will show up on WALDO reports.

If an employee was away from home, and could not return to their home for several days, are they eligible for the DPB?

NO. They would need to use their vacation or Paid Leave Time.

If a current FTE needs to change their status to be away, is this acceptable?

It is, but be mindful of your operations, and it is at the manager’s discretion.

Do I need a Tetanus shot?

  • Please refer to Health & Wellness Portal or MyHealth@Vandy
  • If you had one within the last 10 years, that should be sufficient.
  • If you have an open wound or puncture, and it’s been 5 years; you should consider getting a new shot.
  • Please note, the TDAP shot DOES include the Tetanus strain.