NASA - Employee Orientation
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ORIENTATION TOOLKIT

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As you progress through your orientation a number of questions may arise. Below are the answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you do not find what you are looking for you may contact either your new Supervisor, NASA Ambassador, functional contacts at your Center, or the Employee Orientation Manager at your Center.

  1. When will I receive my first paycheck?
  2. Where do I report on my first day?
  3. Will my federal health benefits cover pre-existing conditions?
  4. Who can I talk to about my health benefits?
  5. How soon does my health insurance take effect?
  6. Who can I talk to about my relocation entitlements?
  7. What does PCS mean?
  8. Will I have time off to take care of my relocation?
  9. What's the difference between a permanent, temporary, and term employee?
  10. What is "annual" leave?
  11. How soon can I start taking sick and annual leave?
  12. Is there anyone who can assist me in finding day care?
  13. Can I access my home email from my NASA computer?
  14. When will I get my NASA email address and user name and password?
  15. What is a grade or step?
  16. Where can I find answers to my questions about pay?
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Pay
  1. When will I receive my first paycheck?
    Your first paycheck will be deposited the Friday after the end of the pay period in which you were hired. You can access the NASA Schedule of Holidays, Pay Periods and Pay Dates at: http://nasapeople.nasa.gov/employeebenefits/pay/2010Calendar.pdf
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  2. Where do I report on my first day?
    This information should be available in your job offer letter. If not, contact your Center HR Office.
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  3. Will my federal health benefits cover pre-existing conditions?
    Yes, your federal health benefits will cover pre-existing conditions. There are no exclusions or waiting periods for pre-existing conditions in any plan in the FEHB Program.
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  4. Who can I talk to about my health benefits?
    Contact the NSSC at 1-877-677-2123 and ask to speak to a Benefits Counselor for more information about your benefits.  For a list of providers go to http://opm.gov/insure. Click on Plan Information of the left side the page.  Choosing your applicable state will list plans available in that state, plan brochure, and etc.
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  5. How soon does my health insurance take effect?
    Your health insurance will take effect on the first day of the first pay period after you submit your enrollment form to the NASA Shared Services Center.  For more information go to: http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/faq/index.asp
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  6. Who can I talk to about my relocation?
    Prior to NSSC receiving your relocation authorization, you should speak with your NASA Center HR Office Point of Contact to determine your entitlements.  However, after NSSC receives your relocation authorization from your NASA Center HR Office, you should receive a phone call from our relocation contractor.  This representative will be able to give you the advice and assistance that you will need throughout your move. Should you have any problems or need additional assistance, please call the NSSC at 1-877-677-2123.
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  7. What does PCS mean?
    Permanent Change of Station. This normally refers to employees who are moving from one duty location to another that is more than fifty miles. For more information go to: https://www.nssc.nasa.gov/portal/site/customerservice/menuitem.e28ccbd511fa9d500a0c69104dd72749/
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  8. Will I have time off to take care of my relocation?
    You must coordinate your leave approval with your Supervisor or Center HR Office Point of Contact prior to your relocation to work out the necessary details.
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  9. What's the difference between a permanent, temporary, and term employee?
    Permanent employee refers to an employee who was hired under an appointment authority without a time limit.  A temporary employee is an employee that was hired under an appointment authority with a time limit and specific not-to-exceed date.  A term employee is an employee that was hired under an appointment that will last more than one year but not more than four years and that is of a project nature where the job will terminate upon completion of the project.
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  10. What is annual leave?
    Annual leave is the government equivalent to vacation time.  Employees accrue annual leave during each full pay period worked.  This time can be used for vacations and/or personal business.  The accrual rate is based on the amount Federal service that you have.  For more information visit: http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/annual.asp
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  11. How soon can I start taking sick and annual leave?
    Sick and annual leave varies by type of appointment. Consult with your supervisor for more information.
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  12. Is there anyone who can assist me in finding day care?
    Many NASA centers either have onsite day care or arrangements with another provider. Your NASA Ambassador may assist you with researching available day care facilities.
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  13. Can I access my home email from my NASA computer?
    Use of government equipment for personal use is limited.  For more information see NASA’s policy NPD 2540.1F on personal use of government equipment:
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  14. When will I get my NASA email address and user name and password?
    To ensure that your NASA email address, user name, and password are created and active on your first day, make sure that you complete all requested new hire forms as soon as possible.
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  15. What is a grade or step?
    Your pay grade is the level at which you are paid. The pay grade of your position is set according to government-wide position classification standards. Within each pay grade there are 10 steps.
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  16. Where can I find answers to my questions about pay?
    To find answers to your questions about pay, visit the NASAPeople, Understanding Your NASA Pay website.
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