United States Department of Agriculture
Research, Education and Economics




Title: Reimbursement for Professional Liability Insurance
Number: 98-401
Date: March 30, 1998
Originating Office: Human Resources Division, Policy, Innovation, and Employee Development Branch, AFM/ARS
Distribution: REE Offices in Headquarters, Areas, and Field Locations
Expires: When superseded


This bulletin provides guidance regarding eligibility for and reimbursement of Professional Liability Insurance.



1. Introduction
2. Eligibility
     Loss of Eligibility
3. Reimbursement Procedures
     Reimbursement Amount
     Payment Process
4. Summary of Responsibilities
Enclosure 1

1.    Introduction

Departmental Regulation 4060-1, dated May 30, 1997, states that it is Departmental policy for mission areas to offer partial reimbursement to eligible employees who purchase professional liability insurance. The provisions of this regulation took effect on September 30, 1996, and apply thereafter. This P&P contains implementation instructions for the REE Mission Area.

This type of insurance provides liability and legal defense insurance for Federal employees who are acting within the scope of their employment. One-half of annual premium expenses incurred by eligible employees for professional liability insurance are reimbursable to the employee. Only “professional liability insurance” expenses as defined in P.L. 104-208 which are incurred in conjunction with an individual's employment with the Research, Education, and Economics mission area are reimbursable.

2.    Eligibility

Any mission area employee who is a law enforcement officer as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8331(20):

    “An employee, the duties of whose position are primarily the investigation, apprehension, or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States, including an employee engaged in this activity who is transferred to a supervisory or administrative position...”

Or 8401(17):

    “An employee, the duties of whose position (i) are primarily (I) the investigation, apprehension or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States, or (II) the protection of officials of the United States against threats to personal safety; and (ii) are sufficiently rigorous that employment opportunities should be limited to young and physically vigorous individuals, as determined by the Director considering the recommendations of the employing agency...”
And supervisors or management officials as defined in 5 U.S.C. 7103(a)(10):

    “'supervisory' means an individual employed by an agency having authority in the interest of the agency to hire, direct, assign, promote, reward, transfer, furlough, layoff, recall, suspend, discipline, or remove employees, to adjust their grievances, or to effectively recommend such action, if the exercise of the authority is not merely routine or clerical in nature but requires the consistent exercise of independent judgment, except that, with respect to any unit which includes firefighters or nurses, the term 'supervisor' includes only those individuals who devote a preponderance of their employment time to exercising such authority;”

And 5 U.S.C. 7103(a)(11):

    “Management official” means an individual employed by an agency in a position the duties and responsibilities of which require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of the agency...”

These employees should be identified by the number 2, 4 or 5 in Field 7, Supervisory Code, of the master record in the Position Management system. The code for each employee can be found on the Position Organization Listing. Personnel offices should carefully review the supervisory designations of positions so that accurate eligibility determinations can be made. Employees should be advised that only those meeting the above criteria will be reimbursed. Employees who are unsure of their supervisory/managerial designation, should consult with their servicing personnel office to determine their eligibility before submitting a claim for reimbursement. Positions such as Team Leaders not designated as supervisory or managerial will be ineligible for reimbursement.

Loss of Eligibility. Employees occupying eligible positions will lose their eligibility for subsequent reimbursement if they move to an ineligible position. Loss of eligibility will be effective the same date as the personnel action moving them from the eligible position. In this situation, no repayment of previously reimbursed amounts will be required. Also, employees moving into eligible positions will become eligible for reimbursement on the effective date of the personnel action moving them into the position.

3.    Reimbursement Procedures

To claim reimbursement for the premiums, REE employees must complete form SF-1164, “Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business,” and provide proof that they paid the full insurance premium. The proof of payment must include: A copy of the insurance premium billing statement and either an original paid receipt, a copy of a canceled personal check (front and back), or a copy of an itemized personal credit card statement, showing the name of the insurer and the date of payment.

Reimbursement Amount. Eligible employees will be reimbursed 50 percent of the annual cost of the premium for professional liability insurance.

Repayment. An employee who receives a refund of premiums for a policy canceled after receiving reimbursement, will be expected to repay 50 percent of the refunded amount to their agency.

Appeals. Employees who believe they have erroneously been denied reimbursement may use established administrative grievance procedures to question the denial.

Payment Process. The check writing capability and procedures of the Government commercial purchase card will be used to reimburse employees. Locations without check writing capability will reimburse employees by use of the Treasury check payment method by sending approved forms SF-1164 to the National Finance Center, Reporting Section Number 4, at either of the following addresses:

Mailing Address  Federal Express Address
NFC, ARB, Reporting Section #4
P.O. Box 53326
New Orleans, LA 70153
NFC, ARB, Reporting Section #4
13800 Old Gentilly Road
2nd Floor, Post V-45
New Orleans, LA 70129


4.    Summary of Responsibilities

State Statisticians, Location Administrative Officer/Technician (LAO/T) at the Location level, and the Area Budget and Fiscal Officer (ABFO) at the Area Office level, and the Headquarters Staff of Division administrative designees are responsible for reviewing the forms SF-1164 to ensure:


W. G. HORNER    
Deputy Administrator
Administrative and Financial Management


Block Number


1. DEPARTMENT Enter “USDA, and your agency”
2. VOUCHER NUMBER Enter any meaningful number for location funds control purposes.
3. SCHEDULE NUMBER Leave blank
4. CLAIMANT Enter the employee's:
(a) name
(b) social security number
(c) mailing address
(d) office telephone number
5. PAID BY     Leave blank
6. EXPENDITURES (a) Enter the date of the insurance premium reimbursement request.
(b) Enter the letter “C” for Other Expenses.
(c)(d) Enter statements “Reimbursement for 50% of personal liability insurance premium. See attached proof of payment documentation” and “This insurance premium reimbursement application has been reviewed. Proper proof of payment documentation is attached. The amount claimed is 50% of the total insurance premium.” Obtain the signature of the State Statistician, LAO/T, ABFO, or headquarters' designated reviewing official and request that they record the date reviewed.
(e) (f) (g) (h) Leave blank
(i) Enter 50% (dollar amount) of the insurance premium on the first line, and on TOTALS line at bottom. If 50% of the premium is an odd amount, round to the benefit of the employee (i.e., $260.49 premium X .50 = $130.25 employee reimbursement).
7. AMOUNT OF CLAIM Enter the amount from Block 6 (i).
8. APPROVING SIGNATURE Obtain the signature of the fundholder or OFFICIAL designee.
10. CLAIMANT SIGNATURE Obtain the signature of the employee applying for the insurance premium reimbursement.
11. PAYEE If payment is made using the check SIGNATURE writing capability of the Government commercial purchase card, (a) obtain the applicant's signature and require that they record the (b) date, and (c) amount of payment.

If payment is made by Treasury check by submitting form SF-1164 to NFC, leave this block blank.

12. PAYMENT MADE BY CHECK NUMBER If the payment is made by the check writing capability of the Government commercial purchase card, record the check number.

If payment is made by Treasury check, through submission of the form SF-1164 to NFC, leave blank.

ACCOUNTING CLASSIFICATION Enter the applicable accounting code(s) and CRIS subaccount number(s) of the fundholder to be charged for the insurance premium reimbursement.