Tuition Waiver Benefits for Domestic Partners Faculty, Managers, and Coaches

  • The agreements between APSCUF and PASSHE provide for tuition waiver benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners (hereinafter referred to as Domestic Partners) of PASSHE faculty and coaches. The Board of Governors also extended the same benefits to PASSHE managers.

    Note: The value of these Domestic Partner benefits may be taxable to the employee under federal law; please see below in the Taxation of Benefits section for more information.

    Eligibility Requirements for Same-Sex Domestic Partners

    To qualify for benefits listed above, an employee and partner must meet the following criteria and provide a completed PASSHE Same-Sex Domestic Partnership Certification. This notarized certification is to be maintained in the employee’s official personnel file.

    1. Each partner is the same gender.
    2. Neither partner is married to anyone else.
    3. Both partners are at least eighteen years old and mentally competent to enter into a contract in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    4. Partners are the sole Domestic Partner of the other person.
    5. Partners have lived together in the same residence on a continuous basis for at least six months immediately prior to the date of the notarized statement, with the intent to reside together permanently.
    6. Partners are not related to each other by adoption or by blood, to a degree that would prohibit marriage in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    7. Neither partner has been a member of another Domestic Partnership for the past six months (unless the prior Domestic Partnership ended as a result of the death or marriage of one of the Domestic Partners).
    8. Partners are jointly responsible for the common welfare and financial obligations of each other.

    Eligibility Requirements for Children of a Same-Sex Domestic Partner

    The unmarried biological or legally adopted child (including a child during the probation period), or a child for whom the Domestic Partner, is the legal guardian is eligible if the child meets the benefits program age requirements and:

    • is a legal dependent of the Domestic Partner; and
    • is a member of the household of the employee, or maintains the employee’s home as a primary residence while living away from home in order to be a full-time student; and
    • is a child for whom the employee has assumed financial responsibility.

    Same-Sex Domestic Partner Registration

    To initiate Domestic Partner benefits for a same-sex domestic partner and/or children of a same-sex domestic partner, an employee must certify the Same-Sex Domestic Partnership as follows:

    1. Complete a PASSHE Same-Sex Domestic Partnership Certification and have it notarized.
    2. Submit certification along with evidence of interdepency for at least six (6) months prior to the date the certification is executed to the Office of Human Resources, G-8 Sutton Hall. Acceptable documents include:
    • A Domestic Partnership Agreement as recognized by a governmental entity
    • Deed or lease evidencing common ownership of real property or a common leasehold interest in property
    • Evidence of a joint title to a motor vehicle
    • Driver's licenses listing a common address
    • Proof of joint bank accounts or credit accounts
    • Proof of designation as a beneficiary for life insurance or retirement benefits or beneficiary designation under a partner's will
      Assignment of a durable power of attorney or health care power of attorney

    Note: Original documents must be submitted and must be dated at least six (6) months prior to the date the certification is executed.

    Application for Tuition Waiver Benefits

    Once the certification form has been returned to the Office of Human Resources, the employee will need to submit a completed Tuition Waiver Application to the Office of the Bursar to recieve the tuition waiver benefit.

    Taxation of Tuition Waiver Benefits

    Under federal tax laws, the value of tuition waiver benefits provided to Domestic Partners and/or children of Domestic Partners is taxable to the employee. Therefore, the cost of tuition waived will be added to the employee's biweekly pay as additional taxable income for federal tax as well as for Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.

    Termination of a Same-Sex Domestic Partnership

    The employee must notify the university Human Resources office in writing within thirty (30) days of the dissolution of a certified Same-Sex Domestic Partnership by completing a Termination of Same-Sex Domestic Partnership form. Benefit plan eligibility for the Domestic Partner and children of the Partner ends on the last day of the month in which the partnership ended. Failure to notify the university may result in liability for benefits provided to ineligible Domestic Partner and/or dependents.

    Additional Information

    For additional information on domestic partner benefits, see the Frequently Asked Questions.