Benefits Eligibility


Benefits at Cornell

Learn more about the benefits available to Cornell employees.

Benefits Overview


Criteria for Cornell University-sponsored employee benefit programs.

Cornell offers a very competitive package of benefit programs for faculty, staff and their families. Not all persons affiliated with the university qualify for enrollment in these benefit programs. The eligibility statements below will help you determine if you are eligible to enroll, but you may still have questions after reviewing the criteria. For answers to your specific questions about eligibility, please contact HR Services & Transitions Center at  (607) 255-3936 or send us a message HRservices@cornell/edu.


Endowed and Contract College faculty and staff:

A faculty or staff member must hold a job or appointment with a minimum of 20 hours per week for hourly paid employees or the equivalent 50% effort for salaried employees for a period of 6 months or more. The rate of pay must be greater than zero and the appointment does not need to be indefinite.

Contract College faculty or staff have a different standard for New York State provided benefits of health care and retirement plans. A faculty or staff member appointed for as short a duration as 3 – 5 months position with salary may qualify for NYS benefits.


Limited Benefits:

A post-doctoral fellow who moves to non-pay status (paid from their fellowship rather than Cornell) is eligible for ‘limited benefits’ (referred to as LIMs coverage).  These limited benefits include endowed health, dental and vision coverage, on a voluntary basis, with the post-doctoral fellow responsible for the employee-share of the premium via direct-billing, and their department responsible for the employer-share (through quarterly fringe billing).  Coverage must be coordinated through the HR Services and Transitions Center.