Human Resource Services

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My Benefits | A Spouse or Dependent Passes Away

A Spouse or Dependent Passes Away

A Qualified Life Event - Information and Support for Faculty and Staff

Losing a loved one is never easy, and it can be difficult to settle your loved one’s estate while you are still grieving. The following resources, and HRS Benefits Staff are here to help you.

Contact Information

UNI Human Resource Services

Leave Options

Funeral Leave

Staff members may use up to three days of earned sick leave per occurrence when death occurs in their *immediate family.

Pallbearer Leave

Staff members may use up to one day of earned sick leave per occurrence when serving as a pallbearer or funeral attendant for someone who is not a member of their *immediate family.

*Immediate family is defined, and limited to, the staff member’s spouse, children, grandchildren, foster children, stepchildren, legal wards, parents, grandparents, foster parents, stepparents, brothers, foster brothers, stepbrothers, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters, foster sisters, stepsisters, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins, corresponding relatives of the faculty or staff member's spouse, and other persons who are members of the staff member's household.

Grief Support Services

Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services

There are many services available for those who are grieving. Please visit the Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services webpage for all resources available.


University of Northern Iowa benefits eligible employees, and their dependents, have access to an employee assistance program (EAP) through Employee and Family Resources. EAP offers short term counselling for those experiencing difficult life challenges.

Principal Financial

Principal provides free grief support services and access to counselors through Magellan Healthcare. Services include, but are not limited to, grief counselling, depression screenings, and local and community legal resources. To receive a consultation call 800-274-4529.

Benefits Information

Health, Dental, Vision, and Voluntary Term Life (VTL) Insurance

Health, dental, and vision insurance will end for the spouse/dependent on the last day of the month in which they passed. After being notified of the death, UNI will work to notify all applicable vendors to end the active coverage.

Voluntary term life (VTL) insurance ends as of the date of death. If the spouse/dependent was covered under a VTL policy human resource services will need to be notified so that they can file the claim with Principal Financial. The UNI employee is automatically the beneficiary of these policies.

The death of a dependent allows you to make any necessary changes to your benefits, which also includes changing health plans if needed. Please utilize Benefits Self-Service to make any changes.


In order to change your benefits, or have a life insurance claim processed, documentation of the passing must be provided to the UNI Human Resources Office. This can either be done in person, or uploaded through the Benefits Self-Service system when making a change to benefits. Acceptable documentation includes:

  • Death Certificate, or
  • Certified copy of the public record of death, or
  • Certified copy of a coroner's certificate

Additional Updates to Consider


If you need to update your life insurance beneficiaries due to a qualifying life event, please use the Benefits Self-Service System.

For IPERS beneficiaries, please log into the IPERS website to update.

To update your TIAA beneficiaries, please log onto the TIAA website to update.

Benefit Enrollment

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