Most faculty know the importance and usefulness of the HR-Benefits Office as their prime source of information on the many types of benefit programs, such as health, retirement, wellness, and others. There are times, however, that spouses are not so familiar with this valuable resource. You should know that Benefits staff members, as well as others in the Office of Human Resources, ably assist faculty, retirees, and spouses daily during normal business hours (M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ). Some inquiries are general, such as impending workshops, details of plan provisions, and contacting plan administrators. Other concerns involve confidential and personal circumstances.


It is important for spouses to understand that Benefits personnel are permitted to only discuss general questions UNLESS the employee–for our purpose, the UD faculty member–has given WRITTEN permission for the spouse to discuss his/her entitlements. It is a matter of privacy law not to be treated lightly.


Life altering events can be unexpected and often untimely. It is painful and unfortunate to deny a spouse seeking counseling and aid for an incapacitated employee who neglected to provide written permission for discussions of a personal nature. Of course, if the employee is deceased this does not apply provided that the spouse is the beneficiary of record. Even in such cases, it is unfortunate when spouses inquire about entitlements for the first time.


Spouses can easily remove any obstacles to confidential assistance by doing the following;

Obtain written permission from the employee so the benefits staff can release specific personal information.

Make an appointment via ben-serv@udel.edu or by calling the HR-Benefits Office at 302-831-2171 . Identify the topics to be discussed so your inquiry can be appropriately directed.