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Benefits / FAQs

Health & Welfare FAQ

How do I find an In-Network doctor or dentist?

While on the Benefits home page of the website, our Network Partners' logos are located at bottom of the page. Each logo on this page links you to that particular provider’s website. Each site has links to find doctors/dentists/specialists in our network, when applicable. To find an In-Network provider with one of our partners, links have been included here to assist you.

How do I add my spouse to my health insurance coverage?

Your “spouse” is your legal partner in marriage by a civil or religious ceremony performed in accordance with the laws of the state in which you reside.  For the purposes of the Plan, “spouse” includes a common law spouse only in the State of Kansas with administrative review and approval.

To add a spouse to your Health and Welfare coverage, you are required to complete an enrollment form with it's required documentation as outlined on page 2 of the enrollment form, beneficiary designation form, spousal verification form and HIPAA authorization. You may find all of these forms here.


How do I add my children to my health insurance coverage?

To add any child up to age 26, you need to complete an enrollment form, which you can find on on our website here, as well as provide the necessary documents as outlined on the second page of the enrollment form. 

My spouse has changed employment. Do I need to let you know?

If your spouse’s employment status changes (affecting group health coverage), a spousal coverage verification form needs to be completed and returned to our office as soon as possible to ensure continued coverage. You may find this form on our website here.

What are my preventive care benefits?

Your preventive care benefits, which are included in your Carpenters' Plan coverage at no cost to you, the member, are best detailed on government's health care website. Click here for a detail of these benefits.

I want to save money and order my prescriptions through Express Scripts Home Delivery. How do I do this?

There are two (2) ways to manage your medications easily with Express Scripts Home Delivery.

  1. Visit Express Scripts website to create a personal account if you do not already have one. Click here for step-by-step instructions for setting up your personal Express Scripts account. All dependents 18 and over will need to complete separate registration.

    After you have set up your account and logged in, the Home screen should include all of your active prescriptions, both at retail and Home Delivery. If you wish to view and fill prescriptions for your spouse and/or dependents, select household view while setting up your account (refer to the step-by-step instructions linked above for detail). If you have already set up your account, you may choose household view by updating your Express Scripts online profile. If you have dependents under the age of 18 on your account who are covered under your insurance plan, they should already be connected with your account. If they are not, please contact Express Scripts by phone at 800.939.2134.
  2. Call Express Scripts by phone Toll-Free: 800.939.2134. An Express Scripts representative will help you with all of your prescription drug orders.

What do I need to do if I become legally separated or divorced?

Upon legal separation or divorce, the Plan must be notified to remove a spouse from coverage. A copy of the legal separation court document or divorce papers is required. Your spouse (and any step-children) will be removed from coverage on the last day of the month in which your divorce or legal separation is finalized.  In order for your ex-spouse (and any step-children) to be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage, notification to the Plan must be done within 60 days of the date of divorce or legal separation.

If your spouse was appointed as your beneficiary, we encourage you to complete a new Beneficiary Designation Form and HIPAA Authorization Form. We have provided samples of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) which discuss division of pension benefits - Pre-Retirement QDRO, Post-Retirement QDRO and a QDRO checklist. It is also important to contact your Carpenters' Pension Office to find out if additional information is required.

See also Pension FAQ.

What do I need to do in the event of the death of a covered family member?

The Benefit Plans Office requires a certified copy of a death certificate in order to process the life insurance benefits.* Refer to the information below for death benefits related to each covered family member.

The certified death certificate is required for self-pay refunds (if applicable), possible vacation benefits, surviving dependent’s benefits, and for the Pension Department to process any benefits due under the Pension Plan. Contact Carpenters’ Retirement Services to find out if their office requires additional information. Please note: When multiple beneficiaries are not designated as either primary or secondary, all beneficiaries listed are considered primary by default.

The certified death certificate is also used by the Pension Department to process Pension information. If your deceased spouse was the beneficiary of your life insurance benefit, you will need to appoint a new beneficiary. You may do so by completing a new beneficiary designation form and HIPAA authorization form which may be found here. Also, please contact Carpenters’ Retirement Services to find out if their office requires additional information. 

Dependent Children
The Benefit Plans Office requires a certified copy of the dependent child's death certificate in order for the beneficiary to obtain the dependent’s life insurance benefit.* If your deceased child was the beneficiary of your life insurance benefit, you will need to appoint a new beneficiary.You may do so by completing a new beneficiary designation form and HIPAA authorization form which may be found here.

*For Life Insurance Benefits, refer to the current Health & Welfare Summary Plan Description.

How much life insurance do I have if I'm covered under the health plan?

Life insurance on the life of a member is $8,000.

Life insurance on an eligible dependent is $2,000. 
The Accidental Death and Dismemberment death benefit for members only is $8,000.

Policies are under the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), a commercial insurance company.

For additional Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismembership information, please refer to the Life Insurance and Safety Enhancement Benefits section of the Plan's Summary Plan Description here, or call the Member Service Department.

When will I become covered under the health plan? How will I know if I've earned coverage?

Members earn coverage based on the classification to which they belong. Typically, Outside Eligibility pertains to most carpenters and electricians under the Carpenters' Plan. Inside Eligibility refers to millwright coverage. There are exceptions to these general guidelines. New members will receive a new member packet from the Benefit Office as soon as they reach their minimum hours of work.

Initial Eligibility by Classification
Outside Eligibility: An employee initially becomes eligible for benefits on the first day of the month following the employee’s completion of at least 500 credit hours during the preceding six consecutive months.
Inside Eligibility: An employee initially becomes eligible for benefits in the Inside Eligibility class on the first day of the month following the employee’s completion of at least 250 credit hours during the preceding six consecutive months.
Special Participation Eligibility: An employee initially becomes eligible for benefits in the Special Participation Eligibility class on the first day of the month following the month in which the employer first makes a timely contribution on the employee’s behalf.

Eligibility Classifications
Outside Eligibility: Members employed in work covered by a collective bargaining agreement or participation agreement requiring contributions to this Plan for hours (not limited to 133 hours per month)
Inside Eligibility: Members employed in work covered by a collective bargaining agreement requiring contributions to this Plan for all hours of work up to a maximum of 133 hours per month
Special Participation Eligibility: Members of a special participation group

For additional information on Active Eligibility, please refer to the Active Eligibility section of this website.

What do I do if I run out of health coverage?

You have two options under the Plan if your coverage is terminating due to low or no hours worked.

  1. Minimum and Difference Payments
    If you have not earned enough credit hours in a contribution quarter to maintain active eligibility, you may elect to maintain continuous active eligibility by making self-payments directly to the Fund. These are referred to as “minimum/difference payments.” If you make timely payments for a particular benefit quarter, in the required amount, your eligibility will be extended through that benefit quarter.

    More information on Minimum Difference Payments can be found here.

  2. COBRA
    Under COBRA, you and your covered dependents have the right to elect to continue your coverage under the Plan in lieu of minimum/difference payments if you (or your covered dependents) would otherwise lose coverage because of a qualifying event (refer to the chart below). Each qualified beneficiary has the independent right to elect COBRA coverage. A qualified beneficiary means each person (you, your spouse and your dependents) covered by the Plan on the day before a qualifying event, and any child born to you or placed for adoption with you while you are covered by COBRA. You may elect (but you may not waive) COBRA continuation on behalf of your spouse, as long as your spouse is a qualified beneficiary. Parents may elect COBRA continuation coverage on behalf of their dependent children, as long as the dependent children are qualified beneficiaries.

    Continuation coverage under COBRA includes medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage that the qualified beneficiary would have been entitled to if the qualifying event had not occurred. It does not include weekly accident and sickness benefits, life insurance, or AD&D.

    More information on COBRA can be found here.

Am I responsible for pre-certifying any surgeries or medical services?

If you see an In-Network provider for your care, your network provider will handle any pre-certification required by the Plan. If you see an Out-of-Network provider for your care, you must ensure that the pre-certification has been obtained as required by the Plan by contacting Cigna at 800.244.6224 or

Why do I have to have an X-ray before I can have the CAT scan my doctor ordered?

CAT scan expose you to more radiation. X-Rays use less radiation and can often tell the doctor what he/she needs to know. In addition, overall cost to the member (coinsurance) and the Plan for X-ray services are less expensive than the cost for a CAT scan. If a member meets medical necessary for a CAT scan, the doctor can provide additional information to Coventry to explain why a CAT scan is needed instead of an X-ray.

Pension FAQ

What happens if I am divorced? Can my ex-spouse claim a portion of my pension?

The Retirement Equity Act of 1984 allows a participant’s pension to be viewed as marital property. Under this federal law, an Alternate Payee (former spouse) can be awarded a stated portion of the Participant’s Pension by a court order that meets the requirements of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). If you are divorced and your Pension is determined to be marital property, a QDRO can be issued by the court. A QDRO Checklist and sample QDROs are available from the Pension Office (at no charge) and are also available on the carpdc website.

QDRO Checklist and Samples.

What happens if I die without having a designated pension beneficiary?

If you are married for at least one year at the time of your death, your death benefit, if any, is payable to your spouse. If you’re married and die less than one year after the date of marriage, your death benefit is payable to your spouse unless you designated a different beneficiary after your marriage. If you are not married, then the beneficiary designation you made under this Plan (or, if there is no such designation, the most recent beneficiary designation in effect under the Carpenters’ Health and Welfare Trust Fund) will determine who gets your death benefit from the Pension Plan. If no beneficiary has been named at all, then the beneficiary shall be your surviving spouse, or if none, your living descendants (on a “per stirpes” basis), or if there are none, your estate.

A special rule applies if your most recently designated beneficiary at the time of your death is a former spouse, where the divorce occurred after the beneficiary designation was made. Your former spouse will not be treated as your designated beneficiary; your beneficiary will be determined as if your former spouse died before you did.

More information can be found online in the Pension Summary Plan Description.

How do I designate a pension beneficiary?

If you are married, your beneficiary is your spouse, unless you are married for less than one year at the time of your death and you designated a different beneficiary after your marriage.

If you are not married or have been married for less than one year, you will need to complete a Pension Beneficiary Designation/Change Form. There are two forms to select from based on your Pension status:

What is Normal Retirement Age and can I start receiving my pension benefits before that?

The Normal Retirement Date for active participants is the first of the month coinciding with or following your 62nd birthday. If you have earned at least 10 years of Credited Service, you are eligible to draw an Early Pension effective the first of the month coinciding with or following your 55th birthday. You may retire early by completing the necessary paperwork and submitting the required documentation. Your benefits may be reduced since they start before your Normal Retirement Date. The reduction, if any, depends on your age, the amount of Credited Service you have and your active status at retirement.

Am I required to stop working if I start my pension?

Not necessarily. Effective July 1, 2013, when you start an Early Retirement Benefit, you need to stop working in order to receive full benefit immediately if you earned pension credit after this date. This rule does not apply at all to the accrued benefit you earned through June 30, 2013. Therefore, if you plan to retire and continue working, you must declare your intentions at retirement. See below for details.

The Early Retirement Benefit you can receive without restriction (based on your accrued benefit through June 30, 2013) is referred to as your grandfathered early benefit. You can begin your grandfathered early benefit even if you continue to work.

The remainder of your Early Retirement Benefit is your non-grandfathered early benefit. In order to start your non-grandfathered early benefit, you must declare that you are retiring with no present intention to return to Covered Employment before age 62. If you continue working in Covered Employment after commencement of your grandfathered early benefit, your non-grandfathered early benefit will be deferred and you will receive a payment of interest for the period that it is delayed.

It is important to note that if you stop working and begin receiving full payment for all Early Retirement Benefits, benefits earned after July 1, 2013 up to your Early Retirement Date would subsequently be suspended if you later return to work in Covered Employment prior to age 62.

When should I request a pension benefit estimate?

You should contact the Pension Office two (2) to three (3) months prior to your desired retirement date.

How do I apply for my pension benefits?

Contact the Pension Office for an application packet or to make an appointment to apply: 314.644.4802 or Toll-Free at 877.232.3863, press 2 for assistance.

When are pension benefits issued?

Pension benefits are issued by direct deposit on the first business day of each month.

Once I begin receiving my pension, will I receive a tax statement?

Pension 1099Rs are mailed  no later than January 31st each year to all participants who received a pension benefit during the prior calendar year.

Vacation FAQ

When do I redeem my Vacation benefits?

Electronic Vacation Benefit statements are usually available during the last week in May for participants who earned Vacation benefits in the prior Plan Year. The Plan Year runs May 1 - April 30.

For example, participants who earned Vacation benefits in the 2021 Plan Year (May 1, 2021 - April 30, 2021), redemption begins May 21, 2021 at 12:01 am on the carpdc website. Payment of benefits will begin June 1. Vacation Benefits may be authorized on our website for redemption once the Vacation Benefit Redemption period begins.

How do I redeem my Vacation benefits?

Online Vacation Benefit Redemption requires you to have a account. Accounts are available to participants only. Refer to the FAQ on for directions on setting up your personal account.

To authorize your Vacation benefits once Vacation Benefit Redemption has begun, simply click on one of the Vacation Redemption links on carpdc. You will be prompted to log in before you are able to redeem your benefits. You may either log in first by selecting the Log In/Log Out icon on the right of the carpdc home page, or click on a Vacation Redemption  link and carpdc will prompt you to log in.

Vacation Redemption links may be found in several locations on carpdc:
  1. On the home page beneath the website tutorials,
  2. By selecting Members → Benefits → Vacation Plan → Vacation Redemption, or
  3. By selecting the Log In/Log Out icon on the right of the carpdc home page to open the right menu. There is a Quick Links option in this menu. Select Edit Your Quick Links and another screen will open. Select Vacation Redemption to be added your your Quick Links menu. Now, re-open the right menu. Vacation Redemption will be a static option under Quick  Links after you log in.
Once you have set up your personal account and have authorized your Vacation benefits, your Vacation Benefits will be paid electronically to a checking or savings account you designate. A paper check is available if that option is preferred. 

If you do not have access to a personal computer, smart phone, tablet or similar electronic device that allows Internet connection, there are two other options for processing available:
  • There are often computers available for use at public libraries.
  • Manual Benefit processing is available by calling our Benefit Office. Manual Benefit processing allows a Benefits’ Office staff member to authorize your Vacation benefits on your behalf and is available only on a case-by-case basis. 
For questions regarding the Vacation Benefit Redemption process, setting up a personal email account or personal account, or for help authorizing your Vacation Redemption online, please call Member Services at 314.644.4802, option 1.

After I authorize my Vacation Benefits, how long before I receive my payment?

Initial payment begins every year on June 1, after authorization of benefits.

After June 1, direct deposits will be made within 3-5 days from the date Vacation Benefits are authorized. If a paper check option is selected, checks will be mailed within 3-5 days from the date of the redemption. Participants must allow 10 business days from the date of issue before a check may be traced if not received.

After the second week in June, payments will be processed weekly on Mondays.

General Benefits FAQ

How do I set up a website account?

  • Go to our website homepage:
  • Locate and select the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner of the website.
  • A menu should appear. Select Register
  • Follow the prompts for Steps 1 - 4 
  • Once you complete Steps 1 - 4, you will be sent an email from our website to verify your email address
  • If you don’t receive an email from our website to your email Inbox, check your Spam or Junk email folder. If you still cannot locate a copy of your confirmation email, please contact Member Services for website assistance as they can retrieve a copy of the email for you. Member Services can be reached by email,, or by phone at 314.644.4802.
  • Once you have your verification email, click on the link within the email to verify your email address
  • After you have verified your email address, you have an active account. 
Please note: Once a new user account is created, it will take up to 24 hours for the new account to load the user's demographic data. Once it is loaded, upon the user's next login, the user will be prompted to verify their address. After initial verification, the user will not be prompted to verify their address for another year.

How do I reset my account password?

Should you forget or need to change your personal password, simply click on the three (3) horizontal bars in the top right corner of the Home screen.

This screen will appear:

Select Forgot username/password?, then select I forgot my password as in the screen below:

Follow the simple two-step process to update your password. 

Should you have any problems with resetting your password, or if you do not receive an email with a new password link after going through the process as defined here, please contact Member Services at 314.644.4802, or Toll-Free 877.232.3863, or by email at

How do I notify the Benefit Office of an address, phone number or email change?

It is important to keep your information updated with the Carpenters’ Benefit Plans Office. This affects any communication sent to you from the Benefit Plans Office, the Carpenters Regional Council, your Local, and the Apprenticeship School.

There are four ways to change your address:

  1. Complete an Address Change Notification form and mail it to Carpenters' Benefit Plans, Attn: OPS, 1419 Hampton Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63139.
  2. Email your change of address from the email associated with your personal account to If you email our office and do not have a personal account, you will be asked a series of security questions you must first answer correctly before an address change will be made on your behalf.
  3. Call Carpenters' Member Services at 314.644.4802 or Toll-Free at 877.232.3863. After providing proper identity verification, a Member Service Representative will make the change to our records while on the phone with you.
  4. Stop by the Benefit Plans Office in St. Louis or Kansas City and complete an Address Change form.


What is a Benefit Credit?

Benefit Credit is the credit a member receives when working in covered employment for an employer who has signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council (Regional Council).

A Benefit Credit is composed of up to three (3) benefit components: health and welfare credit, pension credit and vacation credit. The health and welfare and pension components are 100% employer contributions, while the vacation credit is payroll deducted and employee (member) paid. Each Benefit Credit is based on the hours the member works. For example, one Benefit Credit is earned for each hour worked, with possible exceptions for additional credit for overtime hours worked. Partial benefit credit may also be earned.

The health and welfare credit earned through an employer's purchase of a Benefit Credit is what determines a member's health and welfare eligibility, or coverage under the Health and Welfare Plan. Refer to Eligibility Actives for more information on earning initial eligibility and continuing eligibility. 

Pension credit earned through an employer's purchase of a Benefit Credit builds toward accruing a member's pension benefit. Pension credit may be earned in St. Louis (managed by the Carpenters' Pension Office in St. Louis) or Kansas City (managed by Wilson McShane in Kansas City), or transferred to Geneva (an option based only on the member's original Local affiliation at the time of the Southern Illinois/St. Louis merger), depending on the Member's Home Pension Fund. Please refer to Pension Who We Serve for Local affiliation with participating Pension Funds. There are some employers who do not participate in any Carpenters' Pension Fund. Members employed by these companies would not have pension benefit credit as a part of their Benefit Credit.

Vacation Benefit Credit is payroll deducted by hour during each pay period. Employers use the member's payroll deduction to purchase members' vacation credit. Each June, members are eligible to redeem their Vacation Benefits online on For every hour payroll deducted, the member will receive that amount in either direct deposit or check form once the member authorizes his/her Vacation Benefit Statement in late May. Online redemption requires members to have a personal account. Accounts are available to participants only. Refer to the FAQ above ↑ for directions on setting up a personal account.

Benefit Credits are purchased by signatory employers through the Carpenters' Estamp system. The Estamp system is an online benefit purchasing tool that allows employers to purchase member benefits weekly or monthly, based on their CBA with the Regional Council. Estamps may be purchased in any hourly increment, by hour or partial hour, depending on which version of the Estamp system the employer uses.

It is always important for members to verify the amount of Estamps purchased on their behalf match the amount of hours worked to ensure proper health and welfare, pension and vacation credit is received. Members can verify their Estamps under the Vacation Redemption menu option while logged into their personal accounts.  

Where can I go to take my drug test?

All St. Louis MRO locations and hours of operation can be found on here.

If you received a notice that you are due for a Random or Renewal drug screen but cannot make it to one of the locations on our website referenced in the above link, please contact St. Louis MRO at 636.461.1300, as soon as possible. St. Louis MRO will send you to a Quest Diagnostics or one of its affiliates near you for your convenience.

What are the steps I need to follow to be reinstated after a failed or "no show" drug test?

All non-negative and invalid test results will be referred to the Medical Review Officer (MRO). The MRO will contact the employee to discuss the non-negative or invalid test result. The MRO will then determine if the test result is positive or negative. Any employee receiving a negative test result will immediately return to work.

If an employee receives a confirmatory positive test result and confirmed not suitable to work by the MRO, said employee will be subject to the rules and regulations of the employer for which the employee is working. An employee who has been reported as inactive based on a positive test, a failure to report for testing, or a refusal to test, will not be eligible for employment as cited below.
  1. First Offense: The employee must complete a substance abuse evaluation and may be subject to a treatment and/or education program. An employee failing a test due to alcohol, drugs or misuse of prescription drugs cannot be employed by a signatory Employer until such time a substance abuse evaluation has occurred, the employee must produce a negative result. An employee can return to work once these two conditions are met; however, the employee must remain compliant with the treatment or education program in order to stay in the active pool.  
  2. Second Offense: An employee cannot be employed by a signatory Employer until such time him/her successfully complete a substance abuse treatment program and produce a negative test result.
  3. Third-Time Offenders: For a third time offense by a non-apprentice employee, the employee cannot be employed by a signatory Employer until the employee successfully completes a substance abuse treatment program as described below and produce a negative test result following a six (6) month suspension. Employer has the right to disallow eligibility of this employee from present and future employment. Substance abuse treatment program must be completed as follows:
    1. Member Assistance Program (MAP) Manager is notified of employees’ third time offense and six-month suspension.
    2. Employee contacts MAP or designee and is enrolled in the MAP long-term care management program, requiring monthly contact for six months or longer for monitoring and support.
    3. Based on the determination of the MAP counselor during the MAP long-term care program, possible additional treatment options may be required.
    4. In the event that an employee fails to comply with monthly follow-up or any other additional treatment options required by the MAP counselor or experiences another positive test, the employee will be terminated from the program. Should the employee thereafter wish to resume participation in the program, the employee will be required to serve a new six (6) month suspension computed from the date of re-entry into the program and comply with the other conditions set forth in this paragraph.
    5. Following successful follow-up and compliance, a reinstatement letter will be issued to employee to confirm retest eligibility. At this time, the employee is required to produce a negative test result. 
For a third time offense by an apprentice, the apprentice will be barred from present and future participation in the Joint Apprenticeship Training Program. This includes, but is not limited to, apprentices in the Carpenters, Floor Layers, Cabinetmakers, and the Associated Electrical Contractors Local 57 Apprenticeship Programs. 

For any occurrence greater than a third occurrence, there is an additional one (1) year suspension per violation in addition to sanctions listed above. 

The employee’s violation status will revert to first violation following thirty-six (36) consecutive months with a negative drug screen, providing the employee is continually participating in the program.

The full Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Policy can be found here.

Can I find my Safety Certifications online?

Yes. From the Home page, hover on Members. Scroll down for Training, then from Training over to Certifications. You will notice a lock icon next to Certifications. This means you will need to log in with your personal login and password to access this feature on carpdc.

If you do not have a account, you will need to set one up in order to view your certifications online. Visit the Benefit Office FAQ How do I set up a personal website account? for instructions on setting up a new account.

How do I find a list of current Safety Training courses?

From the Home page, hover on Members. Scroll down for Training, then from the Training menu, select Course Schedule Search. You may also click here. Search by Location to find what courses are being held at a location near you, or search by Course name to find a specific course at any location.

Searching for an MSHA Training Course? You can find those courses here, or from the Training menu as explained in the above paragraph.

Online Courses are also available from the Training menu, under Members → Training → Online Courses.

Who do I contact if I go to work in a different jurisdiction?

Before you go out of town to work (or as soon as possible after you begin working out of town), you must first:

  1. Contact our Benefit Transfer Specialists by phone at 314.644.4802, or Toll-Free at 877.232.3863, ext. 5562, or by email to
  2. Provide the following information:
    1. Member name
    2. Employer name
    3. Work location
    4. SSN or UBC ID
    5. Out-of-town Local number
    6. Daytime phone number
  3. Complete an Authorization to Transfer Benefits form
  4. Email (, mail (Carpenters' Benefit Office, Attn: Travelers, 1419 Hampton Ave, St. Louis, MO 63139) or fax the Authorization to our office at 314.951.0913

How do I sign up for Safety Training classes?

Members can visit the Training page on carpdc for Safety Training Course search. All locations that offer classes have instructions in the right of the screen on how to sign up for their courses.

Courses offered on location by Local:
Local 662, Freeburg: Members call the Benefit Office Safety Training Department at 314.644.4802, press 3.
Local 32, Wentzville: Member call Bill Blasingame and Melton Nettles per Local 32's website.