HQ Employees Getting Less Transit Benefits Than Region

Transit benefits increase sooner for Region 9 than DC employees.

Transit benefits increase sooner for Region 9 than DC employees.

As a federal employee in DC, it’s expensive to live here. In order to make the high costs more bearable, Congress and federal agencies provide a transit-subsidy benefit that pays for trips to and from work on public transit like Metro, Marc, and VRE trains.

Recently Congress, through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, raised the maximum amount of benefit you can receive (depending upon your commuting costs), from $130 to $255 per month. The legislation also provides for retroactive benefits back to the beginning of 2015. For example, if your transit costs were higher than $130 each month, you would be eligible to be paid the difference between the old transit benefit ($130) and what it actually cost you, up to $255, back to January, 2015.

Despite the ability to pay benefits back to January, 2015, EPA decided to pay headquarters employees the increased transit benefit starting only on February 1, 2016. Today we also learned that our own agency is paying its Region 9 employees in San Francisco the increased benefit starting January 1, 2016 even though it’s waiting until February 1 for headquarters employees.

Chapter 280 is actively working to do two things: (1) find out why Region 9 employees get an additional month of benefits over headquarters employees and (2) get EPA to pay back benefits as authorized by Congress.

Check back periodically here for updates.