Manage Life Changes

Life Changes

Personal events may require you to make changes in your benefits, career path and employment status. Columbia University offers a wide variety of resources and services to manage changes in your life that impact your job, as well as options to change your benefits selections outside of the Benefits Open Enrollment period.

Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance: Cases of Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims have become widespread across the country. New York State has recently issued a fraud alert to protect you from scammers. Learn More

Types of Change

New Hire Orientation & Resources

Register for an Orientation session on your campus, find I-9 and other hiring forms and instructions and see a checklist of what to do as you start your new job at Columbia.

Getting Started as a Student Casual Employee

Find step-by-step introductions to complete paperwork and become acquainted with working at Columbia.

New Postdocs

Get guidance and other instructions to help you transition to the Columbia community.

Housing & Relocation 

Columbia's referral services help you relocate or find housing around New York City.

Childcare & Schooling

Columbia can assist you in locating schools and childcare providers. Columbia also offers several tuition programs for you and your dependents.


Making Changes to Your Benefits for a Qualified Life Status Change

Getting married, becoming a parent, caring for a sick loved-one? These and other life events may affect your employee benefits, so it's important to know when and how to take action.

Benefits While on Leave of Absence

You may continue your benefits on an approved leave of absence for under six months at the regular rate for most employees. Different rates apply for extended leaves of absence and long-term disability leaves.


Pregnancy-Related Leave

Having a baby is a life-changing event. Columbia provides maternity and family-related leave and benefits. This is covered under Leaves of Absence.

Adoption Assistance Program

Columbia University offers help with the costs incurred by adoptive parents. Full-time, regular Officers and full-time, regular Non-Union Support Staff are eligible.

The Employee Assistance Program also offers services and guidance on adoption.

Surrogacy Assistance Program

Columbia University offers help with the eligible expenses incurred when using a surrogate to assist in carrying and giving birth to a child. Full-time, regular Officers and full-time, regular Non-Union Support Staff are eligible for this program.


Related Policies

Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 

NY State Paid Family Leave Law

Columbia Parental Care Policy

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

EAP programs help you and your family cope with issues experienced in everyday life. Services include short-term confidential counseling, comprehensive wellness living programs and self-help tools to guide you toward success in the workplace and a fulfilling personal life.

Elder & Special Needs Care

In addition to the EAP, the Office of Work/Life provides resources for caring for elders and anyone with special needs, including workshops and links to government services.

Your Well-being

Have you decided to get fit, quit smoking, seek counseling or make other healthy lifestyle changes? Columbia offers a variety of well-being programs to inspire you to make smart choices, support your personal goals and help you stay motivated. 


Leaving Columbia

Steps, policies and resources for resigning from your position or otherwise separating from the University.

Retiring from Columbia

For retired employees (or anyone nearing retirement); see Retiree Benefits.

Cobra Medical or Dental Benefits 

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows you to continue coverage in Columbia-sponsored plans if you, or one of your covered dependents, lose health coverage.