Life & Work Events

Domestic Partnership FAQs

What is a Domestic Partnership?

A Domestic Partnership is defined as:

  • Two individuals of the same gender who live together in a long-term relationship of indefinite duration, and
  • Both partners have an exclusive mutual commitment in which they agree to be jointly responsible for each other's common welfare and share financial obligations, and
  • The partners are not related by blood to a degree of closeness which would prohibit legal marriage in the state in which they legally reside, and
  • The partners may not be married to any other person.

What benefits are my Domestic Partner and the child(ren) of my Domestic Partner eligible for?

Faculty

If you are a benefits-eligible faculty member, your partner and the child(ren) of your partner may be added to your medical and dental insurance. If you are eligible for the Faculty Spouse Tuition Benefit, Laboratory School Tuition Remission, or the Faculty Child Scholarship, eligibility will extend to your Domestic Partner and/or the child(ren) of your Domestic Partner. Housing, gymnasium, and library privileges will also be extended.

Staff

If you are a benefits-eligible staff member, your partner and the child(ren) of your partner may be added to your medical and dental insurance. If you are eligible for Laboratory School or Staff Children at the College Tuition Programs, eligibility will extend to the child(ren) of your Domestic Partner. Domestic Partners and their child(ren) will also be entitled to housing, gymnasium, and library privileges.

Faculty and staff may add Domestic Partners and their child(ren) to their coverage under the Maroon Plan, the University of Chicago Health Plan, Humana Premier HMO, HMO Illinois, the MetLife Dental Plans (Copay and PPO). Domestic Partners are also covered under the University’s Personal Accident Insurance Plan.

Student

If you are a student, your partner and your partner's child(ren) may be added to your student medical plan. Housing, gymnasium, and library privileges will also be extended.

How and when may I enroll my Domestic Partner?

If you wish to enroll your same-sex Domestic Partner and/or Domestic Partner’s eligible child(ren), submit a Statement of Domestic Partnership form to the Benefits Office.

You and your partner will be asked to sign the Statement of Domestic Partnership, which certifies that your partnership meets the University's requirements. If you wish to enroll your Domestic Partner and/or your partner's child(ren) for benefits at the time of certifying your partnership, you will also need to complete new benefit enrollment forms adding your partner and/or your partner's child(ren) to your insurance plans.

In order to obtain gym, library, or housing privileges, you will need to present your approved Statement of Domestic Partnership at the appropriate office.

  • To apply for gymnasium privileges for your Domestic Partner, go to Henry Crown Field Office, Room 105, 5550 S. University.
  • To apply for library privileges for your Domestic Partner, go with your Domestic Partner to the Privilege Office located on the first floor of Regenstein Library.
  • To obtain housing privileges, Faculty, staff and graduate students should contact Residential Services.

Will I need to provide proof of my partnership?

Your signature warrants that you meet the requirements noted in the Statement of Domestic Partnership and that the information provided is true and correct. If questions arise at any time, the University may ask for documentation that your partnership meets University criteria.

A certificate of marriage or a certificate of civil union from the State of Illinois or any other State are valid and sufficient documentation.  If either documentation is presented, a domestic partnership form does not need to be completed.

What is the enrollment deadline for medical and dental insurance?

When you register a new Domestic Partner with the Benefits Office at any time during the year, you have 31 days from the date of approval by the Benefits Office to enroll your Domestic Partner and/or the child(ren) of your partner in your medical/ dental plan.

Students who wish to enroll a new Domestic Partner and/or their child(ren) for coverage under the Student Medical Insurance Plan must do so before the end of the third week of the Fall academic quarter and the end of the second week of the other academic quarters.

What happens if my partner and I terminate our relationship, or my relationship no longer meets the criteria of a Domestic Partnership?

You must notify the Benefits Office within 31 days of the termination of the relationship. Your ex-domestic partner will no longer be eligible for gymnasium, library, and housing privileges, and you must remove your ex-domestic partner and his or her child(ren) from all University benefit plans. These rules also apply to the termination of a marriage through divorce or legal separation.

The University will extend the same health insurance coverage to ex-domestic partners and their children that it does to ex-spouses and their children under COBRA. Specifically, ex-domestic partners and their children will be eligible to continue health benefits for up to 36 months after filing a Statement of Termination of Domestic Partnership by paying the full cost of the coverage.

What impact does registration of a domestic partner have on my taxes?

The contributions the University makes toward health coverage for the Domestic Partners of faculty and staff will be considered by the Internal Revenue Service in many cases as taxable income to the faculty and staff members who cover a Domestic Partner.

Children of domestic partners may qualify as dependents. Please consult a tax advisor before enrolling your Domestic Partner and/or your partner's child(ren). Additionally, please refer to the University memo on Tax Information on Health Benefits for Domestic Partners and the form entitled Tax Certification for Dependency.

Whom should I contact for additional information?

For administrative questions about how to enroll a partner and/or a partner's child(ren) or to request an enrollment package for a Domestic Partner and/or a partner's child(ren), contact the Benefits Office.