Video Display Terminals

VDT Program Overview

The VDT Program is an Occupational Vision Care Benefit that became effective September 1, 1992, in conjunction with the existing Welfare Fund/Union vision care benefits. Employees who meet VDT Program eligibility requirements are entitled to vision examinations, lenses and frames, where necessary, for VDT operation, biennially.

What is a VDT?

VDT stands for Video Display Terminal. Many City employees regularly spend twenty (20) hours or more per week using Video Display Terminals (VDTs) and as a result, may experience visual symptoms, such as eyestrain. Often, eyestrain can be reduced by simple changes to the work area. For example, screens and copy should be placed side-by-side, slightly below eye level, and screen brightness and contrast should be properly adjusted. In some cases, eyeglasses prescribed specifically for use at a VDT may also be helpful.

Who is eligible?

Only employees who are entitled to Welfare Fund/Union benefits and are covered by the Citywide contract, which includes Mayoralty, NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H), NYC Housing Authority or employees covered by the Management Benefits Fund (MBF), are eligible. Please note that the Department of Education (DOE), City University of New York (CUNY) and Unified Court System employees are not eligible for VDT benefits.

What is the standard benefit the program offers?

A VDT vision examination is available every twenty-four (24) months, when performed at the same time as a regular vision examination through your Welfare Fund/Union vision care benefit. An employee may obtain an additional pair of corrective lenses and frames for VDT work if the prescription differs from the employee’s standard glasses. Please note that the benefit is available to employees only and not to family members.

How to utilize the VDT Benefit

To use the benefit, you must obtain a vision care voucher “VDT Occupational Vision Care Program Benefit Authorization Form” from your Welfare Fund/Union (e.g., DC 37, MBF, OSA, etc.).

  • Complete Sections I and II on the form and present it to your agency unit supervisor/manager, who will complete Section IV certifying that you are eligible for the benefit.

  • Arrange for an appointment and take the voucher and the agency approved “VDT Occupational Vision Care Program Benefit Authorization Form” to a participating provider. (Contact your Welfare Fund/Union for a list of approved providers.)

  • Agencies will allow up to two hours of excused time to take the baseline examination and follow-up examinations. The provider will determine whether you have a need for special lenses.

  • Participating providers have agreed to accept the Program’s allowances for vision examinations, and necessary lenses and frames, as full payment.

Exception to the Standard Benefit

If an employee has already utilized the Welfare Fund/Union benefit and if it is not otherwise possible to postpone an examination until the regularly scheduled Welfare Fund/Union entitlement, an exception to the policy may be made only once, on an individual basis, to allow the employee to receive VDT benefits.  Please contact your Welfare Fund/Union for this exception, if needed. Your Welfare Fund/Union will contact the Office of Labor Relations’ Employee Benefits Program for approval of this request. After this exception, you can only utilize the VDT benefit in conjunction with your Welfare Fund/Union entitlement.

Who to contact

For VDT eligibility information and to obtain a VDT Benefit Authorization Form, please contact your Welfare Fund/Union or your Welfare Fund’s/Union’s Vision Administrator directly.  If you would like to receive information or have questions concerning the VDT Program, please contact the Office of Labor Relations’ Employee Benefits Program at (212) 306-7760. 

 Participating Welfare Funds

Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund 212-966-5353
DC 37 Health and Security Plan 212-815-1234
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237 Welfare Fund 212-924-7220
Management Benefits Fund (MBF) 888-906-0393 / 212-306-7290 (GVS)
Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA)

800-999-5431 / 212-686-1229 (DV)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 300, AFL-CIO, Employees’ Welfare Fund 718-383-8945 or 212-505-5050 Ext. 0
Social Services Employees Union, Local 371 212-777-9000 / 212-677-3900