Friday, May 1, 2020
APFA CLT Base Brief – PVLOA’s & Unemployment
With many of the Paid Voluntary Leaves of Absence (PVLOAs) beginning in the next week, we know the majority of Flight Attendants who elected this option will be filing for unemployment in the coming weeks. We wanted to share some of the information needed to file and provide some answers to the frequently asked questions.
If you are just getting started on the process, here are some getting started tips that can prepare you for the application process.
- Do I file in the State where I live or where I work?
Where you work. AA pays an unemployment tax to the state where you are based, not to the State where you live. If you are a recent transfer from another base, you want to file in the State where you were based for the majority of the year. Most States have rules that dictate how long you need to work in that State before qualifying for unemployment. For instance, if you spent the majority of the last year based in ORD, then you will want to file in Illinois.
- What documents should I gather before I get started?
You may or may not need some of these documents but having them on hand may make it easier. Your W2s with your social security number and the name and address of your employer. Your driver’s license (especially if you are not a resident of NC). Your bank account number and routing number to the account if you want direct deposit. You may need to provide the last 6 months of pay sheets including any retirement pay outs you receive.
- Where can I get help?
We have a Facebook page called AA CLT/RDU Flight Attendant Unemployment Support. This is a great page for sharing information and we have guides from the State you can download to walk you through the process. You can also call the unemployment department at 888-737-0259. Keep in mind, they have double the work as the COVID-19 pandemic has slammed the State with unemployment requests. Expect to be on hold for a while. You can call the local union office with general questions at 704-665-7474. We can e-mail out the packet for those not on Facebook. You can send direct questions to [email protected]. There is also an APFA Unemployment Benefits Resource Page.
- Where do I file the application?
North Carolina Department of Commerce
North Carolina Flight Attendant Unemployment Step-by-Step Guide
There are 4 basic sections to the application. Depending on whether you live in NC, you have a second income or are receiving retirement compensation, the application is pretty strait forward. We recommend you fill out the application completely as it pertains to your situation. Some of these sections may ask for more information or have subsets, be sure to fill out each section before proceeding. If the section self populates, that means your information is on file with the State and you can move quickly, if not, you will have to enter it manually.
- The first section is the general section where they will ask for your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Once you provide an e-mail address, they will send you a confirmation e-mail with a link. Once you set up an “account” you can fill in the information for employer name and information. If this section self populates, verify the information is correct off your pay stubs and W2s. If you have to fill in this section use the employer information on your W2s. If this section auto populates, you can move forward. NC has recently added a section where they ask you the reason for the separation, select “Coronavirus” as your reason. This will also ask if you want federal taxes withheld, if you say yes, this may open the same question for the State tax only if you live in a State that has State income tax.
- The next section will take you to the home page and will ask you questions about separation pay, disability payments or workers comp payments. Keep in mind you are not receiving a separation package with the PVLOAs. If you signed up for vacation buyback (Payed in June), you can declare this the week you receive payment. If you have applied for or scheduled to receive any other type of compensation payments, this is where you will add that information. It will ask for any pension payments, worker’s comp, disability etc.
- The 3rd section involves entering your routing numbers for your bank accounts for direct deposit. This section will also ask if you are going to look for work. When you answer yes, this will prompt you to a series of tabs with questions like, how many miles are you willing to drive for work (what you do now is always honest) and what hourly wage will you accept. The hourly wage you are earning now is the honest answer. Make sure you answer all the questions before moving on.
- The 4th section is basically setting up the weekly certifications. Each week you are out, you will need to fill this out. This is where you will put in the date you went on the leave, it will ask you for an end job date, that would be the date you started the leave. When doing the weekly’s, this is where you would add any extra pay you receive throughout your leave such as the vacation buyback. You will add that payout the week you get paid. If the company is paying 19 hours a month, you can fill out your weekly’s as 4.38 hours a week or declare it at the time you receive payment on the 30th and the 15th. So, you can put 9.5 every 2 weeks or 4.38 per week. Putting in the pay as you receive it is the actual way you will be paid. Unemployment in NC can run 12 to 20 weeks. Remember, your 19 hours doesn’t start until May. The Cares ACT (Federal) will add six hundred dollars a week through the end of July. You must complete the weekly certification tab each week or you will not receive payment.
- The last section is basically submitting the application. If it gives you an error message, go back and look for the yellow triangles indicating you have not completed something, or it needs more information based on your circumstances. If you click on the links below the yellow triangles, it will tell you what you need to provide. Once your application is submitted, American has 10 days to verify your information with the State. If you get a pending message, you can call the unemployment office or give it a few days to process. Pending may also mean they need more information to process the application. If you feel you have screwed this up or have to replace some of the information you provided, it is better to go back and correct your application or appeal a denial than to just start over and file a new one. This is also the same section where you can upload your drivers license and any other documents you may have omitted earlier on in the application.
Some of the other questions you may see as you go through the process are;
- Am I currently employed?
Yes, you are still active and on the payroll. You just have a major reduction in hours.
- Where can I get the letter from the Company and where do I put it?
Voluntary Leave Program Letter
Having the letter from the company explaining the reasons for the leave is not crucial to the form, but you will add this to the supporting documents section.
- How do I obtain employment verification?
Employment verification can be obtained by using “The Work Number”
www.theworknumber.com Company Code: 10101 User ID: (AA Employee #) or call 800-367-5690
Need help with employment verification? [email protected]
- The employer address could self-populate and say Ohio. Do I need to change this?
No. If it is self-populating, just verify the information and leave it alone. If asked to provide an address, put the one on your W2s. Some have PHX Sky Harbor, and some have DFW.
Filing for unemployment can be a confusing and stressful process, we hope this quick overview and frequently asked questions helps you in the process. When you do decide it’s time to sit down and do this, gather your documents and be as honest as you can when filling out the application. If you have questions, feel free to use the resources we have provided. APFA Charlotte wishes everyone the best of luck.
APFA CLT Base President