8.11.20 – Unemployment Benefits Information

APFA Special Hotline

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Unemployment Benefits Information

APFA has a resource for Flight Attendants who are looking for more information about unemployment benefits. The APFA.org unemployment benefits resource page may be found here. You will find pertinent information on the unemployment benefits process: How it works, eligibility, CARES Act enhancements, and details on how different types of leaves may affect your eligibility. The page also includes state specific information broken down by crew base, with relevant links to each state’s unemployment website. As you know, eligibility varies from state to state, and each state will ultimately decide your eligibility. To date, APFA has successfully recovered over $549,000 in benefits for claimants throughout the system.

We are available to assist you with any questions that you may have with filing your initial claim, your weekly certifications, stalled claims, required interviews, denial of benefits appeals, inaccurate monetary determinations, etc.

We want to ensure you are paid the funds to which you are entitled. Should you need assistance, please complete the Contact Us Form or feel free to send an email, along with any supporting documentation, to unemployment@apfa.org.

Are you having trouble logging in to the website? Contact APFA Membership at 817-540-0108 ext. 8153 during regular business hours or follow the online instructions to register or reset your login.

 

Q1: I’m based in LGA (NY) but live in DFW (TX). In what state do I file for benefits?
Generally, a Flight Attendant should file for UI benefits in the state where they are based, not where s/he resides. Your UIC claim is based on the state payroll taxes that were applied.

Q2: I received a notification I did not earn enough wages to qualify in LAX (CA) during the base period. I was previously based in DFW (TX) for three years before taking the PVLOA.
You would need to file an interstate claim. This type of claim would capture wages from both TX and CA to determine monetary wages for the base period.

Q3: In the above question, in which state do I file?
You can only have a claim against one state. If you were based in both LAX and DFW during the base period, and wages from both states were used in determination, you would only file in CA or TX.

Q4: What is the base period?
The base period is the completed earning quarters of which the respective state looks back to determine monetary eligibility (I earned enough to qualify), weekly benefit (how much I am eligible for each week), and the total benefits for your claim (max amount I may claim in a year).

Q5: Are you working with the Company on my unemployment issue?
Yes, as the employer, American has an extreme advantage in communicating directly with the state. In most states, the Company has a direct contact where we attempt to resolve issues expeditiously. We can track trends quickly and have them addressed through the Company. We also assist you in addressing many issues parallel from the claimant position.

Q6: The state sent a letter saying I quit my job, and now I am in an overpayment. I do not know what to do.
The first thing you should do is send any supporting documentation to unemployment@apfa.org. Pay attention to the received notice and appeal rights. You have strict timelines and actions that must be followed to officially notice the state that you disagree with their decision and wish to appeal. Once you file an appeal, the state will place you on their docket. We suggest that you do not tackle an appeal hearing on your own. APFA has put together packets for most situations and will assist you through the process. Each state is different in how they handle appeals. To date, we have a 100% success rate with FAs who appealed.

Q7: Will the Company contest my unemployment insurance claim if I take the VEOP?
The Company will not actively contest unemployment claims. If contacted by any state, the Company will only provide factual information about an employee’s status.

Q8: Many of my friends who took the VEOP earlier this Spring are receiving UI benefits. Do I qualify, and which option is best for me?
While only the state may determine eligibility, we have not, to date, encountered issues with previous VEOP participants. Pay attention to the different VEOP options and which is best for you.

Q9: I was on maternity leave and then took baby bonding. I applied for UI benefits in 2019 but was denied. I am having trouble with filing a new claim. Can you assist? Your claim is good for twelve (12) months from the date of filing. If you previously applied for UI benefits, please contact us for assistance.

Q10: I’m a CLT based former US Airways Flight Attendant receiving pension payments from the PBGC. Why was my claim denied?
The PGBC payments are NOT from the base period employer and should not affect your North Carolina state weekly benefit. We are aware many of our members are still awaiting payments. The Company is working with AA Legal to contact a higher-level manager at the North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES).

Q11: I’m based in ORD, and took the 3-month PVLOA in May. When I completed the application, I stated my return to work date was 01AUG20. I took the AUG 1-month PVLOA and was not paid for my claim week ending 01AUG.
We are aware of this issue and plan to address this with the Company to forward to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Any affected Flight Attendants should send an email with supporting documentation to unemployment@apfa.org.

Q12: Am I subjected to the work search requirement to collect unemployment benefits?
Each state is different with the work search requirement. Generally speaking, a Flight Attendant on a PVLOA/EVLOA/STLOA has a defined start date/end date of the leave. Many states waive the work search requirement for these types of leaves. We are working with the Company to draft a letter to send to all states waiving this requirement.

Q13: I’m a high time (100 hours/month) flier and held the 70-hour VLOA for JUN and JUL. I viewed this as a reduction in hours, applied for UIC benefits, and was approved for TX unemployment benefits. The state mailed a letter I have been overpaid and wants to recoup the benefits that I received. Is this correct?
The Company will contest unemployment claims for Flight Attendants who are awarded the 70-hour VLOA and attempt to collect unemployment benefits. American deems this as full-time employment.

In Solidarity,

David Arnette
Unemployment Specialist

Kelly Hagan
Unemployment Specialist

unemployment@apfa.org

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077

 

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