9.14.20 – Unemployment Benefits Information

Monday, September 14, 2020

Unemployment Benefits Information

APFA has a resource for Flight Attendants who are looking for more information about unemployment benefits. The APFA Unemployment Benefits Resource Page provides pertinent information on the unemployment benefits process; how it works, eligibility, CARES Act and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits, severance pay, and how different types of leaves may affect your eligibility. The page also includes state specific information with relevant links to each state’s unemployment website. We recently added Q&As to address the most asked questions. As you know, eligibility varies from state to state, and each state will determine your eligibility.

We are here to assist you from initial claim filing, weekly certifications, stalled claims, required interviews, denial of benefits appeals, and inaccurate monetary determinations.
Should you need assistance, please complete the Contact Us Form.

We want to ensure you are paid the funds to which you are entitled. To date, APFA has successfully recovered over $1 million in benefits for claimants throughout the system.

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: When I graduated from new hire training in 2017, I was based in PHL. I transferred to DFW in APR2020. I live in CA and have heard I should file unemployment benefits in multiple states. Is this true?
No. You can only file in one state. An Interstate Claim is when you reside in a state that is different from the state that you are claiming unemployment benefits. A Combined Wage Claim is when you have earnings in more than one state. All your wages will need to be “pushed” to the state that you choose to file your claim.

Q2: What determines the state I should file for unemployment benefits?
Unemployment may be filed in the state where you are based, or have been based, as that is where your payroll tax was paid. AA pays the payroll tax for unemployment. It has nothing to do with the state tax that you pay from your earnings due to your residency.

Q3: Without an extension to the CARES Act, I am subjected to an involuntary furlough. I will receive severance pay for two months. How soon should I apply for unemployment?
New claimants should apply for benefits as soon as possible but no earlier than 01OCT. Applying sooner could trigger being reported as full time and may delay benefits payments.

Q4: Does the severance pay in JCBA 10.C.13. reduce the weekly benefit amount (WBA) I can receive?
Each state has different laws regarding the impact of severance pay on weekly benefits. Visit Unemployment Resources and choose your base’s tab for state specific information.

Q5: I took the three-month MAY-JUL PVLOA and received benefits. I worked in AUG and SEP. Do I have to file a new claim if I am being furloughed or took an additional leave?
For most states if you have not certified (requested benefits) within a period of time the claim will go inactive. To reactivate the initial claim, you would follow your state’s guidelines. Since the initial claim is valid for 12 months from date of filing, the benefits are determined from the monetary determination received when you first filed.

Q6: I have received benefits since APR and held PVLOAs until being furloughed. How long can I continue receiving benefits?
Each states maximum weekly and annual benefits are different. If you have exhausted the state benefit, the PEUC (Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation/CARES Act provision) extends benefits an additional 13 weeks (ending 26DEC20) but no more than 39 weeks total. Depending on the respective federal and/or state unemployment rates, you may qualify for Extended Benefits (EB).

Q7: Will the 19 hours from the PVLOA count as base period wages for reapplying next year?
Possibly. Each state is different in the criteria that they use to qualify earnings. Many states’ required earnings reporting would qualify the paid leave time as base earnings for a future claim. Again, it is best to check with the applicable state for guidance.

Q8: If I am receiving pension payments from a previous employer (e.g. UsAir, AMR, etc) could I still apply for unemployment benefits?
Yes. For most states, pension payments, not contributed to by the base period employer, do not reduce the weekly benefit amount.

Q9:  Do I have a work search requirement while receiving unemployment benefits on the PVLOA/EVLOA/STLOA?
A claimant may be exempt from the work search requirement if there is a defined return to work date (within certain timelines) or if a claimant is in a reduced work situation. Each state administrates their respective work search requirements. As many states begin to fully re-open, the work search requirement is being reinstated. Check your state specific unemployment website for up to date information.

Q10: Will you still be able to assist with unemployment issues if I am furloughed?
Yes. APFA will be here to assist all involuntary furloughed, PVLOA, EVLOA, STLOA, VLOA, and VEOP participants.

Q11: I was awarded the VEOP lump sum option. Do I qualify for unemployment?Only the state can determine your eligibility when you meet their monetary eligibility (earned enough to qualify) and other administrative criteria. The Company will not contest the claim. If contacted by any state, the Company will only provide information about an employee’s status.

Q12: Will the Company contest my claim if I hold the VLOA for October?
No. The Company will not contest unemployment claims for Flight Attendants awarded a VLOA in October 2020.

If you have other questions after reviewing this hotline and the APFA Unemployment Resources webpage, use the Contact Us Form or submit an email to unemployment@apfa.org. If sending an email please include your base, employee number, filing state, and any supporting documentation to expedite the process.

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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