Saturday, October 3, 2020
Unemployment Benefits Update
APFA has a resource for Flight Attendants seeking more information about unemployment benefits located here. You will find pertinent information on the unemployment benefits process: How it works, eligibility, CARES Act, 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’ve recently added Q&As to address the most frequently 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 $1.6 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: I will receive three months of severance pay. Will claiming these wages reduce the weekly benefit amount (WBA)?
Every 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.
Q2: I am based in PHL and applied for unemployment benefits in my residence state. My claim has been pending for 20 weeks. Could I file for benefits in PA and back date my claim?
Unemployment should 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 income tax that you pay from your earnings due to your residency. It is up to the individual state whether the claim can be back dated.
Q3: Will the Company contest my unemployment claim if I am receiving severance pay?
No. The Company will not contest unemployment claims for Flight Attendants receiving severance pay. The updated APFA communication may be found here.
Q4: The effective furlough date is 03OCT. When should I apply for unemployment benefits?
Due to the volume of claimants, we suggest new claimants file no sooner than 01OCT. Applying earlier could result in being reported as full time and stall the claim. Filing upon conclusion of severance pay could equate to 4-8 weeks before receiving the first eligible benefits payments.
Q5: Can I work part-time and receive unemployment benefits?
A claimant may qualify for partial unemployment benefits when they are able and available to accept suitable work and meet other state eligibility criteria. Income from a part time job may reduce the weekly benefit amount (WBA). State specific information may be found on the Unemployment Resources page on the APFA website.
Q6: I was based in PHL and DCA during the base period. The monetary determination lists wages used in determining my weekly benefit amount (WBA) and maximum annual benefit. It does not list wages earned in PA. What should I do?
Missing or incorrect wages on the monetary determination could impact the weekly benefit amount (WBA) and annual benefit maximum. Please follow state specific instructions (e.g., appeal, request for reconsideration, etc.) to ensure wages from states worked during the base period are combined to correctly determine eligible benefit amounts. We can assist you with this should you have additional questions.
Q7: I am receiving Maternity Disability from the Company. Without an extension to the payroll support program (PSP), I will be furloughed. How do I report these wages?
The Company provided Maternity Disability will end on the effective date of furlough. Maternity Disability is not qualifying earnings in the eyes of the state so there would be no wages from Maternity Disability to report to the state. Any earnings from AA prior to the Maternity Disability period that falls within the base quarters would be used to calculate eligible weekly benefit.
Q8: I am currently receiving benefits but received a letter from the state requesting more information. What do I do?
Should you receive such request, please submit this as soon as possible. You may use the Contact Us Form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the relevant documentation should you need assistance. These documents have a strict timeframe for submission to the state to avoid an interruption of benefits.
Q9: I received a notice from Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that I quit my job and I am in an overpayment. I was awarded the three-month PVLOA in MAY and extended AUG and SEP. I will be furloughed 03OCT. How can I receive missed benefits?
Please continue with your every other week certifications even while benefits have been suspended. We request you submit any documentation received from the state as soon as possible should you like assistance. The Company is working directly with TWC to seek resolution. The received communication will have a date in which to appeal. Please ensure you file an appeal for both the incorrect reporting status and overpayment in a timely manner to comply with state guidelines.
Q10: I was awarded the VEOP. Can I apply for unemployment benefits?
Yes, you may apply. Only the state can determine eligibility and other required administrative criteria (e.g. Qualifying earnings). The Company will not contest the claim. If contacted by any state, AA will provide accurate information about an employee’s status.
Q11: I’m ORD based and was awarded the 6-month STLOA. Should I enter the return date of 01APR21 on the initial application?
Many claimants who participated in the earlier leaves indicated a return to work date on initial filing who later extended. These claimants experienced stalled claims resulting in delayed benefit payments. A suggestion would be to leave the return to work date blank to prevent delayed benefits and having to contact Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) to alter the return date.
Q12: What address and contact information for the Company do I use to file my claim?
PO Box 182366
Columbus, OH 43218
AA Contact Phone Number: 800-447-2000
AA FED ID: 13-1502798
New York State Only:
You will need a Record of Employment Form #1A, 12.3 that is used for identification purposes when applying for unemployment insurance. The form can be obtained through the New York Department of Labor website. You will need the NY State Employer Registration number, which is 4370409. The Federal Employer Identification Number is 121592798.
Q13: If there is an extension to the Payroll Support Program (PSP), what happens if I have already filed and receiving unemployment benefits?
You would not request payment (certify) upon return to active status and the claim will go inactive.
Q14: The unemployment application asks the APFA Union hiring hall number. Could you explain how to answer this question?
APFA does not have a Union hiring hall number. Certain unions (e.g. IBEW/ International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) have a hiring hall that has the responsibility of furnishing job prospects directly to their members.
Q15: Should I file a regular unemployment claim (UI) or pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) claim?
You should file a regular unemployment (UI) claim. Wages earned from the Company are reported quarterly to the state. PUA is for individuals such as self-employed individuals whose wages are not reported to the state and normally would not qualify for unemployment benefits.
Q16: What happens after I file for unemployment benefits?
A claimant will receive an initial monetary determination stating whether the claimant earned sufficient wages to qualify for benefits. Base period wages used in the determination will be listed. The weekly benefit amount (WBA) and annual benefit maximum will be included in this determination. If there are any missing wages, pay close attention to the details in the monetary determination. Each state has a different process used to correct missing wages either through an appeal or request for reconsideration. There is a strict time period to notify the state.
Q17: Could you please explain what the base period is for unemployment?
Generally, the base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to claim filing. Wages from the base period are used to calculate the weekly benefit amount (WBA) and annual benefit maximum. State specific unemployment resources may be found here. Select your base tab for more information.
*Applying online directly through the state’s website is the fastest way to ensure the claim is accurately processed. For state specific unemployment information, visit the Unemployment Resources page on the APFA website and choose your base tab.
*After completion of the initial application, and 21 days have passed, if there are no changes in the state portal or you haven’t received a monetary determination, please use the Contact Us form, or submit an email to email@example.com.
*Pension payments should be disclosed on initial filing only. The payments are not from the base period employer and have no impact on the weekly benefit amount (WBA). We’ve experienced stalled claims for reporting payments to the state during the weekly/bi-monthly certification process. Pension payments should not impact the weekly benefit amount (WBA).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If sending an email, please include your base, employee number, filing state, and any supporting documentation to expedite the process.
Previous unemployment hotlines may be found here:
For issues with logging into your account please contact the Membership Department during regular business hours at (817) 540-0108 ext. 8153.
For important or time-sensitive issues regarding contract, scheduling, health, IOD, or other department-related questions please visit the department contact information page to contact the department you need. For immediate assistance please call APFA headquarters at (817) 540-0108
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