Saturday, October 17, 2020
This week, APFA hosted a group of Virtual Town Halls at APFA Headquarters. For those that were unable to attend virtually, video recordings of each session are now available at the bottom of the APFA Unemployment Resources page.
General Unemployment Information
APFA has prepared a video to cover general unemployment information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Will receiving pension benefits affect my unemployment?
Unemployment WBA (weekly benefit amount) will be lowered IF my pension is distributed from my base period employer. If you are LUS, you would have your PBGC (or other pre-merger pension, e.g., Eastern, Allegheny, Piedmont, etc.), which is NOT from your base period employer. If you are LAA, you would have your frozen pension from AMR. Post-merger, we are AAL, not AMR. AMR is NOT your base period employer. The various claim states are all the same that receiving a pension from somewhere other than your base period employer DOES NOT affect, disqualify, or reduce your WBA. You do have a reporting requirement to the state that you are receiving a pension. We advise that you inform the state that the received pension is NOT FROM your base period employer. Please call them, email them, or upload this information to your portal. If you encounter issues, please reach out to us to assist you in resolving it.
Q2: What does “certify” mean, and how often should I complete this?
The process of certifying means “raising your hand” on a weekly (or bi-weekly depending on your claim state) basis and essentially telling the state you would like to receive benefits. This can either be accomplished through the individual state portals or by utilizing a phone number to record your responses. Pay attention to the day of the week you should complete the certification process. If you fail to certify, each state has its respective process to capture any missing certification week(s). Always certify, even if you are not receiving actual benefits. This could be due to lengthy processing times, through an appeals process, etc. Once your delay has been resolved, you will receive retroactive benefits for certified weeks.
Q3: When should I apply for unemployment?
The average processing time for initial claims may be 4-8 weeks. This means you will not receive eligible benefits for 4-8 weeks. The sooner you file your claim, the quicker you will be processed. Furloughed Flight Attendants who wait to file the initial claim after the furlough pay period may be looking at up to 8 weeks before receiving benefits. This is the best-case scenario, assuming there have been zero issues with the initial claim filing. We want to ensure the least amount of financial disruption during this stressful time. Do not forget to certify throughout this processing time.
Q4: What if I was based in more than one state during the base period?
As a claimant, it is your option to select which state in which you would like to file for unemployment benefits. We suggest you research each state’s respective benefits programs weekly benefit amount (WBA), annual benefit weeks, how severance pay is looked at, and the best option that fits your circumstances. When you have chosen the filing state, the alternate state(s) will push the wages earned to the filing state. When you receive the monetary determination, please ensure wages from all states were captured correctly.
Q5: What if I have been denied unemployment or my benefits have been suspended?
Please reach out to us! We will ask you to submit copies of all correspondence (what you have submitted to the state and what they have sent you). State correspondence has strict timelines that need to be followed if you dispute the determination(s). If you do not respond, you agree to the state’s determination. We are here to assist you through this process. Reach out sooner rather than later so that we may best help you.
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