Thursday, January 7, 2021
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. As you know, eligibility varies from state to state, and each state will determine your eligibility.
Due to the sheer volume of appeal filings and fact-finding interviews, we have had to change how we assist the Membership. Unfortunately, APFA cannot provide direct representation for members in unemployment appeals. We want to share legal resources that may be useful to you as you represent yourself in your appeal or seek private representation. The Unemployment Resources page on the APFA website will be updated to include a general explanation of the appeals process, state-specific legal resources, and exhibits you may choose to use for your hearing. If you need any exhibits in the interim, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or utilize the Contact Us form.
1. How does American report earnings from the December 24, 2020 paycheck?
American will report the wages as regular earnings. The same is true for Flight Attendants who opt to rejoin an EVLOA and those placed back onto a PVLOA. This is different from severance pay and, in most states, will impact the weekly benefit amount (WBA).
2. In the Company FAQs, it states they will not contest unemployment. Does this mean I should continue to certify?
Many members have delayed filing for unemployment, and the Company wanted Flight Attendants to know that they are not exercising their employer’s right to contest employee claims.
3. Do I need to contact the state and inform them I no longer wish to receive benefits?
If you do not certify for a period, generally from 1-3 weeks, the claim will go into an inactive status. If you would like to reopen the claim later, you would need to follow state-specific instructions for reactivating the claim.
4. I certified for weeks in December and did not know I would be recalled. Am I now in an overpayment with the state?
Not necessarily. Typically, any overpayment of benefits is recouped with future certifications should you decide to continue to certify.
5. Are the wages reported to the state in the months they are earned or when they are paid?
Wages are reported to the state quarterly for the months in which they are paid.
6. We are back on payroll effective December 1, 2020. Do I need to certify wages for 70 hours or 35?
This is up to the claimant how s/he chooses to certify. The Company reports wages to the state quarterly for the months they are paid, not earned. This is the opposite of some state unemployment certification questions where a claimant reports wages in the weeks they are earned, not when they are paid.
Keep in mind that the December 24, 2020 paycheck for 35 hours is half of the retroactive December pay of 70hrs. The remaining 35 hours for December will be received on January 15, 2021.
7. I was awarded a tentative EVLOA before the furlough. If I opt to continue with the EVLOA, it will be effective December 1, 2020, and I have already been paid 35 hours for December. I’ll be in an overpayment with the Company. How does this affect unemployment?
You may sort this out with your claim state in future certifications.
8. I applied for unemployment benefits in October and still have not received any benefits. If I stop certifying, does this mean I will not be paid any retroactive benefits?
No. Once the issue stalling your claim is resolved, you will receive any eligible benefit payments from previous weeks certified yet unpaid.
9. I am not on the initial list of Flight Attendants to be recalled. Does this change how I certify since I am not working and being paid?
No. American will report these as regular wages and should be certified accordingly.
10. I received PEUC benefits after exhausting state benefits. How do I receive the supplemental benefits included in this legislation?
States are working with the Department of Labor to facilitate the requirements and software updates needed for additional supplemental benefits. Follow the state-specific instructions on how to receive continued benefits.
Previous Unemployment Hotlines
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
Visit the Contact Us page for general questions or media inquiries.