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Over the past year, APFA’s Unemployment Specialists have maintained unemployment information for each base. The information is a one-stop resource to find information on filing for benefits, eligibility, Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Benefits, severance pay, and how different types of leaves affect your eligibility.

Effective July 01, 2021, as our Unemployment Specialists transition to previous roles within APFA, the unemployment email has closed. Unemployment information will remain here on the website for Flight Attendants that need help with Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.

Unemployment benefits vary from state to state. Ultimately each state will decide upon your eligibility. Below is general explanation about how unemployment works, eligibility, Q&A section, and additional unemployment information. This is for informational purposes only.

For information specific to your state, click on the tab for your base in the section below the general information.

Please be aware that there is a maximum allowable weeks claimed per state.

General Unemployment Information


General Unemployment Information

How It Works
Updated 9.08.20 (Updates notated in ORANGE)

Understanding Unemployment
In general, unemployment is a joint federal-state program that is administrated on a state level. It is a program that allows for temporary financial relief for workers that have lost their job either permanently or temporarily (for a variety of reasons) or who suffer a reduction in available work. Each state administers its program independently and eligibility will vary based on your state.

When an employee files a claim, they provide the required information, and then there is a waiting period. The waiting period varies by state but is typically between one week or two weeks. During this waiting period, the state researches the claim, calculates eligibility, and determines maximum weekly benefits (based off gross earnings which may be found in ePays/Paperless Pays). The waiting period also allows the option for the employer (American Airlines) to dispute the claim as well as provide information the state has requested. Due to the current pandemic, many states have waived the usual waiting period.

After the claim is submitted and reviewed, the path may diverge in one of two ways:
1. Claim approved
2. Claim denied, and a reason is provided

Approved Claims
If approved, you will claim weekly benefits (certify) for each week that you meet eligibility requirements. Certifying is the process of telling unemployment that you are requesting your weekly benefit for the eligible week. Electing not to certify is telling unemployment you are not requesting your weekly benefit because you are not eligible. You will need to certify during the waiting period, even though this time is unpaid. Once this certified waiting period has concluded, you will be paid for eligible, certified weeks. Due to the current pandemic, many states have waived the usual waiting period. The federal supplement of $600, per certified week, is automatic (additional information located under the CARES Act Tab). Additionally, the LWA (Lost Wages Assistance), in participating states is automatic and will be paid retroactively (additional information located under the LWA Tab).

Denied Claims
If denied, you have the option to appeal the denial. Each state has a defined appeals process that may be found on your base's tab in the State Unemployment Resources section below. Continue filing/certifying for weekly benefits for each eligible week while you are in the appeals process. If found eligible during the appeals process, you will receive any back weeks of benefits owed. Back pay is for WBA (weekly benefit amount) and any eligible supplemental benefits such as CARES Act and LWA eligible benefit(s).

How Long May I Claim?
States provide unemployment compensation for a limited number of weeks, and each state has a process for extensions once the initial claim has been exhausted. This extension may be triggered by state unemployment rates, federal expansions to the program, legislation, or an additional tier that the program provides.

State to File Your Claim
Unemployment is filed in the state where you are based and where your payroll tax was applied — not where you reside. You may have the option to file in the state where you live (if that is more convenient), but the rules and benefits for the state where you worked will be applied.

Interstate and Multistate Claims
(Interstate Claim) Each state may calculate your eligibility differently but on a broad basis, it looks at how much was earned in the state that you are filing against (eligibility) for a required period (usually a set number of past quarters). Each state’s website explains how they capture eligible quarters and how they use those numbers in calculating the maximum weekly benefit. Links to helpful infographics and resources for your state can be found in your base's tab in the State Unemployment Resources section below. Regardless of the state in which you are filing a claim, be aware that any paid/unpaid leaves that have been taken might dilute the other earning months. Additionally, if there were base transfers, you will need to look at all states in which you earned an income (Multistate Claims). You will have the option to select the state in which you file.

PVLOA, EVLOA, STLOA, VEOP, and Unemployment
The VXLOA (unpaid extended leave of absence) has now been converted to a PVLOA (paid voluntary leave of absence). All 3/6/9/12 month requests have been combined and processed as a PVLOA. You will receive 19 hours a month that will be divided between the regular 15th/30th cycles (approximately 4:30 hours a week/9:00 hours bi-monthly). Additionally, any VC/VX that falls within your awarded leave will be paid no later than February 15, 2021.

EVLOA (extended voluntary leave of absence) are processed for 12/18/24 months and may overlap or immediately commence after a PVLOA. Hours received, on a monthly basis, are dependent upon your OCC seniority as of 01OCT20.

STLOA (short-term leave of absence) have a hard start on 01OCT20 and conclude after either 6/8 months (depending on selection). Hours received during the leave are dependent upon your OCC seniority as of 01OCT20.

For those electing to participate in the MAY VEOP or the OCT VEOP (except Option C), you have two options. You may receive a lump sum payout or you may receive 38 hours monthly (one paycheck a month for MAY and twice a month for OCT VEOPs) for twelve months and will stay active for that time and be responsible for the typical active/subsidized medical rates. After those 12 months, you will be severed from the Company and transition to subsidized COBRA, which will be available for up to 18 months In total, you will receive 30 months of subsidized COBRA (OCT VEOP, Option C is 18months).

Claim Types
Supplemental Payments
Leaves of Absence


General Information

Need Help With Unemployment Insurance? Contact Your State Representatives

I am an American Airlines Flight Attendant and I am eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits. I have been unsuccessful in maintaining consistent benefits and have been unable to contact someone in our state unemployment office. As my state representative, I am writing for your assistance to help find who I can contact to resolve my claim issues. Thank you so much.

(NOTE: Form will only work if you use an address in one of the 11 base states)

Added 1.28.21

If you apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits and are denied, your benefit is miscalculated, and/or suffer a benefit reduction, you should read and consider the following information very carefully.

Each state has its own rules and regulations governing unemployment compensation. These guidelines are generally applicable to most states.

None of these statements constitutes legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice.

Unemployment Compensation is a benefit available for people not working or have reduced hours through no fault of their own.

You must meet two general eligibility requirements to be eligible for unemployment compensation:
1. You must be financially eligible by having earned enough wages
2. The reason you are not working now must be through no fault of your own

You will receive a notice from the state in which you are filing as to whether you meet each of these requirements. This may be received even after receiving benefits.

If you are denied unemployment compensation, you may wish to consult an attorney immediately since the time limits in unemployment compensation cases are short. You may be eligible for free or low-cost legal services for your unemployment appeal. Please refer to the Legal Resources information on this website.

Read  all the information you are given or have someone read it to you. Make sure you read the front and back of every form. If you have any questions, ask someone at the Office of Employment Security for help and be sure to get the name of the person to whom you talk.

You have only a matter of days to appeal a decision on your eligibility for unemployment compensation that you get, so be sure to act quickly!

The appeal period runs from the date the decision was mailed, not from the date you receive the decision. If you are not sure you want to appeal you must decide within the designated timeframe or appeal anyway, to be safe. You can always withdraw your appeal -- you cannot appeal after the deadline is up.

Keep your reason for appeal very simple. You most likely will be limited by the reasons you list, and you cannot bring up issues you have not listed. Therefore, it is best to simply state that you "disagree with the decision."

If you get more than one decision, you must appeal each decision separately. If you are found eligible for unemployment compensation, your employer may appeal. However, American has committed to not contesting UI claims during the pandemic.

Common Issues
Things to Remember
LAA Pension

State Unemployment Resources

Updated 1.29.21 (Updates notated in GREEN)
Updated 9.08.20 (Updates notated in ORANGE)


Visit the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Website

Unemployment Benefits at a Glance:
— Maximum of $742 per week for up to 26 weeks
— Partial benefits for reduced work
— Severance pay may impact benefits; reporting required (VEOPs will not impact WBA due to signing a General Release)
Extensions may be available

BOS Resources
BOS Massachusetts Unemployment Advocacy Guide
CARES Act Flow Chart
How to File a New Unemployment Claim after 15MAR20
Online Claimant User Guide - Applying for Benefits
MASS FAQs (Added 1.29.21)
Appeals Information (Added 1.29.21)
MA Legal Aid (Added 1.29.21)

Massachusetts Only
In Massachusetts, employers must provide the employee a copy of Massachusetts Unemployment pamphlet as soon as practicable, but no more than 30 days, from the last day the employee performed compensable work.

Government Advocates
Senator Ed Markey - Contact
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2742

Senator Elizabeth Warren - Contact
309 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4543

1st District Richard Neal - Contact
2309 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5601 / Fax: (202) 225-8112

2nd District Jim McGovern - Contact
408 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6101 / Fax: (202) 225-5759

3rd District Lori Trahan - Contact
1616 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3411

4th District Joseph P. Kennedy III - Contact
304 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5931 / Fax: (202) 225-0182

5th District Katherine Clark - Contact
2448 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2836
Hours: To mitigate the spread of coronavirus, D.C. office staff will be working remotely. Please call if you need assistance.

6th District Seth Moulton - Contact
1127 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-8020 / Fax: (202) 225-5915

7th District Ayanna Pressley - Contact
1108 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5111 / Fax: (202) 225-9322

8th District Stephen F. Lynch - Contact
2109 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-8273 / Fax: (202) 225-3984

9th District Bill Keating - Contact
2351 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3111 / Fax: (202) 225-5658


State Unemployment Resources

Unemployment Virtual Town Hall

CLT / RDU - Oct 16, 2020

BOS / DCA - Oct 16, 2020

PHX - Oct 15, 2020

LAX / ORD / SFO / STL - Oct 15, 2020

DFW - Oct 15, 2020

PHL - Oct 14, 2020

LGA & MIA - Oct 14, 2020

Disclaimer: None of these statements constitutes legal advice. You should contact an attorney for legal advice.

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