I’m Not Working Enough Hours

I’m Not Working Enough Hours

Helping you out if you’re not working enough hours is the core reason why SASMI exists — whether you are unemployed, underemployed or need to travel to find qualifying employment.

Unemployment Benefit

If you are out of work, or if you work less than the average number of hours in your local union and are receiving state unemployment compensation benefits, SASMI benefits can help by supplementing your pay.

This benefit is available if you are ready to work, are seeking suitable employment in the sheet metal industry, and are receiving, or are eligible to receive, state unemployment compensation.

Underemployment Benefit

If you are working fewer hours — less than the average number of hours in your local union — but you are not receiving state unemployment compensation benefits because you are ill, injured or temporarily disabled, SASMI benefits can help by supplementing your pay.

Want more information? Watch this brief video.

How Is the Unemployment/Underemployment Benefit Amount Calculated?

Each year, every SASMI local union is assigned to one of four groups based on the average hours worked by active employees in that local union in the prior year. The standard working hours for members of each group are shown in this table:

SASMI GroupStabilization Period A
(January 1 to June 30)
Stabilization Period B
(July 1 to December 31)
Group 1800 hours900 hours
Group 2750 hours850 hours
Group 3650 hours750 hours
Group 4600 hours700 hours

Once you know your group, you can estimate your benefit by subtracting the actual hours you worked from your group hours during that stabilization period. To find out what the group hours are for your local union, log in to the member portal

The maximum combined unemployment/underemployment benefits you can receive for a stabilization period is 190 times your average hourly wage rate (or the amount of your average earnings used in computing your state unemployment benefits — whichever is less).


Let’s say your average wage rate is $30 per hour and your home local union is classified in Group 3 (which means you are expected to work 650 hours from January 1 through June 30), making your expected earnings $19,500.

However, let’s say you end up working only 500 hours and earning only $15,000 ($30 multiplied by 500 hours).

$19,500 minus $4,500 = $15,000 (before taxes and any offsets)

Welfare Benefit

When a lack of hours threatens your health insurance coverage, SASMI will make payments to your local union health plan on your behalf to continue coverage for you and your family. Note that SASMI does not pay to establish eligibility.

Travel Benefits

If you are an active member in good standing and have been referred through the International Job Bank, you may be eligible for a travel benefit through SASMI. This benefit can pay you up to $1,125 if you need to travel for work because you are unemployed or threatened with unemployment in your home local union.

Depending on where the work is, you must agree to work a minimum number of days (if the work is available) in order to receive this benefit:

  • If the work is less than 1,000 miles away, you must agree to work at least 30 working days within 42 consecutive calendar days.
  • If the work is at least 1,000 miles away, you must agree to work at least 60 working days within 84 consecutive calendar days.

Death Benefits

If you have five years of future service credit with a minimum of one hour of paid contributions after January 1, 2010 and you were eligible when you die, your beneficiary may be eligible for a death benefit, as shown in the chart below.

Years of Future Service CreditBenefit Amount
5 – 9.5
10 – 14.5$10,000
15 – 19.5$20,000
20 – 24.5$30,000
25 – 29.5$40,000
30 or More$50,000