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.
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.
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.
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:
Stabilization Period A (January 1 to June 30)
Stabilization Period B (July 1 to December 31)
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)
Once your benefit amount is determined, it is divided between unemployment and underemployment benefits. Here’s how:
Using the example above, your benefit would be $4,500 (before taxes). Assuming you collected state unemployment compensation we would not withhold FICA and Medicare. If you are not on State unemployment we would withhold both FICA and Medicare.
The benefit may be reduced by the amount of premium reimbursement benefits paid to your local union’s health and welfare fund to maintain your welfare coverage unless you “refreshed” work 3,500 hours in a six (6) consecutive stabilization periods (3 years) following the welfare disbursement.
If you have received unemployment/underemployment benefits for two benefit periods, you are not eligible for either the third or fourth period of benefits unless you worked at least 10% of the applicable group hours in the previous stabilization period.
The group hours were 750 in the 2019 stabilization period B. Participant John Doe applied for his third unemployment/underemployment benefit in the 2020 stabilization period A. He is not eligible unless he had at least 75 reported hours in the 2019 stabilization period B.
If you’ve been unemployed and receiving state unemployment compensation for 60 consecutive days within the stabilization period, SASMI will pay you an advance on the unemployment benefit. You must show proof that you have been receiving state unemployment benefits for 60 days.
In order to receive advance unemployment benefits, you must file an application with SASMI.
The maximum benefit is equal to one-half of the maximum benefit (95 hours multiplied by the applicable wage rate).
If you are underemployed for a period of 60 days due to a medical condition (not including pregnancy) within the stabilization period, SASMI will pay you an advance on the unemployment benefit. You must show proof that you have been receiving medical care or out of work due to a medical reason for 60 days.
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.
SASMI will pay your local union health plan the difference between the minimum hours required to continue health insurance and the number of hours credited to you by the plan for the month. This benefit also applies to health plans that use a dollar bank to keep track of coverage eligibility.
SASMI will make payments for up to 18 months as long as you are not permanently disabled. Payments to your local union health plan can’t exceed the maximum amount payable as an unemployment/underemployment benefit — which is 190 hours times the applicable wage rate.
Benefits SASMI pays to your local union’s health fund are considered an advance of the unemployment and underemployment benefits and may reduce the amount of those benefits you are eligible for.
When SASMI pays the premium reimbursement benefit on your behalf, your SASMI record reflects an outstanding premium reimbursement benefit balance, which is recovered from the next unemployment and underemployment benefit(s) you are entitled to receive unless you “refresh”; work 3,500 hours in a six (6) consecutive stabilization periods (3 years) following the welfare disbursement.
Recovery of benefits will continue until all outstanding monies are recovered or the obligation for recovery has been forgiven. For details on recovery of benefits, see the Summary Plan Description for Active Members.
In order to receive benefits, your local Welfare Plan must file an application for reimbursement with SASMI.
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.
If you travel to another SASMI local union/area, the distance must be more than 100 miles.
If you travel to a non-SASMI local union/area, the distance must be at least 200 miles and outside your home local union (one-way, measured from your home).
Mileage is not paid for the return trip when travel is to a non-SASMI local union area.
SASMI will pay a flat benefit of $75 per day for seven days ($525) plus mileage at the IRS rate per mile. Mileage is assessed for your home to the job site. The maximum round-trip travel benefit is $1,125. However, return travel benefits are only paid when returning from a job in another SASMI local union/area.
Visit the member portal for the application form. Your local union may need to provide information or certification of eligibility.
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 Credit
5 – 9.5
10 – 14.5
15 – 19.5
20 – 24.5
25 – 29.5
30 or More
What’s my SASMI benefit?
Log in to the member portal to keep track of your SASMI activity.
“Without the help of SASMI, my family and I wouldn’t have been able to keep our health insurance when I wasn’t able to work. We needed the help; my wife was expecting our second child at the time. Thank you, SASMI!”
– Jake Smith
Hear what your fellow members have to say about SASMI.