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 or have a verified disability.
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 will not reduce the amount of any SASMI supplemental unemployment and underemployment benefits you receive.
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 $1,800 if you need to travel for work because you are unemployed or threatened with unemployment in your home local union’s jurisdiction. Non-SASMI members and newly organized members immediately qualify when dispatched to a SASMI-contract area.
The amount you’ll receive depends on the number of days you work at the job you’ve traveled.
The benefit consists of a maximum of three payments:
$600 after the Local you’ve traveled to certifies that you’ve established yourself on the project.
$600 when the Local where the job you travel to certifies that you remained on the project for 2 weeks (14 calendar days) after getting established on the project.
$600 when the Local where the job you travel to certifies that you remained on the project for an additional two weeks (a total of 28 calendar days).
You need to be a member (verified by an IA number or dues receipt).
You need to be dispatched to a job call that was posted on the International Job Bank.
For intra-local travel, the travel needs to be outside the contract area where you would be listed on an out-of-work list.
You must be threatened with unemployment in your Home Local area.
If you travel for a job prior to an International Job Bank posting, SASMI will look back up to 30 days to confirm you qualify for the benefit.
First, visit your home local to be dispatched.
Visit the SMART Incentive Portal to complete the SASMI Travel Application form. Complete the entire Section A.
Don’t forget to electronically sign and date the application. The submitted form will automatically be sent to your Home Local.
Complete the SASMI Travel Benefit Direct Deposit Authorization Form via the portal and attach proof of account ownership (image, pdf, etc.).
Don’t forget to electronically sign and date the application. This form will only need to be completed one time when you initially travel, to allow SASMI to electronically deposit the Travel Benefit into your account.
The submitted form will automatically be sent to SASMI for review. Please note, that proof of account ownership must be provided (voided check, deposit slip). If you change your bank account information, you will need to complete the form again and provide us a new voided check or deposit slip.
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. Death Benefits now include up to 18 months of COBRA coverage for your surviving spouse.
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.