ERP Benefits

Plan Description

Local No. 8, I.B.E.W.’s Employee Retention Program (ERP) provides a supplemental unemployment benefit to protect JIW and apprentices in the event of sustained unemployment. Credits are earned based upon hours worked per month, and are "spent" to receive benefits.

Each JIW and Inside Apprentice has an account to track credits, and eligibility for the program is based upon the members’ status on the Local 8 referral book.

Benefits are paid on a weekly basis at an amount equal to 18% of the base wage* at 40 hours per week. Once you run out of credits, you are ineligible to receive the benefit until you have obtained at least 1 credit.

*The "base wage" is the JIW rate, or the applicable percentage based on apprentice classification.

Eligibility/Ineligibility

The ERP compensates eligible members who work covered employment as an Inside Journeyman or Apprentice and who contribute to the plan. Class 26 employees, Residential and Teledata employees, Retirees, and Dependents are NOT eligible for ERP benefits.

Establishing Eligibility

Before a new member can qualify for ERP benefits, he/she must first establish eligibility by earning a minimum 12 credits. Members who were participants in the Health Plan on the effective date of the ERP (May 1, 2006) were grandfathered into the plan with the 12-credit minimum.

Once a member satisfies minimum service once, the member is never required to establish eligibility again, except in the case of a break in service.

Breaks in Service

If you don't accrue a new credit for 24 consecutive months, you are considered to have a break in service. Any and all credits are forfeit, and you have to reestablish initial eligibility.

The following exceptions are not considered breaks in service:

  • Service in any branch of the United States Armed Forces
  • Unemployment due to accident, disease, injury, or illness
  • Employment outside the geographic area by an employer subject to IBEW-NECA national reciprocity agreement

Upon retirement, all credits are forfeited and eligibility must also be reestablished, if a retiree returns to work.

If either of these cases apply, a member must reestablish eligibility by earning 12 credits before they may draw a benefit.

Eligibility

To be eligible for ERP benefits, you must be:

  • Involuntarily terminated for reasons other than cause, and
  • Not working in another jurisdiction, and
  • Be on the Local 8 available-to-work list at least one day during the week for which you are applying, and
  • Be receiving state unemployment benefits or show conclusive evidence of eligibility
  • Established initial eligibility and have a positive credit balance

If you have rolled the book, you are not eligible for ERP benefits unless you were working out of the Local 8 jurisdiction for an employer who is subject to reciprocity.

If you are not employed out of Local 8's jurisdiction when you roll, you are not eligible for ERP benefits, and will not be eligible until you accept a work referral and are laid off from that referral through no fault of your own.

To be eligible for benefits after having rolled the Local 8 book, but before you have accepted a new referral, you must meet the following 3 requirements:

  1. You were employed out of the jurisdiction when you rolled the Local 8 book
  2. You can provide proof (such as pay stubs) that you were employed by a qualifying employer in another geographic area out of the jurisdiction when you rolled, and
  3. You are currently on the Local 8 available-to-work book.

You are not eligible for ERP benefits if:

  • You were terminated for cause
  • You are currently working in the electrical industry outside of the jurisdiction
  • You are working for a non-signatory contractor
  • You have retired or received a termination-of-employment pension distribution (This does not apply to the Six (6) month termination distribution)
  • You are receiving disability benefits

ERP Credits

Credits are earned monthly based on hours worked that month:

  • More than 1 hour but less than 24 hours worked per month = 1 credit earned
  • More than 24 hours worked per month = 2 credits earned

Weeks of unemployment benefit are paid in exchange for credits, where one credit pays one week of benefit. Each member has an account to track credits accrued and spent.

Members can accrue a maximum of 52 credits in their account.

While in theory a member can also accrue credits by sending reciprocity payments while working outside of Local 8's jurisdiction, in practice the "health and welfare" dollars are divided in this manner:

  1. Paying for Health Insurance
  2. Satisfying the VEBA/SFBF
  3. Earning credits for the ERP

There are very few locals nationwide whose contribution is sufficient to cover past item #2.

However, if the member is receiving payment sufficient to satisfy #1 and #2, contributions above the amount needed for H&W and VEBA are converted to credits using a formula:

$ amount above H&W and VEBA contribution per hour

× # of reciprocity hours

÷ $1.20/hour ERP contribution

= Hours worked

For example:

$.20 over H&W and VEBA contribution per hour

× 160 reciprocity hours

÷ $1.20/hour ERP contribution

= 26 hours worked, equaling 2 credits for the month

ERP Basic Application Information

You must submit a completed ERP application for every week you think you may be eligible, as applications will not be held until you are eligible. You can collect for a week of benefit as long as you have worked no more than one day in a work week (Monday – Sunday). If you get laid off in the middle of a work week, you do not need to fill anything out to "get your benefit started".

Applications are accepted Wednesday thru Monday. No application will be accepted on Tuesday UNLESS the Funds office is closed on Monday. You will only be able to submit for the previous work week on that day. See below Calendar for example of date submission information.

Calls go to Book II – This is a suspended week of benefit with the exception: Only Apprentice and Travelers are Eligible

Member can turn in two applications on the same week, ONLY IF 1 application is for a waiting week. Suspended week cannot be used as a waiting week.

Applications must be received by Monday end of business day (5 pm) for previous work week. We will not retroactive payment for late applications.

Benefit payment is by direct deposit only. Deposits will show up in your banks on Friday for previous week of benefit. Example: For week ending September 10th, deposit for that week of benefit will be on Friday, September 15th.

You can mail, fax, submit on-line or walk in ERP Applications.

If submitting on-line, fill in your username and password at the left. After logging into your account, click on Supplemental Unemployment Application / ERP Application. Once you have filled out the on-line application click submit and you should receive a confirmation number. Please print your confirmation number as this will be your proof of submission if a problem arises. If you do not receive a confirmation number, then your application did not process. It is your responsibility to make sure your application is in the office by the required date regardless of computer or any other issue.

If you do not have a username and password, please contact the Benefits' Office at 419-666-4450.

The week ending date is on Sunday.

Please click here to download a copy of the ERP application to fill out and submit to the Funds’ Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

How much is the benefit?
The benefit is based on the JIW (or reduced percentage for apprentices) wage, assuming a 40-hour work week.
Are ERP benefits taxable?
ERP benefits are taxable income for which tax documents will be provided.
I didn’t receive a check for a week I think I should have. Why?
There are several potential answers to that question. First did you submit an application for that week?

Secondly, there may not have been a check run for that week. If the referral hall has gone through Book 1 and the Day Hall and still has open referrals, ERP payments and ERP eligibility accrual are suspended for that week.

Third, if you worked a short call that week, you may or may not be eligible for benefits. Benefits are based upon a Monday-Sunday work week. If you worked 2 or more days out of 7, you are not eligible.

Can I submit an application on my mobile device?

Submitting an ERP Application while using a mobile device is ONLY available when selecting the Desktop Site option at the Login screen.

Before entering your Username and Password select the Desktop Site located below the Login option (see screenshot). You will then be directed to log on from the Desktop Site. Once logged in the option to submit your ERP application online will be available.

ERP Eligibility/Ineligibility

I've rolled the book. Can I get ERP benefits?
It depends. If you rolled the book while you are employed in another jurisdiction by an employer subject to IBEW-NECA national reciprocity agreement, you can be eligible once you fulfill the following:

  1. You were employed out of the jurisdiction when you rolled the Local 8 book
  2. You can provide proof (such as paystubs) that you were employed by a qualifying employer in another geographic area out of the jurisdiction when you rolled, and
  3. You are currently on the Local 8 available-to-work book

Please keep in mind that if you falsify documents or attempt to collect ERP benefits while working in another jurisdiction, by signing the application or sending us an electronic copy, you agree that you are responsible for returning the money to the fund.

Can I get ERP benefits if I've scheduled a vacation?
If you schedule a vacation with the referral office, it will be handled for ERP purposes as though you were working, i.e. 1 day of vacation in a Mon-Sun week, you are eligible. If you have 2 or more days you are not eligible. Also, weeks of vacation are not counted as unemployment for eligibility accrual purposes.
I've been out of the industry for a while, but am back. Can I start getting ERP benefits immediately?
It depends on the reason for which you have been out. If you have retired, you must reestablish eligibility.

However, if for example, you have been called to service in the U.S. Military, you would not have to reestablish eligibility and could apply for the ERP as soon as you sign the book.

See "Breaks in Service" above for a complete list of what is and is not considered a break.

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