Brothers and Sisters,

We will never stop fighting for you and your family. We’ve been working around the clock to help you weather this pandemic, and wanted to update you on the resources that are available:

  • More unemployment assistance. We’ve been lobbying hard for more unemployment assistance. Congress just authorized an additional $600 per week for 4 months, on top of your current benefits, and we’ll keep fighting for more.
  • Cash payment. We’re also pushing for added financial support, including the $1,200 individual payments passed in this afternoon’s stimulus bill. Read more about what Congress passed here. 
  • Faster benefits. We successfully urged Massachusetts to waive the one week waiting period for Unemployment, so you can get the assistance you deserve.
  • Expanded telehealth options. We added new telehealth options so you can avoid the doctor’s office and get the care you need right from home.
  • Paid leave. We worked with industry partners to ensure that if you’re feeling sick or need to take care of a sick family member, you won’t be penalized for missing work.
  • Waived suspensions. We’re waiving three-month suspensions for delinquent dues payments.
Stimulus Bill
As you may have seen, Congress just passed a stimulus bill that includes additional relief for those collecting unemployment. This is a good start, but it’s not enough. Rest assured, we won’t stop fighting until you and your family get the support you need.

For more information about how the stimulus package impacts you, we’ve compiled the below Q&A.

In solidarity,

Tom Kerr
Business Manager/Financial Secretary-Treasurer
Pipefitters Local 537

Stimulus Payments

Most workers would get $1,200. For every child age 16 or under, the payment would be an additional $500.
Just one for now. Future bills could order up additional payments, though.
It depends on your income. Single adults with Social Security numbers who are United States residents and have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less would get the full amount.
Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400. Someone filing as head of household would get the full payment if they earn $112,500 or less. Above those income figures, the payment decreases until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people earning $198,000.
In any given family and in most instances, everyone must have a valid Social Security number. You can find your adjusted gross income on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax return.
2019. If you haven’t prepared a tax return yet, you can use your 2018 return. If you haven’t filed that yet, you can use a 2019 Social Security statement showing your income.
The bill doesn’t appear to help people in that circumstance, but there’s many other provisions in the legislation. You may be able to file for unemployment or for one of the new loans for small business owners or sole proprietors.
No. If the Internal Revenue Service already has your bank account information, it would transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he expects most people to get their payments within three weeks.
According to the bill, you’d get a paper notice in the mail no later than a few weeks after your payment has been disbursed. That notice would contain information about where the payment ended up and in what form it was made. If you couldn’t locate the payment at that point, it would be time to contact the I.R.S. using the information on the notice.
It could. File a return immediately, at least for 2018, according to the I.R.S. website. If you’re worried about money that you owe that you cannot pay, the I.R.S. recommends consulting a tax professional who can help you request an alternative payment plan.

Unemployment Benefits

The new bill would help workers who are unemployed or cannot work due to COVID-19.
Benefits would be expanded in a bid to replace workers’ paychecks. Unemployment benefits often replace roughly 40 to 45 percent of a worker’s weekly pay. Under the plan, eligible workers would get an extra $600 per week on top of their state benefit to fill the gap.
States would have the option of providing the entire amount in one payment, or sending the extra portion separately. But it must all be done on the same weekly basis.
Yes. If you are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because your employer closed down, you would be covered under the bill.
If you’ve been diagnosed, are experiencing symptoms or are seeking a diagnosis — and you’re unemployed or cannot work as a result — you would be covered. The same goes if you must care for a member of your family or household who has received a diagnosis.
If you rely on a school, day care, or another facility to care for a child, elderly parent, or another household member so that you can work — and that facility has been shut down because of COVID-19 — you would be eligible.
Workers who are able to work from home, and those receiving paid sick leave or paid family leave would not be covered. New entrants to the work force who cannot find jobs would also be ineligible.
The extra $600 payment would last for up to four months, covering weeks of unemployment ending July 31.
Expanded coverage would be available to workers who were newly eligible for unemployment benefits for weeks starting on Jan. 27, 2020 and through Dec. 31, 2020.
Yes. If you’ve exhausted your benefits, eligible workers could generally reapply. Everyone would get at least another 13 weeks, along with the extra $600 payment. Reach out to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance for details.
Maybe. The additional $600 benefit would count as income when determining eligibility for means-tested programs, except for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP.
Massachusetts has waived the one-week waiting period, but it’s unclear how long it would take to process claims — especially with state offices so strained by a flood of claims.