Membership

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MEMBERSHIP?
Members, Associate Members, Retirees and their Spouses of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, employed by or retired from the U.S. Postal Service.   Now available to our new brothers and sister Postal Support Employee (PSE)

HOW DO I JOIN THE ACCIDENT BENEFIT ASSOCIATION?
You can contact your Local President or Local ABA Secretary, or the Accident Benefit Association office for an application. (Some exceptions may apply.) If you belong to a 100% ABA local, you are automatically covered under the Accident Benefit Association. New members will receive a membership package from our office. (A 100% ABA Local refers to any APWU local joining the ABA Group Rate Discount Program).

WHEN IS A NEW MEMBER OFFICIALLY COVERED BY THE ACCIDENT BENEFIT ASSOCIATION?
For members in 100% ABA Locals, coverage officially begins on the date the 1187 is signed by the Local or State President or designee. For new Cash Pay members, the effective date will be the day the ABA dues are received in the ABA office. If you are an APWU member of a 100% ABA Local, the assessment is included in your Union dues.

IF MY SPOUSE IS NOT EMPLOYED IN THE POSTAL SERVICE, ARE THEY ELIGIBLE FOR MEMBERSHIP?
Yes, you may enroll your spouse as an ABA member under the Value Plan or Advantage Plan.

HOW DO I SIGN UP MY SPOUSE?
Complete a Spouse Enrollment Form which may be found in your membership package, on the web page, or by calling the ABA home office.

WHAT IS THE COST OF JOINING THE ACCIDENT BENEFIT ASSOCIATION?
If you are a member of an APWU Local that is not a 100% ABA Local, it is more convenient and economical to have the dues deducted from your paycheck. Assessments are $1.25 per pay period for the Value Plan or $3.50 per pay period for the Advantage Plan and are added to your union dues.

WILL I HAVE A "POLICY" IF I JOIN?
Yes. Each member is issued an Accident Benefit Association membership package which includes a Certificate of Membership and a copy of our Summary Plan Description.

CAN I DESIGNATE MY BENEFICIARIES?
Yes, you can name primary beneficiary(s) and secondary beneficiary(s) in the event your primary beneficiary(s) predecease you. We cannot assign benefits to a trust fund unless a trust is designated as a beneficiary.

CAN I CHANGE MY BENEFICIARY?
This right is reserved to the member and becomes effective when a written request to change beneficiary is recorded in the ABA office.

CAN I RETAIN THIS PLAN WHEN I RETIRE?
Yes, by continuing to pay assessments to the Accident Benefit Association, plus any handling charge your Local may assess. Retirees are not required to pay the national per capita tax of the Union in order to retain their membership in the Accident Benefit Association. However, we hope you will continue your membership in the APWU. Retiree members are included in your Local's total membership.

CAN I BECOME AN ABA MEMBER AFTER I RETIRE?
Retirees are eligible to retain or become members.

CAN I RETAIN MY CERTIFICATE IF I'M PROMOTED TO A SUPERVISORY POSITION?
Yes, if you pay the APWU national per capita tax and ABA assessment.

CAN I RETAIN THIS CERTIFICATE IF I LEAVE THE POSTAL SERVICE OR CANCEL MEMBERSHIP IN THE APWU FOR REASONS OTHER THAN RETIREMENT?
No. You must be employed in the Postal Service, a member of the APWU or retired therefrom to retain membership in the Accident Benefit Association.

CAN MY SPOUSE RETAIN MEMBERSHIP EVEN IF I DO NOT?
A spouse cannot retain membership in the ABA unless you retain your membership in the APWU or continue your ABA membership when you retire. In the event of the death of a member in good standing, the spouse can choose to retain membership.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR ABA REPRESENTATIVES AND LOCAL PRESIDENTS
I. If your Local is 100% enrolled you should notify the ABA of any new members who have joined the APWU after initial 100% enrollment in the ABA. This can be accomplished by submitting a copy of completed form 1187 to our Membership Department.

II. Please insure that we are notified when one of your members changes their name or address. This will insure prompt payment of claims and allow us to maintain accurate computer records for reporting purposes.

General Information
1. The regular cost of VALUE PLAN ABA coverage is $2.75 per month or $1.25 per pay period.

2. The following reflects the authorized discount rates for Locals who enroll their entire membership in the Accident Benefit Association:

100% ABA Group Discount Rate for Locals with 3 or more members.

3. Hundreds of APWU Locals have taken advantage of this offer and are presently enrolled in our ABA Group Rate Discount Program.

HOW TO GET THE BALL ROLLING?
1. Adopt a motion at a regular Union meeting to enroll the entire membership of the Local and pay for the enrollment from your present dues structure. This would require a simple majority vote at the meeting.

2. All transactions are done through Dues Check Off (DCO). The assessments are sent directly to our office from National APWU, with the local receiving a separate ABA printout along with their per capita printout.

No member of a 100% ABA Local is required to fill out an application unless they wish to enroll their spouse, at the same low discount rate. We do it all here in the ABA office.

The ABA office will prepare a mailing to your entire Local membership. The member will receive a packet containing a Certificate of Membership and a copy of our Summary Plan Description.

For those members currently covered under dues withholding, the ABA will automatically adjust their dues to reflect the discount rate. Any cash-pay members who have paid in advance would receive a refund to reflect the locals new discount coverage for them.

If your local decides to provide group coverage for your members, a letter should be sent to the APWU National Secretary-Treasurer in Washington, with a copy to the ABA office. The letter should include the information that a motion was approved at a membership meeting regarding group coverage and should also include the pay period you wish to start the program.

We hope we have been able to answer your questions. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.