Benefit Guidelines

We’ve put together these guidelines to help you determine eligibility


You are eligible for benefit coverage if you are employed under the jurisdiction of the Union as a member of the bargaining unit or working member of the firm or of the Union and if sufficient contributions have been made in your name by participating employers.

Category 1 “Bargaining Unit” Employee

A Category 1 (bargaining unit) Employee works under a Collective Bargaining Agreement between an Employer and certain Local Unions of the I.B.E.W. (6, 100, 180, 234, 302, 332, 340, 551, 591, 595, 617 or 684). Employers who have a Collective Bargaining Agreement with any of these local unions of the I.B.E.W. will pay the hourly Contribution rate stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to the Trust for each hour of service an Employee performs. All hours, for the purpose of calculating Contributions, will be treated as straight-time hours.

All Employer Contributions paid to the Trust are credited (in dollars) to Your Reserve Dollar Bank Account. You may call the Trust Administrative Office or go to the Trust’s website at www.soundcommbenefits.com to view Your current and future eligibility.

To become eligible for health and welfare coverage and to maintain health and welfare coverage, You must have sufficient money in Your Reserve Dollar Bank Account in any qualifying month to meet the required charge for coverage in the corresponding coverage month.

Partial Self Payments

If You are a Category 1 (bargaining unit) Employee, You may maintain coverage by making timely self payments in an amount equal to the required monthly charge less the existing dollar credit in Your Reserve Dollar Bank Account. You must make the required self-payment by the 10th day of the month for which You are self-paying the premium. For example, a partial self-payment for April coverage must be made by April 10. You must meet the requirements of rule 1, 2, 3, or 4 (as outlined on page 4) to make a partial self payment.

To make a partial self-payment there must be no lapse in coverage and You must have had coverage in the month immediately preceding the month for which You want to make a partial self-payment. The prior month’s coverage must not have been provided through COBRA self-payment. If You do not make a partial self-payment to continue coverage, You will not be eligible to make future partial self-payments until Your Reserve Dollar Bank Account has enough money to pay for a month of coverage, except as set forth under the COBRA Continuation Coverage rules

To be eligible to make a partial self-payment or use Your Reserve Dollar Bank Account, You must meet one of the following:

  1. Working for a Contributing Employer in a bargaining unit position or in a non-bargaining unit position provided the Contributing Employer is a party to a Category 2 (Subscription) Agreement;
  2. Available for immediate dispatch to a Contributing Employer by being registered on the appropriate local union’s out-of-work list;
  3. Working for a Contributing Employer that contributes to another welfare benefit plan that is a party to a reciprocity agreement with the Trust; or
  4. Eligible to receive, currently receiving or have received an I.B.E.W. pension, not working in the Electrical Industry, or disabled.

If You fail to qualify under one of the above paragraphs for twelve (12) consecutive months, at the end of the 12th month, Your Reserve Dollar Bank Account will be forfeited and the funds will be transferred to the general assets of the Trust.

Category 2 “Non-bargaining” Employee

An Employer required to contribute to the Trust for Category 1 (bargaining unit) Employees may execute a Category 2 (Subscription) Agreement that allows coverage for non-bargaining Employees.