Am I Eligible For Unemployment
Thanks to some tweaks to unemployment law made by Covid-19 legislation, more people qualify for unemployment than before. You qualify if you:
- Have been laid off by your employer
- Have been furloughed by your employer
- Are self-employed and have lost work
- Are a gig worker like an Uber/Lyft driver, or an independent contractor, suddenly out of work
- Are unemployed and only seeking part-time work
- Cannot reach your place of work as a result of COVID-19
- Quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19
Your State Might Have Run Out Of Funds For The New Boost Or Hasnt Paid Them Out At All
Trumps executive boost to UI benefits isnt lasting as long as he thought it would. When the president first took action, he insisted that those extra payments would be made until December 6, or until FEMAs pot of money ran out but thats already begun.
Most states have only been able to make about six weeks of payments on that boosted amount, Evermore says. Seven states have already depleted those extra benefits, according to a Lost Wages Assistance program tracker, which includes Arizona, Montana, North Carolina and Texas. Meanwhile, 15 states additional payments are still pending. South Dakota never took advantage of the program at all.
If you were approved for extra benefits but still havent received those payments, you should eventually receive them backdated, Evermore says. But if youve still been waiting on your application to be approved by the time the pot of money runs out, youll most likely not be able to receive those extra payments.
If the money runs out, the money is out, Evermore says.
Your Claim Check Or Debit Card Was Lost Or Stolen
Mail can be misdelivered. And when someone receives misdelivered mail, they dont always do the right thing and track down its owner. Another problem is that many people have unsecured mailboxes that dont lock, and thieves sometimes go around stealing mail from them.
It can be hard to know if your unemployment payment may have been lost or stolen, especially if you cant get hold of someone at the unemployment department to verify when it was mailed. Going forward, consider using USPS Informed Delivery, a free service that you can sign up for at the U.S. Postal Services website. It can help you track the mail that youre supposed to receive each day and see if something that was mailed to you never arrived.;
It can take a long time to get a replacement payment from your unemployment department. It may need to investigate and cancel checks or debit cards before issuing new ones.
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Key Things To Know About The Unemployment Tax Break
In late May, the IRS started sending refunds to taxpayers who received jobless benefits in 2020 and paid taxes on that money before the provision in the American Rescue Plan waived taxes on up to $10,200 in unemployment insurance benefits for individuals earning less than $150,000 a year. With the latest batch of payments in July, the IRS has now issued more than 8.7 million unemployment compensation refunds totaling over $10 billion.;
The first batch of these supplemental refunds went to those with the least complicated returns , and batches are supposed to continue throughout the summer for more complicated returns. On July 13, the IRS said it sent out 4 million more payments via direct deposit and paper check, and another 1.5 million went out starting July 28.;
According to an igotmyrefund.com forum and another discussion on;, some taxpayers who filed as head of household or as married with dependents started receiving their IRS money in July or getting updates on their transcript with dates in August and September.;
Here’s a quick recap of what we know:
How Unemployment Debit Cards Work
After you sign up for benefits, your card will be mailed to you. Once it’s;received, you will need to activate it and set up a PIN in order for it to receive funds from the government. You’ll receive your;funds according to a schedule determined by your local unemployment office.
If your state unemployment office provides a debit card, it will work just like any other bank debit card. You will be able to withdraw cash at an ATM machine of;your choice and use your card for purchases at stores.
You can also pay bills with;your;debit card. For example, you may be provided with a Chase Visa card, a KeyBank debit card, a Bank of America Mastercard, or another bank-issued card. When you use your card, it wont be apparent to the department store or your dry cleaner that its an unemployment payment card. Your card will be similar to a personal debit card.
In addition, you may be able to transfer funds from your unemployment debit card directly to your bank account via a direct deposit transfer if you want to pay your monthly bills that way. Check with your;local bank to;see if they;provide this service.
Waiting For Unemployment Back Pay We Got Answers From The New York State Department Of Labor
BUFFALO, N.Y. Many of you have reached out to 2 On Your Side asking about your unemployment benefits and the back pay you still haven’t received. Wednesday we got answers for you from the New York State Department of Labor.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has said several times that people will get their back pay, but some people have been waiting for more than two months, and they need to pay their bills.
“Our response rate is much, much better than any other state,” Cuomo said in a press conference on Wednesday. “But if you haven’t gotten your check, none of that matters. I understand that. The good news is you’re not losing any money because when you get your check, it’ll be for the full amount, but you still don’t have the check today. All that matters to you is you want that check in your hand today because you need it. I get that. We have made tremendous progress in a very short period of time. But again, no one could have seen this coming. If no one would have built a website and office apparatus to handle millions of calls when you never expected it to happen. But we have reduced dramatically the wait time and the response time.”
Wayne Shattuck is waiting for that check. He works for a school and has been unemployed since mid-March. This week, he got some money, but he still hasn’t gotten his back pay. His wife is also unemployed.
Shattuck would like his back pay and does not know when he will be able to return to work since he works for a school.
Using A Debit Mastercard
Your first Unemployment Insurance benefits payment will always be in the form of a paper check. You will receive this check approximately 3-4 weeks after you apply for unemployment benefits.
After the first paper check, you will receive benefits via the debit card unless you sign up for direct deposit to a checking or savings account. You must activate your debit card when you receive it. The;DUA Debit MasterCard®;is a safe and secure method of receiving your unemployment benefits.
With the DUA debit card, you can:
- Get quicker access to your benefits
- Avoid overdraft fees
- Pay for items everywhere that MasterCard® debit cards are accepted at no charge, including:
- In stores
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What We Still Don’t Know About Unemployment Refunds
The IRS has only provided limited information on its website about;taxes and unemployment compensation. We’re still unclear on the future timeline for payments during the coming months, which banks get direct deposits first or who to contact at the IRS if there’s a problem with your tax break refund.;
Also, since some states fully tax unemployment benefits and others don’t, you might have to do some digging to see if the unemployment tax break will apply to your state income taxes. This chart by the tax preparation service;H&R Block;could give some clues, along with this state-by-state guide by Kiplinger.;
Here’s how to;track your tax return status and refund online;and what we know about contacting the IRS for;stimulus check problems. For more on stimulus payments and relief aid, here is information about the child tax credit for up to $3,600 per child and details on;who qualifies.
Why Havent I Received My Unemployment Benefits
With no help in sight, people like Harris are turning to elected officials, lawyers, and even social media for help. Harris is part of the Unofficial California Unemployment Help Facebook group, which has drawn more than 56,000 members since it was started in March.;
When asked via email what is causing the delays, the California EDD cited unprecedented demand for unemployment benefits. The EDD says it has processed 11.9 million combined claims for the regular unemployment insurance program, as well as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
Many states operate unemployment systems that are sorely out of date or didnt have the staff to handle this deluge of applications. The states are catching up, but if there is anything wrong with your application, you could get lost in the mix, says Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at the progressive, independent think tank The Century Foundation.;
If your application gets flagged and your states unemployment agency lacks the resources to resolve your issue, you could get stuck, says Stettner, who has over 20 years of experience as an unemployment insurance policy advocate.
This is what happened to Mikaelah Pagan, who found her way to the same Facebook group as Harris. She says she filed for unemployment with the EDD the day she lost her food service job and waited four months to receive benefits.;
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Receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits Fast With Direct Deposit
What is direct deposit?
Direct deposit is the electronic transfer of Unemployment Insurance payment into a personal bank account. Direct deposit is a safe, convenient and fast way to receive benefits. When direct deposit is chosen as the payment method, the bank account holder is giving the Department of Labor Workforce Development permission to credit the designated bank account.
What do I need to sign up?
The 9 digit bank routing number, bank account number and the account type; checking or savings. Use a personal check or contact the bank to obtain this information. The routing and account numbers may appear in different places on a personal check. If uncertain, contact the bank to get the correct routing number, account number and to verify the bank accepts electronic fund transfers.
How do I sign up?
Login to my.alaska.govUnemployment Insurance Benefits to start, change or re-activate a direct deposit account. Or sign-up for direct deposit through the telephonic filing system called “VICTOR” and choose option #3.
Must my bank be located in Alaska?
No. Deposits may be transferred to almost any bank, credit union or savings and loan located in the United States. Contact the bank for specific questions regarding their direct deposit procedures.
How long does it take to verify my account information?
Sign up as soon as possible to avoid delays. Verification can take 10 to 14 days.
When can I expect my payment to be deposited to my bank account?
Are You Eligible For Unemployment
First, make sure you are eligible for unemployment. While it varies based on your state, you generally need two things to qualify. First, you need to have lost your job through no fault of your own. It typically means you are ineligible if you quitalthough there are exceptions, like if you quit because of impossible work conditions. If you are fired for cause, you also are likely ineligible.
You also have to have been employed for a minimum amount of time or have earned a minimum amount in compensation.
Once you find out whether you are eligible, you can file a claim for unemployment benefits. If you’re not sure about your eligibility, check with your state unemployment office. You don’t want to lose out on unemployment compensation because you didn’t think you would qualify.
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You Accidentally Answered A Question Incorrectly
According to reporting by ABC7 News in San Francisco, a confusingly worded question that many people answered incorrectly caused their California unemployment payments to get stuck on pending for weeks. The question asked people who were recertifying their qualification for benefits if there was any reason besides sickness or injury that they couldnt work.;
Many people answered yes, because the pandemic was the reason they were out of work, but the system was set up assuming that people would answer no even if the pandemic was causing their unemployment. Their applications then got categorized as requiring an interview with an unemployment department representative, creating delays that can take weeks to resolve.
Options For Receiving Unemployment Compensation
When you;file for unemployment, you will be advised of the different options available for receiving benefits. Most states no longer issue paper checks because it is far less expensive to;process benefits electronically.
In the states that have gone electronic, options for receiving unemployment benefits include having;a direct deposit transferred straight to your bank account or having;your benefits added to a bank debit card. For example, in Connecticut, claimants have two options for payment: direct deposit or a debit card.
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How To Avoid Unemployment Debit Card Scams
Unemployment debit card scammers are thieves who target unemployment recipients in order to get their hands on their funds.
The good news is, you can protect yourself. Unemployment offices do not ask for your personal information once your claim is set up. Therefore, most likely you’re dealing with a scammer if you receive a phone call, email, or text message requesting the following information:
- Bank card/direct payment card number
- Direct deposit account number
Your State Is Switching Payment Providers
In Maryland, the Division of Unemployment Insurance switched from using Bank of America to Wells Fargo. Anyone who was getting their benefits deposited to a Bank of America debit card had to switch to being paid via direct deposit or check. Anyone who didnt actively choose a new payment method could experience a benefit payment delay.
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Other Debit Card Considerations
Checking purchases: The back of your debit card should include a customer service number as well as a website address. These services can provide you with statements that show you your recent purchases.
Minimizing fees: Some debit card companies, including those contracted by state unemployment departments, charge fees for certain activities, such as using an ATM or taking advantage of bill pay services. Make sure you understand these fees before you use your card, as well as ways that you can minimize or avoid fees entirely:
An alternative to an unemployment debit card is to request your benefits via direct deposit into a checking or savings account. There are usually no fees associated with the direct deposit, and you won’t have to worry about ATM limits, or finding a no-fee ATM when accessing your funds.
Receive Your Benefit Payments
It takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers.
When your first benefit payment is available, you will receive a debit card in the mail. Once you activate the card you can track, use, and transfer your benefit payments. Your card is valid for three years from the date it is issued and is used for all EDD benefit programs, so you should keep it until it expires.
If you received Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave benefits on a debit card in the last three years, you will receive your benefit payments on that card. If your card has expired, a new card will automatically be sent to you once funds are available.
Note: If you were issued a debit card before 2015, you must request a new one. Visit Bank of Americas website or contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 .
If you lost your debit card, contact Bank of America as early as possible in the application process to request a replacement card before your first payment. Your new card will arrive 7 to 10 business days from the order date. You have a couple options to request a new card:
- Visit the Bank of America website.
- Contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 . You do not need to have your old card number or speak to a representative. Choose the Lost or Stolen option in the automated menu. The call center is experiencing higher than normal wait times and Bank of America is working to address the issue.
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When Will I Get The Refund
Unemployment tax refunds started landing in bank accounts in May and will run through the summer, as the IRS processes the returns.
The first phase includes the simplest returns, made by single taxpayers who didn’t claim for children or any refundable tax credits.
More complicated ones may then take longer to process.
In mid-July, the IRS issued 4million refunds, of which those by direct deposit landed in bank accounts from July 14.
Meanwhile, households who receive the cash refund by paper check could expect this from July 16.
Another batch of payments were then sent out at the end of July, with direct deposits on July 28 and paper checks on July 30.
The IRS didn’t announce any payouts for August and is yet to reveal the upcoming refund schedule too.