How Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Works
To receive the FPUC extra $300 per week benefit, you had to file a claim for unemployment benefits, but you didn’t need to sign up expressly. The payments were automatic if you qualified for regular unemployment insurance payments. When FPUC payments ended on Sept. 6, 2021, those eligible for regular unemployment compensation from their state continued to receive it.
At least 26 states stopped making FPUC payments before the September deadline. One of the reasons governors cited was that the unemployment rate was low. For example, on Aug. 20, 2021, the national unemployment rate was 5.2%, down 0.2% over the month, and 3.2 points lower than in August 2020.
Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is disability defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?
Your Application Might Be Flagged For What You Listed As Your Reason For Job Loss
Applications for UI have never been the easiest to navigate. That goes for both filers and administrators.
Your application might be flagged for further verification if you have a unique reason for losing your job, particularly if it might sound like you quit your position voluntarily. An example of that, Evermore says, could be someone whos recently been injured and had to quit their job operating heavy machinery. While it may appear like youve left voluntarily, theres actually more to the story that requires additional verification.
Any slightly more ambiguous answer to that question puts you in a category that gets extra review, Evermore says. And once the system says we cant automatically approve this because theres a flag, then it has to go to the adjudicator.
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Proof Of Income Sources For Pua
PUA recipients have 21 days from the date of the email or letter sent to them from their employment department to provide documents that prove a decrease in their income from the coronavirus pandemic. This will also allow them to avoid a reduction in their weekly benefit amount. Their income tax documents should be from 2019 and should include one or more:
- Federal tax return Form 1040, Schedule C or F).
- State tax return.
- W-2 form if they worked as an independent contractor and employee.
- Pay stubs or statements.
- Contracts for work.
- Invoices and applicable documents.
These documents must show the applicants net income. Those who partake in self-employment and regular employment can provide records showing both net and gross income. State agencies will review these to determine what the applicants weekly benefits should be. PUA applicants should not include IRS Form 1099-MISC to prove their income, as it is not acceptable.
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Contact Your State Unemployment Office
In most cases, it can be valuable to get through to your state unemployment office and speak with a representative. They can help you identify any pain points in your application and perhaps speed up the process for you, though some filers have been having trouble getting through to speak with an agent amid massive job loss nationwide.
If youre still waiting on an approval, it might also be worth a shot to reach out and see if they can review your application while youre on the phone. That might help you obtain those extra benefits, depending on what state you live in, before they run out.
For those who are still struggling to receive payments, they should do their best to get in touch with a real person in the agency responsible to understand the source of the bottleneck, Hamrick says. If that effort isnt successful, contact a local or state elected official to ask for their assistance to try to break through the logjam.
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First Step: Figure Out If Youre Eligible
Eligibility for unemployment insurance varies state-by-state, but if you lose your job through no fault of your own, you should be able to get benefits, says Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project .
That’s not the case for everyone. Immigrants must meet certain immigration status regulations to be eligible, for example, and people who have been out of work for a long period of time and have already exhausted their benefits may not qualify either.
Employers handle layoffs differently, and that also has a say in your benefits. If you get severance, for example, it could impact your eligibility, and the amount of money you qualify for. Same goes for vacation or sick days paid out after your last day, says Douglas Holmes, president of Strategic Services on Unemployment & Workers Compensation. Being on Social Security doesn’t disqualify you from getting UI, but other retirement benefits like pensions may be deducted.
Some people who lose their jobs have other sources of income coming in through side gigs, which can offset how much UI money they qualify for.
By that same token, you may still be able to get benefits if you were able to hang on to your job but your wages dropped significantly, like if your boss cut your team’s hours to avoid layoffs. Some employers do this through federal work share programs.
Access To Support Programs
You may request an unemployment verification letter to prove eligibility for social services, such as food stamps, housing or loans. Federal and state agencies also often offer additional benefits and programs to unemployed individuals. For example, many states provide reemployment services assistance to help individuals find new jobs. Agencies also have resources for education and training programs to help you develop skills or knowledge that might aid your job search and boost your qualifications for different roles. The costs of these programs vary, and you can research your states specific offerings or those provided b y the U.S. Department of Labor.
Some states also offe r Self-Employment Assistance programs. These programs temporarily provide individuals with an allowance while they start businesses themselves. Under typical unemployment programs, individuals must spend their time looking for jobs. With SEA programs, participating individuals focus on working full-time to begin their businesses. Individuals in states that dont offer these programs can also start small businesses. However, they need to review and research their states eligibility requirements to adhere to applicable rules.
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Havent Had A Job In A Long Time
The CARES Act extended unemployment insurance for an additional 13 weeks over each state’s limit, meaning most people automatically qualified for 39 weeks. Most states also offer extended benefits between 13 and 20 extra weeks, depending on the state. But if you were unemployed for several months before the pandemic or have otherwise exhausted these benefits, you are no longer eligible for UI.
Can I Collect Unemployment If I Was Fired For Poor Performance
It depends on your state’s eligibility requirements. To collect unemployment benefits, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. Most states consider employees who are fired for performance reasons or simply because they are a “bad fit” for the position to be eligible for benefits. On the other hand, an employee who commits serious misconduct, such as stealing from the company or violating important safety rules, probably won’t be eligible. For more information, see Nolo’s article Unemployment Benefits: What If You’re Fired?
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Money Transfer Mistakes To Avoid
While sending money to other bank accounts is often necessary, there are certain things that you should avoid doing, including the following:
- Sending to the wrong account
- Sending the wrong amount
- Not making sure there is enough money in the source account
- Trying to cancel a transfer when its too late
Before you transfer money from one account to another, make sure that all information is accurate and up-to-date. Also, ensure that there are enough funds in the source account in order to avoid overdraft fees. And be certain that the transfer should be made, as cancelling a transfer may be impossible if you wait too long.
How Much Will My Weekly Payment Be
Your weekly benefit amount is shown on your Monetary Determination of Eligibility. Your WBA is based on total wages you earned in the base period.
You can determine your weekly benefit amount by dividing your total base period wages by 52. Then, multiply that number by 0.47. Your weekly benefit amount should be rounded down to the next whole dollar amount, up to a maximum of $390.00
For example, if your total wages in the base period was $30,000 then your WBA would be: $30,000 ÷ 52 = $576.92 × 0.47 = $271
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Update Your Payment Profile
That also goes for updating your payment profile. If you perhaps forgot to submit your direct deposit information or got a new bank account since applying for your benefits, be sure to log back in to your online account or work with a representative in person or over the phone to update that information as quickly as possible.
Look For Important Documents From The Edd
You will receive these documents in the mail within two weeks of submitting your unemployment application:
- Employment Development Department Customer Account Number Notification Your EDD Customer Account Number is required to register for UI Online. If you were automatically enrolled in UI Online or already have an existing UI Online account there is no need to re-register. Your EDDCAN may be used instead of your Social Security number when speaking with the EDD so it is important to keep for your records.
- Use this form to certify for continued benefits every two weeks. You can also certify through UI OnlineSM or EDD Tele-CertSM.
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How Do I Report Changes To My Income
If your income has decreased or stopped, you can upload proof of income for the last 30 days through getcalfresh.org/docs. Your county will give you more information about when you have to report increases in income. If your income went up and you arent sure if you need to report changes, you can .
How Long Does It Take To Get Edd Back Pay
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.
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I Had To Quit My Job After My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Cancer Can I Get Unemployment Benefits
It depends on your state’s eligibility rules. In every state, an employee who quits a job voluntarily, without good cause, won’t be allowed to collect unemployment. But each state has its own definition of good cause for quitting. In some states, employees may collect unemployment only if they quit for reasons related to the job, such as intolerable working conditions or a medical condition caused or aggravated by the job. Other states allow employees to collect unemployment if they quit for compelling personal reasons, such as domestic violence or serious illness in the family. For more information, see Nolo’s article Unemployment Benefits: What If You Quit?
Submit Any New Forms Of Identification Or Documentation
In instances when youre worried about being vetted for fraud or missing documents, its worthwhile to log into your unemployment application and submit any new documentation. You should also consider uploading a new picture of your ID or another form of identification that your state agency can use to verify your claims.
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Your States Unemployment System Is Antiquated
According to reporting by The Washington Post, the District of Columbias unemployment website was based on 1950s programming language. It was also built in the early 2000s, before smartphones. That meant that anyone without access to a desktop or laptop computer has to make a claim by phone. Whats more, a single pandemic-related change to unemployment benefits took computer programmers more than two weeks to implement.
Direct Deposit To Your Own Bank Account Or Prepaid Card
Similar to how you may have used direct deposit to receive your paycheck, you can have your money automatically sent to your checking or savings account or a prepaid card that you already own.
What you need to know
- Benefits go directly to your own bank or credit union account or prepaid card
- Access your benefits same as you already do with other money in that account
- Benefits are sent to your account for free
What to watch out for
- Look closely for this option when filling out unemployment forms
- People without their own bank account or prepaid card must open one to take advantage of this option
With direct deposit, you receive your money quickly and safely, and you can manage your unemployment benefits just like any other funds in your account. It also eliminates the risk of paper checks getting lost or stolen, as well as the need to physically deposit or cash it at a bank or credit union.
If you prefer to use a prepaid card, direct deposit is generally an option, but youll want to check first with your card provider to find out if your card is eligible to receive direct deposit. If you dont already have a bank or credit union account or prepaid card, youd need to open a new account first, which many financial institutions are allowing you to do online.
No matter what state you live in, the following information is typically whats required for signing up:
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Contact Your State Representative Or Senator
As a last ditch effort, Harris reached out to her state senators office, and says she was told they would send an inquiry on her behalf. About two weeks later, in late September, Harris received back pay totaling $10,000. Harris believes she is still owed additional benefits, and is unclear on how to ensure continued benefits.
Pagan has reason to agree that, for anyone who is having trouble getting their unemployment benefits, contacting a state senator or other state elected official is probably the best bet. She credits this approach with helping get her issue resolved.
Unemployment benefits are handled by the state, so contacting your state-level elected officials can help get the ball rolling. They can sometimes get an answer faster than the unemployment office itself, Stettner says. They are doing case work on behalf of their constituents, but theyre also overwhelmed, he says. He even recommends reaching out to your state governors office.
Am Usually Paid In Cash
In most states, you can file a good-faith attestation of what you were paid, which is how tipped workers like servers and baristas generally qualify for UI, Evermore says. Since these workers have to claim tips to pay taxes on them, there are generally already records available they can refer to.
You can still file a good-faith attestation if you don’t have documentation, but your odds of getting UI is slimmer.
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Your State Unemployment Department Is Overwhelmed
Again according to reporting by The Washington Post, states are still behind on processing claims 14 months into the pandemic. Theyve simply been overwhelmed by volume this entire time. Not only were far more people unemployed but also people normally not eligible for benefits, such as self-employed workers, became eligible, adding to the demands on states systems.
How To Use It And How Does It Work
Youve been approved for Unemployment Benefits, now what? In most states, the default wayof getting your payment is through a Pre-Paid debit card. This may be a new concept for some,who are used to getting paid through checks or through direct deposit, but never got paid using adebit card, so this concept may seem confusing at first.You can check your states handbookto see what other payment methods are available. Some states also offer payment through direct deposit or checks. But in mostcases, if you dont directly opt-in to one of the other payment methods, you will receive a debit card soon after your claimis processed.
Getting the Card
Using the Card
You can also use the debit card to get gas in gas stations. One thing to note is that in most cases you will not be able to use the card at the pump itself. This is because when you use it at the pump, there is a hold placed on your card which most UI debit cards do not support. Instead, you can go inside and pay at the cashier.
Using the card online
Transferring Funds to Personal Bank Account
In summary, your card works very similar to any other debit card, so dont be afraid to use it as such. We hope this guide helps you understand how a UI Pre-Paid Debit Card works. Note that some of the above might notapply to your credit card, so check the cards website for all terms and fees your debit card is subject to.
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