Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation :
Texas provided additional benefits through June 26 to people who have exhausted their regular state benefits. This is a new program under the CARES Act that was extended by Congress. If you were already receiving unemployment assistance and used up your 26 weeks of benefits before the coronavirus pandemic, you may have been eligible for more assistance under this program.
According to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, you should havequalified for PEUC if:
- Your original unemployment claim was dated on or after July 8, 2018.
- You exhausted all regularunemployment benefits you were entitled to.
- You are not eligible for benefits in any other state or territory.
- You will run out of your current benefits at any point before Dec. 20, 2020.
- You are not receiving compensation under the unemployment laws of Canada.
- You are able to work and available for work.
What To Expect After Approval
When you start receiving benefits, you’ll need to find out what your state requires of you so that there’s no break in your claim or suspension of benefits. At least, be prepared to file a claim weekly or biweekly to report any money you’ve received through any work you do. States normally have requirements to register yourself as available for work and apply to jobs weekly to keep getting benefits. However, check with your state since many have more lenient policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, as the U.S. slowly starts to open back up, some states including Texas are already requiring claimants to actively look for work, and Florida will require claimants to register for work beginning on June 13, 2020.
What Unemployment Offices Can Disclose
The unemployment office can’t disclose any information about you because it’s illegal for government agencies to divulge information regarding the unemployment benefits that individuals have received. Unemployment records are not public information.
In other words, if a prospective employer wants to uncover the gaps in your employment history, they can. However, they have to be willing to dig for it. The bad news is that it’s pretty easy to find out whether a candidate has been continuously employed. So, if you were hoping to keep that under wraps, it’s time to make a new plan to address any concerns that might come up during the interview process.
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Which Unemployment Programs Ended On Labor Day Weekend
Under the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, unemployment benefits became more generous, easier to access, and longer-lasting to help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. These enhanced benefits were provided by three major programs that ended on Sept. 6:
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation : $300 per week federal supplement that has been paid in addition to full state benefits
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance : Benefits for workers not usually eligible for unemployment insurance, such as self-employed workers, freelancers, and other gig workers
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : Assistance for those who are still unemployed after exhausting their state benefits in many states, standard unemployment insurance lasts for 26 weeks
The expiration of extra federal benefits largely doesnt affect traditional state unemployment programs. However, after Sept. 6, certain states with higher unemployment rates and smaller benefits may feel the loss of federal benefits more acutely.
If You Are On Extended Benefits :
- You are required to look for work on multiple days per week using different methods and completing different activities.
- You must document your work search activities using the TWCs EB Search Log and submit it within seven days of each payment request you make. The workforce commission should send a blank EB Search Log to your correspondence inbox the online mail portal tied to your TWC account or to your physical mailbox. You can submit the documentation online or by mail or fax using the address or fax number listed on the form.
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Getting Denied For Benefits
If Illinois finds you not eligible for unemployment benefits, you have 30 days to take action and appeal to the state. This involves filling out a form that asks you to describe in detail why Illinois should reconsider your application. You’ll need to fax or mail your packet since the IDES offices are currently closed.
The state will determine whether to deny the appeal or set up an appeal hearing where you’ll submit your evidence and speak on the phone to defend your claim. Continue certifying regularly while you complete this process.
What To Do If You’re Still Waiting On Your Refund
It’s best to locate your tax transcript or try to track your refund using the Where’s My Refund tool . The IRS says that you can expect a delay if you mailed a paper tax return or had to respond to the IRS about your electronically filed tax return. The IRS makes it clear not to file a second return.
The IRS says not to call the agency because it has limited live assistance. The agency is juggling the tax return backlog, delayed stimulus checks and child tax credit payments. Even though the chances of speaking with someone are slim, you can still try. Here’s the best number to call: 1-800-829-1040.
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Timeline For Unemployment Tax Refunds
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 IRS announced it was doing the recalculations in phases, starting with single filers with no dependents and then for those who are married and filing jointly. The first batch of these supplemental refunds went to those with the least complicated returns in early summer, and batches are supposed to continue for more complicated returns, which could take longer to process.
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. No other official news from the IRS has been issued regarding payment schedule.
How Much Money Would I Receive
“The amount of benefits that an individual receives varies by state and by job history,” says Ghayad. “On average, an unemployed worker receives up to half his or her most recent paycheck. Generally, thereâs also a cap, which means higher-wage workers get less than half.” New York, for instance, calculates its benefits by taking your wages from your highest-paid quarter in a specified base period and dividing that number by 26, but the maximum weekly benefit you can receive is $450.
Some states, like Massachusetts, also offer extended benefits programs that go beyond the 26-week period. Just keep in mind that no matter what, you will have to prove that you’re actively looking for work in order to keep your benefits coming. This may mean filing weekly claims detailing your job hunt, attending in-person meetings or completing training sessions to help improve your hireability.
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Understanding The Unemployment Claim Process
When you complete your unemployment application, your state asks for comprehensive information about why you’ve become unemployed and what your employment history looked like. This involves listing all your jobs for the last 18 months, disclosing your earnings and any other income sources and declaring that you expect to be able to work in the future.
Your state will use this information to make sure that your work status, wage history, reason for unemployment and other circumstances make you eligible for benefits through your regular state program or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. They usually contact your employer to verify the information provided. You might also be asked to do a phone interview to answer any questions about your claim.
You’ll usually receive a monetary determination letter soon after filing and a within two weeks unless some dispute occurs and slows down the process. These documents often come through the regular mail, but states can also offer electronic versions through their unemployment websites. However, be warned it might take longer for your state to make a decision due to many applications coming through due to COVID-19. Although, states such as and Arizona have both recently sped up processing unemployment claims.
Why Is My Claim Status Ineligible
Ineligible means they are not eligible for benefits for those weeks. A claimant would have received notice letting them know about the ineligibility. The reasons why vary and could include issues from failure to timely certify without good cause, to wages earned greater than 1.5 times their weekly benefit amount.
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Are Unemployment Benefits Available If You Quit A Job
Losing your job can be stressful., but the federal government provides a safety net for unemployed workers by paying unemployment benefits through the states. Your unemployment benefits are a fraction of what you regularly earn but the benefit is better than receiving nothing. To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must have worked consistently for at least one year and meet other eligibility requirements.
If you meet unemployment’s eligibility requirements, the only way to know if you are approved is to fill out an application and wait for a decision.
How Is The Unemployment Waiver Calculated For Married Couples
The American Rescue Plan waived federal tax on up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation received in 2020 per person for those that earned less than $150,000, that rule also applies for married couples filing jointly. Although the couple could receive up to $20,400 if both collected jobless aid in 2020, only half that amount could be applied to each.
The IRS gives the example of one spouse having received $5,000 of benefits and the other getting $20,000. The total amount is $25,000 but the couple would not be entitled to the full $20,400 waiver but only $15,200. The spouse that got $5,000 in compensation gets the whole amount waived, but the second spouse only gets $10,200 of the $20,000.
In order for the IRS to make the adjustments it’s likely that the agency will need to cross-reference the 1099 tax forms for unemployment income sent by state labor bureaus to verify how much each spouse received in jobless aid according to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center talking with CNBC. But she added that the exact method the IRS will use is unclear.
The IRS says that when it has finished the first phase it will begin work on the more complex corrections but the agency gives no expected date when that will be.
Looking for the status of your tax refund? Use Where’s My Refund? to start checking the status of your refund 24 hours after #IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed tax return:
IRSnews May 12, 2021
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Is There Anything I Can Do If My Claim For Unemployment Benefits Is Denied
Yes. You have a right to appeal the denial decision. You may be asked to submit your side of the story by phone or in writing, and you will likely have the opportunity to appear at a hearing and argue your case. Contact your state unemployment agency or labor department to find out how to appeal a denial of unemployment benefits. For more information, see Nolo’s article Denied Unemployment Benefits: The Appeal Process.
If I Am Eligible For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Do I Need To First Apply For Unemployment Insurance
States must have a process for determining that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applicants are ineligible for regular unemployment benefits, which may not include filing a regular claim as a first step. States are not required to take and adjudicate a full claim for regular unemployment insurance benefits to meet this requirement. While states are not prohibited from taking a full claim, to facilitate expedited claims processing the U.S. Department of Labor has discouraged states from doing so. Individuals should apply using the states PUA application process and, in states that have not yet established that process, must wait until it is established.
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Ive Been Told I Owe Money To The State What Do I Do
Overpayments happen when the workforce commission pays you unemployment benefits that you were not actually entitled to.
In some circumstances, you may be overpaid if you underreport your earnings or fail to include income like severance or time-off payouts. In others, you may be overpaid if you gave incorrect information about your job loss that results in your eligibility for a certain program being overturned. Read more about reasons for overpayment here.
If you disagree that you were overpaid, as many Texans have, you can submit an appeal with the TWC. The new coronavirus relief package says the TWC may waive a repayment if the overpayments the agency sent to you were not your fault, or if the repayment would be contrary to equity and good conscience. It is unclear how the agency determines equity and good conscience. The Texas Tribune has requested clarification.
Getting Approved For Benefits
Once you get approved, you can come back to the IDES website or call Tele-Serve every other week to file your certification on the day specified in your determination letter. If you can’t file on that day, Illinois allows you to do so on Thursday or Friday during your certification week. Provide accurate earnings information to avoid problems like unemployment fraud or payment delays.
Traditionally, Illinois expects you to register for work and report on your job search however, there’s a temporary waiver due to COVID-19. Keep the state informed, though, of any new earnings. And if your employer reopens, the state usually expects you to return to work.
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Who Qualifies For Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment benefits are available to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own, such as a layoff. Those fired for cause , or who leave voluntarily or refuse an offer for work, need not apply.
In March 2020, when the coronavirus first disrupted the economy, Congress granted unemployment benefits to workers who werent previously covered. Those who now qualify include:
- Workers permanently or temporarily laid off due to coronavirus measures
- Workers whose employers reduced their work hours due to coronavirus measures
- Self-employed workers who have lost income due to coronavirus measures
- Workers quarantined and unable to work due to coronavirus
- Workers unable to work due to risk of exposure to coronavirus
- Workers unable to work while caring for a family member due to coronavirus
Each state, district and territory sets its own guidelines for who is eligible for unemployment benefits and how much theyll receive. You must meet your states criteria for wages earned or time worked during an established period, known as a base period, which is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The general rule of thumb is that unemployment benefits are based on a percentage of ones earnings roughly between 40% and 60% over a recent 52-week period, and paid out weekly over a period of between 12 to 28 weeks, depending on the state.
You Can Get Unemployment Benefits Even If You Still Have Some Work
Obviously, if youre still working full-time, then youre not unemployed and, therefore, not eligible for unemployment benefits. But if, say, youve lost one job but kept another, or if you get paid for a temporary assignment, you can still collect unemployment benefits. However, they will be reduced accordingly to compensate for the additional income youre receiving. You must report your gross wages earned each week, not just your take-home pay.
In Missouri, for example, partial unemployment benefits are calculated by taking your weekly wages and subtracting $20, or 20% of your weekly benefit amount, whichever is greater. That amount is your deduction, which is then subtracted from your weekly benefit and rounded down to an even dollar amount. Any withholding for federal taxes and such is taken from this amount.
Although state policies vary, as a general rule, if you perform part-time or temporary work, which includes self-employment, you are still required to fulfill your states requirement of providing a list of new job searches each week. The District of Columbia, for example, requires listing two job applications each week . And your state wants you to have the time to actively look for full-time employment, with the selfish goal of stopping payments of unemployment benefits to you when you return to work full time.
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Letter #1 Monetary Determination
This is not an approval, but rather tells you how much you could receive if you are approved. This document tells you how many weeks you will receive unemployment. Do not confuse the benefit year with how many weeks you will be eligible. The maximum number of weeks you can draw unemployment in Tennessee is 26 weeks .Not the correct amount or is an employer missing during the past 18 months?
If you believe that the wages on the Wage Transcript and Monetary Determination are incorrect, you may file a Wage Protest .
What Happens When I Run Out Of My Benefits
You may not qualify for more benefits.
If you have exhausted your regular unemployment claim, the TWC will no longer consider you for an extension. There are two temporary extension programs currently active in Texas that most people* on regular unemployment qualify for: Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, and Extended Benefits, or EB.
*If you are eligible for unemployment in another state because you also earned wages there, you may have to exhaust your regular benefits in that state before qualifying for EB in Texas.
If you have exhausted your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and have not recently been on regular unemployment, you dont qualify for any kind of extension.
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