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How Do Unemployment Benefits Work

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Tax On Unemployment Benefits | How Do Unemployment Benefits Work?

There are millions of employees who have had their hours cut drastically, been forced out of their jobs temporarily , or even laid off while the country is fighting COVID-19. Individual states are being offered assistance from the federal government in order to expand unemployment benefits. However, state UI responses to the crisis may vary.

The main changes in unemployment benefits at the federal level, as part of the CARES Act, include:

  • An extra $600 in weekly benefits, in addition to regular state benefit amounts
  • Additional 13 weeks of UI coverage once state UI benefits are exhausted
  • Expanded eligibility, which includes independent contractors, gig economy workers, and other self-employed workers, for up to 39 weeks of benefits

A local employment lawyer can help you understand the temporary measures enacted in your state.

Duration Of Unemployment Benefits

In a normal economic climate, most states offer unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks, or half a year, although a handful of states now offer benefits for fewer weeks. In these anything-but-normal times, however, the total period for which a former employee can receive benefits has been extended by an additional 13 weeks, up to a total of 39 weeks.

How Do I Apply

To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online.

  • You should contact your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.
  • Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
  • When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
  • Find the contact information for your state’s unemployment office to start your claim.

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Weekly Claims And Work Search Requirements

Q) How do I file my weekly claim?

A) To file a weekly claim, log in to your account. You must file a weekly claim for any week that you want payment, even if your eligibility is being decided or you have an appeal pending. Answer all required questions on the weekly continued claim.If you need assistance with your claim, call UI Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Q) When should I file my weekly claim?

A) The current week is the week that just ended on Saturday. Weekly claims must be filed 8:00 a.m. Sunday through 5:30 p.m. Friday for the prior week only. This means individuals have six days to file the previous week’s claim. Weekly claims can be filed online using a mobile device or computer. Have this information available when filing your weekly claim: Social Security Number, PIN, total amount of gross wages earned during the week, and total amount of gross holiday pay, gross vacation and severance, if received. Delay in filing your weekly claim could result in denial of benefits.

Q) What happens if I file my weekly claim late?

A) Filing your claim late may delay benefit payments or disqualify you for the weeks you filed late.

Q) Can I still file a claim if I’m working part-time?

Q) How many employer contacts do I need to make each week?

What Is A Nonmonetary Determination

Information Required to File an Unemployment Claim

A determination of qualification for benefits based on any consideration that is not monetary is a nonmonetary determination. If you quit a job, get discharged, refuse referral to a job, refuse a job, refuse to enter DWS-approved training, or fail to complete DWS-approved training, you may be disqualified. You and/or your employer may appeal an unfavorable nonmonetary determination.

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How Does Unemployment Work

If you are unsure how to file for unemployment benefits and whether you are eligible, follow this step-by-step guide to understand how to apply.

In brief
  • Unemployment insurance allows you to temporarily receive a portion of your wages as a cash benefit while you search for a new job.
  • Each state has different criteria to determine who is eligible for unemployment. Typically, you must meet certain prior work and wage requirements and must be unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • You can figure out how to apply for unemployment in your state by contacting your local unemployment insurance agency by phone, online or in person.

Millions of Americans have found themselves out of work during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are options to help you get back on your feet. If you recently received a termination notice from your company, you may be able to negotiate a severance package to help you as you look for your next job. If you are struggling to find work, you could look into whether you are eligible for unemployment insurance, which can provide you with extra money while you search for a job.

What is unemployment insurance?

The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program, as it is known, was created in 1935 during the Great Depression. Those who are eligible may temporarily receive a portion of their wages as a cash benefit while searching for work. The exact entitlement varies by state. Find out more information through your states unemployment agency.

What Are Initial Claims

Initial claims are the number of new applications filed by individuals seeking UI benefitsone indication of the health of the job market. In late March, initial claims for UI benefits surged to roughly 6.9 million in a single weekwhich followed an unusually large 3.3 million new claims filed the week beforebecause workplaces were shut by lockdown measures put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus. The previous high was 695,000 claims filed the week ending October 2, 1982.

While initial claims have declined since then, they continue to exceed 1 million per week. The total number of workers collecting unemployment benefits stood at 32 million, or roughly one in every five people in the labor force, during the week ending on June 27, 2020. The total includes more than 15 million people who are collecting benefits under pandemic-related expansions of the program.

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How To Determine If You Are Eligible For Unemployment Benefits

Just because you lost work doesnât mean youâre automatically eligible for unemployment benefits.

According to the Department of Labor, while each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits eligibility guidelines, but you usually qualify if:

  • Your unemployment is no fault of your own
  • Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your stateâs requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as the base period. In many states, this is âusually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed.â

Are You Eligible For Unemployment

Workers who decline work due to virus could lose unemployment benefits

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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Be Prepared Before Starting The Application Process

Most states and territories ask applicants to file for benefits online or by phone, and the state websites will take applicants through the various necessary steps to claim their benefits.

To save time and frustration, applicants may want to gather information and documents theyll need before logging on, including:

Pen and paper to jot down notes, including password and confirmation information.

Social Security number.

If applicable, an Alien Registration Number.

Cell and/or landline contact numbers and full mailing address.

Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number for the most recent employer .

Names and addresses for all employers for the past two years.

For active or ex-service members claiming based on military service, a copy of the most recent separation form DD214.

Bank account routing and account numbers .

Some states websites have been inundated with claims, so applicants may have to be patient about getting online. And its probably a good idea to set aside at least an hourwith limited distractionsto file.

What Is The Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount That I Can Receive

You may receive the maximum amount of $350 per week. Your weekly benefit amount is based on the last two completed quarters in your base period divided by 52 and rounded down to the next whole dollar. The seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate used to determine the maximum number of weeks that you may get benefits is calculated on January 1 and July 1.

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Who Is Now Newly Eligible For Unemployment

Unemployment assistance will now extend to self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers, farmers and gig workers. Self-employed workers with a limited liability company or S corporation qualify.

This is a major change for many gig workers, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, who are typically classified as independent contractors and are therefore not eligible to receive employee benefits, paid leave and health care from on-demand gig companies.Gig workers whove experienced reduced demand, and therefore reduced earnings, amid the coronavirus outbreak may now qualify for unemployment insurance to partially replace lost wages.

Unemployment will also be extended to individuals seeking part-time work and those who dont have the sufficient work history previously required to file a claim.

Individuals will need to prove theyve lost work as a direct result of the pandemic, including reasons such as being diagnosed with COVID-19, being mandated by a health official to quarantine, providing care for someone diagnosed with the virus, providing care to a child who cant attend school because its closed, being scheduled to start a new job thats now closed or quitting a job as a direct result of the pandemic.

How Long Does It Take To Get Unemployment Benefits

Tax On Unemployment Benefits

Generally, it takes a couple of weeks to get an unemployment check. This time period may be longer or shorter depending on numerous factors, including:

  • When an employer denies the person was laid off
  • When there is a dispute over whether an employee left voluntarily or was fired
  • When there are periods of heavy claims

Once the claim has been approved and the first payment is received, unemployment benefits are then paid weekly after a one-week waiting period where no benefits are paid. However, many states have temporarily waived this requirement and will reimburse applicants beginning with the first week claimed. Some states also have waived the job search requirement for benefits during the COVID-19 crisis.

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How Much Does Unemployment Pay

When someone asks how does unemployment work, he or she may be referring to how much unemployment pays.

If you are eligible and you receive unemployment benefits, the amount will depend upon:

  • what you used to earn
  • The state you live in

Keep in mind that every state also has a minimum and maximum benefit amounts. You cannot exceed the maximum.

How Much Will Your Benefits Be

Once you file for unemployment and are approved, you will begin to receive benefits. Your benefits might come in the form of a check, but more often they will come in the form of a debit card or direct deposit to your bank account. It varies by state. You typically can file weekly online, by email, or by phone.

The amount you receive depends on your weekly earnings prior to being laid off and on the maximum amount of unemployment benefits paid to each worker. In many states, you will be compensated for half of your earnings, up to a certain maximum.

State benefits are typically paid for a maximum of 26 weeks. Some states provide benefits for a lower number of weeks, and maximum benefits also vary based on where you live. In times of high unemployment, additional weeks of unemployment compensation may be available.

Regardless of how much you make, you never can collect more than the state maximum.

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Duration And Value Of The Unemployed Benefit

The duration of an unemployment benefit depends on how long you were previously employed. As a basic rule, each year of work in the Netherlands entitles you to one month of unemployment benefits, with a minimum duration of three months and a maximum duration of 38 months .

The value of your unemployment benefit is calculated based on the salary you earnt in the year before you became unemployed. From this, a daily “wage” is calculated, and this amount multiplied by 21,75 is your monthly unemployment benefit .

For the first two months, you will receive 75 percent of your monthly unemployment benefit, and 70 percent thereafter. For 2021, the maximum daily “wage” is set at 223,40 euros.

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  • When Should I File A Claim For Ui Benefits

    Your Money, Your Future: Refusing to work may put Washington unemployment benefits at risk

    You should file a claim for benefits if you have become unemployed through no fault of your own, you are willing to register for work and actively seek employment, and you are able and available to work if any work is offered to you. NOTE: If you are still employed, but are temporarily laid off due to a decrease in workload, your employer may file an attached claim on your behalf. Attached claims do not require that you register for work or actively seek work. If your employer refuses to file an attached claim on your behalf, you must file your own claim and meet all eligibility requirements.

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    Unemployment Insurance As Economic Stimulus

    Unemployment benefits are designed first to relieve distress for jobless workers and their families. In recessions and the early stages of recoveries, however, they provide an additional benefit: stimulating economic activity and job creation. In fact, a major reason Congress created the basic UI program during the Great Depression was to help boost the economy and jobs.

    The problem for most businesses in an economic slump is not lack of capacity to meet existing demand but lack of demand to fully utilize their existing capacity. To stop the destruction of jobs and begin to put people back to work, it is critical to stimulate demand. One of the best ways to do this is to target financial relief toward unemployed workers who need a replacement for lost income. People whose income is disrupted in a recession and who lack the savings to tide them over are the ones most likely to spend quickly any added income they receive. Thus, policies that put customers in stores with money to spend will likely do more to close the output gap and create jobs than, for example, business tax breaks.

    A Labor Department report commissioned during the George W. Bush Administration and released in 2010 reinforced CBOs conclusion. It found that in the depths of the Great Recession, federal emergency UI benefits boosted employment by about 750,000 jobs.

    Do I Qualify For Unemployment Insurance

    There are things you need to know before you apply, and steps you must take after filing your claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

    Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own

    The Unemployment Insurance program provides benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able, available, and looking for work. You may file a claim for benefits the first day after becoming separated from employment or after your employer has significantly reduced your work hours. Information will be gathered from you as well as your separating employer and an agency determination will be based on whether you meet the eligibility requirements under state law.

    You Must Have Qualifying Base Period Wages

    You must have earned an average of $780.01 in each of 2 quarters of a time frame called the Base Period and the second highest quarter must be over $900 or 6 times the weekly benefit amount. If youve earned sufficient wages during this time frame, the wages earned will then be used to calculate your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks you may receive benefits. The Base Period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the quarter in which your initial claim is filed. A calendar quarter is three months of either January – March, April – June, July – September or October – December.

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    The Work Search Requirement

    If you are required to look for work, we will mail you a notice explaining your specific work search requirements. The requirement to look for work begins when you receive this notice.

    The requirement applies to finding suitable work that is safe to return to and is comparable to your skills, experience, usual occupation, and health. For more information, view Requirements to Look for Work .

    Participating in the work search activities below can help you answer Yes to the question, Did you look for work? on your certifications every two weeks. Answering No will lead to additional questions and possibly an eligibility interview to determine if you are eligible for benefits for that week. For additional help visit, Understanding the Certification Questions.

    You may not be required to look for work if you dont have childcare and you have explored all reasonable alternatives for finding childcare. However, to be paid unemployment benefits, you must still be available to work and able to accept work if you receive a job offer. The EDD will contact you if additional information is needed to determine your eligibility for benefits.

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