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Nebraska Unemployment Among Lowest But Still Worst In State History
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its state unemployment data for the month of April. Nebraska had an unemployment rate of only 4% in the month of March, yet with the full effects of the pandemic in motion during April we saw a 4.3% increase in unemployment for a monthly amount of 8.3%, or 86,300 people. For reference, in March 2019 Nebraska had a 3.1% unemployment rate. It is important to note the state saw a significant jump from the 2.9% unemployment rate it was experiencing in February to the record high 8.3% in April. Never before in the states history has there been a jump of that magnitude in such a short period of time.
Nebraska experienced the third lowest unemployment rate in the nation, surpassed by Connecticut at 7.9% and Minnesota at 8.1%. Nebraska also has the smallest over-the-month jobless rate increase, only increasing 4.3% from March. The largest jump was in Nevada, with unemployment jumping by 21.3% to an April total of 28.2%, the highest in the nation.
It is important for state lawmakers to realize that never in the states history has there been such a jump in unemployment. Historically these events follow a general trend downward, like what happened in the early 1980s. Normally, the business cycle allows state revenues and policy makers to slowly adjust as the economic events are realized.
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How Have Unemployment Benefits Changed
The coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented public health measures implemented in most states have had a massive impact on the United States economy. Record numbers of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic began. If you are unemployed, you will likely want to know what benefits and support are available to you until you find your next job.
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law, extending sections of previous pandemic-related plans Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) and adding some new provisions. The Act provides additional benefits for workers affected by the pandemic.
Beginning in early May 2021, some states announced that they would opt out of pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs early.
Each state has its own unemployment insurance system and will be responsible for administering both state benefits and supplemental federal benefits. We are here to help you understand how the Act affects the benefits you can claim.
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What If My Unemployment Claim Is Denied
If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. You have 20 days to file a letter of appeal explaining why you disagree with the decision. Be sure to include your signature and Social Security number.
COVID-19 has caused record numbers of job losses, but there are also jobs in demand because of the pandemic. As you wade through tricky financial decisions, don’t hesitate to reach for financial support when needed.
How Do I Apply For Federal Unemployment Benefits
You donât. Even though new federal statutes affect unemployment benefits, each state still manages and administers unemployment benefits, including the $300 in supplemental relief. Find your state unemployment office here.
Be Patient and PersistentBecause so many people are filing, and this is a new program, new unemployment claims across the country are coming in at an unusually high volume. For the first round of stimulus in March 2020, direct deposits began arriving around 2 weeks after the program began, but due to outdated and backed up computer systems, some states were slower to pay them, and even slower to pay through other means. State websites may be slow and phone lines may be tied up. Donât give up! You may have to try refreshing the web page or continue to call back in order to file your claim.
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How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits
You can apply for unemployment benefits by creating an NEworks account with the Nebraska Department of Labor and filing a claim online.
You will need to provide your Social Security number. Youll also be asked to provide proof of income from the most recent completed tax year, which will help determine your benefit amount. You can use tax forms, pay stubs, W-2 forms, and other forms of proof.
If youre approved, you must continue to file a weekly claim in order to receive unemployment benefits.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits Under The Cares Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act included a section that expanded unemployment benefits by an additional $600 per week on top of the benefit offered by states. This provision is being rolled out on a state by state basis, however, the benefit is retroactive to April 5, 2020.
The additional $600 weekly benefit brings the state and federal unemployment benefits up to an average of the median weekly wage in the United States. However, because the expanded benefits are being offered to everyone on
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Eligibility Requirements For Nebraska Unemployment Benefits
In nearly all states, you must meet the following three requirements in order to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits:
- You must have earned a certain minimum amount in wages or worked a certain number of hours at your job.
- You must be out of work through no fault of your own.
- You must be ready and willing to work, and you must be actively looking for employment.
What If I Am Denied Benefits
Adjudication is the process used to resolve questions regarding eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. Your claim may be referred to an adjudicator if there are questions about why you left your job or whether you are able and available for work.
During adjudication, a determination will be made about your claim based on all available information, including information from you, your employers, and sometimes other sources.
While your claim is pending adjudication, you should continue to file weekly claims and complete your weekly online work search logs. If your claim is determined payable and you have met all other eligibility requirements, you will receive back payments for prior weeks claimed in a lump sum.
If you disagree with a determination issued, you have the right to appeal within 20 days.
You can file an appeal several ways:
If your appeal is in writing, you must state the reason you wish to appeal, and include your signature, Social Security Number and employers name. Include the Determination ID from your determination letter.
After you file, you will be notified by the Nebraska Appeal Tribunal that an appeal has been received. In a separate notice, you will be informed of the time and date of the hearing.
While your appeal is pending, continue to file for weekly benefits, complete any required work search contacts, and log these contacts here.
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Benefits Conditions Disqualifying Applicant Exceptions
An individual shall be disqualified for benefits for any week of unemployment in which the commissioner finds he or she has failed, without good cause, to apply for available, suitable work when so directed by the employment office or the commissioner, to accept suitable work offered him or her, or to return to his or her customary self-employment, if any, and for the twelve weeks immediately thereafter. The total benefit amount to which he or she is then entitled shall be reduced by an amount equal to the number of weeks for which he or she has been disqualified by the commissioner.
In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the commissioner shall consider the following:
The degree of risk involved to the individual’s health, safety, and morals
His or her physical fitness and prior training
His or her experience and prior earnings
His or her length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in his or her customary occupation and
The distance of the available work from his or her residence.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Employment Security Law, no work shall be deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under such law to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:
If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute
Nebraska Ending Participation In Federal Pandemic Unemployment Programs
LINCOLN, Neb. – Starting in mid-June, Nebraska says it will no longer participate in federal pandemic unemployment programs.
In a press release, Nebraska’s Department of Labor announced the state has notified the U.S. Department of Labor of its intent to withdraw from the following unemployment programs.
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation : Provides an additional $300 weekly payment to all recipients of state or federal unemployment benefits.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance : Provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify, such as the self-employed and gig workers.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : Provides for an extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation : Provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with earnings from both self-employment and wages.
Nebraska will withdraw from the above programs effective June 19. But all claims for federal benefits covering weeks of unemployment through June 19 will be processed.
Nebraska will also continue to pay regular unemployment claims for those who qualify.
The Continued Assistance Act and American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 created additional benefit eligibility for some workers. Claimants should continue to file weekly claims at NEworks.nebraska.gov to receive all benefits for which they are eligible, or file a new claim if they have not yet applied.
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How To File For Unemployment In Nebraska
Since the coronavirus pandemic tightened its grip on the US, the number of workers whove been forced out of a job has soared. As CNN reports, 110,764 Nebraska residents have filed their initial claims for UI during the past seven weeks. In comparison to many other states, the numbers are small fry although its doubtful those 110,794 feel any better for it. If youve recently lost your job or experienced a reduction in income as a result of the crisis, heres how to file for unemployment in Nebraska.
Do I Qualify For Unemployment Benefits
If you want to qualify for unemployment benefits in Nebraska, youll need to meet these requirements.
- You must have worked in Nebraska for the past 12 to 18 months.
- You must meet the minimum earnings requirement explained below.
- Youve become unemployed through no fault of your own.
- You must be able and available to work and actively seeking employment however, this requirement has changed in light of COVID-19 .
During the COVID-19 crisis, the state of Nebraska no longer requires you to be able and available to work and actively seeking employment. You may be eligible for benefits if youre unable to work for reasons related to the novel coronavirus, which can include your work closing or limiting hours, having to quarantine, or caring for a family member or child who is ill or home from school. The requirement that you be actively seeking employment is also waived temporarily, as job seeking doesnt fall in line with social distancing measures.
As of early April, these requirements will only be waived on claims that are filed before May 2, 2020, so file as early as possible.
To meet the earnings requirement, you must have made at least $4,324 during your base period, or the period of employment used in your claim. You must have also earned at least $1,850 in one quarter of that base period, and at least $800 in another. The base period is typically the first four of the last five completed quarters before you applied for unemployment insurance.
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Register With The Department Of Labor
As a Nebraska employer, your small business must establish a Nebraska UI account with the Nebraska Department of Labor . You can register for an account with the DOL either online or on paper. Once registered, you’ll be issued a UI account number. To register online, use the DOL’s UIConnect website. To register on paper, use UI Form 1, Application for an Unemployment Insurance Tax Account Number. Blank forms are available for download from the Forms webpage in the UI Tax section of the DOL website. There is no fee to register your business with the DOL.
Note: To establish your Nebraska UI tax account, you’ll need a federal employer identification number . You can apply for an EIN at IRS.gov. Generally, if you apply online, you will receive your EIN immediately.
Benefits Extended To The Self
PEUC is available to an individual who has exhausted UI funds and EB. PUA is available to an individual who has exhausted UI, EB and PEUC funds. PUA is also available to an individual who cannot claim UI, EB or PEUC.
For example, self-employed people and independent contractors who cannot claim regular UI are eligible to claim PUA. Even when an individual might receive more through PUA than through UI, the individual cannot pick and choose which unemployment benefit to receive. They must file for, and receive, the benefit for which they are eligible upon the date of their initial claim.
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I Lost My Job How Do I File For Unemployment In Nebraska
You will want to claim as an individual and the website will ask for your employers for the last 18 months, social security number, the reason for leaving your job, and other identifying information. You have 21 days from time of filing for unemployment to submit your proof of income. If your employer is not providing the information, you can use a w-2 or a copy of your pay stubs to show your proof of income.
How Do I Appeal An Unemployment Denial In Nebraska
If your claim for unemployment is denied, you have 20 days to appeal the decision with the Nebraska Appeal Tribunal. Your request must be in writing, but can be completed by mail, fax, or online at dol.nebraska.gov.
Once the Appeal Tribunal receives your request, it will schedule a hearing. Hearings are informal and conducted by telephone. The Tribunal will mail a written decision to the parties. If you disagree with the Tribunal’s decision, you may appeal through the Nebraska state court system.
For more information on the Nebraska unemployment process, visit the Nebraska DOL’s website.
How Federal Law Changed Wba
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act changed how much money an individual claiming UI can receive in unemployment insurance benefits. The CARES Act and its extensions, first the Consolidated Appropriations Act and later the American Rescue Plan Act, provide $300 extra per week to every claimant. This $300 of aid is termed Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation .
The federal legislation provides $300 additional benefit payment to individuals who claim UI. It also provides this aid to individuals who claim Extended Benefits , Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance .
EB is available to an individual who has exhausted their UI funds and lives in a state with a high unemployment rate that made Extended Benefits available. PEUC is available to an individual who has exhausted UI funds and EB. PUA is available to an individual who has exhausted UI, EB and PEUC funds. PUA is also available to an individual who cannot claim UI, EB or PEUC.
Spotlight Changes To Unemployment Benefits Under The Consolidated Appropriations Act
- An additional $300 per week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments will be added to all unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021 %E2%80%94An%20additional%20%24600%20per,25th%20for%20most%20people.” rel=”nofollow”> FPUC)
- Regular state unemployment benefits will be extended for up to an additional 29 weeks through September 6, 2021, beyond the 50 weeks of benefits provided for by previous laws, through Pandemic Emergency Unemployment compensation %E2%80%94An%20additional%20%24600%20per,25th%20for%20most%20people.” rel=”nofollow”> PEUC)
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for categories of workers excluded from regular benefits %E2%80%94An%20additional%20%24600%20per,25th%20for%20most%20people.” rel=”nofollow”> PUA)
- Six months of free COBRA health insurance will be available to the unemployed
- Workers who have at least $5,000 in annual self-employment income but were previously ineligible for regular state unemployment benefits will continue to receive up to $100 per week
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How To Apply For Nebraska Unemployment Online
“How do I file a Nebraska Unemployment Claim?” is a common question most recently terminated workers ask. Nebraska residents can file an unemployment claim online at . Many claimants who prefer to sign up in person can visit a Nebraska unemployment office and use the computers provided and get help if needed.
All applicants should learn how the Nebraska unemployment system works as many of the requirements for continuing to receive benefits must be done online. Most applicants prefer to file for Nebraska unemployment online as it can be done at their own pace, they can also pause the application in order to find the correct documentation.