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Many states operate unemployment systems that are sorely out of date or didnt have the staff to handle this deluge of applications.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.
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
Am I Eligible For Florida Unemployment Benefits
To qualify for unemployment compensation in Florida, you must be out of work through no fault of your own and have earned a minimum of $3,400 during a 12-month period. Its important to note that for the first four of the five quarters before filing your Florida unemployment benefits claim that you are :
- a U.S. citizen or have a permit to work in the United States
- have worked for an employer covered by the states unemployment insurance law
- are able and available for work
If you quit your job, you are not eligible for Florida unemployment compensation unless you quit because:
- of illness or disability
- of unsolvable problems at work, such as discrimination, harassment, or unsafe working conditions
- your spouse is in the military and was ordered to relocate permanently
If misconduct led to your firing, you are not eligible for unemployment compensation. Florida defines misconduct as:
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Tracking Your Claim & Benefits
Claims Click My Account/Claim Status or call the Regional Claims Center for your area and when asked for the purpose of your call, say Claim Inquiry. These resources are available 24 hours a day to see if unemployment benefits have been paid, when they have been paid and how they have been paid. To see if benefits have been released to your debit card, check the DES resources first. Benefits are normally available on your debit card after 5:30 p.m. on the day they are released .
Benefits To check your debit card balance and view your entire transaction history visit www.mo-access.com, or call 888-775-3445. You are allowed one free call using the automated voice response system. Each additional call costs $.50. Contacting a customer service representative costs $3.00 per call. The Internet is always free.
Payment information is available two business days after you file your weekly request for payment for benefits.
Statement Of Wages & Potential Benefit Amounts
TWC mails you a Statement of Wages and Potential Benefit Amounts, which tells you:
- The wages your employers reported paying you during each quarter of your base period.
- If you worked in other states, for the federal government, or were in the military, the first benefit statement TWC mails to you will not include those wages because we have to request that information.
- We send you a new benefit statement whenever we receive additional wage information.
Excerpt from the Statement of Wages and Potential Benefit Amounts:
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Everything You Need To Know About $300 Unemployment Benefits
As mentioned, the Cares Act issued an additional $600 each week to beneficiaries, however, this stopped on July 31, 2020. This was apart of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program program. On August 8th, an executive order was signed. For a brief time in the summer, some Americans were receiving up to $400 a week in unemployment benefits For most states, they only offered recipients $300 which was passed along from the federal government. That bonus ended.
This is round two of this benefit and it is set to start soon. However, there is one hiccup
Donald Trumps Failure To Sign Covid Relief Bill Cost Americans $300 Unemployment Benefits
Because of the severe lack of leadership, Americans are will be shorted one week of $300 unemployment benefits as there is no clarification in the legislation as to the time fourty-five delayed in signing the critical bill. So instead of eleven full weeks, it may end up being only ten weeks.
We have received our readers emails asking these questions and have decided to answer them. Here are the answers to your burning questions:
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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Talk To Your Employer If Youre Called Back To Work
Finally, what if your company has remained closed but finally reopens and calls you back to work? That means you have a current offer of employment and are no longer eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
Exceptions are available if youve been told by a health provider to quarantine, or if youre caring for children while schools are closed. But remote schooling generally doesnt count as a school being closed for unemployment purposes, though some child caregivers might be eligible for PUA or family leave benefits.
Being called back to work may be a difficult situation if you arent comfortable returning to work right now. Your best bet may be to discuss the situation with your boss to see if there are any accommodations that can be made, but dont count on continuing to collect unemployment if your work returns.
Us Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance On Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 16-20 providing guidance to states for implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19, such as self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, are eligible for PUA benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Act enacted on March 27, 2020.
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals who are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable state law, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons, as defined in the CARES Act. Benefit payments under PUA are retroactive, for weeks of unemployment, partial employment, or inability to work due to COVID-19 reasons starting on or after January 27, 2020. The CARES Act specifies that PUA benefits cannot be paid for weeks of unemployment ending after December 31, 2020.
The UIPL also includes guidance to states about protecting unemployment insurance program integrity. The department is actively working with states to provide benefits only to those who qualify for such benefits.
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Why Did Benefits End Early In So Many States
Citing labor shortages in the spring, 26 state governors claimed pandemic-related unemployment benefits were producing limited incentives for workers to take jobs. Many economists and analysts disagreed, highlighting several factors that prevented people from finding suitable work, including low wages, lack of health care, inadequate child care and fear of contracting COVID-19.
With unemployment claims still fluctuating as the economy struggles to return to pre-pandemic “normalcy,” reports are showing that the early cancellation of the federal programs had little impact on labor markets. A recent JP Morgan Chase Institute study confirmed that states that ended supplemental unemployment insurance programs during the summer saw a limited impact on job growth.
According to an August report by the Century Foundation’s Andrew Stettner, “Politics, not economics, drove the attack on unemployment insurance.” The states that cut off the enhanced benefits before the federal expiration were mostly Republican-led.
Arkansas, Indiana and Maryland were slated to cut off benefits early, but successful lawsuits forced those states to preserve the federal coverage, at least temporarily. In issuing their rulings, judges noted that the ending of benefits made it harder for the unemployed to afford basic needs. Lawsuits were also filed against state governors elsewhere, which were either denied by judges or are still held up in the courts.
Make An Appointment At Your Americas Job Center
You must attend this meeting at your Americas Job Center to receive unemployment insurance benefits. The center will offer workshops, one on one consulting and other job search services to help you get back to work.
To find a center near you, visit the USA Job Center or contact your State Unemployment agency.
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Where Do I File For Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law.
Please see the map and list below to find the contact information for your state in order to apply for Unemployment Benefits.
Reapply For The Federal Extension If Necessary
While the additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits being provided under the CARES Act will kick in automatically in some states, other states require that you apply separately for the extension. Youll need to read the notices your state sends you to determine if you need to complete an additional application, or your payments could end up being interrupted.
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Filing A Weekly Claim
When do I file my first weekly claim for payment?
- File your first weekly claim on Sunday afternoon or evening or Monday before 7 p.m. after filing your unemployment claim in the previous week. For example: If you filed your initial application on Tuesday you should file for your first week of unemployment on the following Sunday or Monday. You may file weekly claims on the Internet or telephone.
- The calendar week for unemployment compensation purposes runs from midnight Sunday to midnight the following Saturday. You may file on any day of the week, Sunday through Saturday, but filing early in the week assures the most prompt payment. You will not receive a benefit payment until that week has been claimed. If you do not file within 14 days, your claim will become inactive and you will have to file an application to re-open your unemployment claim.
- You must file each week to be eligible for your weekly payment.
- If there is a state or bank holiday, your payment will be delayed.
What information do I need to file a weekly claim for payment online or by phone?
You will need the following information to file a weekly claim for payment:
There is no toll-free phone number available for the Weekly Claim Line. We recommend that you file your weekly claims online to avoid long-distance charges.
What questions will I be asked?
You will be asked a series of questions when you file a weekly claim.
How do I file my weekly claim online?
Do I have to claim every week or can I skip weeks?
What Can You Do To Ensure Youre Getting What Youre Owed
The huge influx of recent unemployment claims were partly caused by the number of people who qualify under this years unique circumstances but who wouldnt under normal circumstances.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act extends unemployment benefits to many who didnt previously qualify. Independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and the self-employed may be eligible for payments through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, established by the CARES Act. Since these types of workers dont pay state unemployment insurance taxes and they dont have employers who pay into the unemployment system, they arent normally eligible for unemployment benefits.
But how you apply for PUA benefits isnt the same across the board. Different states have different procedures and rules on who qualifies for benefits, says Daniel Kalish, managing partner at the national employment law firm HKM Employment Attorneys. The stimulus package included language saying states should be more lenient with who gets extra benefits, but didnt spell out exactly how, says Kalish.
Because there is so much confusion right now surrounding qualification, Kalish has this straightforward advice: If you have had any reduction of your take-home compensation at all, you should apply for unemployment benefits, even if youre unsure whether you qualify. As long as you are honest in your application, there is no negative repercussion for applying. All they can say is no, he says.
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What Is An Offer Of Suitable Employment And How Is It Connected To Unemployment Insurance Eligibility
Most state unemployment insurance laws include language defining suitable employment. Typically, suitable employment is connected to the previous jobs wage level, type of work, and the claimants skills.
Refusing an offer of suitable employment without good cause will often disqualify individuals from continued eligibility for unemployment compensation.
For example, if an individuals former employer calls the individual back to work after having temporarily laid the individual off for reasons related to COVID-19, the individual would very likely have to accept the offer to return to work, or jeopardize his or her eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits, absent some extenuating circumstance, such as if the individual tested positive for COVID-19. The job an individual held before the spread of COVID-19 will constitute, in the vast majority of cases, suitable employment for purposes of unemployment insurance eligibility.
How Long Will My Unemployment Compensation Last
Floridas unemployment rate, the time you apply for unemployment benefits, determines how long you can receive compensation. Twenty-three weeks is the maximum number of weeks you can collect. Unless its during times of very high unemployment, such as during the Great Recession, you may apply for extended benefits or emergency unemployment compensation . However, right now, those programs are not available because of low unemployment rates.
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This Spring I Received A Letter From Ides Indicating I Had Transitioned To A New Benefit Year I Have Been Unemployed Since April 2020 If Federal Programs End Does This Mean My Payments Will Stop
If you had not worked and earned at least three times your weekly benefit amount since the beginning of your first benefit year , your benefits were transitioned to a federal extension. All federal programs end on September 4, 2021, so that will be the last week of benefits payable to you. However, you might be eligible for one week of extended benefits.
Take Advantage Of Unemployment If Youre Eligible
No one likes losing a job, but dont think of unemployment insurance as a crutch or something to be embarrassed about. The unemployment insurance system exists as a backstop for people to use when they need it, and its needed by people now more than ever.
So if youve lost your job or arent working as many hours as before, get an unemployment claim filed as quickly as you can and get a temporary income stream flowing back into your household.
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