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What Do You Need For Unemployment

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What Counts As Unemployment Benefits

What you need to know about new California unemployment benefit requirements

In most cases, you will apply for and receive unemployment insurance payments from your state. However, there are many different types of benefits funded by the federal government but paid through your state that also fall under the category of unemployment.

For instance, programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance temporarily expanded unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors, freelancers, and part-time workers impacted by the pandemic. Another program, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act after regular unemployment was exhausted.

Other programs provide unemployment insurance to specific industries, such as railroad unemployment compensation benefits and unemployment assistance under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. There are also programs for federal employees and ex-military service members.

Quick tip: All unemployment assistance you receive should be added to gross income. If you’re unsure whether to include a payment, use the interactive tool on the IRS website.

Looking For A Suitable Job

Unless you have a good reason not to do so, you must generally do the following:

  • apply for a suitable job that becomes vacant
  • accept a suitable job offered to you
  • take advantage of any opportunities to get a suitable job
  • follow any instructions from the Canada Employment Insurance Commission to help you find a suitable job
  • attend any interview the Canada Employment Insurance Commission asks you to attend to help you find a suitable job or to see if you need any job training
  • attend and complete any course or training program the Commission asks you to attend and that you agreed to attend

You can lose your employment insurance benefits for a period of time if you dont respect these obligations.

You might have to submit reports to Service Canada showing that you are respecting your obligations.

It is a good idea to check with the people handling your employment insurance file to find out about any other specific obligations you may have.

Looking For Work And Collecting Benefits

In California, for example, claimants must register with CalJOBS and post their résumé within 21 days of receiving approval for their claim. This shows theyâre available and willing to work should a job arise. If they do not do this, the state may deny their claim.

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Filing For Weekly Benefits

Once youve filed your initial claim for unemployment benefits, you can access your account each week and apply for benefits, check on the status of the claim to see when payment was made, and review how much unemployment compensation is left in your account. Mark your calendar with the day you need to file. Payment won’t be made unless you file for benefits each week for which you’re eligible.

While receiving unemployment, you must be actively willing to work and actively looking for work. The definitions of actively willing to work and actively looking for work also vary by state.

Is There An Unemployment Waiting Period

Unemployment Benefits TAX FREE

Unemployment insurance waiting periods are 100% state-driven. Many states have what is known as a “waiting period,” otherwise referred to as a “waiting week” as part of their unemployment insurance laws.

For example, in New York State, you must serve an unpaid waiting period equivalent to one full week of unemployment benefits before you receive payments. Minnesota has a non-payable waiting week before benefits can be collected. In some locations, the waiting week benefits will be paid, but you will have to wait until the end of the claim period in order to collect those funds.

Based on the state-by-state differential, it’s best to check with your state unemployment office website as soon as you lose your job for information regarding the unemployment waiting period in your location.

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Can A Fired Employee Collect Unemployment

Generally speaking, unemployment is only available for employees who have been laid off through no fault of their own, such as due to lack of work. However, in many states, if you fire an employee for being a poor fit for the job, lacking the necessary skills for the position or failing to perform to expected standards, they may still be able to collect unemployment.

If an employee quits voluntarily or was fired for misconduct or company policy violations, they are likely ineligible to collect benefits.

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Verifying Your Legal Authorization To Work

If youre a non-U.S. citizen filing for Unemployment Insurance benefits, DUA must verify that you are legally authorized to work in the United States. This is required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Your legal authorization to work will be verified through a computer match with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services . The information received from the USCIS may affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

To Be Eligible For Benefits You Must:

What you need to know: filing for unemployment for the first time
  • Have sufficient earnings in your base period.
  • Your benefits are based on the amount of earnings paid to you from all employers during a recent 52-week period of time. This is called your base period. Commissions, bonuses, overtime, vacation pay, severance pay , and wages earned in other states are included. Earnings from self-employment are usually not included.
  • Be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • If you are not a citizen, your authorization to work will be subject to verification.
  • Be unemployed, or working substantially reduced hours, through no fault of your own.
  • If you are unemployed for any reason other than lack of work, Minnesota law requires that a process be followed to determine whether you are eligible for benefits. Reference What if I’m unemployed for a reason other than layoff? in the Information Handbook.
  • Actively seek suitable employment each week.
  • Actively seeking suitable employment means you are taking action each week towards finding a job that matches your skills, experience, training, and mental and physical ability.
  • At first this may be assessing what skills you have and what type of work you should pursue. You may create or update a resume, see a job counselor, go to job search workshops, and so on.
  • The goal is to find appropriate job openings each week and present yourself to those employers as a good candidate.
  • Be able and willing to begin suitable work without delay when offered.
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    Receiving Benefits Takes Some Time

    Generally, you will receive your first unemployment check 2-3 weeks after filing your claim. To make certain the process goes as smoothly as possible, it is important to provide complete and accurate information on your initial claim. You can expect to complete a phone interview before your claim is approved. Making yourself available to take the call will result in speedier processing.

    How Do You Appeal An Unemployment Benefit Denial In New York

    If you are denied benefits for any reason, you have the right to appeal the decision by requesting a hearing in front of an impartial Administrative Law Judge of the New York Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.

    You can request a hearing online by sending a message to the state through your account. You may also request a hearing by completing a Claimant Hearing Request Form and mailing it to: New York State Department of Labor, PO Box 15131, Albany, NY 12212-5131.

    Your hearing request must be made within 30 days from the date of your determination notice. If a ruling is in your favor, you will be awarded back benefits for the period you waited for a decision. You have the right to bring an attorney to your hearing to represent you.

    If you disagree with the results of the hearing, you can appeal the decision to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board. You must file that appeal within 20 days after the ALJs decision was mailed to you.

    If you still disagree with that decision, you can file a further appeal with the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court.

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    When And How Will I Be Paid My New York State Unemployment

    It takes about three to six weeks from the time you file New York unemployment claims to when you receive your first payment due to processing and reviewing of your New York unemployment application. You will not receive benefits during this time, but if you are approved, you will receive back weeks of benefits owed with your first payment.

    It is important to note that the first full week of your UI claim is an unpaid waiting week. You will not be paid any benefits during this period. If you work at all for any reason or do not serve the full week for any other reason, the unpaid week will roll over to the next week. You must still claim this week so that you can begin receiving benefits the following week.

    However, New York is currently waiving the seven-day waiting period for those who are out of work due to COVID-19.

    While you are waiting, you need to be responsive to any requests made by the Department of Labor. You should also claim weekly benefits as long as you are unemployed and are eligible for benefits. This is the only way you will receive any back weeks owed to you.

    You can also receive benefits by direct deposit into your bank account. Physical checks are no longer mailed. To sign up for direct deposit, you can register on the New York State unemployment website.

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    How To Stay On Unemployment

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    While collecting unemployment, you are required to file weekly or biweekly claims detailing your job hunt, job offers, earnings from part-time work, and any times youve refused work .

    Theres no one set path for all unemployed people because requirements vary by state, but theres a good chance youll have to attend in-person meetings to update the unemployment agency on the progress of your job search. You also might be encouraged to attend training sessions to help you increase your job prospects.

    Its not easy to stay on unemployment, Sanborn says. You have to go to a lot of in-person meetings and career training sessions on finding a job or updating a resume. If you dont report to your unemployment office for a check-in when youre supposed to, you could lose your benefits. Usually you have to submit a list of applications and put down the name and phone number in case they check in on it, Sanborn notes. But the biggest hassle is that you do need to keep going to those meetings.

    While collecting unemployment, keep in mind that your benefits are subject to federal income taxes and you need to report them on your federal tax return. If you want, you can choose to have the tax withheld by your State Unemployment Insurance agency.

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    If You Quit Or Were Fired You Are Not Likely Eligible

    Unemployment insurance benefits are reserved for individuals who lose their job by no fault of their own. Since the actions of the employee are what most often lead to someone quitting or being fired, you are not likely eligible to receive benefits in these cases. Certain reasons for quitting are considered just cause and do not make a person ineligible for unemployment benefits. An example of this would be quitting due to discrimination or a sharp reduction in pay or hours. If you can prove you were fired by no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. An example of this would be losing your job because you lacked the skills necessary to perform it.

    Latest On Coronavirus From New Scientist

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    Immunity offered by vaccines wanes more quickly with omicron, finds UK study

    The protection conferred by booster vaccines against the omicron variant begins to wane within 10 weeks, according to a briefing released by the UK Health Security Agency .

    Based on an analysis of 147,597 delta and 68,489 omicron cases, the agency found that the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are less effective against omicron than delta. For people who had two initial doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the UKHSA estimates that Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna boosters are around 60 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infections from omicron 2 to 4 weeks after the third dose, but this falls to 35 to 45 per cent by 10 weeks. For those who had two initial doses of Pfizer/BioNTech, protection falls from 70 per cent at 2 to 4 weeks to 45 per cent at 10 weeks after a Pfizer booster, but stays around 70 to 75 per cent up to 9 weeks after a Moderna booster.

    However, modelling suggests that the severity of omicron would need to be around 90 per cent lower to avoid similar levels of hospital admissions to previous waves, according to minutes from a meeting of the UK governments Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on Monday.

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    Eligibility For Unemployment Benefits

    To file for or collect employment benefits, you first need to ensure you are eligible. As the California Employment Development Department explains, these eligibility requirements also continue to apply throughout the period you collect unemployment benefits. This means, if you qualify, you must still continue to prove every week that you:

    • Have earned sufficient wages during the base period
    • Are entirely or partially unemployed
    • Have lost your job for reasons that are not your fault
    • Are physically able to work
    • Are available to work and
    • Are ready and willing to accept available work immediately.

    The EDD describes the base period as a 12-month period that they use to determine if you made enough in wages to establish an unemployment benefits claim. If you are eligible to apply, you may be able to replace your lost income with benefits between $40 and $450 a week.

    Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus, there are added circumstances where you may be eligible for unemployment. Federal law allows states to pay unemployment benefits where:

    • Your employer stopped operations temporarily due to coronavirus, leaving temporarily without paid work
    • You are in quarantine but have expectations of resuming work after quarantine
    • You left your job because of a risk of exposure or infection, or in order to care for a family member.

    Filing A Weekly Claim

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    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?

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    Vaccine Effectiveness & Omicron

    Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.

    While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare.

    In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus.

    Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.

    Yet the spread can be offset by all vaccinated Americans receiving a booster shot.

    Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.

    With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.

    Studies have also shown that side effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.

    In the case of someone who works outside, such as a lumberjack or construction worker, who has to quarantine due to potentially being exposed to Covid, can technically work in an online job while they isolate.

    They are able to work but not in their usual job.

    An individual may be quarantined or otherwise affected by Covid-19 but still eligible for , depending on state law, according to the Labor Department memo.

    Americans with Covid may get paid sick leave through their workplace and if this is the case they wouldnt need to get unemployment benefits.

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