Work Search Requirements Causing Benefit Payment Issues
Over the last few months many claimants have reported that their UI benefits have stopped, particularly since the VEC reinstated work search requirements, which their antiquated systems have struggled to process . This is despite eligible claimants applying for jobs and reporting this on their weekly claims. The Benefit Year End Date , discussed in earlier updates below, does not seem to be the cause of the issue in most cases.
Governor Northam had asked claimants to be patient, despite Virginia being ranked among the worst states in paying claims, but this is not of much help to the many jobless workers who rely on federal and state unemployment benefits to pay for essentials and make ends meet.
Coupled with ongoing fraudulent claims many claimants have been caught in a web of automated call systems and process bureaucracy as their claims go unpaid. Getting hold of a live VEC agent has also been a challenge with many reporting hours of hold times and/or getting an untrained/new agent who is not able to help them
While the VEC, in a recent court hearing, said it had made significant progress in resolving thousands of unpaid and retroactive claims, it is estimated over 50,000 claims are still pending for review. Because a lot of these claims have to be checked manually so it could unfortunately take several months for eligible claimants to get paid which the VEC has to legally to so. I will post updates as I get them and check the comments forum below for more information.
How To Apply For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Attention: Effective immediately, you can submit proof of your income for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through this website. PUA is a federal benefit available to workers who are unable to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and do not qualify for state unemployment insurance benefits. The types of employment that PUA covers is listed below:
- Self-employed workers
- Non-profit employees
- Gig economy workers
- Part-time workers who do not have enough work history to be eligible for an Iowa claim
You are required to submit proof of your income to be eligible for PUA. You can upload proof of income through this website. Please follow the instructions below:
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is a supplemental benefit that is paid on top of an individuals weekly benefit amount for state unemployment insurance benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by the President on March 11, 2021, extends the FPUC program through September 2021.
FPUC provides a $300 per week benefit from Dec. 27, 2020 Sept. 4, 2021.
FPUC provided a $600 per week benefit from March 29 July 25, 2020.
Note: If you do not receive at least $1 in benefits for a week because you earned excessive wages, you will not be eligible to receive FPUC for that week.
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Covid 19 Enhanced Benefits In Virginia
Under the CARES act, there are three types of federal unemployment assistance available: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance : expands eligibility for traditionally ineligible individuals for unemployment benefits, including independent contractors and self-employed individuals. Recipients may receive up to 39 weeks of benefit payments under this program.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation : adds $600 per week and the regular benefits that recipients of Unemployment Insurance are entitled to receive the benefit is retroactive to the week beginning March 29, 2020, and the program expired on July 31, 2020.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to regular unemployment insurance recipients.
If you have exhausted benefits paid through the regular unemployment and PEUC program, you may be entitled to receive up to 50% of the total amount received on your regular unemployment benefits through the Extended Benefit program. This program covers an additional 6 to 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, depending upon the number of weeks you were eligible for benefits on your original unemployment insurance claim.
VA Lost Wages Assistance Payment Details and Schedule
Web and/or phone issues with accessing the Virginia Unemployment system
Initial claims are filed through the Virginia Workforce Connection here.
Filing an Initial Claim
- The physical address for each employer
- Telephone number
Filing Weekly Claims
Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Expired On Labor Day Could They Be Renewed
Millions of Americans lost jobless benefits this month. Some lawmakers are proposing that aid be reinstated in an upcoming spending package. Here’s the latest.
The September termination of unemployment benefits was considered the largest in US history.
After the pandemic-related expansion of unemployment insurance ended on Sept. 6, roughly 7.5 million people lost their benefits entirely, with millions more losing the $300 weekly bonus checks. The temporary federal benefits — which included coverage for those normally ineligible for jobless aid, like gig workers and the long-term unemployed — were in place since spring 2020 to help those who lost income from COVID-19 restrictions or layoffs.
This week, a group of Democratic lawmakers, led by Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called to reform the unemployment system in the coming $3.5 trillion House spending plan. In a , they noted that the country now “denies life-saving resources to over two-thirds” of those without jobs, as aid now covers “less than half of lost wages.” They also noted that 90% of unemployed workers and “especially Black and Brown communities” have been left with no benefits at all.
With the uptick in delta-variant cases, the COVID era hasn’t come to a close. Could the White House renew those extra benefits? What can people do who need unemployment coverage to make ends meet? We’ll explain below. This story has been recently updated.
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No Chance Of Extending Federal Unemployment Benefits
The expiration of the federal governments $300 weekly boost comes at a chaotic time for many American workers. As the nation grapples with cases of the contagious delta variant and the White House urges Americans to get vaccinated for Covid-19 , several states have reinstated indoor mask mandates to try to minimize the spread of the virus.
Although no large-scale economic shutdowns like those seen at the start of the pandemic have been announced, people job searching or who have just returned to the job market may be feeling less financially stable.
Since many have exhausted their state benefits, a wave of people will lose unemployment benefits once the federal bonus expires. Self-employed and gig workerswho will lose Pandemic Unemployment Insurance benefits created in 2020dont have state programs to fall back on.
In a letter last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh reiterated President Bidens previous message that its appropriate to let benefits end in early September.
But ending the boost doesnt mean the economy is set up for smooth sailing after that.
Even as the economy continues to recover and robust job growth continues, there are some states where it may make sense for unemployed workers to continue receiving additional assistance for a longer period of time. Allowing residents of those states more time to find a job in areas where unemployment remains high, wrote Yellen and Walsh.
Temporary Federal Pandemic Ui Programs Ended On September 4 2021
The temporary, federal unemployment insurance programs , Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation , Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation , and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Program expired the week ending Saturday, September 4, 2021. No payments of PUA, FPUC, PEUC, or MEUC benefits will be made for any weeks of unemployment ending after September 4, 2021, even if you have a PUA or PEUC balance in your BEACON portal.
Processing of Claims for Weeks Ending on or Before September 4 Claims that include weeks of eligibility that end on or before September 4 will be processed even after the federal programs expire. Claimants will receive benefits for all weeks they are determined to be eligible for, even if a determination of eligibility occurs after September 4. If you are waiting to receive an eligibility determination for any of these four federal programs, the Department will ensure that you receive all payments owed to you for those weeks. If claimants receive an eligibility determination for weeks of regular State unemployment insurance ending before September 4, 2021, that allows them to apply for PUA for any of those weeks, they may do so by calling a live claims agent at 667-207-6520.
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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.
Other Important Information For Claimants
- Child support obligations must be deducted from PUA payments in the same way that they are to regular unemployment insurance benefits.
- PUA payments are taxable. These payments will be included on your 1099G that you receive for the 2020 tax year. Taxes will be withheld from PUA payments if you have elected to have taxes withheld from your unemployment insurance benefits.
- Notice to Claimants with a CARES Act Overpayment: A non-fraud overpayment of CARES Act benefits does not necessarily make you ineligible for future CARES Act benefits, even if future benefits may be offset to repay the overpayment. If you have received a notice of a non-fraud overpayment of CARES Act benefits, you are still eligible to apply for future benefits.
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I Am An Independent Contractor Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits Under The Cares Act
You may be eligible for unemployment benefits, depending on your personal circumstances and how your state chooses to implement the CARES Act. States are permitted to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation. To qualify for PUA benefits, you must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits and be unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of certain health or economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits, which are available retroactively starting with weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020, and ending on or before December 31, 2020. The amount of benefits paid out will vary by state and are calculated based on the weekly benefit amounts provided under a states unemployment insurance laws. Under the CARES Act, the WBA may be supplemented by the additional unemployment assistance provided under the Act.
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.
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Federal Benefits Ending September 4
Effective September 4, 2021, in accordance with federal law, several federal unemployment benefits offered through the American Rescue Plan Act will expire.Benefits will end for claimants who are currently receiving the following:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- UA covers individuals who were not eligible for regular UI benefits. This included self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.
Under federal law, no PUA, PEUC, FPUC, or MEUC payments may be made after the week ending September 4 regardless of the claimants balance at the time of program termination. The amount claimants will receive as part of their weekly unemployment benefits after September 4 will be impacted by these changes from the federal government. The benefit amount in D.C., based on eligibility and wage information submitted to DOES, can range from $50 to $444 per week. Claimants can estimate their weekly benefit amount by visiting DCNetworks.org and clicking Estimate Your Benefits.
Contact Your Local Legislators
Some lawmakers, economists and advocates have spent months making the case to extend pandemic UI as the delta variant caused Covid caseloads to rise and job market recovery to slow.
By August, the Biden administration called on states to use emergency coronavirus funds to provide additional benefits to millions of Americans who remain out of work across the country. But the majority of state labor departments confirmed they have no intention of extending or providing additional benefits on their own.
ExtendPUA has since added to its advocacy resources ways people can contact their state legislators to urge them to provide more financial and career support to unemployed constituents.
Many worker advocacy groups, including ExtendPUA, Unemployed Action and Unemployed Workers United are also putting pressure on policymakers to institute more long-term systemic reform to cover more workers and put in automatic stabilizers, like the unemployment rate, to trigger federal relief rather than letting lawmakers choose calendar dates. Labor organizations have also to include federal and state policies in its next reconciliation package to extend aid and strengthen UI systems overall.
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Are Some States Ending The $300 Payment Early
Yes. Several states have announced an early termination for the $300 supplementary weekly payment in order to encourage workers to return to work versus staying on unemployment benefits. You can see a list of states ending enhanced UI benefits early here. It is expected that after Independence day federally funded unemployment benefit programs and payments will be cut off in these states, several months before the current end date of available extensions.
I will continue to update the table below and this article as state unemployment agencies update their systems. It is expected most states will be making these payments, including any back payments by mid-April per DOL guidelines. Some will pay out sooner rather than later, and active claimants will get paid first.
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A Compromise On Extending Unemployment Benefits
It appears highly likely that the President and his administration will have to provide some level of support to the millions of unemployed workers given the resurgence of the Coronavirus in several states that has forced extended business closures. As such a Senate proposal by the Democrats called The American Workforce Rescue Act , may provide a party line compromise that the president could get behind, particularly as the presidential election is only a few months away. The AWRA proposal would continue to provide the full $600 extra weekly unemployment payment as long as the states unemployment rate is above 11%. When it drops below 11% , it will start to phase out to $0 until the states unemployment rate drops below 6%. So essentially $100 less for every percentage drop between 11% and 6% of a states unemployment rate.
With the current provisions expiring in a few weeks, I expect that that Congress will eventually craft a bill to extend these UI benefits to the end of 2020 using a hybrid of one of the above proposals which may well also include another 2020 stimulus check to cover those not eligible for unemployment benefits.
The table below shows the impact of losing the extra $600 weekly payment against the maximum weekly benefit amount current paid by state unemployment agencies. As you can see, in several states it is pretty significant and the impact is much, much higher if you are not getting close to the maximum amount in your respective state.
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How Many People Lost Their Jobless Benefits
Its estimated around 7.5 million people have been cut off from aid, and more than three million people who get the weekly $300 bonus to their state unemployment benefits have been affected. That brings the total number of people affected by the Sept. 6 expiration date to almost 11 million.
In addition to that, August was an underwhelming month for job growth, with the economy adding just 235,000 positions, the Labor Department reported Friday. Economists polled by Bloomberg predicted 725,000 new hires for August, while a separate Reuters survey had economists predicting 728,000. Still, the unemployment rate is on a steady if slow decline, dropping from 5.4% to 5.2%.
How Do I Verify My Identity For The Georgia Department Of Labor
Tips and best practices for selecting and uploading acceptable identity documents can be found in the ID.me article Troubleshooting Identity Verification.
If you have been locked out of your My UI portal, you will receive an email from the Georgia Department of Labor directing you to a web address to verify your identity with ID.me.
Once you have navigated to the ID.me verification website, click the green Verify with ID.me button to start the identity verification process. Please continue to follow the instructions until you have verified your identity.
After you have verified your identity, either online or with the help of an ID.me Trusted Referee, you will receive another email from the GDOL within 48 hours that provides specific instructions on how to unlock your account and reset your PIN. You may need to check your spam/junk email folder for this message.
For more information on how to create your ID.me account and verify your identity, watch these ID.me YouTube videos:
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