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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Why do we use it?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Like any other state, the unemployment rate in South Carolina (SC) skyrocketed due to the Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown. To help the unemployed meet their financial needs during the crisis, the Department of Employment and Workforce has announced an extension of unemployment benefits. So, who qualifies for the extended unemployment benefits in SC? 

Here, we will guide you on eligibility requirements for Extended Benefits (EB). But before that, let us learn more about the EB. 

More About Extended Unemployment Benefits In SC

On Wednesday, 22 July, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) announced that the state would offer an additional 6 weeks of unemployment benefits to the qualified. This extension is the addition to the 10 weeks of extended benefits that were announced in early July. This means that South Carolinians can receive benefits for an additional 16 weeks. 

State law allows for the second time extension to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program because South Carolina’s unemployment rate has exceeded the threshold level, i.e., 8% for the past 3 months. However, the additional 6 weeks would be the last and final extension provided under the state law. 

Who Qualifies For EB In South Carolina?

South Carolinians who have exhausted their traditional unemployment benefits year ended on 14 June can receive extended unemployment benefits. To qualify for EB, you must meet several requirements. Some of them are listed below. 

  • Exhausted all benefits received through regular unemployment program under state law
  • Exhausted benefits received through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program
  • Have no rights to traditional unemployment benefits under any UI law of another other state or Canada
  • Meet base period wages and work requirements under the regular unemployment benefits: (1) wages is 40 times higher than the most recent weekly unemployment benefit amount; or (2) total earnings in your base period is greater or equal to 1.5 times the highest quarter: or (3) 20 weeks of full-time covered job

How Much Benefits Will You Receive Under The Extended Benefits Program?

The weekly benefit amount under the Extended Benefits program is the same as you receive through the traditional Unemployment Insurance or the PEUC program.

Note – The claimants who qualify for regular and extended unemployment benefits programs will no longer receive $600 benefits under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, as it has come to an end on 25 July. 

How To Apply For Extended Unemployment Benefits In SC? 

You can apply for extended unemployment benefits in South Carolina by visiting the MyBenefits portal and clicking on the Customer Menu option. 

Note that the page will display only the “Apply for Extended Benefits” option if you have already exhausted 20 weeks of your regular benefits and 13 additional weeks of PEUC program. 

But if you have recently lost a job or aren’t currently collecting the regular benefits, you cannot apply for Extended Benefits but must first file for regular unemployment benefits. However, before filing a claim, it is wiser to check if you qualify for benefits to avoid any claim denial. 

Eligibility Criteria For Regular Unemployment Benefits 

The state provides regular unemployment benefits if you have lost your job through no fault of your own. Some of the other eligibility requirements include:

  1. Are able, available and actively looking for a job
  2. Have earned a minimum of $1,092 during the highest quarter in your base period
  3. Total wages in base period are equal to or greater than 1.5 times the wages in the highest quarter 
  4. Total earnings in the base period are minimum $4,455 

Note – Although work search requirements are mandatory, the state has currently suspended weekly job searches throughout the State of Emergency, declared by the Governor of the state.  

Where To File For Regular Unemployment Benefits In South Carolina?

You can apply for regular unemployment benefits through the MyBenefits Portal. To apply for benefits:

Step 1 – Register by completing the required documentation. If you have already registered, enter the username and password, and log in to your account. 

Step 2 – Enter the necessary details and file a claim. 

Details Required While Filing A Claim

While applying for UI benefits, you will be required to enter several details. Some of them include:

1. Reason for separation from the employer 

2. Social Security number

3. Alien registration number and documentation if you are not an American citizen

4. DD-214 Form (Member 4 copy) if you have offered services in the military in the past 18 months 

5. Employment history for the past 18 months. This includes:

  • Employers’ names
  • Employers’ phone numbers
  • Employers’ addresses
  • Salary from each employer
  • SF-50 or SF-8 Form if you were a federal civilian employee

    Once you have filed a claim, DEW will determine if you are eligible for benefits. Within a week after applying, the authorities will send a notice of Monetary Determination through the mail. The letter includes details regarding potential maximum and weekly benefits. 

    DEW may sometimes ask you to submit some information to determine your eligibility. The information can be submitted through fax or mail. 

    Note that you will receive a final eligibility decision within 21 days following the Monetary Determination. However, if you don’t receive the eligibility decision, you can check your application’s status through the MyBenefits Portal.  

    Note- 

    (1) If you don’t have the required documents, log off, gather the documents, and log in again. You will see “Resume My UI Link.” The link will take you through each page that you have completed. All you need to do is click “next” until you reach the page which you had stopped filing.  

    (2) You must certify each week so that the Department of Employment and Workforce knows you are still unemployed, failing to which you won’t receive the payments.

    (3) You cannot claim a week’s benefit until the week has been completed.  

    (4) When applying, you will be asked to choose the payment method, i.e., debit card or direct deposit. For more information, visit the payment page. 

    Final Words

    The state is implementing all possible measures to help the unemployed South Carolinas. While extended unemployment benefits help you meet your needs, for the time being, DEW’s employment resources and opportunities can help you find a job. To know more about it, visit the DEW website. 

    With $600 weekly benefits scheduled to end in the next few days, millions of unemployed Americans are devastated and are looking for ways to meet their needs in a crisis. To add more, some states are reinstating work search requirements, making it hard to qualify for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. 

    States have the work search requirement in normal times, but some states temporarily suspended the requirement due to the pandemic. But recently, states like Missouri, Arkansas, and Nebraska have reinstated the work search requirement.  

    Here, let us look at the date of the effectiveness of the work search requirement in the above-listed states and allowed work search activities in the respective state.

    Work Search Requirements In Missouri 

    The state had waived the work search requirement in April when several businesses were forced to shut down due to the pandemic’s spread. But now that businesses have reopened, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has reinstated the requirement. 

    The work search requirement took effect from July 5 in the state. “Missourians filing a claim will have to complete the state-defined work search activities minimum 3 times each week they make a payment request,” the Department said.

    Work search requirements are required for various programs, including traditional Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Extended Benefits (EB).

    Allowed Work Search Activities

    Work search requirements can be met in various ways. Some of them include: 

    1. Searching and accessing employment on MoJobs.gov website
    2. Considering and responding to a work referral by Missouri Job Center 
    3. Completing a paper application for a job
    4. Attending job interview(s)
    5. Participating in job fair(s)
    6. Contacting employer(s) regarding job openings
    7. Creating a reemployment plan
    8. Attending virtual job interviews
    9. Creating a personal profile on various job posting and networking websites like Monster, LinkedIn, Craig’s List, Indeed, etc.

    The self-employed or others qualified for PUA can meet the work search requirement by any of the above-listed methods. Additionally, the self-employed can meet work search activities by:

    • Client Contacts
    • Participating in training programs
    • Advertising
    • Submitting proposals or bids 

    Exemptions

    There are work search exemptions for some claimants. Individuals who have been laid off and have a recall date, are in approved training or are on the Shared Work program will not need to submit work search activities. 

    Note that your work search activity must be up to date and be recorded in uinteract.labor.mo.gov. You can enter the details during the same week or when filing your weekly payment request.  

    To submit the details, log in to your account and choose “Weekly Request for Payment.” Select “Enter Work Search Details,” enter the details and click the “Save” button. 

    Note – if you fail to submit 3 work search activities, your claim may be denied. So make sure you update the details regularly. 

    Work Search Requirements In Arkansas

    In the wake of the pandemic-induced economic shutdown, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (DWS) had waived the work search requirement in March. However, lately, the DWS has announced that beginning June 28, Arkansasians must submit work search activities to continue to receive unemployment benefits. 

    As part of the work search requirement, the claimants must make 2 or 3 job contacts per week, depending on where they live in the state.

    For instance, claimants living in larger metropolitan areas like Benton, Craighead, Faulkner, Garland, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Perry, Poinsett, Sebastian, Washington, etc. counties should make3 job contacts per week. Claimants living in rural areas must make 2 contacts per week.

    Not only the regular unemployment benefits, the work-search requirement also applies to those receiving benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, except for the self-employed. 

    Claimants receiving Extended Benefits (EB) include enhanced work-search requirements. They must make 3 or 4 job contacts weekly, depending on where they live in the state. For instance, those living in the above-listed metropolitan statistical areas must make 4 job contacts each week, and those in rural areas should make 3 contacts.

    Allowed Work Search Requirements

    One can meet the state’s work search requirements in many ways. Some of them include:

    1. Registering with DWS Employment Services
    2. Attending job search workshops
    3. Looking for jobs online

    Those claiming EB have enhanced work search requirements. They must provide a written work contacts log each week to continue to receive benefits. 

    Self-employed who claim benefits through PUA need not make job contacts but must participate in activities designed to resume their self-employment.

    Exemptions

    Some claimants can receive work search exemptions. For instance, individuals with return-to-work dates within 10 weeks from the initial of the date an unemployment claim can get exempt from the work search requirement. 

    To receive the work-search exemption, individuals must give DWS a written letter from their employer. The letter should include the individual’s name, last day of work, the last 4 digits of the individual’s Social Security number, and the rejoining date. Individuals can send an Email or deliver the letter to either the local DWS office or DWS’s main office.

    Individuals collecting partial unemployment can be exempted from the work search requirement, provided their work hours have been reduced (full-time to part-time), and the individual works a minimum of 8 hours per week.

    Work Search Requirements In Nebraska 

    The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) had waived the work search requirement in March to encourage more Nebraskaians to collect unemployment benefits. However, with businesses reopening across the state, NDOL has announced individuals must meet the work search requirement starting the week of July 12. 

    As a part of the requirement, claimants are required to perform and submit work search activities each week to continue to receive benefits.

    Work search activities are required for those receiving benefits through regular Unemployment Insurance, Extended Benefits (EB), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). 

    Allowed Work Search Requirements

    NDOL officials have listed qualified work search activities in the state. Some of them include:

    • Meeting with a career counselor or job coach  
    • Completing an online or in-face application with an employer
    • Searching for a work using online job portals or banks
    • Participating in a workshop or job skills class 

    Exemptions 

    The state provides work search requirement exemptions to some claimants. For instance, individuals attending approved training, individuals part of a Short-Time Compensation program, or are union members with a hiring hall. Individuals with an employer confirmed rejoining date within 112 days of their layoff are also exempted from the work search requirement. 

    Note – 

    NDOL wants unemployed workers to report work refusals and earnings (including Paycheck Protection Program) when filing a weekly claim.

    Final Words 

    If you live in Missouri or Arkansas, or Nebraska make sure you report the work search activities to continue to qualify for benefits. If you fail to report, your claim may be considered as fraud, and you could be subjected to criminal prosecution and fines.

    For more details on your state’s work search requirements and job opportunities, visit your Department’s website.

     

    The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the United States by storm. It has shuttered the economy leading to a drastic increase in the unemployment rate. In Texas alone, the unemployment rate was 13% in May, and about 2.7 million people have filed for Unemployment Insurance (UI) since mid-March. 

    The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has paid over $800 billion federal and state funding unemployment benefits and is expected to pay more in upcoming days. However, now the state law wants overpaid Texans to repay the money back to the TWC. So, how do you repay overpaid unemployment benefits in Texas? 

     

    In this article, we will guide you through the process of repaying the overpaid benefits, but before that, let us learn more about the overpayment of benefits in Texas and its reasons. 

    Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits In Texas

    More than 46,000 Texas who lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic were overpaid by the Texas Workforce Commission, which now wants the money back. The overpaid benefits sum up to $32 million. The Commission had received those 46,000 claims through a combination of online portal and mails.  

    Cisco Gamez, state agency’s spokesperson, stated, “State law requires the Workforce Commission to recover overpayments of unemployment benefits. Overpayments will stay on the claimant’s record until repaid.” 

    It is unclear how many of the unemployment overpayments are due to TWC’s errors and how many are due to claimants’ fraud. After The Texas Tribune’s request, the agency is collecting data on the overpayments due to fraud. 

    On average, the Workforce Commission has overpaid nearly $700 per person. These payments account for more than 1% of the total applied claims. 

    The Texas Workforce Commission said that it would send a Determination letter on payment of unemployment benefits to those who are overpaid. The letter would include the reason for the overpayment, weeks that were overpaid, and the amount of money one must repay. 

    TWC stated that it would mail a statement of an overpaid unemployment benefits account, that is a billing statement, within 30 days following the date of determination of overpayment. The statement would include instructions and steps on how to repay the overpayment. The Commission added that 30 days later, it will send a second billing statement that includes a repayment schedule, provided the case is not prosecuted. 

    Possible Reasons For Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits 

    An overpayment of unemployment benefits occurs when you receive a payment that you are not entitled to. Some of the reasons for overpayment include:

    • Providing false or incorrect details about the job separation
    • Providing incorrect information about work search when applying for unemployment benefits or requesting payment
    • Not reporting income or submitting incorrect income when filing for benefits
    • Failing to register with WorkInTexas.com or local One-Stop Career Center if living outside of Texas
    • Not participating in job assistance programs conducted by Workforce Solutions or Reemployment Services 
    • Having appeals that reverse the eligibility after receiving unemployment benefits
    • Correction of earning errors that result in a lower benefit amount than calculated initially 
    • Not reporting accurate job separation details 

    The Texas Workforce Commission said that if the agency determines that the overpayment is due to fraud, you must repay the benefits that you were not entitled to. You will also be required to pay 15% penalty on the payment that you have received through fraud. 

    Why Repay The Overpaid Unemployment Benefits?

    State law requires you to repay the payment. TWC will not dismiss or forgive an overpayment, and this can affect your unemployment benefits in the future. You should repay the overpayment because:

    1. When applied for benefits, TWC will deduct the amount from the eligible benefits until the overpayment is repaid.

    2. The overpayment remains on the claim record until it is completely recovered.

    3. State funding for students will not be released until TWC recoups the overpayment.

    4. The Texas State Comptroller may withhold certain payments until it recovers the overpayment. That means you cannot collect your lottery winnings, unemployment insurance, or state work-related expenses (except for wages), and unclaimed property.

    5. The Texas Workforce Commission can take legal action to recover the money.

    Unemployment Insurance Benefits From Another State

    If you have been overpaid and you are receiving Unemployment Insurance from another state, TWC can ask that state to recover the overpaid amount. The other state will then send unemployment benefits to TWC as per its laws and repays the overpayment.

    Overpayments From Another State

    If you have an overpayment in another state, they can request the Texas Workforce Commission to send your unemployment benefits until the overpayment is recovered. If the overpayment is collectible from TWC, the authorities will notify you about the same.

    You should continue to file biweekly payment requests so that TWC can process each eligible payment toward repaying the overpayment. Once the overpaid amount is recovered, TWC may pay you any remaining benefits, as long as you are still filing an unemployment claim.

    How To Repay Overpaid Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

    You can repay overpaid unemployment benefits by mailing your check or money order to TWC Revenue and Trust Management, P.O. Box 149352, Austin, TX 78714-9352.

    If you are unable to repay the entire overpayment amount at a stretch, you can request TWC a repayment plan. TWC will review your overpayment and set up a repayment plan if it meets the required criteria. For more information, call 512-936-3338 or Email at special.colloverpay@twc.state.tx.us

    What If You Don’t Agree With TWC?

    If you have received an overpayment notice but do not agree with TWC, you can file an appeal. Texas has three levels of appeal.

    1. Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal
    2. Appeal to the Commission
    3. Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court

    You can first appeal to the Appeal Tribunal. If you are not happy with its decision, you can re-appeal to the Commission. If you are unhappy with the decision of the Commission as well, you can re-appeal to a Civil court. Visit https://www.twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/introduction-unemployment-benefits-appeal-process to know more about the appeal process in Texas. 

    Final Words

    Do not panic if you have received overpayment notice. Follow the instructions provided by the Texas Workforce Commission and repay the overpaid unemployment benefits. Remember, if you fail to repay, the authorities can take legal action against you.

    The Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown has caused millions of Ohioans to lose their jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the unemployment rate in Ohio peaked at 16.8% in April and fell to 13.7% in May. To help the Unemployed Ohioans meet their basic needs, the state provides a range of financial measures. One such is the extended unemployment benefits. 

    In this article, let’s have a look at the extended unemployment benefits in Ohio.

    More About Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio

    Generally, Ohioans receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program announced under the CARES Act, Ohioans could receive benefits for an additional 13 weeks, that is, a total of 39 weeks. 

    To add more to this, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is offering extended benefits to its citizens. The Department can offer extended unemployment benefits because Ohio’s insured unemployment rate (a measure of the number of people currently collecting UI as a percentage of the labor force) has crossed the minimum threshold. 

    Under the newly extended benefits program, eligible Ohioans can receive payment for an additional 20 weeks. Those who qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program can receive benefits for an additional 7 weeks. 

    Who Qualifies For Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio?  

    To be eligible for extended unemployment benefits in Ohio, one must meet several requirements. Some of them include:

    • The individual must be out of work
    • The individual must exhaust benefits received under the regular unemployment program
    • The individual must exhaust payment received under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program
    • The individual must be able, available for work, and actively look for work

    Note – Despite meeting the requirements, not all may receive the benefits under the extended benefits program. Kimberly Hall, Director of the ODJFS, has said that the Department will soon start notifying people who can receive payment under the extended program. 

    How To File For Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio?

    The ODJFS has not yet announced the extended benefits application process. The Department will go through the applications, determine who qualifies for benefits, and provide information on the application process. For more details, visit http://unemployment.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility

    Note that if you have exhausted only the regular unemployment benefits, you cannot apply for extended benefits. Instead, you should apply for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. 

    What Is The PEUC Program?

    Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a financial measure announced under the CARES Act. It provides benefits for an additional 13 weeks to the eligible. 

    Eligibility Criteria 

    To qualify for the PEUC program, you should meet several requirements such as:

    • Have exhausted benefits received under the regular unemployment program under federal or state law that ended on or after July 2019
    • Are not receiving unemployment benefits under any other state law
    • Are not collecting benefits under the Unemployment Compensation (UC) laws of Canada
    • Are able, available to work, or actively seeking employment
    • Have work search records 

    How To File For PEUC In Ohio?

    If you are receiving regular unemployment benefits, you need not reapply for the PEUC. The Department will automatically add 13 weeks of PEUC payment for you. However, if you recently lost your job through no fault of your own and are not receiving unemployment benefits, apply for one.

    File For Unemployment Benefits In Ohio

    You can apply for unemployment benefits in Ohio online or by phone. You can apply online by visiting http://unemployment.ohio.gov/. However, if you have lost your work due to the direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic, visit https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ for more information on eligibility and filing.

    You can also apply a claim by calling toll free number, 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408. The representatives will be available 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday, excluding state holidays. The state also has extended call center hours to help people with PIN resets and initial application process. The representatives will be available 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday to Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM on Saturdays, and 9 AM – 1 PM on Sundays. 

    Documents Required While Filing A Claim 

    You are required to submit several documents while applying for an unemployment claim. Some of them include: 

    • Your name
    • Your address
    • Your Email address and telephone number
    • Your Social Security number
    • Names of your employer
    • Address of your employers
    • Contact information of your employers
    • Dates of employment with each company you worked for the past 6 weeks before being unemployed
    • Reason for separation from each employer
    • Your dependents’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc. 
    • Alien registration number and its expiration date if you are not a U.S. citizen 

    If you had any out-of-state jobs, are separated from military service, or had worked for the federal government, you will be required to provide some additional information.

    1. If you had worked for the federal government, submit SF-8 or SF-50 form 
    2. If you had served in the military, submit Form DD-214 and a copy of Member-4

    What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied?

    If your claim was denied despite meeting the eligibility criteria, you can file an unemployment appeal. You must file an appeal with ODJFS through fax, Email, or in-person. You must file within 21 days following the issue of the determination letter. 

    A hearing will be scheduled where the ODJFS will review your case and give its decision. If you are not happy with the decision, you can re-appeal with the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). Note that you have only 21 days to re-appeal with the UCRC. The UCRC will schedule a hearing through the phone or in-person. 

    Final Words

    Unemployment benefits undoubtedly provide you with financial support. But remember that it offers relief only for a certain period of time. Therefore, it is a must for you to look for a suitable job. To find a job in Ohio, visit https://careers.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/careers/

     

    The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the United States by storm. Virginia is one of the states worst hit by both the pandemic and pandemic-induced economic shutdown. According to the reports, more than 600,000 Virginians have lost their jobs since March 2020. As tough it is to lose a job, people struggle to collect unemployment benefits, especially under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. 

    To help people with the process, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has recently launched an online portal. In this article we’ll guide you on the online portal, but before that, let us quickly look at the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia. 

    Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia

    The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia is a federal program announced under the CARES Act in March 2020. It offers an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The weekly PEUC benefit amount will be the same as that received under the traditional/regular unemployment benefits program.

    Benefits under the PEUC program is given only to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Some of the requirements include:

    • The individual must have exhausted all benefits received under the regular unemployment program under the state or federal law that ended after or on July 2019
    • The individual must be capable of taking a job, available to work, and should actively look for work 
    • The individual should certify that he or she is not collecting unemployment benefits with respect under any other Unemployment Compensation law of Canada

    Facts About PEUC Program-

    • The first payable week under PEUC program is the week that starts on March 29, 2020, and ends on April 4, 2020
    • The PEUC benefits are taxable
    • The last payable week of PEUC benefits is the week that ends on December 26, 2020

    Online Portal For PEUC Program

    The Virginia Employment Compensation has witnessed a surge in the number of unemployment claims. Since March, the total claims filed is more than that the Department received throughout 2 years of the Great Recession. The considerable amount of claims has burdened the authorities at VEC, making it challenging for them to process claims in addition to slowing down the VEC website. 

    To address these issues, the Employment Commission has taken several steps, such as adding more workforce, updating phone lines, and launching an online portal. 

    The link to the online portal is available on the Virginia Employment Commission website. You can apply for PEUC through the newly launched online portal or by calling 1-866-832-2363. Note that due to heavy call volumes, you may experience a longer waiting period. Therefore, we would suggest you apply online.

    Why The Claim Gets Denied? 

    According to Fogg, the communication manager at VEC, several aspects can lead to denial of unemployment claims. Some of the reasons include not filing their weekly certification, submission of incorrect or partially filled application, not available or being able for work, failing drug tests, or not taking up an offer for suitable employment.

    He added, “There may be some valid reasons people refuse work like the applicant has some health issues or is giving child care. In such a scenario, the applicants must appeal, but this process may take some time.” Your benefits will be stopped until your unemployment appeal is heard, and a decision is made,” stated Fogg. 

    Further, he said, “If your employer wants you to return to work, go back.” This is because a link is added to the VEC website, which will help employers to report if their employees fail to return to work.

    “If you were asked to return to work but refused to go back, your benefits would be stopped until authorities have reviewed your case to determine if there was any good cause,” said Fogg. 

    Applying For Regular Unemployment Benefits In Virginia

    As said earlier, you have to exhaust your regular unemployment benefits to qualify for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia. If you are unemployed but haven’t applied for the traditional benefits, apply for now one. 

    To apply for regular unemployment benefits, visit the Virginia Employment Compensation website, and choose the relevant option. While applying, you will be required to enter several details like:

    • Your name
    • Address 
    • Contact information
    • Name of your recent employer
    • Dates of employment 
    • Reason for leaving the job
    • Work search reports

    You can also apply by calling the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363. The Customer Contact Center will be open Monday – Friday, 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM, and will be closed on state holidays. 

    While filing a claim, you will be asked to choose the mode of payment. You can choose either a debit card or direct deposit. For direct deposit, you have to provide routing numbers and bank account details.  

    Eligibility Criteria

    To be eligible for regular unemployment benefits, you must meet several requirements. They include:

    • You have lost through no fault of your own
    • You are able, available, or actively looking for work
    • You must have minimum wages before being unemployed

    Monetary Requirements

    Like every other state, your work history and wages will be considered while processing your application. The unemployment payment and the period (i.e., 12 to 26 weeks) will be decided based on your gross wages. 

    When you apply for unemployment, you will receive a Monetary Determination. It includes your base period earnings, the maximum number of weeks you can collect benefits, and weekly benefit amount. 

    Make sure to review the Monetary Determination thoroughly. If the base period wages shown are incorrect, contact VEC Customer Contact Center and provide correct information. You may be asked to Email or fax proof of proper wages to the Customer Contact Center. 

    Note that the Monetary entitlement will last for 1 year following your UI claim or benefits exhaustion date. 

    Closing Thoughts

    VEC is taking all possible measures to fasten the application process and pay your benefits. If you have applied for PEUC but haven’t received it yet, you can reach out to the Customer Contact Center. Meanwhile, look for suitable opportunities at http://jobs.virginia.gov/

     

    Oregon is one of the states worst affected by the measures taken to curb the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the unemployment rate in Oregon in May is 14.2%, and about 600,000 Oregonians have filed unemployment claims since March. With new jobless claims surging, the authorities are struggling to pay the benefits, especially to those who have applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Oregon.

    Are you one among them struggling to collect your benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)? Do not worry! This article will guide you through a few alternatives that can help you collect your benefits. But before that, let’s have a quick look at the PUA program. 

    What Is The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program?

    Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides benefits to otherwise ineligible self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, freelancers, etc. It was designed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic under the CARES Act. 

    Who Qualifies For PUA?

    To qualify for the PUA, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. Some of them are listed below. 

    • You have lost your job as the direct result of the pandemic 
    • You must not be eligible for any other unemployment benefits
    • You have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and are seeking medical care
    • Your family member has contracted the Coronavirus, and you are giving care
    • You can’t go to your workplace as a direct result of the pandemic public health care emergency
    • Your workplace is closed due to the Coronavirus
    • You have been scheduled to start a job but cannot start it due to the Coronavirus
    • The head of your family lost his/her life to the Coronavirus, and you are the major breadwinner

    Why Are PAU Payments Delayed?

    The PUA program was announced in March 2020. But the Oregon Employment Department took about a month to get started with the new program, i.e., the authorities began accepting applications only in late April. 

    To add more to this, the Employment Department had neither personnel trained staff to process the claims nor a phone number for claimants to help them clear their queries or inquire about the status of their applications until mid-June.

    During the period, thousands of PUA applicants flooded the already overloaded calls for traditional unemployment claims in a quest for updated information about their backlogged payments. The staff who were handling the phone lines for traditional unemployment claims weren’t trained on the new PUA benefits and hence couldn’t resolve queries about the program.

    The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Oregon received more than 90,000 unemployment claims in the first 7 weeks after its announcement. But the Employment Department paid fewer than 3,000 claims a week on an average. This led to the enormous backlog of unprocessed claims, i.e., approximately 65,000 applications.

    The Oregon Employment Department is largely working on the backlog of traditional unemployment claims. However, the Department has said that it won’t work through the backlogged 65,000 PUA claims till the second week of August. The Department has paid $90+ million PUA benefits till date.

    How Does The Oregon Employment Department Calculate PUA Benefits?

    The Oregon Employment Department follows the federal requirements while calculating the PUA benefits. That is, it uses gross wages to calculate the payment. While applying, you are required to provide details of your gross income. This helps the Department to determine how much they should pay you in a given week. 

    This, in practice, means that if you earn income during a given week, your PUA payment will be affected even if your earnings go to the overhead costs of your business.

    What Can You Do If Your Claim Is Not Resolved?

    David Gerstenfeld, the head of Oregon Employment Department, recently announced that The Employment Department is set to begin the Focus PUA program to help Oregonians receive their PUA benefits faster. The program aims at improving technology, working speed, and proactive communication in processing the application. The Focus PUA also aims at shifting skilled employees who are currently handling regular claims to work on PUA payments.    

    Gerstenfeld stated that “The department is working with private technology organizations to make the PUA claim process smooth and less manual.” He also added that “The authorities are also working on adding more phone lines. They recently added 138 new lines and are planning to add another 150 in the upcoming weeks.” He further added that “The Employment Department intends to hire at least 60 people who will be solely dedicated to the PUA work.” 

    Gerstenfeld said, “The authorities are working with Google to develop an automated system that helps in filing PUA claims. The system is expected to be launched by early July. They have also launched a phone line dedicated to PUA: 503-370-5400 (local) or 833-410-1004 (toll-free). These numbers are separate from the main phone number, 1-877-FILE-4-UI, which processes only traditional Unemployment Insurance benefits. The Oregon Employment Department is also looking to host webinars to provide more information about the PUA program.”  

    “The Department will post more information about its plan for processing PUA claims in a few days. But the Department cannot suggest an exact date for when the claims will be processed,” stated Gerstenfeld.

    You can also consider calling your state senator and representative. Oregon has an online tool to help identify a lawmaker who represents you.

    Can You Check The Status Of Your PUA Claim?

    You can check the status of your PUA claim using the PIN and Social Security number through the online claims system

    • Choose “Status of Your Claim” 
    • Select Weekly Reports

    If you don’t have a PIN, create one. The system will show the claim status once your PUA application is processed. 

    Final Words

    Do not be devastated if you haven’t received your PUA benefits yet. Call the state representatives and determine the status of your claim. Till then, keep looking for a job. 

    For more details on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Oregon, visit the Employment Department website. 

     

    The federal government offers several programs to low-income households to help them support their livelihood. One such presentation is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The LIHEAP helps qualified low-income families pay their heating and cooling energy costs (gas or electric utilities). But who qualifies for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program? 

    In this article, we will guide you through the eligibility criteria for LIHEAP. But before that, let us have a detailed look at the aspects of the program. 

    More About The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

    The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has two provisions: Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) and Energy Assistance/Regular Heating (EA).

    The Energy Assistance provides one-time payment assistance for paying the heating bills from November through March. The Energy Crisis Intervention Program, on the other hand, pays fuel bills when the energy is threatened to shut off, or is shut off. 

    The payment received will be based on the amount of money required to resolve the issue with the energy provider. The payment under ECIP is available during:

    1. Summer ECIP – This is available from June to September. The maximum amount paid under this program is $600. 
    2. Winter ECIP – This is available November to May. The maximum amount paid under this program is $800. 

    LIHEAP mainly helps families who spend a major portion of their income on energy bills. 

    Eligibility Criteria 

    Eligibility requirements for the LIHEAP are based on household size, income, resources available, and responsibility for paying home energy costs. Some of the other requirements include:

    1. Should be a citizen of the U.S. or are legally admitted permanent U.S. resident
    2. Should be responsible for paying home cooling and heating costs
    3. The savings must not be more than $3,000 in retirement accounts, bank accounts, or other investments
    4. You or your family member must participate in any of the following programs:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Needs-Tested Veterans Benefits
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    Note that the eligibility requirements may vary from one state to another. 

    How to Apply For The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program?

    You may apply for LIHEAP online through your local provider’s website. Make sure you are applying through the appropriate agency for the country in which you are residing. Check if there is an online application so that you can complete and submit it through the mail without requiring to visit the office in-person. For information about local providers, you can visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/liheap-state-and-territory-contact-listing. If you need some help with the application, you call toll-free number 1-866-674-6327. 

    Note –

    1. Due to the surge in the number of applications and queries, many times, the numbers of local agencies may remain busy. Be patient, and keep trying to reach them.
    2. Many local agencies receive calls only during specific operating hours. Therefore, make sure you call only those hours to avoid waiting to be answered. 
    3. Local agencies receive applications, verify your eligibility, and directly make payments to energy firms on your behalf.
    4. Some LIHEAP local agencies require an appointment to assist with the application process. In such cases, you are required to schedule an appointment with the agency.

    Required Documentation To Apply For LIHEAP

    You are required to provide several documents while applying for LIHEAP. They include:

    • Recent home energy bill
    • Paychecks or other documents that show your gross income
    • Utility termination notice
    • Proof of citizenship or permanent residence
    • Social security card
    • Photo identification (including your household members)

    Can You Appeal If Assistance Is Denied?

    If your assistance is denied, you can file a LIHEAP appeal. To appeal, contact your local LIHEAP agency provider or your state’s Department of Community Services if any. 

    Closing Thoughts

    The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can help you save huge amounts of money spent on paying gas or electric utility bills. If you qualify for this program but haven’t filed yet, then quickly apply as approvals for each month are limited. 

     

     

     

    The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), formerly known as the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, is a federal program that provides free food assistance to low-income families. The program was established in 1983 and is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at the federal level. The program aims at reducing hunger.

    Here, let’s have a detailed look at the Emergency Food Assistance Program.

    More about The Emergency Food Assistance Program

    Through the Emergency Food Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases and makes nutritious and high-quality, USDA food available to state distributing agencies.

    The amount of food the states receive will be based on the number of people with income below the state-defined poverty level and the number of unemployed persons. States will then distribute the food to agencies such as food banks. In turn, these entities will distribute the food to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other local agencies that provide food directly to those in need. 

    The USDA foods can be used for household consumption as well as to serve meals in a congregate setting. TEFAP also provides states with funds to support the storage and distribution of USDA foods.

    Who Qualifies For TEFAP?

    Nonprofit private and public entities that distribute food for preparing meals to be served at congregate settings or household consumption can receive commodities under TEFAP. 

    Households may also be eligible for TEFAP food but only for home consumption. To receive the food, they must meet certain eligibility requirements, as mentioned below.

    1. Total income of the household must be below or at 130% of the poverty level for the number of people living in the family

    2. The household should qualify for any of the below-listed programs:

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Aid to Needy Disabled (AND)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Medicaid Eligible Foster Children

    Note – The “income” above refers to your gross income before any expenses, deductions, etc. The gross income includes wages, salaries, unemployment compensation, Social Security, pensions, public assistance or welfare payments, etc. 

    Recipients participating in a soup kitchen are not subjected to any test as it is assumed that those seeking a meal are needy.

    Income Requirements 

    Households should also meet income guidelines. The requirements may, however, vary from one state to another. For instance, the income eligibility in Michigan is as below.

    Family Size Weekly  Monthly  Annual 
    1 $490 $2,126  $25,520
    2 $663 $2,873 $34,480
    3 $835 $3,620 $43,440
    4 $1,007 $4,366 $52,400
    5 $1,180 $5,113  $61,360
    6 $1,352 $5,860 $70,320
    7 $1,524 $6,606 $79,280
    8 $1,696 $7,353 $88,240
    For each additional member add $172 $746 $8,960

    In states like New York, anyone can qualify for TEFAP regardless of immigration status, income, etc. 

    How To Apply For TEFAP? 

    To apply for TEFAP, contact the state distribution agency in your state. You can find information about the agencies at https://www.fns.usda.gov/contacts?f%5B0%5D=program%3A27.

    Note – When you collect the food, you are required to submit documents like a utility bill.

    What Types Of Food Are Available?

    Under TEFAP program, you can receive various types of food such as fruits, canned vegetables, pasta, beans, nonfat dry milk, rice, egg, and grain products. It may also include peanut butter, meat, and tuna. Usually, you can collect food any number of times, but the guidelines may vary with state. 

    TEFAP Program During COVID-19

    To make sure that more families have access to healthy food during the pandemic, states like Wisconsin increased the income limit to collect food through TEFAP program. In states like Pennsylvania, the unemployed, service workers, and hourly wages, employees can receive food from local food banks or food pantries.  

    Final Words 

    The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides nutritious USDA food to the needy and ensures they live a healthy life. The program does not discriminate based on color, race, gender, age, or disability. However, if you have been denied food due to the listed factors, you can write a letter to the USDA.  

     

    Californians who have lost their job or had their work hours reduced due to the direct result of the pandemic can collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. According to the reports of California Employment Development Department (EDD), the authorities have processed about 6.7 claims and paid about $33.5 billion in unemployment benefits in California since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

    Unemployment Benefits In California And The CARES Act

    Generally, the regular unemployment benefits in California last for 26 weeks, but Californians can receive payment for an additional 13 weeks under the CARES Act. The Act also provides benefits to the otherwise ineligible self-employed, gig workers, freelancers, or independent contractors. 

    Extended Unemployment Benefits In California

    The Employment Development Department is looking to provide a separate extension of traditional unemployment benefits. The program would be the Federal-State Extended Duration benefits program and will be known as the FED-ED program. It would provide benefits for at least an additional 13 weeks. 

    Under this program, benefits will be provided to Californians who are struggling to go back to their job and have a prolonged duration of unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Who Qualifies For FED-ED Program?

    To receive benefits under the FED-ED program, Californians should meet certain eligibility criteria. Some of them include:

    • Should exhaust benefits received under the regular Unemployment Insurance program
    • Must run out of benefits received under the Federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program
    • Should be capable, available, and actively seeking to take up any job
    • Should submit work search documents

    More details about this program are expected to be out in a couple of weeks.

    Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits If You Return To Your Work?

    As businesses begin to reopen, some employers may require their employees to return to work. If you return to full-time employment, you cannot collect unemployment benefits. But if the work hours are reduced, or you are furloughed again, you can apply for UI benefits. 

    To apply for benefits, you should certify the number of hours worked each week and report income in the week in which it was earned. All these details must be reported on a bi-weekly certification form. If approved, you can collect payment for up to 26 weeks.

    Note that the amount earned will be deducted from unemployment benefits. For instance, if you earned $200 in a week. The EDD may not count $50 and may deduct $150 from your regular unemployment insurance. So if you are expected to receive a $430 payment for that week, after deductions, you may get $280. 

    The same rule applies to the self-employed, independent contractors, or gig workers. The only difference is that they have to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and not regular unemployment benefits.

    Filing For Unemployment Benefits In California

    You can apply for unemployment benefits in California  either online,  by fax or mail, or the phone. To file online, visit the EDD website, log in to your account if you have one, and enter details asked for. If you don’t have an account, first register and then log in. 

    To file by fax or mail, access the paper unemployment application on the EDD website and mail it to the mailing address mentioned on the form. You can also call representatives at the toll-free number mentioned in the EDD website and file a claim. 

    What Happens After Filing An Unemployment Claim?

    If you are a recent online applicant, you will receive a mail from the EDD confirming your registration. But if you haven’t filed unemployment for many years, you may not receive a mail, but a letter with an EDD Customer Account Number using which you can complete the set-up of the EDD unemployment claims account and file weekly claims. 

    Final word

    Due to the surge in unemployment applications, the EDD may sometimes take time to process your application. Therefore, don’t panic if you haven’t received any mail from the EDD. Stay patient while the authorities process your form. For more details, you can always contact authorities at the EDD. 

     

    https://fileunemployment.org