Employees working with various federal agencies/departments constitute a significant number of workforces in the US. We must understand that federal employees are susceptible to being unemployed like any other person. There may be massive layoffs across government organisations/agencies as well.
In such situations, a civilian federal employee who is separated from his job will be eligible to apply and receive unemployment compensation on nearly the same terms as a person who was employed with a private company. The Unemployment compensation for federal employees (U.C.F.E) is a program administered by the states which act as agents of the federal government. The law of the state in which you last served as a federal employee determines the eligibility for UI benefits.
The law of the State (under which the claim is filed) determines benefit amounts, number of week’s benefits that can be paid, and other eligibility conditions. All other terms and conditions more or less remain the same as applicable for a non-federal employee.
Unemployment compensation is taxable. If you receive unemployment compensation, you will be sent Form 1099-G from the state where you filed your claim showing the amount you were paid and any federal income tax you elected to have withheld.
Furloughed federal employees are also eligible to apply. Use the benefits calculator to determine how much you may receive.
How to Apply?
You can apply like anyone else. States may take claims over the Internet, telephone, or in-person. Follow instructions provided on the state’s Web site. We strongly recommend that you read our benefits by state section before applying. This will help you apply confidently without any aggravations.
You are also required to know your department or agency’s correct name and payroll address, and, if available, the agency’s Federal Identification Code. Documents that have this information and will help you to correctly file your UCFE claim include:
Standard Form 8 (SF-8)
Standard Form 50 (SF-50)
Earnings and Leave Statement
Post Application – Weekly Claims
Once your UCFE initial claim has been filed, you will have to file eligibility certifications weekly or bi-weekly depending on the state laws. The certifications can be over telephone or on the department’s website. If you’re a furloughed worker, you are not required to report work searches as it’s just a temporary layoff. Workers whose claim is approved generally receive their first benefit payment within 14-21 days from the date that the claim is filed.
By following the protocol prescribed by the state laws, your UI benefit claims can be a smooth one.
Workers’ compensation, also known as Workman’s comp, is a state-mandated insurance program that is administered by the federal government for federal and certain other types of employees. Each of the 50 states has its own customised programs for its citizens.
An employee with a work-related illness or injury can get workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault. In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, employees usually do not have the right to sue the employer in court for damages for those injuries.
The Department of Labor’s OWCP (Office of Workers compensation programs) administers disability compensation programs for workers (or their dependents) who are injured at work or have acquired an occupational disease. A wide range of categorical benefits are extended to workers in need.
The company you are/were working for must carry workers’ compensation insurance or be legally required to do so.
You must be on rolls of that person or company.
The nature of injury or illness must be related to the work and not a personal ailment.
In addition, there are some special regulations for domestic workers, agricultural and farm workers, leased or loaned workers, casual or seasonal workers, and undocumented workers.
Types of Benefits
Workers’ comp benefits can include medical care, rehabilitation expenses, and disability coverage to compensate for lost wages. If you’ve been injured on the job or become ill through your work, you may have already been told that you can receive some or all of these benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
If you are a dependent family member of someone who was killed on the job, you might be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation.
Medical benefits available through workers’ compensation include hospital and medical expenses. Workers’ compensation generally covers doctor visits, medication and surgeries and other related expenditure. In some instances, workers’ compensation will also cover services like counselling, pain therapy, and acupuncture.
Rehabilitation benefits cover medical and therapeutic care (such as physical therapy) necessary to help you cope with and recover from your injury or illness. They also cover the care and training necessary for you to regain the skills and abilities you need to return to work.
A temporary total disability is one that prevents you from working at all, but only for a limited amount of time. In other words, you can’t work now, but you will be able to work some day. The vast majority of workers compensation disabilities fall into this category.
A temporary partial disability is one that prevents you from doing some of the duties of your job for a limited amount of time. In other words, you can do parts of your job now, and someday you may be able to do all of the duties of your job, just as you did before your injury.
A permanent total disability is one that prevents you from ever returning to work. You don’t need to be totally helpless or medically incapacitated to fall into this category, just unable to work at your job or a similar one.
A permanent partial disability occurs when the damage is permanent, but it only partially impairs your ability to work.
Most states’ workers’ compensation programs provide death benefits to people who were related to the deceased worker (for example, a spouse, child, parent, or sibling) and were financially dependent on that person. Although most states provide funeral and burial expenses as part of this benefit, the main purpose of the benefit is to compensate dependent family members for the loss of financial support.
Filing a Claim
Get immediate medical care if your injury requires it. You must then inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible. This is a tricky part of processing a workers’ comp claim, since states have wildly different limits on the number of days you have to notify your employer; in most states, the limit is one month, but the range is from a few days to two years.
Your employer will have claim forms for you to fill out and submit or can obtain a form quickly. It then becomes your employer’s responsibility to submit the paperwork to the relevant insurance carrier.
If your injury is not permanent and does not cause you to lose income, getting payment for your medical bills will probably be the extent of your claim. If you are temporarily unable to work because of your injury, you will also begin receiving checks to cover your wage loss—typically within a week or two after your claim is approved. Your employer will notify the insurance company to stop sending you wage-replacement checks as soon as you recover and return to work.
If you move from a full-time job to a part-time job, will you still be eligible to receive UI (Unemployment Insurance)? If you only ever held a part-time job, which you just lost, would you still qualify for the benefits? Are these the questions that are worrying you? Fret not! We’ll answer them all!
First Things First – Are you eligible?
Rules and eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance vary from state to state. So there could be a chance that you may not qualify for the benefits in one state while you will be deemed ineligible in another state.
Whether the job you lost was a part time job or a full time job, you should have lost the job due to no mistake of yours. That rule is pretty much the same in all states. If the reason for separation from your last job was due to a fault from you, you may not qualify for the benefits.
Case I – Only part time jobs
Most states will take your part time jobs into account while they go through your work history. If you had a full time job which you lost and then resorted to a part time job to help with the bills, you may still qualify to receive the benefits.
Let’s take the first case, where a person only ever held a part-time job. As mentioned before the office of UI will take every job you held into account. So even if it was a part time job, you may still qualify to receive the benefits provided you managed to earn the required amount during the base period.
If your job was a low paying one that required you to work only a few hours every week, you may not be eligible to receive the benefits.
There could also be a situation where you work multiple part time jobs and even retain one. Here too you will qualify for the benefits as long as you have earned the stipulated minimum wages during your base period. Please note that you will not qualify for benefits if your income from the job you are retaining pays you more than the minimum amount your state pays as the weekly benefit.
Case II – Full time jobs to part time jobs
The second scenario is where you resorted to a part time job after you lost a full time job. It could also be possible that your working hours at your full time job has been reduced due to lack of work. In both cases your income will certainly reduce the amount you will receive as benefits but it will not eliminate benefits altogether. In the latter case, you should be filing for what is called Partial Unemployment Benefits.
Qualifying For Unemployment benefits
As the rules and the process of determining the unemployment benefits amount vary from state to state, only your state’s UI office can determine whether you qualify for the program. We suggest that you contact the authorities immediately after you have been laid-off. Such unemployment insurance programs often require you to search for new jobs actively.
Keep in mind that benefit amounts are often small and designed to cover only your basic expenses. This means that you will have to cut back and make job hunting your priority. We understand that financial strains can take a toll on your health and psyche. Stay positive, spend time with loved ones and never give up hope. Cheers!!
Of all the budget decisions made over the past years in the history of the United States “Sequestration” comes as the hardest blow.
Sequestration is across the board budget cuts to many federal sponsored programs including the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) to reduce spendings of the government and channelize the funds towards other programs. These monetary reductions were made under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) are benefits available for eligible job-seekers who are still looking for work when their regular state unemployment insurance runs out after 26 weeks in most states. The maximum number of weeks to receive EUC benefits varies from 14 weeks to 47 weeks which is based on the state’s unemployment rate.
The cuts are to be made on the federal benefits only and the schemes sponsored by states will remain unaffected.
This sequestration is going to affect 2 million people who are currently receiving EUC. Due to this fiscal cliff the improving unemployment rate is likely to take a stroll and hit new highs.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 3.8 million unemployed workers would be affected by the sequester mandated benefit cuts during the remainder of the 2013, with the average recipient losing $400.
These cuts will not only make life even harder for many long term unemployed workers already suffering from the loss of jobs and incomes, but will also take more than $2 billion in consumer spending out of an economy still struggling with weaker demand. That’s likely to hurt local businesses and jobs, particularly in states with high levels of unemployment.
Organizations and companies have begun laying off workers, while many more have decided not to staff vacant positions. Schools on military bases are contemplating four-day weekly schedules.
Sequester cuts will impact education, public health, law enforcement, defense, food safety, aviation safety and security, and the national parks programs. It cuts total $85.4 billion, including $42.7 billion being cut from the defense budget and $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary spending.
These cuts will mean an automatic 6.4 percent cut to the most programs like National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), with no departmental or agency able to control how the sequester impacts individual programs.
Cuts of this level will be devastating to the public health infrastructure. It was reported that some hospitals have been turning away cancer and HIV patients as they can no longer afford to treat them with expensive procedures.
From an economic point of view this immediate and severe cuts have been broadly seen as a terrible policy measure. Sharp fiscal contraction in a weak economy is known to have negative multiplier effect on output resulting in slow growth. However the policy is expected to reap positive results in the years to come.
Similar policy of harsh government spending cuts imposed in countries like Spain, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal has produced soaring and depressing rate of unemployment and deepening economic crisis.
Here is a table which contains more information on cuts being made state wise. Considering the unemployment rate and population of each state the government has divide the sequestration process into four quarters and depending on the quarter the rate and the date of implementation is different.
Date Of Implementation
NOTE: Please note that each state needs to implement these changes and it will help to check the state unemployment site to know more about the amount reduced. This sequestration will only affect recepients of Emergency Unemployment Compensation. State unemployment benefit recepients remain unaffected.
Unemployment insurance is the temporary financial assistance provided by the state unemployment agencies to the eligible unemployed or part time workers. Claimants should be unemployed through no fault of their own and must be either looking for full time work, in approved training, or awaiting call letter or unemployment.
Utah Eligibility Criteria
Losing job won’t be the sufficient condition to receive unemployment insurance benefits. There are some additional criteria you should meet to be eligible to receive the compensation. Here are those conditions:
You must be partially or absolutely unemployed through no fault of your own.
You must be a US citizen or legally authorized to work in the US.
You must have sufficient earnings in the base period to establish a monetary entitlement.
You must have worked and was paid wages for employment in at least two of the base period quarters that are being used.
You must have earned at least $3200 in total wages in the base period and earned 1.5 times the high quarter. If you do not have 1 1/2 times your high quarter wages in your current base period, you may qualify under the same conditions by using your Alternate Base Period, which would be the most recent four completed calendar quarters.
You must have a valid Utah claim.
You must file a weekly claim.
You must be able and available for full-time work.
You must be willing to actively seek full-time work in the US.
You must reside in the United States.
Officials of Utah Unemployment Insurance Agency will obtain necessary information from you and your employer and will determine your eligibility for benefits.
Source of Utah’s Unemployment Insurance
Funding source for unemployment insurance compensation is benefited from the quarterly unemployment insurance taxes paid by employers. Employees need not pay or contribute any fund for the unemployment insurance fund.
Filing Your Claim
Utah Dept. of Unemployment Services expects employers to report all wages paid to each employee on a quarterly basis. Unemployment tax is not assessed on wages that exceed the annual wage base; on the other hand, the employer must report all wages paid to them regularly.
Every business must complete a Status Report, Form 1, which informs them of whether they are subject to state unemployment tax and allows them to register their business. If subject to taxes, the employer files his/her reports on Forms 3 and 3H — Employer’s Contribution Report and Employer’s Quarterly Wage List, respectively.
First and foremost, visit the official website of the Utah Department of Workforce Services and click on the option File New- for new claim or Reopen Claim option to renew the UI benefit.
Online application page has got four sections. Click on continue to begin the procedure of filling the application from personal information section. After you complete every section, you can’t go back and make any changes, so be conscious while filling the form.
Wait at least two weeks before contacting anyone if you do not receive your unemployment check; sometimes it takes that long to process your requests. You can call 801-526-WORK (9675) with any questions regarding your claim.
Duration of Utah Unemployment Benefit
A formula is used to determine benefits amount based on your earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Multiply your total wages for insured work paid during the base period by 27%, disregarding any fractions of $1 and divide by your weekly benefit amount, disregarding any fractions. The result will be a preliminary determination of the number of weeks you are entitled to receive benefits. Utah has a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of 26 weeks of regular benefits.
Utah Weekly Benefit Amount
The highest quarter during your base period divided by 26 determines the benefit amount you will receive per week of unemployment, up to a maximum of $467 for new claims.
An advantageous aspect of working for yourself is you almost never get fired. That’s one of the reasons why many people who have full-time jobs also have a side business on the side.
But unexpectedly, if you have lost your 9-5 job, you might want to think taking a gap from your business in order to maximize your unemployment benefits. The main point is, if you don’t want to deceive yourself or the system, it requires calling the local unemployment compensation office and asking lots of questions.
Some states support out-of-work individuals as they feel that some form of extra income is needed to stay afloat while other localities deduct a portion of money earned from the weekly benefits. It all depends on the nature of work and the law of each state.
If your gross earnings for a week equal or exceed your weekly benefit amount or if you work 32 or more hours in a week, you are ineligible for unemployment benefits for that week.
While if you work less than 32 hours and make less than your weekly benefit amount, you are eligible to receive only a fractional benefit payment. Moreover, your weekly compensation will be reduced dollar by dollar for every 55% of part time earnings in a week. Any money not paid due to a reduction remains in your account balance throughout the end of your benefit year.
The first concern of any unemployment insurance office is that your business doesn’t hamper your ability to find out and accept your next full-time job. The general rule for unemployment eligibility is that you must be able to accept work and must be looking for work.
State Specific Rules for Part-time Pay
Each of the states has different set of rules for mixing side income and UI benefits. With some states as long as you’re available full-time and looking for work, your part time self employment doesn’t affect insurance check. So if you do some consulting work or want to run an online store on weekends, your benefit check won’t suffer.
While selling your own goods is often considered converting your existing assets to cash, some business activities could be seen as earning a salary. So, depending on how your state views it, the activity may not your benefits at all.
The start of your unemployment benefits is also delayed by severance pay. For example, if you collect ten weeks of severance pay, you will be ineligible for receiving UI benefits for the first ten weeks after your last day of work. Moreover, if you want to stop receiving benefit payments, simply stop requesting payment and your account will become inactive. But keep your unemployment debit card and password in a safe place in case you need to reactivate your benefit account.
Pension Payment and Unemployment Compensation
Pension payments from a fund your base period employer contributed will reduce your UI benefits unless:
• You roll the pension into another retirement fund without taking a taxable payment or,
• You have to pay a penalty for early withdrawal.
According to one of the experts, “A person has to make out a mental plan,” “No multi-tasking.” If you analyze how much your part-time employment generates and what it costs can help you out in making some important decisions while you’re looking for your next job. Moreover, it will also give some realistic expectations for how you want to schedule your time and what you want to do next. Don’t use the same block of time for both job hunt and your business but switch back and forth between the two.