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The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the U.S. job market by storm. As per reports, the unemployment rose to 4.4 percent, and about 17 million people have filed for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in March. The UI provides temporary financial help to the unemployed, but not all of them are receiving monetary aid. While some aren’t able to get through the site-crashes and other logistical challenges to file the claim, many others aren’t getting the benefits due to the mistakes committed while filing the claim. So what are the common mistakes to avoid while filing a UI claim? Find out here!

 

1. Failing To Provide Earning History 

Whether you are a part-time worker, freelancer, full-time employee, while filing a claim, you must mandatorily report your gross wages for each week you have worked. Gross wages are nothing but the total amount earned before any tax deductions. If you fail to report your earnings, your benefits may be rejected, or you may be committing fraud or be prosecuted. 

2. Not Submitting Work Search Records

Though the pandemic has caused many sectors like hotels & restaurants, travel, etc. sectors to shut down, and getting hired seems unlikely, you must keep searching for a job to meet the UI benefits eligibility criteria. If you don’t look for jobs or fail to maintain the required records, your claim may get rejected. Each state will have its requirements for what counts as looking for employment. 

For instance, in New York, the claimants must maintain a written or online work search record and provide it to the labor department, whenever asked for. The document should contain details like numbers of employers contacted, date, address, positions applied, and contact methods. Whereas in California, you must recertify online every 14 days. 

3. Not Providing Required Documents

When you are filing a claim, it is essential to document all the necessary information. In addition to the name, phone number, address, date of employment, employer name, bank account number, you must provide your Social Security number. States like Utah require your driving license as a form of identification, without which your claim will be denied or delayed. 

If you were a federal employee, you have to submit either your Standard Form 50 (SF-50) or Standard Form 8 (SF-8). If you are ex-military, then provide your DD214 form. If you don’t have it, collect a copy through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ milConnect website.

If you are not a citizen of the U.S. but are legally authorized to work in the states, then you have to provide your Alien Registration Number. 

4. Filing The Claim In Another Current State 

You must file for UI benefits in the states in which you have worked and not where you are living or some other state. If you have worked in multiple states, then you choose any one state among them and file the claim. The authorities from the selected state will contact other work-states and collect the necessary information.

If you are currently stuck in another country and are unemployed, the department of labor will not allow you to file for the unemployment insurance benefits. 

5. Failing To Verify You Are Willing To Take Up A Job

To obtain UI benefits, you must continually prove that you are available, able, and ready to accept suitable employment, failing to which your claim will be delayed or denied. 

Also, if the department of labor learns that you have refused to take up a suitable job, you have to attend a hearing. If it is convinced that you have refused to take up a job without a significant reason, your claim will be denied. 

6. Not Responding To The Notice Of Determination

When you file for benefits, an adjudicator will review your claim and decide whether you qualify for your unemployment benefits or not. Once reviewed, you will receive a Notice of Determination describing whether you are eligible for UI benefits or not.

The Notice of Determination states whether your employer is “chargeable” for your claim or not. If the employer is not chargeable, you have to file an appeal within the specific period and attend the hearing. But if you fail to request an appeal by the given deadline, the state will deny your claim. 

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid while filing a UI claim, make sure dodge them. However, if you have already committed any of the above-listed mistakes listed, talk to authorities in your state. But if the claim has been denied, then request an appeal. 

 

 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act mandated paid sick leave to protect workers suffering from COVID-19 or with family laid up due to the spreading pandemic. If you cannot avail paid sick leave, be sure to apply for unemployment compensation.

Several states are now passing executive actions to operationalize the CARES act and the FFCR Act. We will outline the intricacies of making sure you get your paid sick leave. You are guaranteed job protection while on them.

Paid Sick Leave For Coronavirus Orders

The paid leave benefits are not available to those employees who can work remotely. They can only be availed under the following circumstances:

  • You contract COVID-19 or are ordered to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider.
  • You have to care for a family member who contracted COVID-19.
  • If your child is ordered into quarantine by any govt-authorized health body.

Self Quarantine

Small Employers

They are the ones with 10 or fewer employees and a net annual business income of less than $1 million. There is no mandatory paid sick leave.

Employers making more than $1 million, have to provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave. Once that is up, you can avail of Paid Family Leave. This will give you benefits of up to 60% of your wages subject to a maximum of $840.70 per week in New York. 

Paid Sick Leave benefits can be availed for 6 weeks in many states, but California has extended it to 8 weeks. New York has been rolling them out in a phased manner, and applicants in 2020 can get 10 weeks. The same goes for Iowa. Washington has not included mere self-isolation as a qualifying circumstance.

Visit your state’s website for more information. You may be able to get disability benefits after exhausting the Paid Family leave. The maximum amount you can avail there is $2,043.92 in New York.

Medium Employers

Their businesses earn over $1 million and they have 11-99 employees. They have to provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave for coronavirus.

The rest of the conditions are the same. 

The benefits are calculated based on your base period wages.

Large Employers

Those having more than 100 employees are classed as large employers. They must give at least 14 days of paid leave.

When Can You Get Paid Family Leave For Your Child? 

If your child has been ordered a quarantine due to the coronavirus then you can avail family leaves for its care. You have to fulfill the following conditions:

  • Full-time employee (20 hours or more of work per week) working for over 26 weeks with the employer.
  • Part-time employee (20 hours or less of work per week) working for over 175 days with the employer.

New York is only considering the 8 weeks prior to your application for calculating Paid Family Leave which can be a maximum of $840.70. Your benefits will equal 60% of your average weekly wage.

Caring For Family With Coronavirus

You will get Paid Family Leave if one of the following fall sick with COVID-19:

  • Domestic Partner/Spouse
  • Children- Own or legal custody
  • Parent/stepparent
  • Grandparent
  • Parent-in-law
  • Grandchild

Certification from a medical professional will be necessary. You will have to submit it along with the other forms.

Forms Needed

In New York, the following forms are required:

  • Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1)
  • Release of Personal Health Information Under the Paid Family Leave Law (Form PFL-3)
  • Health Care Provider Certification for Care Of Family Member with Serious Health Condition (Form PFL-4)
  • COVID-19 Quarantine PFL – Child (Form CCOVID19)
  • Request for COVID-19 Quarantine DB/PFL – Self (Form SCOVID19)

You can download these from your state’s official website. Some states may have other names for these forms such as California which calls it  Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F).

 

If you get laid off or furloughed in the course of your leave, immediately apply for UI benefits. You won’t be able to claim unemployment benefits while you receive paid family leave or disability insurance. But even if you have been furloughed or sent on unpaid leave, you can avail of unemployment benefits.

A few states have not yet updated their guidelines to provide coronavirus paid sick and family leave. Keep an eye on your state website.

 

 

 

Those facing the heat of the Coronavirus outbreak with respect to job losses can now breathe easier since several states across the US are expanding unemployment insurance eligibility to deal with the fallout. We will tell you all about how you can collect unemployment benefits if Coronavirus-induced slowdown has gotten you laid off. Remember that you must file claims for UI benefits immediately upon being separated from work.

Claiming Unemployment Insurance 

The American Unemployment Insurance Program is meant to help tide you over a no-fault layoff, while you look for new employment. Taxes paid by your former employers finance the program. The present slowdown is an instance of the very reason for the institution of UI, to sustain consumer demand and help revive the economy.

Upon successful processing of your unemployment insurance application, you receive a weekly benefit, beginning two weeks later (now one week). The weekly benefit amount and the maximum amount you can get are calculated based on the wages earned by you during the base period, over the previous year. The Base period is the period of employment before the job loss.

Usually, Unemployment Insurance is provided by the states for 26 weeks from the date of effective application. In states where the unemployment situation has worsened enormously, there is a permanent Extended Benefits (EB) program, which gives an additional 13 or 20 weeks of compensation to jobless workers after their regular benefits are exhausted.

When Can You Claim Unemployment Benefits

Different states have slightly different eligibility criteria. But, the essential condition to be satisfied for unemployment insurance eligibility is that you have lost your job DUE TO NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN. Those who quit their jobs are not eligible unless there were extenuating circumstances (determined with a hearing) and all efforts made to resolve the same.

Second, you have to satisfy monetary eligibility requirements. You should have earned a threshold amount during the base period, which differs slightly across states.

Third, you must maintain your eligibility by fulfilling the following conditions:

  • Be physically able to work throughout the benefit week period
  • Be available to work.
  • Be ready to accept the work offered to you
  • Be actively seeking job opportunities

Some of these criteria have been modified to help people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. One can file for Extended Benefits once the regular benefits run out.

What Are The Changes To Unemployment Compensation Rules

Unemployment Insurance claims can now be filed if:

  • An employer is forced to stop operations temporarily because a worker becomes sick and thus other workers need to be isolated or quarantined
  • An employer is forced to shut down offices temporarily due non-availability of work to assign. 
  • Working hours are reduced due to business slowdown or loss of production, resulting in a wage drop.
  • A firm goes out of business due to the coronavirus disease.

Individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits provided they meet the monetary criteria and weekly eligibility criteria. Most state governors have made the following relaxations:

  • Workers who have a return date to their employment, within eight weeks of the temporary layoff, are exempted from the active search for new job opportunities. This is referred to as standby.
  • Waiving of the requirement of being able to and available for work for claimants affected by the Coronavirus.
  • Under normal circumstances, part-time employment is not considered for UI eligibility, but now standby is available to part-timers. You should have worked 680 hours at least in your base year, and you should have a date of an anticipated return to employment.
  • Waiving of the one-week waiting period post-acceptance of UI application as well as training requirements. 
  • UI filing deadlines are being extended for employers and workers. As UI works on a weekly cycle, make sure you file it within the week preceding the one from when you will start getting the payments.

Unemployment insurance coronavirus

Some states like Mississippi are yet to do so.

What To Do If You Fall Ill Or Have To Provide Care

As COVID-19 is now a national emergency, some rules have been put in place to help those contracting it. All states have issued clarifications about claiming Unemployment Insurance

If you have contracted COVID-19 and are too sick to work or be available for work, you won’t be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. Still, you may avail Paid Family & Medical Leave or Disability Insurance (DI). The waiting period has been waived or them all.

You can claim UI once you have recovered and can work.

You cannot claim UI benefits if you refuse the remote work option provided by the employer. It is only meant for those who are without pay due to layoffs. If you get paid leave, you will not be eligible for UI benefits.

If a health professional has asked you to self-quarantine due to Coronavirus exposure and your employer has refused paid sick leave, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. If you are a caregiver for a family member with the condition and are unable to work, you can avail Paid Family Leave (PFL). You won’t receive Paid Leave and UI together, however.

How To File Claim For Unemployment Insurance If Coronavirus Has Caused A Job Loss

To apply for Unemployment Insurance if Coronavirus outbreak has caused you a job loss, you can visit your state’s Labor Department website or call the authorized Claims Center. In some states, the point of contact is the American Jobs Center. Online applications can be submitted at any time, with no waiting time.

You will need to have the following information ready to submit:

  1. Social security number
  2. Name, Birthdate and Contact Information
  3. Names, dates worked for, and mailing addresses of employers you worked for over your base period or 18 months. 
  4. Citizen status /work Authorization
  5. Account or Routing Numbers of your bank or union for Direct Deposit
  6. SF-8 for federal employees
  7. DD-214 form for ex-military people
  8. Name and number of the union for those who find work as part of one

You will then receive an Unemployment Claim Determination Letter that will tell you if your application has been accepted and your weekly benefit amount. After you apply for unemployment benefits, submit a weekly claim for every week you require benefits. Your weekly claim only covers the prior week. If you fail to do so, you will stop receiving benefits.

Job search requirements will be exempted during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, you will have to provide proof of a quarantine request from a healthcare practitioner. Verification of illness and shutdowns may be conducted by contacting your employers.

How COVID-19 Is Threatening Your Job

The COVID 19 outbreak has caused a lot of panics as the disease has been spreading rapidly with nearly 4000 infected cases and over a dozen deaths, statistics spiking through the day. As the disease spreads via droplet infection and is highly contagious, the US has directed firms to shut down and provide remote work wherever applicable and possible. However, several industries have been facing losses and have resorted to laying off workers, just over the last week. 

Sectors like Food and Beverages, Travel and Tourism, Event Management depend on regular footfall for their sustenance and are the first ones forced to lay employees off. Airlines, hotels, etc. are likely to be the worst affected as flights and events like festivals are being canceled. Gig workers, entry-level employees, and casual workers are at the greatest risk. With many companies placing hiring freezes and other moving interviews online, finding a new job will prove tremendously difficult.

Several small businesses based on services and niche commodities are being hit by the trickle-down effect of job losses, as people can no longer afford to buy from them. The stock market has also been on a steady downslide, reflecting the increased threat to jobs in the finance sector.

Jobs involving global supply chains have been among the first to be affected. Truckers, wholesalers and warehouse workers, etc. are receiving diminished to no pay as exports globally are no longer coming, and some ships have been quarantined. Due to the large scale industrial slowdown in China, supply chains based there are seeing downstream effects in the US.

The full impact is yet to be understood. Coming on the back of strong job growth in the preceding months, these hits are affecting morale. It is vital to claim any assistance that you are eligible for at this time, especially if you don’t have savings enough to tide over 3 months of living expenses. Keep up with the guidelines released by your state to claim unemployment insurance if Coronavirus threatens your job security.

 

Since 1973, the number of unemployment benefits has dropped significantly. It has been reported that as of December 2017, 1.87 million Americans receive benefits. It can also be noted that the Department of Labor received its largest number of newer filings from those that survived the destructive hurricane season. This caused massive damages to businesses in southern states and Puerto Rico. Despite this, the number of new applicants was low. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggested that the economy added 148,000 jobs in December and hence the unemployment rate remains at 4.1 percent. This comes at a time when companies were out to do the other better by offering raises, bonuses and increasing the minimum wage after the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax reform bill. This helped more than a 100 American companies to provide their employees with bonuses after Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Large corporations like AT&T, Nationwide and Comcast have increased their 401(k) matching rate, increased domestic investment and raised their minimum wages. Another major player that joined this list was Walmart which gave its 2.1 million employees a one-time bonus, higher wages, and other new benefits.

American Unemployment Benefits at 44 Year Low

Even after the US economy rebounded from the hurricanes, it had added 261,000 jobs and this is by far the best performance by the government. Unemployment had continued its decline to 4.1% since December 2000. But more importantly, wages have not increased as much and only grew 2.4% in October as compared to the previous year. This was also well behind its September numbers a year ago. One of the biggest mysteries in this economy is the absence of better wage growth and inflation. US has otherwise added jobs for 85 straight months and is the longest streak on record. Initially, the government suggested that there would be a loss of 33,000 jobs in September to the economy based on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But on the other hand, the revised figures show a gain of 18,000. Job gains for October have happened across all sectors. As soon as the storm had passed, restaurants had reopened and added more than 89,000 jobs after losing out on the same in September. Businesses services gained 50,000 positions while healthcare firms hired 22,000 employees. One of the most positive industries was manufacturing that gained 24,000 positions since October. Since the presidential election a year ago, it had gained nearly 156,000 jobs. This was attributed to the fact that they renewed the strength of the global economy and a weak US dollar that made American exports more affordable to foreigners. Manufacturing firms had heavily relied on shipping and selling overseas. Other interesting and notable figures in the report stated that 700,000 Americans left the labor market in October. Though the Labor Department could not provide a reason, the only conclusive answer was that Baby Boomers were retiring. The unemployment rate dropped due to a shrinking labor force and not become of more hiring. Industries that registered minor job losses like mining lost 2000 workers and retail stores lost 8000 jobs. Apart from this, the overall picture looked favorable and this meant that at this point the financial crisis has not been easy on workers.

Unemployment Claims Lowest

Unemployment Claims Lowest

You should know that US unemployment claims have fallen to 222,000. This is the lowest its been in 44 Years. This is because US unemployment claims fall by 22,000 to 222,000 and this has been recorded the lowest since March 1973. In terms of relating to these numbers, Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since President Nixon was held office. Also, the less volatile four=week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250 which is lowest since late August. This means that the overall number of Americans that collected unemployment checks dropped to just 1.89 million. This is the lowest it has been since 1973 and down nearly 9 percent from a year ago.

Unemployment claims are usually associated with layoffs. The low levels help you notice that employers are confident about their economy and positive about hanging onto their workers. Employers cut 33,000 jobs in September and this was the first monthly drop in seven years pushed the 16 years low to 4.2 percent. This was mainly caused due to the hurricanes – Harvey and Irma that caused chaos and destruction to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

A few days ago, President Trump mentioned that a year after his inauguration, women unemployment was the lowest in 18 years. Figures state that the joblessness among women was 3.7 percent in December and was well below the overall US unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. This a reason for employers to look into more employment opportunities for women and ensure that their workforce has a sense of job security and fulfillment.

You can see that unemployment was at 4.8% in January of 2017 and declined to 4.1% at the end of the year.In December, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the third consecutive month. On average the unemployed persons were at 6.6 million and mostly unchanged over the month. Over the period of 2017, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down to 0.6 percentage points and in terms of figures, 926,000. The rates for unemployment were for adult men (3.8 percent), adult women (3.7 percent), Whites (3.7 percent), Blacks (6.8 percent), Asians (2.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) showed little or no change. The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, was unchanged over the month and over the year. Also, the employment to population ratio remained unchanged at 60.1 percent in December but was up 0.3 percent over the last year.

If you are unemployed and looking to claim benefits, then you should use the Benefits Calculator to figure out the benefits that you are eligible for. Using the Benefits Calculator, you should fill in wages earned for four months and select the state that you reside in. Do read about qualifying wages, the duration of receiving benefits and the amount of weekly benefit located in the section below the calculator for further clarity. Share your thoughts and views on unemployment in America and if you have further clarification, you can give us further details.

If you are a victim of the storm, then you should avail for Disaster Unemployment Assistance to help you through this troubled time. Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) aims at assisting individuals with unemployment benefits that have lost their jobs or are no longer working due to a major disaster in an area where a disaster assistance period is declared. This is available to those that have applied but are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

How to claim Hurricane disaster Unemployment assistance
You are eligible for DUA if any one of the following has occurred to you because of the disaster:

  • The previous job contributed to more than 50% of your total income.
  • Stay, work and travel in the disaster area.
  • Your office, place of employment is damaged or closed.
  • Scheduled to start work which does not exist or no longer reach due to the storm.
  • Self-employment or work cannot be a sustainable source of income
  • Fall short of qualifying for unemployment benefits from any state
  • Cannot work due to injury caused by the disaster
  • You are the breadwinner of the household because of the death of the head of the household.

Additional eligibility requirements for DUA include:

  • Be unemployed as a direct result of the disaster
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Be able to work and available for work
  • Actively search for work, unless ill or injured due to the disaster
  • Submit DUA payment requests on time
  • Have not refused an offer or referral to suitable work

DUA is available for people during the Disaster Assistance period which starts on the first Sunday from when the major disaster has been declared. Usually, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the DUA regulations define when the period starts and finishes. Seasonal workers are eligible for DUA if they would have been employed when the disaster had occurred.

How Do You Apply for DUA?

There are two options that eligible candidates can use to get the benefits of DUA. They can apply online at the Unemployment Benefit Services by clicking on the ‘Apply for Benefits’ option. They can also call the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 to speak to a customer service representative. Those from Louisiana can call 225-925-7500. Those that are eligible will receive information on their weekly benefit amount, how to ask for payments and receive a copy of the Unemployment Benefits Handbook. In order to ensure that you can claim your benefits, you should complete your work search registration within 3 days of your application for the DUA. This is unless you have an intention to restart your business and if you are otherwise self-employed and looking to reopen your business. The proof of your employment which was disrupted by the disaster must be submitted within 21 days of the application. Work searches may be exempt in the disaster-hit regions in case it takes more than 12 weeks to restart the operations. Finally, you should request payment of DUA with the Payment Request sent to you and ensure that your mailing address is correct to receive your benefits.

DUA Weekly Benefit Amount

The minimum DUA weekly benefit amount is at least 50% of the state average WBA (Weekly Benefit Amount). For example, if you receive a WBA of $315, you should then be eligible for a DUA of $157. Minimum weekly benefits are used if you do not have any base period wages or enough wages to receive a minimum required benefit amount.

DUA payments may reduce if you receive any of the following:

  • Benefit amount reductions would be based on working part-time and your WBA will be reduced in proportion to the number of hours worked.
  • Benefits or insurance received for loss of wages due to illness or disability
  • Supplemental unemployment benefits that are paid pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement
  • If you receive private income protection insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation or Survivors Benefits if you become the major support of the family as a result of the death of the head of the household because of the disaster
  • If you receive retirement pension or annuity
  • On earnings from employment or self-employment
  • Receive subsidy or price support payments, crop insurance payments and farm disaster relief (Non-DUA) payments
  • Avail a court order to pay child support

 

All 39 Texas counties that are within the presidential disaster declaration have to apply until October 31. If you file after the deadline then it may be denied unless there is a good cause. All applicants should submit their Social Security Number, check stubs and documentation to support the claim that they are working or self-employed.

How Much DUA Benefits Payments?

How to claim Hurricane disaster Unemployment assistance money

If you reside in these states then you can avail DUA Benefits for 26 weeks. Individual benefits cannot extend beyond the disaster period which is 6 months. If you are in these states then you can receive the following:

 

States DUA Benefits
Texas $203 Minimum Weekly DUA Benefit/$493 Maximum Benefit
Florida $120 Minimum Weekly DUA Benefit/$275 Maximum Benefit
Georgia $142 Minimum Weekly DUA Benefit/$330 Maximum Benefit
Puerto Rico $59 Minimum Weekly DUA Benefit/$133 Maximum Benefit
U.S. Virgin Islands $167 Minimum Weekly DUA Benefit/$480 Maximum Benefit

Deadlines for DUA Application

To enroll in DUA, victims of the disaster should apply within 30 days after the availability is announced. Other applications would only be accepted for a “good cause” and in no case can the DUA application be received after the disaster period ends. You are required to provide supporting documents of your employment and earnings with your Social Security Number. If you are self-employed, you should provide your tax return copies. If you are employed, documents that provide proof of employment should be furnished. You should also provide a sworn statement which includes verification forms. By failing to do so, it would result in benefit overpayment which would be collected by the state. Each state will process the DUA differently. Most states may do so via internet and telephone. But if you are affected by Hurricane Irma, you should check periodically on the state websites. Open these websites if you have applied at Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands unemployment insurance agency websites listed below.

Additional Eligibility Conditions

Do state unemployment benefits apply to agricultural workers?

Farmworkers are eligible for benefits from the state. In Florida, those agricultural employers with more than 5 employees over a 20 week period or paid $10,000 in wages in a calendar quarter must cover these workers. In Texas, workers are covered if they employ at least 3 employees for 20 weeks or paid at least $6250 in wages during the calendar quarter. If a farmer fails to qualify then they should submit their application for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

Do immigrant workers get state unemployment benefits and DUA?

Workers that provide work authorization when they are working or when they collect benefits can qualify for unemployment benefits and DUA. Those that are not US citizens should provide the necessary documentation that supports their immigration status and the State UI agency should verify the same. Their status is usually verified through a process called Systematic Alien Verification For Entitlement Program by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Being unemployed is quite a challenging state of life. Which is why temporary financial assistance in the form of Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a blessing for many. However, not everyone who applies for UI gets approved for receiving the benefits. All candidates are evaluated carefully to check if they meet the eligibility criteria and rejections are not taken lightly. Thankfully, one rejection is not the end of it all. In case you can file an appeal, the same will be notified to you. This article deals with filing an appeal in the state of Wisconsin.

Claim Denial

Eligibility Criteria For Applicants

Before going into the process of appealing a rejection, we’ll brief you about the eligibility criteria so you may better understand why you were rejected. Slight variations may be seen from state to state in these rules. But in general, the requirements are-

  • Claimants should’ve lost his/her job due to no mistake of theirs
  • Applicants must be ready and available to take up full-time jobs if and when such an opportunity is presented to them
  • All claimants are expected to actively seek out new job opportunities
  • All applicants must have worked the recommended minimum hours and earned the recommended minimum wages

Alternately, you can use our online eligibility calculator tool to get a rough idea of whether you qualify or not.

Commons Reasons Why Claims Are Denied

There are some common causes stated as reasons behind denial of claims. Some of them are –

  • Failure to comply with all rules/criteria for eligibility
  • Loss of employment was due to a mistake on the part of the applicant
  • Fabricated or incorrect information was submitted in the application form
  • Insufficient wages earned or working hours during base period

What To Do If Your Application Is Denied?

In case you believe that your claims were denied unfairly and that you are indeed eligible for UI, you may appeal the State’s decision to deny your claim. Every claimant is given the chance to appeal the decision so that he/she can present his/her side of the story. Should the judge find your side fair, you’ll be considered for UI.

Here’s what you need to do if your claims are denied in the state of Wisconsin –

  • Write to the Wisconsin Department of Labor stating that you wish to appeal the decision
  • Attach a copy of letter of determination or include the 9-digit number which appears in the upper right hand corner of your letter of determination
  • Include your social security number and other details
  • Write about when you and your representatives will be available for a hearing
  • Add the name of your agent/attorney
  • Unless filed online, include the signature of your attorney

In case you have special requests like the need for an interpreter or a solicitor, you may write about that requirement too in your letter.

What Happens Next?

In case the court finds your appeal legit, you will be given the time and date for a hearing for which you are expected to show up, so that your side of the story can be presented. Once the hearing is done, you will be notified about the decision.

In most cases, appeals go well and as long as the eligibility criteria are met, there is a good chance that you will qualify for UI. So we recommend that you stay positive and calm through the entire process. At the same time, do not give up on your job hunt. We’re sure something good will come up. Consider what to do next now that you are unemployed.

Adjudication is the legal process for settling the dispute between employee and employer.

An unemployed individual applies with the state for weekly unemployment insurance. The state’s labor department begins the process by contacting the last employer to verify the reason for termination of employment. The last employer can question the claim and based on this, the claim may be denied. The claimant may appeal a denied claim. The adjudication hearing or fact finding interview gives the applicant an opportunity to present his case for a contested claim or denied claim.

Once a valid claim has been established, it is then reviewed to determine if you, or a former employer, have provided any information that could come in way of unemployment payments.

If an issue is raised, an adjudicator will review any information that you have already provided, and if additional information is needed, you will be contacted. An adjudicator may contact you by telephone, e-mail or mail. If contacted, you must be prompt and sincere in providing a response at the earliest so that the adjudicator has all information in hand to help him decide.

An issue is a condition or circumstance that could result in the denial of benefits as required by the eligibility and disqualification provisions in law of a particular state.

Potential Reasons for Denial of Benefits

An array of issues as provided below can potentially result in delay or denial of claims filed by the applicant.

  • You were terminated (fired), you quit, or you are on a suspension or leave of absence from your last employer or other recent employers.
  • You are a school employee or worked providing services for an educational institution while in the employ of a private employer holding a contract with a public or non-profit educational institution and you are not working because you are between terms or on a vacation or holiday.
  • You are unable or unavailable to work or to accept work or you are not looking for work or you have failed to report the required contacts with prospective employers for work during a claim week.
  • You are currently attending school or training(subject to exceptions)
  • You are currently self-employed, seasonally employed or working as a freelancer.
  • You are receiving payments of some kind from a recent employer that includes severance.
  • You refused a suitable job offer or you refused a referral.

The reason for separation from your last employer usually determines whether you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If you have not earned the minimum amount as prescribed by the state, then there can be a roadblock that will stop you from qualifying. The adjudicator is required to investigate your separation(s) by finding out why you left the job(s) in case the claim is contested by either of the parties involved. The adjudicator must determine if you were separated from the employer(s) under conditions that might disqualify you from receiving unemployment compensation.

Upon completion of investigation, the adjudicator will issue a written determination(s) which is mailed to you and the employer(s). If there are multiple determinations, all must be favorable in order to receive benefits. For example, if you worked with three different employers and two determinations are favorable and one determination is not, the entire claim is denied and payments cannot be made until that disqualification has been satisfied.

Note: You will be contacted only if information is needed in addition to the information you provided when you filed your claim. Please note the adjudication process can take two to six weeks from the time an issue is raised until a determination is made.

Appeal Process

You may request an appeal whenever a determination is not favorable to you.  Instructions and procedure for filing an appeal are provided on the website of the state. Assistance is also provided over the phone by the customer service/claims helpline of the labor department.

You must complete the form and submit the appeal using the Internet or you may request an appeal in writing posted to the relevant office in your state.

It’s imperative that you keep self updated on the appeals mechanism available in the state labor unemployment laws. If you think your unemployment will last for a longer duration/believe that the claim filed by you may not easily pass through the regular approval process, you must have sound acquaintance with the basics to face any surprising encounters.

Stopping your unemployment benefits is usually a step that follows retirement, vacation or securing a new job. Unemployment Insurance programs provide monetary benefits to eligible people so that they have temporary financial assistance until they find another stable source of income.

Unlike filing for the benefits, filing to stop the benefits is an easy task. You do not even have to inform the authorities about a new job/ whatever the reason is why you are stopping, you simply have to stop submitting weekly claims. The payments will stop on its own.

How to stop filing for claims

If you don’t submit your weekly claim, you automatically get dropped from the program. You can chose to discontinue the payments any time during your benefit year. Likewise you can also resume claiming your remaining benefits for that benefit year, provided you are still deemed eligible.

Keep in mind that if you stop filing your claim for even a week, your benefit claims become inactive. If this happens, you may have to reopen the claim again during the 1st week of your eligibility.

Retirement

Once your retirement pension starts arriving, you will have to inform the same to the authorities involved. Trying to receive both payments may land you in trouble. Pension benefits are subject to taxes, if the officials cross check this with your unemployment benefits, they may deem you over-paid and may even ask you to refund the benefit amount that you received.

This is not a rule in all the states. Some states let you collect both the unemployment benefits and the pension benefits, without reducing your benefit amount for U.I. Also, if this is your social security retirement pension, which is quite different from a private employer’s pension, your benefit amount will not be reduced. You need not report about your social security pension benefits to the authorities at U.I.

To find out more, visit Unemployment Benefits by State page.

New job

If you are discontinuing your benefits because you landed a new job, all you have to do it pick true in the field asking you if you are back to work. This is a field that is there on each weekly claim filing form. Once you do this, your benefits will automatically become inactive and you will stop receiving payments.

Whatever the reason may be for discontinuing your unemployment benefits, please ensure that you have enough money to meet necessary expenses. If you receive a new job offer and is unsure if you will like the job or not, do some research about the job before you discontinue your benefits.

If you had a UI claim through a previous employment and received weekly payments,  later secured a job and then unfortunately became unemployed again, you may want to consider re-applying for UI benefits if your previous benefit year expired. Most states allow you to reopen your existing claim if it is still in the same benefit year.

Unemployment benefits terminate the moment you stop qualifying for it and the primary reason for becoming ineligible for the benefits is securing a new job. However if the new unemployment does not last long, you can start receiving benefits again by simply reopening your claim.

How It Works

People who lose their jobs a second time, fall into two different categories. This first one being a case a where a person loses his job within 52 weeks of filing for UI. The second, a person who was laid off post expiration of the 52 week period.

For people in the first category, things are pretty easy. You can simply start claiming your benefits, if you have any remaining benefits ie. If you are in the latter category, you may have to reapply for unemployment insurance.

The benefit amount that you will receive and your eligibility criteria may depend heavily on the time duration between your previous unemployment compensation and recent unemployment. It is likely that your previous claim won’t be affecting your new claim in anyway, also your current benefit amount will be calculated from the wages you earned in your most recent employment. In most cases, the amount you receive will be smaller than what you received in the first benefit year.

You must also be able to prove that your recent unemployment is not voluntary or a result of your mistakes.

Details Required To Claim UI Benefits Again

You may need to submit all relevant details again irrespective of whether you are still in the same benefit year. Before you start filing, it will be handy to keep the following information ready.

  • SSN
  • Personal identification number (PIN)
  • Motor vehicle card no. / driver’s licence
  • Complete mailing address with zip code
  • Contact number
  • Names and contact details of all your previous employers
  • Employer Registration Number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your latest employer
  • If you were a federal employee, copies of SF8 and SF50
  • For military service, your most recent separation form (DD214)
  • Lastly, your Alien Registration Card no. if you are not a citizen of the U.S.

How To Re-apply For UI Benefits

Should you find yourself unemployed again, you will have to submit a fresh application to restart your old claim. Remember, your claim does not start until you apply for it. So you may want to consider doing that at the earliest. Follow these steps and you’ll be ok soon.

  • Submit a new claim. You can do this via telephone/internet/mail. We recommend using the internet because that is the fastest way to file a claim.
  • Wait for a response. Once your claim is taken up, the the State Unemployment Agency will check you remaining benefit balance and examine if you still continue to qualify for the benefits.

I Need Help To File My Claim

If you are disabled or unable to file the claim yourself, you may seek help from a trusted person. It is not mandatory that you have to file your claim yourself. However, no matter how much you trust the person you chose to aid you, we strongly recommend that you be present each time they help you and use your PIN

Also, do keep in mind that you will be held responsible for the actions of your helper. And also you will be subject to penalties and you may even forfeit your benefits if you are NOT PRESENT when a helper aids you.

Extension of Benefits

As you may already know, benefits are usually awarded for a fixed time, typically up to 26 weeks. Once your benefits expire, you will have to reapply for it. The unemployment agency usually sends you a notice informing you that your benefits are about to expire, the notice usually contains information regarding how you can reapply to enjoy continued benefits.

Claim Denials

Unfortunately, claims can be denied sometimes. Several reasons could lead to this. The most commonly seen reason for claim denial is when the unemployment agency fails to determine that you lost your job through no error of yours. Or if you have not earned sufficient wages during a base period. Whatever the case is, the agency holds the right to deny your claim if they find you ineligible.

However, if you claim gets denied, you can always request the agency to reconsider your application. To do so, you will have to file an appeal. Directions on how to do so are usually enclosed within the letter you received from the agency stating that your claim has been denied. In most cases, there is a specific time-frame within which you must reapply if you want to send an appeal.

I Don’t Think I Will Qualify

Has reading so much has lead you to believe that you won’t qualify for the benefits? If so, we still strongly recommend that you still proceed with filing your application. This article is only of an informative nature. Only the State Unemployment Agency has the absolute authority to decide if you qualify or not. Apply all the same, we’ll think of the rest later. You can also refer to our Unemployment Q & A section for more information.

Hunt For Jobs

Not Steve Jobs, the ones that pay you for the work you do. You know that you can’t go on depending on your UI benefits forever. Also, it is imperative that you actively search for a new job because it is one of the requirements that you must fulfill in order to qualify for the benefits.

A Word of Advice

We understand that you are going through a very difficult stage. Worrying about it too much is not going to help in any way, in fact it will only lead to adverse effects on you. Try to stay positive, spend time with your loved ones and search for new employment opportunities. Update your social media profiles so that they become more employer- friendly and never give up faith! Good luck guys!

If you are unemployed and based in Georgia, you should check out the resource article published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution online edition. Here is a summary and refer to article source for all the details

How to apply for unemployment in Georgia:

Georgia Department of Labor Career Centers: Directory by City: Where Atlanta job seekers can apply for unemployment benefits

FAQ for Georgia unemployment benefits

Once registered for unemployment benefits in Georgia, you can claim benefits online

Three requirements for Georgia unemployment benefits (per Georgia Department of Labor):

* Filer must have earned enough money in base period (In Georgia, this is defined as the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed at the time you file your claim) to set up a claim.
* Your unemployment status must be through no fault of your own.
* You must be able to work, be seeking work and make yourself available for work on a weekly basis while collecting unemployment benefits.

What to bring when filing Georgia unemployment benefits:

* Social security card
* Separation notice from employer
* Names and addresses of your employers for the last 18 months, with the dates you worked at each place.
* Proof of immigration status if you are not a citizen of the United States.
* If you want to apply for direct deposit of your unemployment insurance benefits, bring a check with your account number and your bank’s routing number.
* For former Military/Government members only: If you separated from the military in the last 18 months, bring DD214 Member 4. If you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months, bring Standard Form 50 and Standard Form 8. If you do not have Standard Form 50, please bring a W-2 form or pay stubs and your wages will be estimated.

Here is the complete link to the article:
http://www.ajc.com/hotjobs/content/hotjobs/careercenter/articles/2009/02/15/georgia_unemployment_resources.html

https://fileunemployment.org