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How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Texas? Know It Here!

If you live in Texas and are unemployed, you can collect unemployment benefits offered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). But collecting benefits in the state is no cakewalk. You should meet several eligibility requirements and go through an application process. If you are wondering what criteria you should meet and how to apply for unemployment benefits in Texas, you have landed on the right page.

Here, we will guide through bits and pieces of Texas unemployment. To begin with, let us see what Texas unemployment benefits are.

Unemployment Benefits In Texas

Texas Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit is the federal and state-sponsored program. The program aims to provide partial and temporary income replacement for up to 26 weeks to Texasians who have lost employment through no fault.

The benefits amount lies anywhere between $69 and $521.

Now that you have an idea about Texas UI benefits, let’s learn how to apply for unemployment benefits.

How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

You can apply for benefits immediately after your last working day. Steps involved in the application process are as follows.

**** Create PIN SUBMIT ************ LOG IN 1 4 6 5 3 2 SIGN UP

Step1: The first and foremost step in to register for UI benefits. This can be done by visiting the Texas Workforce Commission website and clicking on “Sign Up For User ID” option. Then enter information asked for in the form and click submit.

Step2: On registering, you will receive your user ID and password. Using this information, log into your account and answer all the questions that help authorities determine if you are required to file a claim online or by calling TWC Tele-Center.

Step3: rovide details such as your contact information, citizenship information, last employer’s name, phone number, and address, information on numbers of hours you have worked and wages, and reason for job separation.

Step4: Create a 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) that has the same legal authority as that of your signature. Using PIN information you can easily access TWC Tele-Serv and some internet services offered by TWC.

Step5: Choose a payment option, either a debit card or a direct deposit. For new users, the default payment option is a debit card. But you can change it by clicking “NO” on the Payment Option Page and visiting “Change Payment Option Screen.”

Step6: Last, review your application. If you have not entered any details or have entered incorrect information, select the “Edit Information” link at the bottom of each section and make changes. Once done, submit the application.

If you have worked only in Texas, follow the above procedure. However, if you have worked in more than one state, you can file a claim in any state where you have your base period wages. The paying state will process your application as per its UI laws and ask other states to provide information about your wage records. It will then combine all your wages and determine if you earned sufficient wages to be eligible for UI benefits under that state’s rules.

Note – TWC requires you to meet additional requirements if you have last worked for temporary agencies or staff leasing companies.
  • Suppose you have worked for a temporary agency, you must contact them and ask for a new assignment within three business days following the end of your previous assignment before applying for benefits.
  • If you have last worked for a staff leasing company, you must immediately contact the company for a new job before applying for benefits.

Know that you will not receive your payment immediately after applying for it. You have to meet several eligibility requirements to qualify for benefits.

How To Qualify For Texas Unemployment Benefits?

The first and foremost criteria are, you should be unemployed through no fault of your own. Some of the accepted job separation reasons include:

laid_offLaid Off

You would be eligible for UI benefits in Texas if you were laid off due to lack of work, but not your work performance.

reduced_working_hoursReduced working hours

If your working hours are reduced, you can get benefits, provided it was not the result of disciplinary action.

quitQuit

You can qualify for benefits if you quit your job for a good cause. The good cause can be related to work or personal reasons.

Some of the state-defined good cause include:

Work-Related Good Cause
Non-Work Related Good Cause
  • Unsafe working environment
  • You are not getting paid at all or employer is not paying agreed-upon pay
  • The employer has made significant changes to your job profile without your consent
  • You are giving for your terminally ill spouse or minor child
  • You have documented cases of family violence, sexual assault, or stalking
  • You have a medical illness, or some injury has prevented you from continuing the job

firedFired

You may qualify for Texas UI benefits if your employer asks you to resign or fire you for reasons other than misconduct.

Examples of misconduct include:

  • Mismanagement of your position
  • Violation of law or company policy
  • Failure to perform your duties adequately

Apart from the job separation requirement, you will be required to meet other eligibility criteria such as monetary and work search requirements.

Monetary Requirements

According to the state defined monetary requirements, you will be required to meet minimum earnings in your base period. That includes:

  • Your total wages in the base period should be at least 37 times your weekly benefit amount
  • You must have received at least six times your weekly benefit amount
  • Your wages must be more than one of the four base period calendar quarters

If you aren’t aware of the base period, then the below chart will help you understand it better. Know that the base period in Texas is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the initial claim. If you don’t have sufficient wages in the base period, you cannot receive benefits.

standard_base_period

The above is the standard base period. The state includes another type of base period known as the alternate base period. This type of base period will be considered if you are out of work for a longer duration due to injury, pregnancy, or other medical illnesses.

alternate_base_period

Note – The TWC does not use the quarter in which you apply for benefits or the quarter before that. Instead, it will use the 1-year period before the two quarters. Also, the effective date will be the Sunday of the week in which you file the claim.

Work Search Requirements

work_search_requirment

One more criterion that you must meet is the work search requirement. According to these eligibility criteria, you will be required to:

  • Apply and accept suitable full-time employment
  • Look for a job according to the state defined guidelines
  • Document and submit the minimum number of work search activities every week
  • Keep track of verified work search activities records
  • Register on WorkInTexas.com if you live in Texas. If you stay in another state, you will be required to register at that state’s public workforce
  • Submit work search activities log to TWC upon request

How To Register For Work?

registerRegister

You have to register for a work search on WorkInTexas.com within three business days of filing a claim. During the process, you will have to give your Social Security Number so that the authorities at TWC could verify your registration.

contact_officeContact Workforce Solution Office

If you are unaware of the aspects involved in the registration process, contact authorities at the Workforce Solution Office. The authorities will be available through phone, in-person, and online to help you through the registration process.

Note – If you are not living in Texas, you must register at the American Job Center within three business days in the state where you reside.

How To Search For Work?

When you apply for benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission will send a letter that includes details about the minimum number of work searches that you should complete each week.

Begin your work search by listing your skills and using technology to look for a job. Note that there is a list of acceptable work search activities in Texas, which one must follow while applying for unemployment benefits.

Acceptable Work Search Activities In Texas

The list includes:
Job hunting efforts
Upskilling efforts
  • Registering and searching jobs on WorkInTexas.com
  • Using the Virtual Recruiter tool to receive notifications on new jobs that suit your skills
  • Preparing resume and sending it to the employer through the mail, fax, or in-person
  • Uploading your resume in top job search portals, or maining it to employers directly
  • Following up job contacts from WorkInTexas.com
  • Registering for work with schools/universities/college or private employment agencies
  • Interviewing with employers
  • Participating in job-related workshops, job fairs, or similar events
  • Collecting and utilizing labor market information
  • Participating in targeted training programs designed to enhance skills
  • Actively taking part in reemployment services that are designed for job seekers
  • Participating in skills evaluation for occupational matching
  • Participating in instructional workshops that teaches job-searching techniques
  • Attending workshops that teaches interviewing skills, resume creation and enhancement

How To Document Work Search Activities?

work_search_activities

Although you will be required to submit a minimum number of work search activities every week, it is wiser to document all your work search activities weekly. If the Texas Workforce Commission requests your work search activities for any week in your benefit year and you fail to provide them, TWC may deny your benefits.

You have two options for documenting your work search activities: preparing your log or using TWC’s work search log. If you choose to create your log, make sure that it has fields that are the same as TWC’s work search log.

While documenting your activities, make sure to include:
  • Type of jobs you are seeking
  • Date of your work search activity
  • Nature of your search activity, for instance, you applied for a job online, interviewed at XYZ office, etc.
  • Employers’ names, addresses, phone numbers with area codes, and mail ID
  • Result of your search activity, for instance, hired, no reply, interviewed, etc.
  • Method of contact, for example, mail, fax, or phone

Make sure that the entered information is true and accurate. Because if TWC checks your log and determines that you have given false information, you could lose your eligibility and face criminal charges.

With that said, TWC doesn’t always request a search log. However, in some cases, it would request you to send a copy of the log. If it requests a copy, upload the log to the UI Submission Portal for authorities to verify it.

Note that TWC will not always require you to meet work search requirements. Under certain circumstances, TWC may exempt you from work search requirements. Below is the list of such situations.
Exemptions From Work Search Requirements
  • You are participating in the Shared-Work program
  • You are laid off temporarily with a specific return-to-work date
  • You are actively participating in the Trade Act training program
  • You are a part of TWC-approved training that includes work search exemption
  • You are union member with a non-discriminatory hiring hall

If you meet all the state-defined eligibility requirements, you may qualify for UI benefits in Texas. The TWC will mail a statement after four weeks of your application that includes details about your potential benefits (Weekly Benefit Amount or WBA and Maximum Benefit Amount or MBA).

weekly_benifit_amountWeekly Benefit Amount

Weekly Benefit Amount is the payment that you will receive on eligible weeks. To calculate your WBA, TWC will consider your base period quarter that includes the highest wages. It then divides the wages by 25 and rounds the amount to the nearest dollar.

maximumMaximum Benefit Amount

Maximum Benefit Amount is the total amount you will receive during your entire benefit year. This amount would be 26 times your WBA or 27% of all your base period wages, whichever is less.

If you meet all eligibility requirements and have completed the application process, you may start receiving benefits in a few weeks.

Note – The process does not end here! You must report all your unemployment benefits as they are taxable income.

You read that right! Texas unemployment benefits are taxable and must be reported to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS).

How To Report Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

You can report your benefit amount to your federal tax return along with other income such as wages, bank interest, etc. When reporting the unemployment benefits, make sure to follow the below-mentioned points:

  1. Step 1: Enter the TWC Federal ID number, i.e., 74-2764775
  2. Step 2: Report benefit amount that you have received on the designated line of your tax return (as instructed by IRS for your type of income tax return)
  3. Step 3: Enter the taxes amount withheld at your request, if any

Withholding Taxes

Withholding taxes is voluntary in the state. You can request TWC to withhold federal income taxes from your gross unemployment benefit payments. If requested, the Texas Workforce Commission will withhold 10 percent of your gross UI benefits.

So, How Can You Withhold Taxes?

You can withhold your federal income tax for unemployment benefits by choosing the withholding option when applying for UI benefits online at Unemployment Benefits Services.

Filing Federal Income Tax Return

income_tax_img

In January, TWC will send IRS Form 1099-G that lists the total amount of benefits you received. It also includes:

  • Federal income tax withheld from benefits
  • Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) payments

When filing a federal income tax return, you need not attach a copy of the form to your federal income tax return. That is because authorities at TWC report the 1099-G information to the IRS.

Now that you know how to file for unemployment benefits in Texas, gather all the necessary information and file a claim.

However, make sure you don’t commit any mistakes as they may lead to denial of your claim. Some of the common mistakes you should avoid are:

  1. 1.Entering the incorrect or incomplete details in your initial claim.
  2. 2.Entering conflicting details from your previous employers. For instance, wage discrepancies, the reason for job separation.
  3. 3.Filing a claim in another state
  4. 4.Not documenting or recording work search activities
Note – Despite avoiding all mistakes, sometimes your unemployment benefits request may be rejected. In such cases, you can apply an unemployment benefits appeal.

Below are the steps involved in filing a UI appeal if in case your claim is denied.

How To File An Unemployment Appeal?

unemployment_appeal

If your claim is denied, TWC will send you a Determination Notice form that includes the reasons for the denial. If you are not happy with TWC’s decision, you can appeal UI benefits but within 14 days from the date receiving the Determination Notice. If the 14 day falls on a state or federal holiday, you can file your appeal on the next business day.

Appealing To The Appeal Tribunal

First, you will appeal to the Appeal Tribunal by writing at TWC (You can find the appeal form on the TWC website). You can file an appeal online or in-person at your local Workforce Solutions Office. You can also apply by faxing or mailing the letter to the Appeals Department. You can find the fax number or mailing address in your Determination Notice.

When appealing, you should provide several details, such as:
  • Your name
  • Your current address
  • Your Social Security Number
  • A copy of the Determination Notice
  • The date on which TWC sent you the Determination Notice
  • Dates on which you won’t be available for a hearing

The authorities will review your application and send a hearing information packet that includes dates and time of your hearing, instruction to follow while arriving at the hearing, instructions on additional document submission, etc. Make sure that you don’t miss the hearing. If there exists an emergency, keep the authorities informed about it.

If you are unsatisfied with the Appeal Tribunal’s decision, you can appeal to the Commission within 14 days from the date of receiving the Appeal Tribunal’s decision.

Appealing To The Commission

You can appeal to the Commission in person at your local Workforce Solutions office or submit your written appeal online. You can also send the letter through fax or mail to Commission Appeals. The mailing address and faxing number will be attached to your Appeal Tribunal decision.

The Commission will schedule a hearing where you can place your evidence and arguments. If you are not happy with the Commission’s decision, you can request a rehearing with the Commission, but within 14 days from the date, TWC mailed you the decision of the Commission.

However, TWC will grant the rehearing only if you present:
  • New crucial details about your case
  • Why you think the new information may change your case result
  • A compelling reason for not presenting the information earlier

TWC will go through the application again and schedule a rehearing. If you are not satisfied with the hearing, you can appeal to a civil court. However, you will be required to appeal to the court between 15 and 28 days from the date receiving the Commission’s decision. To appeal to the civil court, follow the instructions given with the Commission’s decision.

Continue to apply for benefits while appealing. Because if you win your UI appeal, TWC will give you benefits for those weeks.

Final Words

Applying for Texas unemployment benefits can look like a lengthy and challenging process, but it is worth it if you qualify for benefits, as this will help you meet your basic needs until you return to work. If you want more information about Texas UI benefits or have any query, contact authorities at TWC.

 

California has been ravaged by wildfires for a few days now. Firefighters and emergency services have been striving to contain the blazes as new fires keep breaking out. In Sonoma County, where the Kincade fire has made an enormous hit, life is slowly returning to track, as people look at what comes next. The risk of fires worsening is up since fast blowing winds can spread the embers.

Pacific Gas and Electric Utility shut down power in several counties to prevent fires starting from electrical malfunctions. This outage impacts businesses in a big way, particularly for wage workers and contractors who are directly or indirectly dependent on daily workflow. 

The obvious result of the mass evacuations ordered is the loss of work time. For daily wage workers, this has a severe impact on basics like housing, meals, etc. The power cuts are harsher upon those living in poverty. Those who live upon low savings struggle when they lose employment due to the above reasons.

In contrast, as the wine county has time-sensitive harvest operations, abandoning the area is not an option for those whose survival depends on the industry. Fires always end up choking the air with dust, smoke, and debris, which directly affects a day laborer or domestic worker’s health. The damage to the land takes a long time to recover, and while it does, its former employees must make do by other means. 

There are reports about people being forced to remain in the danger zone for fear of unemployment. Particularly, migrant workers and immigrants have preferred to endanger their safety as they tend to be ineligible for unemployment insurance.

On the upside, previous wildfires have shown an increase in local communities’ employment and labor engagement due to fire suppression and support activities. The post-fire reconstruction may support and spur the local labor market up to an extent.

Counties whose economies are reliant on recreation-based activities generally show a decline in wages and employment, while counties depending on government jobs do not show such an effect. Hazard pay and overtime allowance might increase in fire-associated jobs for a while after a wildfire.

Availing Disaster Unemployment Assistance to cope with California Wildfires

There arises a situation of joblessness during the California wildfires, which has various direct and indirect consequences for workers. Jobless claims have gone up during the end of October, with the largest increase seen in California.

The California Employment Development Department has announced that people losing their wages due to the Kincade fire can apply for disaster unemployment assistance (DUA). Usually, UI benefits are paid out after a waiting period of a week post-filing a claim, but the government has waived it as part of an emergency proclamation. Thus, the claimants receive two weeks of unemployment benefits on their first payment.

As the Kincade fire has not yet been declared as a federal disaster, the self-employed people would not be able to claim unemployment assistance.  

The amounts paid out depend on past earnings and may vary from $40-$450. Claims can be filed online, by phone, mail, or fax. Claimants can call the toll-free number 1-800-300-5616 between 8 a.m and 12 noon (Pacific Time).

If you are owed claims currently and are unable to receive the payments at your regular address, you can contact the local post office. Remember that the DUA deadline is Dec 18, 2019.

 

If you are unemployed in the state of Pennsylvania then the PA Unemployment Commission (UC) will help you monetarily with your day-to-day activities. Once you qualify, this will help take care of the bills and ensure that you can fall back on a few benefits during this transition phase.

Hence, it is important to file for unemployment as you can as look to derive a certain monetary creche that will give you the time to look out for work in that time span. So why worry, when the Pennsylvania UC will give you the right support needed to get you back on your feet!

Pennsylvania How Unemployment Payments Are Considered

About Unemployment Payment in PA

As an unemployed worker, you can claim UC benefits through online, telephone, videophone, and written consent. This can be made possible by furnishing:

  • Social Security Number and PIN
  • Telephone Number and Email address
  • Home and mailing address
  • Pennsylvania Driving Licence Number
  • DD Form 214, Member (If you were in the US Military)
  • Alien Registration Number (If you are a not a US Citizen)
  • Standard Form 8, Standard Form 50 (If you worked with the Federal government)
  • TA-W or NAFTA-TAA petition number (if you have the requisite certification)
  • Name and address of employer
  • Duration of work with your employer
  • Reasons for separation
  • Salary details
  • Copy of your rent pay stub
  • Details of employment in the last 18 months
  • Bank details and routing number for direct deposit

File your applications or reopen existing claims through:

    • Online: Fill this online application at your convenience.
    • Telephone: Call the toll-free unemployment compensation number at 1-888-313-7284 or 1-888-334-4046.
    • Paper Form: Use this paper application to file unemployment and mail or fax it to a UC service center.
    • Videophone: This service can be assessed every Wednesday at 717-704-8474 from noon to 4 p.m.File your Initial Claim here: https://www.paclaims.state.pa.us/UCEN/Welcome.asp

Partial Benefits

As a worker, you are entitled to certain claims partially if you are working partially to cover some of your overheads. You are still entitled to UC benefits based on furnishing the above details and the following these eligibility criteria.

You are eligible for partial benefits if you have:

  • Received a reduction in regular work hours
  • Separated from a job and obtained employment by working less than full-time
  • Separated but you continue to work as a part-time employee for another firm/s.

Subsequent Claims

You can make additional claims if you are not employed at the end of the year, meet the base-year eligibility requirements and earned close to six times the weekly benefit rate of your first application. Before making these claims, you must ensure that your employment, either full, part-time or temporary is covered by UC Law. You can also establish a claim against the state that after maximum entitlement to Pennsylvania UC benefits are exhausted. Once all the details are ironed out, you will receive your first benefit payment within four weeks of your application.

PA Unemployment Payment Schedule

Unemployment Payment Schedule

Once you have outlined and shared the requisite details with your UC then you should know how quickly you would have funds to meet your daily expenses. This is especially true if you are in need of a cushion when you are between jobs. Here’s how the payment schedule works:

First Benefit Payment

Once you are eligible for benefits, you can file biweekly claims and receive your first benefit payment within four weeks from the time that you filed your application. Since the time you filed your application, your first payment would be only for one week after the waiting week.

Schedule of Benefits

Usually, benefits are paid biweekly and within four days after the biweekly claim is filed. At times, this can take up to 10 days before you receive your payment. Payments may be delayed if the eligibility issue is not resolved. Your benefits can be paid through your debit card or by a direct deposit. Just remember that you can also file your current application and still receive your previous UC benefits. When required, you can switch from a direct deposit to a debit card based on your preferred method of payment. Since it may take a while for direct deposit options, you can avail financial assistance through your debit card.

Procuring your benefits information

There are two methods of getting information about your benefits. Your recent payment information can be accessed on the Benefit Payment Information page or by calling 888-255-4728. Additionally, your payment history can be sort by visiting the Benefit Payment Information page or calling the UC service center at 717-525-5160. By calling this number, you can receive two free faxes of your UC details after which they would be chargeable to your account.

PA Unemployment Payment History

It’s only a matter of time before you receive your benefit in your respective account.

The Pennsylvania UC can be reviewed by visiting: https://www.paclaims.state.pa.us/uccc/WelcomeBenefitStatus.asp

You can log in with your PIN and access your benefit payment information here.

Benefit Payment Information
In doing so, you must enter your Social Security Number and UC Pin that is provided to you on the Claim Confirmation Letter.

Benefit Payment Login

The minute your credential is received you will be taken to the Benefit Payment Information screen where you can review your recent payment history.

Recent Payment Activity

Click on Additional Benefit Payment History and this will open to the Current Claim Summary where you can view the Total Benefits Payable, Remaining Balance and Currently Weekly Benefit Rate.

Additional Benefit Payment History

Select View Benefit Payment History.

Current Claim Summary

On this page, you can review the status of your payment, the date on which it is issued and whether it is sent via direct deposit or debit card deposit. Additionally, you can also view your tax withholding amounts.

Benefit Payment History

Unemployment Payment Status

If you are looking to review your payment status then you can review it here: https://www.paclaims.state.pa.us/ucen/LoginClaimStatus.asp

Simply enter your Social Security Number and your PIN and you can find these details. Additionally, you can review your payment history as described above to review all the transactions in your account.

Don’t miss out on reviewing further details on your payment status from our earlier post: https://fileunemployment.org/pennsylvania-all-you-need-to-know-when-youre-unemployed

Unemployment Payment Chart

With respect to the PA UC Law, the application for benefits would be based on financial and benefit eligibility which will enable you to re-qualify for these benefits after filing the application. This will allow you to earn sufficient wages and help you remain financially eligible. Additionally, the nature of the job is considered and the reason behind why you have separated from your employer would be reviewed here. In order to ensure that you receive these payments, you should be eligible to find a job that would get you back on track.

Similarly, this payment chart attracts a rate of compensation based on the Highest Quarterly Wage that you were previously earning. The figures below provide an outline of the payment chart as follows for the Highest Quarterly Wage:

  • $1,688 – $2,512
  • $2,513 – $4,387
  • $4,388 – $6,262
  • $6,263 – $8,137
  • $8,138 – $10,012
  • $10,013 – $11,887
  • $11,888 – $13,737
  • $13,738 or more

To elaborate on the first category, this table outlines the first category:

Highest Quarterly Wage: $1,688 – $2,512

Part A

Highest Quarterly Wage

Part B

Rate of Compensation

Part C

Qualifying Wages

1688 – 1712 $68 $2,718
1713 – 1737 $69 $2,758
1738 – 1762 $70 $2,797
1763 – 1787 $71 $2,837
1788 – 1812 $72 $2,877
1813 – 1837 $73 $2,916
1838 – 1862 $74 $2,956
1863 – 1887 $75 $2,996
1888 – 1912 $76 $3,035
1913 – 1937 $77 $3,075
1938 – 1962 $78 $3,115
1963 – 1987 $79 $3,154
1998 – 2012 $80 $3,194
2013 – 2037 $81 $3,234
2038 – 2062 $82 $3,274
2063 – 2087 $83 $3,313
2088 – 2112 $84 $3,353
2113 – 2137 $85 $3,393
2138 – 2162 $86 $3,432
2163 – 2187 $87 $3,472
2188 – 2212 $88 $3,512
2213 – 2237 $89 $3,551
2238 – 2262 $90 $3,591
2263 – 2287 $91 $3,631
2288 – 2312 $92 $3,670
2313 – 2337 $93 $3,710
2338 – 2362 $94 $3,750
2363 – 2387 $95 $3,789
2388 – 2412 $96 $3,829
2413 – 2437 $97 $3,869
2438 – 2462 $98 $3,908
2463 – 2487 $98 $3,948
2488 – 2512 $99 $3,988

 

Unemployment Payment Delay

Since there are several unemployed that claim benefits from the PA UC, there are chances where you may receive a delay in payment. This can be resolved by reviewing your payment options based on the Direct Deposit, UC Debit Card and determining your Benefit Payment Information to review if you have received for entitlement. You can also review if you have received your payment from the Benefit Payment Information page and by checking your Payment History. If this fails to help you check if you have received your payment then you can check your claims and benefit status. You can also call 888-255-4728 to rectify payment details at the earliest from Monday to Friday between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

PA Unemployment Compensation Biweekly Claim

Once you file your application for UC benefits, you will receive a Claims Confirmation letter. In this letter, you will be provided with a 4 digit PIN that is necessary to file your biweekly claim. Additionally, you will find the date that you will use to file your biweekly claim. For most, this is usually the second Sunday after you complete your initial application to receive your benefits.
Just remember, you will have to file for two benefit weeks every time which begins on Saturday and finishes on Sunday. This is known as the compensable week ending date. Though you file for two weeks at a time, you are eligible for each passing week separately. So you must ensure that you file timely to ensure that you are paid on time.

You can file your biweekly claim online anytime between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Additionally, you can call the TTY at 888-255-4748 from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Using TTY and Videophone Service

A TTY is used specifically for those that are hard of hearing and speech impaired to allow them to communicate messages back and forth instead of having to communicate over the phone. Additionally, the videophone service allows individuals to use sign language to communicate every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474.

Mail

Alternatively, you can file your biweekly claim by mail if:

  • The application cannot be shared via the Internet
  • There is limited access to telephone
  • No access to a touch-tone or push button telephone with a tone-pulse switch
  • Cannot communicate in English or Spanish
  • You have a disability that prevents you from using PAT
  • Already receiving TRA

Claim Form

Once your mail is received, you will receive a Claim Form. This form will help you claim benefits for the claim weeks. The face of the form will be title Claim Week Ending On. As stated, the claim week will begin on Sunday and end at midnight on Saturday. If this form is stolen or misplaced, you should contact the UC service center at the earliest.

Filing in the Claim Form

In this Claim Form, you should mention whether you have been employed during the weeks that you are issuing the claim, personal details like Name, Residential Address, Zip Code, Dates of duration of work, total work hours, hourly rate and gross pay. You must also mention the reasons for your separation from employment and if you had received vacation by your previous employer. If certain claims are to be left blank, then you should cross out these sections. In case you need to change your name, address and telephone number then you should re-print your details to avoid any errors to creep in. Ensure that you add the date and sign to certify that the form is complete.

Sending your Claim Form to PA

You’re almost there! Just ensure that you follow these guidelines when you mail the Claim Form:

  • Enter your name and the return mailing address on the upper left corner of the envelope.
  • Attach the requisite postage stamp to the envelope
  • Ensure that you mail your Claim Form to the UC Service Center Address
  • Do mail your claim form as detailed in the Claimant Instructions in the form during the week beginning as printed on the form.

 

If all the details are met as prescribed by the Claim Form then it will be processed for payment. An incorrectly filed form will be returned and this can lead to a delay in receiving your benefits.

PA Unemployment Compensation Tax

The Unemployment Compensation (UC) protects all from job loss by ensuring that they receive a temporary income support to those that are unemployed through no fault of their own. These benefits are payable to those that can actively seek new employment. You must qualify for UC benefits under Pennsylvania UC Law and previously employed by an employer that elected to contribute towards the UC Fund. Employer contributions are the main sources of UC benefit payments. You are applicable to pay federal employer taxes that are collected under FUTA.

Tax Rate Breakup

Your employer would have been mailed a contribution rate notice containing information about the rate for the specified Calendar period. They may appeal within 90 days of the rate notice. Under a Contribution Rate Notice (Form UC-657) that is mailed to the employers at the end of each year, the rate will be mentioned for the following year. This is applicable for taxable wages that are paid to employer contributions due. The rate notice will provide employers with details of the factors that comprise the total rate. These rates are mentioned as follows:

  • New Employer Rates – Businesses that pay wages for the first time are assigned as a new employer and the contribution rate of 3.5 per for new employers is applicable for Non-Construction and 9.7 for new employers of Construction firms.
  • Standard Rates: Those employers that have a sporadic employment history are assigned to the Standard Contribution Rate. A standard rate will be assigned to employers with zero or positive reserve account balances and a higher standard rate is assigned to employers with a negative account balance. On the lower rate, employers would be charged 6% and the highest being over 11%.
  • Computed Rate: Once an employer has provided covered employment and paid wages for two complete calendar years then the employer falls under the experienced-based rate. There are several variations in the contribution rates assigned to employers based on the assessment of unemployment risk of the employers. The Office of the UC Tax Services reviews the compensation history and the rate at each calendar year through June 30 of the earlier year. Hence, an employer with a high rate of unemployment will have a higher contribution rate and similarly, employers with stable and lower unemployment will receive a lower rate. The contribution rate is based on six components namely; Reserve Ratio Factor, Benefit Ratio Factor, State Adjustment Factor, Surcharge Adjustment, Additional Contributions Factor and Interest Factor.
  • Delinquency Rate: Those employers that pay 3 percent higher than the rate are assigned to Delinquency Contribution Rate. This is assigned if they fail to file all required registration documents, file all quarterly UC tax returns and pay all contributions, interest or penalties that are due in the second quarter of the year for which the rates are calculated. This rate is assigned to delinquent employers as solvency measures applicable to that particular year. Hence, this delinquency rate is the sum of the Basic Rate (Reserve Ratio Factor + Benefit Ratio Factor + State Adjustment Factor) + 3 percent (3%) + the Solvency Measures (Surcharge Adjustment + Additional Contributions + Interest Factor).

If there is an appeal against the UC Tax rate, then your employer can do so by accessing www.uctax.pa.gov or filing a written appeal with 90 days since the mailing date of the rate notice.

PA Unemployment Claim Balance

The most important thing to do when you lose your job is to claim unemployment. You should ensure that you file your unemployment from the state that you have worked in.

This would mean that you would have to provide details of your:

  • Name, address, telephone
  • Social security number OR Alien Registration card number
  • Driver’s license or ID card number
  • 18 months of employment history
  • Names/addresses of former employer(s)
  • Employment dates
  • Most recent employers’ Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number

Your Unemployment Claim Balance can be applied through online, telephone, videophone and written modes. As suggested, you can file claims at https://www.paclaims.state.pa.us/UCEN/Welcome.asp

To check your claims, payment history, and benefit status, you can review the section above or call 888-255-4728 for more details.

Just remember that once you file your initial application for UC benefits, you will receive three separate mailings within 10 days time. The first item would be, An official Notice of Financial Determination and you should review if the information of your finances is accurate. The second is a Claim Confirmation Letter which contains your Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will use to access your documents. Only you will access to this and the UC Service Centre cannot help you if you misplace you confidential PIN. This PIN will not change from year to year and can be used for your PAT. This Claim Confirmation Letter will also instruct you when to file your Biweekly Claims. Finally, you will receive the Unemployment Compensation Handbook that would provide information regarding compensation and your rights and responsibilities.

Claim Eligibility

In order to ensure claims are paid in total or partially, you should ensure that you must file biweekly claims for benefits. The first eligible week is the waiting week. You must file a claim and get credit for a valid waiting week. This period is required before you receive any benefit payment. You can claim eligibility by filing your biweekly claims online on Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm and on Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm. at www.uc.pa.gov. Additionally, you can call the Pennsylvania Teleclaims – PAT system on Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm., and Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm. These PAT numbers will be available from your UC handbook.

The following video will help you check you Claim Balance

PA Unemployment Debit card

Your UC claimants can be received as a Direct Deposit or through your Debit Card. You can opt for a debit card that will be mailed to your residential address after determining your financial eligibility. You can avoid fees using your debit card by accessing your information on the usbankreliacard.com website. Also, you can save on fees by withdrawing at branches that accept Visa cards and request for cash back purchases.

Once you have your direct deposit, you can receive UC payments using your debit card. Unless you have submitted the form to stop direct deposit, your debit card will not be processed. Similarly, if you have your debit card number and PIN on your person, then you should speak to a customer service representative to make your debit card active. Similarly, you do not have your card number and PIN, then you should enter your SSN and ensure that the Chase customer service representative completes your request.

Your debit card will help you cover your expenses during your transition period and transactions can be made at any place of your convenience. It’s a great way to shop, withdraw money when needed to simply cover your tracks when needed instantly. A word of caution is to ensure that you use your debit card sparingly as you might get carried away!

Debit Card Deposit Time

Initially, it may take up to four weeks until you receive your payments that are issued via direct deposit. From the moment you become financially eligible for benefits, you will be mailed a UC debit card at the address you provided in your initial application to access all the benefits that you are entitled to. In case these benefits haven’t reached you, dial the toll-free number at 877-869-1956. Generally, payments are transferred on the date of the payment issue or the following day. However, payments are not transmitted on the weekends and on state, federal or banking holidays.

Payment Delay

Usually, benefits are paid biweekly and carried out within four days after the biweekly claim has been filed and considered. This may take up to 10 days to receive before payment is disbursed.But payments may be delayed if there is an eligibility issue that requires to be resolved or if the documents shared to UC are not complete and are returned. Payments may also be delayed due to natural calamities that cause time bound irregularities in discharging service.

Payment Status  

This video will help you review how you can check your unemployment payment status online:

Enter your social security number and your PIN. Then, you are directed to a page that contains all your payment benefit information. Select the payment history option and you are directed to your current claim summary. When you select the View Benefit Payment History icon, you can review your history and check the payment status based on the date, payment number, status, amount paid, method of payment and the payment issue date.

Keep It Working, Pennsylvania!

Hope we helped you understand what it takes to get your UC payments. You can play a role in assisting the community and connect hundreds of unemployed individuals that need help. Additionally, you can gain knowledge from our forum. You can also review, our earlier post on Pennsylvania Overcome anything that comes in your way and be the change.

 

Receiving monetary compensation in the US for unemployment is guided by laws and framework prescribed by the U.S Department of Labor and operated independently by each state. The Unemployment Payments network is perhaps a perfect example of an all-inclusive social security system in a federal set-up. In case, you prefer to apply for benefits from your new state then you have every right to. But, the unemployment laws of the former state would still govern how your benefit payment calculations are determined.

What is Unemployment Insurance in the U.S?

A weekly compensation paid out to claimants who’ve lost their jobs due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs. Since this system is largely controlled by the state, one can receive up to 26 weeks of regular unemployment compensation determined on the basis of income earned during the base or alternative base period and other applicable criteria. Some states may also provide additional weeks of benefits, although the Emergency Unemployment Compensation(E.U.C) is now redundant.

In exchange for the dole, the claimant has to fulfill some conditions such as making the required job searches during a given week and accepting a suitable job offer that comes their way. One of the most common concerns of claimants who wish to move to another state and seek job opportunities there relates to the transfer of benefits from the present state to the state where the person is moving to.

Can I Transfer Unemployment Benefits From One State to Another?

Yes, you can. Although your previous employer would have remitted unemployment taxes to the state where your employment was based, you can get them transferred to the new state you’re moving to. All states are members of Interstate Reciprocal Benefit Payment Plan, which provides the required network for hassle-free transfer of your claim file to the new state. You must bear in mind the fact that once transferred, the laws governing the compensation system in the new state will apply to your weekly claims which can affect the claim amount and other determinants.

How-to-file-for-benefits-from-one-state-to-another

 

Once the file has been transferred, you will need to start making the required job searches as per the new state rules and claim weekly to the extent of availability. Since this is an intrastate activity, you may have to wait for a stipulated time before starting to make claims again.

How to Transfer UI Benefits?

  • Firstly, it is very important to contact the Unemployment Office in your current state and let them know about your intention of moving to another state. Ask for specific paperwork that you may have to fulfill with the present state of claims.
  • Once you’ve made an official communication and have moved to the next state, call the Unemployment Office and inform them about your movement and that you will be claiming the compensation and initiate a transfer.
  • Post confirmation from your new state, start filing weekly claims just the way you did before.
  • You will be required to provide all relevant paperwork such as SS and Address Proof in the new state. Ensure the availability of all the required paperwork.

A Word of Advice

Moving the benefits from one state to another is an option that is available in the system. Before initiating one, consider the feasibility in terms of the various challenges surrounding it such as before making a decision.

  • It may involve intensive paperwork since your file is moved from one state to another. You will be required to deal with both the states until completion of the transfer.
  • The wait time can be testing, during which you may not be able to stake a claim in any of the states.
  • Once the transfer is complete, the claims you make will be subject to the rules and conditions of the new state. Monetary benefits may or may not be of the same value you were receiving earlier in the previous state.

Since it’s all virtual (online), you may still consider the option of continuing your claims from the base state even if you move to a different one until completion. As a responsible claimant, it’s your duty to inform the base state about your movement to ensure there are no hassles in the near future.

Partial unemployment insurance programs are meant for full time employees who fail to work the stipulated full-time due to lack of work. Such claims are filed by the employers for employees who do not work full-time during the pay period owing to lack of work or by the employees themselves. This is usually done when employers want to retain employees even though there isn’t sufficient work.

Eligibility

You still have to be on the payroll of a company in order to receive benefits. The eligibility is often determined by the state law, hence you may notice variations according to the state where you file your claims. In general, the following are the criteria that you must satisfy in order to qualify for the program.

  • You must be able to work and you should be available for work.
  • The time you worked or are working in a week must be less than what is by law decided as full time. i.e., If x number of hours per week is considered as the full-time work duration, you should have worked less than x hours in order to qualify.
  • The only reason that makes you work less than the standard full-time duration should be lack of work and nothing else.
  • You should be working for the employer and your weekly earnings should be less than the weekly benefit amount.
  • You must establish monetary eligibility.

How to file

As mentioned before, partial unemployment insurance claims are filed by the employer for an employee. To do this you must first ensure the following:

  1. He/she is a full time employee
  2. He/She is a citizen of the USA
  3. He/She is laid off temporarily due to insufficient work
  4. Is not on vacation
  5. Has accepted and done all the work given out to them so far
  6. Is without earnings for no more than six weeks post layoff
  7. Is not receiving retirement pension
  8. Earned stipulated wages during the base period

The application procedure is not very different from the procedure for total unemployment. Claims can be filed through the Internet or via telephone. If you have to do it via the Internet, you will need to obtain a password by submitting an Employer Internet Password Application. Filing via Internet is by far the fastest method.

If you are looking for more details, visit Partial Claims section of DOL site.

Benefits

As of October 2012, if you weekly earnings are $500 or above, you will not be eligible for the program, no matter what your weekly benefit rate is.

Okay, so this is how you calculate the benefits you may receive. You have to report the sum total of wages earned during a week, this includes tips or any other source of income. These wages you report will then be reduced from your partial benefit rate which is around 20% higher than your weekly benefit rate. In any case, the benefit you receive will never be higher than the weekly benefit rate.

Consider this example. Assume you earn $100 a week. Your partial benefit rate as mentioned is 20% higher so that becomes $120. If you earned $50 during a week, you will receive $120- $50 = $70. Hence, $70 will be the amount of benefit you receive.

Receiving payments

Your partial unemployment benefits are either received via direct deposit or debit.You can check with your state unemployment insurance office for further information. You will receive benefits until you receive full weekly benefits or until the benefits year end.

Financial constraints can be difficult for every human being. Try to stay calm and positive. Actively search for new and better opportunities and always remember, a healthy attitude can solve most problems!

You have lost that precious job that provided all the financial support. Now what? Obviously, this is not the time to panic or being depressed. Take a step back, and relax – there is always another job waiting to be hunted for. You can use job search links on this site to look for new job, but the first thing you want to do is to file for unemployment insurance benefits and allow the lengthy process to start while you look for new jobs. This guide provides all the necessary steps to apply for unemployment benefits.

Claiming Unemployment Benefits – Where to start?

State unemployment offices generally take a few weeks to process unemployment benefits claims, so it is important that you understand how to file for unemployment and file the claim at the earliest opportunity. Be aware that you will get back-credits from the second week of filing, even though state employment offices may take a long time to process your claim for the very first time. Here are the steps to claim unemployment benefits

  1. Check your eligibility to apply and receive the unemployment benefits. Eligibility criteria are defined by state unemployment programs and you can use the unemployment eligibility article to ensure you have met all the rules. Here is a quick test to check if you are eligible to claim unemployment insurance
    • You must be willing and able to work. You may need to claim disability insurance if you have physical disabilities
    • Your job loss must be due to employers inability to offer continued employment. If you were fired or lost job due to your own fault, you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits
    • Your salary from the lost job was high enough to cover basic living expenses. Most of the part-time or seasonal jobs do not qualify you for unemployment benefits
  2. Estimate Benefits Amount using our unemployment calculator. Based on your eligibility, this smart tool provides an instant estimate of benefits depending on the data collected from you.
  3. Locate state unemployment insurance agency. You can use State unemployment instructions or the interactive map provided here to locate the state agency, their contact number, office address and the website if you choose to file unemployment online
  4. Choose your filing method. Most state unemployment offices allow you to file your claims online or through a telephone. It is advised to file online or by visiting the state agency as telephone method is prone to data entry errors and you do not want to delay claims processing when you file the first time. You can always use the telephone method to extend unemployment benefits.
  5. Prepare to file the paperwork. According to an estimate, about 50 percent of eligible people do not apply for unemployment benefits due to complex paperwork process. However many states have reduced the complexities as you can see from the State of Michigan unemployment data gathering form which is as short as one page. Here is a list of things generally needed when you file the paperwork and be aware that some States may require more details
    • Name, social security number and other personal details
    • Name of all previous employers in the last 2 years and their details.
    • An approx. estimate of dates and duration of each employment. Generally, employers do not provide this info to states.
    • If you are a member of a union, need name and local number of the union
    • Reason you left the job – it has to be involuntary to be eligible to receive benefits
  6. After you have applied for unemployment benefits, wait for the benefits check and stay positive! It takes 2-3 weeks for state offices to process you claim and issue the check. Keep hunting for jobs in that period. Most importantly, do not sit idle. You can learn new skills, read new topics, or find a cost-effective volunteering opportunity to keep you mind engaged. Remember you are just searching for a job; there is no reason to let yourself down.
  7. Register for jobs with the state employment services.This is not mandatory but many state unemployment agencies offer employment services at free of charge if you register. They will guide you with job opportunities within and outside of the state. They will offer counseling services to find the jobs you like. They will also refer you to discounted training programs, or refer you to other agencies if you need special assistance
  8. Continue to file for unemployment benefits every week or 2 to let the unemployment office know that you are still eligible for benefits. You are also required to report any wages earned, or the job offers received. If you exhaust your benefits, you may be eligible for extension of benefits

Claiming unemployment benefits from more than one state

You are required to file your claims in the state where you have worked, even though you are not living in that state now. If you have worked in more than one state or you are currently not living in the state where you worked during the year, you can still contact local unemployment insurance office close to you. They may be able to assist you with the claims

Once you file for unemployment benefits, you should continue your job search. Then there is this brave new world of work from home jobs that you can do online. People are making a leaving and some are able to make a fortune out of such jobs that can work from the comfort of your home. Making money online is real and it takes virtually no investment.

Tired of looking for jobs? Explore ways to make money online.

https://fileunemployment.org