The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program that provides temporary financial assistance to low-income families. The benefits can be used to pay food, medical, shelter, and utilities bills. TANF is also known as the Temporary Assistance (TA) program.
Under the TANF program, the federal government provides grants to states provided states use their own income to pay for needy families.
States have the discretion to determine the eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Here, let’s have a look at the eligibility criteria and working of the TANF program.
Eligibility Criteria For Temporary Assistance For Needy Families
The requirements to qualify for the TANF program may vary with the states. Some of the common requirements are listed below.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen.
- The applicant must be a resident of a state in which the individual is applying for TANF program.
- If the claimant is a non-citizen, he/she must be admitted by law as a permanent resident.
- The applicant must have a child under age 19 living with him/her or must be pregnant.
- The applicant or his/her family members must have Social Security Number.
- The claimant must be unemployed or about to be unemployed.
- Claimant should actively look for a job or participate in a training program unless disabled.
- If the applicant has a dependent child, he/she must cooperate with child support requirements and paternity, unless he/she has a good cause for not cooperating.
- Claimant has a child under age 18 or age 18 living him/her and is a full-time student.
- Claimant’s resources such as bank accounts, property or bonds or property that is not your main/primary residence are of a value of $1,000 or less.
- The applicant must provide care and support for a child as a result of one of the following events:
- Death of the child’s parent
- Child’s parents do not have any income
TANF Training Requirements
If approved for TANF, the recipients are required to take part in employment and training programs conducted by the respective states. However, under certain circumstances, the recipients can exempt themselves from participating in the training activities. For instance,
- The recipient has a child aged less than 12 weeks.
- The recipient is 60 years old and above.
- The recipient is permanently disabled.
- The recipient is giving care to the disabled.
- There is a domestic violence situation and participating in employment and training activities would cause physical or emotional harm to the recipient or the children in the household.
Recipients who do not meet exemption criteria must participate in employment and training activities for the minimum hours per federal month as required by the state. If the recipient does not participate in the training activities, the Temporary Assistance payment will be reduced.
How Are Benefits Calculated?
The payment is calculated based on several factors, such as the expenses associated with child care, the size of your household, etc. Here’s a list of amounts paid by each state for a family of three through a single payment.
When Can The Applicant Expect The Benefits?
If the application is approved, the applicant can expect the payment within 45 days of the submission of the application. The amount will be paid through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card or directly deposited to the bank account.
How Long Can A Claimant Receive The Benefits?
An applicant can collect TANF for a maximum of 60 months or 5 years over the course of his/her lifetime.
How To Apply For TANF?
You can apply for TANF benefits either online or at a local community service office. For instance, individuals at Washington can apply at https://www.dshs.wa.gov/esa/community-services-offices/community-services-office.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families offers much required financial aid and helps qualified people to meet their basic needs. To know more about this program, visit the state’s TANF website.
To help Americans make it through the crisis, the federal government had announced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act in March. This program includes several provisions such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), etc.
While the PEUC program provides unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks, PUA, on the other hand, provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for the otherwise non-qualifying self-employed, independent contractors, etc.
In this article, we will walk you through the Unemployment Insurance Benefits for independent contractors, eligibility, and other factors.
Who Is Considered As An Independent Contractor?
Individuals who are in business for themselves that are free from direction, supervision, and control are considered as independent contractors. Signs of an independent contractor include an individual who:
- Has a well-established business
- Carries insurance
- Advertises in the print or electronic media
- Purchases a business listing or an ad
- Uses business cards, invoices, and stationery
- Has a place of business
- Pays his/her work expenses
- Invests in equipment, facilities, and supplies
- Assumes risk for both profit and loss
- Negotiates or sets his/her pay rate
- Sets his/her schedule
- Can accept or refuse work offers
- Offers services to competitive and non-competitive businesses
- Can choose to hire people
To qualify for the unemployment benefits, an independent contractor should meet several eligibility criteria. Some of them:
- The individual has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and is receiving a medical diagnosis
- The individual’s family member is diagnosed with the Coronavirus
- The individual is giving care for a family member diagnosed with the Coronavirus
- The individual’s child or family member for whom he/she is giving care is unable to attend a school or any other facility that is closed as a direct result of the Coronavirus public health emergency
- The individual is unable to go to his/her workplace because he/she has been advised to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider
- The individual is unable to go to his/her workplace because of quarantine or other measures imposed due to the direct result of the pandemic public health emergency
- The individual’s workplace is closed due to the Coronavirus public health emergency
- The individual has quit his/her job as a direct result of the pandemic public health emergency
Unemployment Insurance Benefits For Independent Contractors: Application Process
Eligible independent contractors can apply for unemployment benefits by visiting the respective state’s Department Of Labor website. When applying, the independent contractor will be required to provide many details such as:
- Contact details
- Social Security Number
- Driving license
- Name and address of employers worked for in the past 18 months
Note that many times the application will be denied initially. But a subsequent process will allow the individual contractors to apply for the PUA program.
After applying, the contractor has to provide proof of income within 21 days of submission of the application. This can include copies of 1099 forms, federal income tax statements, etc.
The Department Of Labor will send determination notice when the application is approved that includes instructions on how to apply for weekly claims.
How Much Benefits Will The Independent Contractors Receive?
The weekly payments will be calculated on the wages and rules of the respective state. The CARES Act, however, requires the state to provide a payment of less than half of the average weekly unemployment payment in that state.
Are Independent Contractors Eligible For The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program?
Independent contractors who receive benefits under the PUA program are eligible for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Under the FPUC program, the eligible can receive an additional $600 benefits until 31 July 2020.
The states provide Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Though this financial relief measure is a federal-state program, the amount is collected from employers in the form of state unemployment insurance taxes.
Since the taxes collected from employers are used to pay benefits, it becomes necessary for employers to know more about Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Here, let’s look at UI benefits and employers’ responsibilities when a former employee files a claim for unemployment.
About Unemployment Insurance
Individuals who are sacked through no fault of their own can file for unemployment benefits and meet their financial needs for a certain period of time. It must be noted that all not unemployed qualify for unemployment benefits. One must meet several eligibility requirements to be eligible for benefits. Some of them include, but not limited to:
- Should be able, available, or actively seek employment
- Should submit work search reports that include details about interviews attended, address of employers, etc.
- Should work for a minimum number of hours under an employee and earn minimum wage as required by the respective state
However, the amount and duration for which an unemployed person can receive benefits varies depending on the state.
Responsibilities Of An Employer Prior And Post Employee Layoff
An employer requires to carry out certain responsibilities when he/she fires a worker. They include:
1. Notifying Employee About UI benefits
When a worker is fired, regardless of the circumstances, the employer must issue the copy of how to file for UI benefits form and other related information. As per the law, the information must be provided to the employee within 30 days of the lay off. Note that the form must be given to both temporarily and permanently fired employees.
2. Responding To Department Of Labor on time
If an employee has worked for 15 months under an employer, then he/she is considered a base period employer. He/she will be required to provide accurate information of the employee to the Department Of Labor (DOL) timely.
Despite providing the information timely, if the employer’s account gets charged for the benefits paid, then he/she can right to object to the benefits, provided the employee was fired under disqualifying circumstances.
If an employee has worked for 8 weeks under an employee before filing unemployment, the employer is considered as an interested party to the claim. Such employers will have the right to object an employee’s eligibility for UI benefits.
If an employee’s claim gets approved, the objecting interested party employers will receive a copy of the approved claim, and he/she will be allowed to request a hearing within 10 working days. But if the employer hasn’t submitted wage and separation details to DOL timely, he/she cannot request a hearing.
3. Reporting To The DOL
If an employee fails to report to work after being recalled, the employer must notify DOL in writing within 5 business days. Some of the details that must be included in the notice are:
- Employee name
- Job position
- Social Security number
- Recall date
- The approach used to recall the employee
If the DOL determines that there was no good cause for failing to return to work, it will disapprove the claim.
What Happens When An Employee Reopens The Claim?
When a former employee tries to reopen the claim, the DOL will contact the employer, provided he/she is an interested party to the claim. The employer should provide necessary details that are required to determine the eligibility of the employee.
The employer can also provide additional information to determine if the claimant has the right to receive benefits.
Employers play a key role in UI benefits program by contributing to its funds. However, under any circumstance, the employer cannot withhold or deduct the amount that is to be paid as a state UI tax from employees’ wages.
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the states by storm. To curb the pandemic, states have implemented various measures such as social distancing, travel ban, self-isolation, etc. Though these measures helped in containing the pandemic to an extent, they caused businesses to shut down leading to an increase in the unemployment rate, one such being the state of Idaho.
As per the Labor Force statistics, the unemployment rate in Idaho rose to 11.5% and non-farm payrolls lost about 79,500 jobs in April.
To help the unemployed to meet their financial needs, the state provides enhanced unemployment benefits under the CARES Act which is set to expire in July, forcing Idahons to return to work.
However, despite businesses reopening, people are not comfortable returning to their work due to the fear of exposure to the Coronavirus. To encourage people to return, Governor Brad Little is looking to offer a return-to-work bonus.
More About Return-To-Work Bonus
Return-To-Work bonus is given to the workers to encourage them to take up their work while ensuring their safety. The Idaho Gov. Brad Little wishes to give a one-time cash bonus of $1,500 to workers returning to their full-time work, and $750 to those returning to their part-time work.
The bonus will be given on the basis of first-come, first-served for eligible applicants only after they return to their work.
Who Qualifies For Return-To-Work Bonus?
To qualify for return-to-work bonus employees must meet several eligibility criteria. Some of them include:
- Employees must return to work by July 1, 2020
- Employees must work for 4 consecutive weeks
- Wages of the employee is $75,000 or less annually
- The employee is the resident of Idaho
- The employee has worked for an employer in Idaho
How To Apply For Return-To-Work Bonus?
Employers must provide details on the workers for whom they are expecting a return-to-work bonus. This is required because of the existing relationship between the Tax commission and employers.
The qualified employer applicants must establish a secure Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account to safeguard their business and personal information entered on the applications.
Steps to be followed while applying for return-to-work bonus include:
Step 1: Log in to the TAP account
Step 2 : Go to step 3 for employers who are not a third party filing on behalf of an authorized person. For third parties, choose client from the client list
Step 3 : Go to “I Want To” section and click the ‘Return To Work’ option
Step 4 : Fill the details and submit the application
- Applications for employees who returned to work between May 1 and June 14 will be accepted by July 13
- Applications for employees who returned to work between May 1 and July 1 will be accepted on July 20
How To Create A TAP Account?
To apply for a return-to-work bonus the applicants must first create a Taxpayer Access Point account. Follow the below mentioned steps to establish a TAP account.
- Visit the TAP home page and click “Don’t have a logon? Register here”
- Select “No” when asked if you have received TAP registration code. Then click “Next”
- Enter the details asked for
- For the “You Are” field, choose:
a. Business if you are an employer or owner (but not the sole owner) of a business
b. 3rd party tax professional if you are an accountant managing client’s taxes or a tax preparer
- Next click “Submit”
- After the submission, the Tax Commission will send you a letter with a registration code
- Once you receive the registration code, go back to the home page and login to your account
- Click “Yes” when asked if you have a registration code
- Click “Next”
- Go to the “Verify” page and:
- Enter the registration code (it is case sensitive)
- Choose the appropriate option under “You Are”
- Enter the SSN or EIN used during the pre-registration
- Click “Next”
- Enter the details asked for
- Click “Submit”
Return-to-work bonus not only encourages people to return to work but also helps state to improve the economy. To know more about this program, visit
Employers offer various benefits and insurance policies to protect their employees. Some of them include health insurance, vision insurance, and disability insurance. Disability insurance is of two types: Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefits. While Short-Term Disability insurance offers compensation for a limited time, Long-Term Disability Insurance provides income replacement for an extended period.
More about Long-Term Disability Insurance
Long-Term Disability insurance offers compensation or replaces income for those employees who are disabled and unable to work for 6 months or longer duration . The insurance covers only specific disabilities such as injuries, illness, or accidents that occurred on or off the job. Some of the common types of conditions covered include:
- Sprains and strains
- Pregnancy complications
- Muscle and tendon issues
Long-Term Disability insurance has two categories: own and any occupation policy. Under the “own occupation,” an employee should be unable to perform duties of his/her chosen job or job he/she is trained for. Under “any occupation,” benefit is given to those employees who cannot perform any job.
Long-Term Disability policy usually begins after Short-Term Disability insurance has been exhausted. That is, it starts about 10 to 53 weeks post the injury or illness, with an average time of 26 weeks.
The duration of the coverage may vary with the provider. Some may provide coverage for 10 years, while others pay until the age of 65.
Eligibility Criteria For A Long-Term Disability Insurance
You should meet several requirements to qualify for a Long-Term Disability insurance policy. They include:
- You must be a full-time employee
- You must work for a minimum of 30-35 hours per week
- You have to exhaust paid sick leaves before applying for Short-Term Disability policy and you must exhaust it before filing for Long-Term Disability insurance
How Much Does A Long-Term Disability Insurance Pay?
The long-Term Disability insurance policy usually provides 50% to 60% of the pay to qualified disabled employees. The amount is calculated depending on your basic compensation before the disability.
How To Apply For A Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Filing for Long-Term Disability insurance includes the following steps.
1. Request An Application Form
You can collect the application form from your employer. If your employer fails to provide the form, you can contact the insurance provider and request an application form.
2. Fill The Application Form
Enter name, social security number, address, contact information, date of occurrence of injury or illness, the reason for disability, and other details without which your application may be rejected.
3. Get the Employer’s Statement
The application procedure includes a section that must be completed by your employer. After entering the necessary details, request your employer to complete the form. Your employer would be required to provide the last working date, earnings, date of occurrence of injury, etc. information.
4. Collect Statement From Your Doctor
Besides your employer, your doctor is required to provide certain information. This includes diagnosis, objective findings, types of treatment, an estimate of physical or mental limitations, etc.
You can also submit medical records and other documents that prove your disability.
How Does A Long-Term Disability Insurance Work?
To collect benefits you have to remain disabled for a period between the date of occurrence of disability and the payment starting date. Usually, these periods range from 30 to 90 days. Note that you will have to pay bills from your pocket until the coverage begins.
Once your disability claim is approved, you can collect your monthly benefit for the duration of the defined “benefit period.” Companies may provide benefits for as short as 2 years or till your retirement age.
Can You Collect LTD Benefits If You Are Returning To Work?
You can continue to collect your LTD benefits while returning to work, however, the extent of coverage depends on the type of LTD policy (own or any occupation) and terms and conditions of your insurance provider.
LTD insurance is not a mandated requirement in any state. Employers can decide whether to give benefits to their employees or not. They can also choose the coverage range and insurance provider.
If your employer is not providing LTD benefits, you can check with any third-party insurance provider and buy a policy.
If you are unemployed and disabled, you might be wondering if you can receive Long-Term Disability (LTD) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits simultaneously. The answer? Rarely. You can collect them simultaneously only when the eligibility requirements of the Long-Term Disability and Unemployment Insurance program overlap.
In this article, we will guide you on collecting Long-Term Disability and UI benefits simultaneously. But before that, let’s have a detailed look at LTD and UI benefits programs.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Program
Unemployment benefits are given to people who lost their job through no fault of their own. To qualify for the benefits, the claimant must be able, available for work, and actively look for work. The claimant must also submit a record of work searches, which should include the address if employers approached, the number of interviews attended, etc.
Other eligibility criteria include:
- Minimum earning during the base period
- Minimum number of work hours
- Totally or partially unemployed
Long-Term Disability Benefits Program
Long-Term Disability benefits are given to people who are unable to work. The LTD program defines the inability to do a work in two forms: inability to take up any job and inability to do their own work.
The definition of disability in an “inability to take up any job” is that one must be completely incapable of taking up any job for which he/she is qualified based on your education or experience. For example, a firefighter who cannot climb ladders or lift heavy objects will not be considered as disabled under an “any job” if he’s still capable of taking up other jobs, such as a cashier, clerk, etc.
The definition of disabled in an “inability to do their own job” form is that one is unable to perform the duties of his/her own job. For instance, a firefighter who is medically unable to meet the mental or physical requirements of that job is considered as disabled even if he can take up another, less strenuous job.
Receiving Long-Term Disability And UI Benefits At The Same Time
Generally, one cannot receive Long-Term Disability and UI benefits simultaneously, especially in states like New York. However, in rare situations, one may qualify for both the benefits depending on his/her state of residence and how broadly the state’s policy defines the disability.
Situations in which you can receive both LTD and UI benefits include:
- You can take up a job that is not similar to your previous work
- Your job does not rise to Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level
- You are receiving partial LTD benefits
Receiving Long-Term Disability And UI Benefits Consecutively
If you do not qualify to get LTD and UI benefits simultaneously, you can receive them consecutively, i.e., you can get one benefit after another.
(1) You can receive unemployment benefits and then become disabled and obtain disability.
If you are currently getting unemployment benefits and have a disability policy, you can file a disability claim. If your disability benefit is given through your employer, you may not receive the LTD benefits if you were terminated and are receiving unemployment benefits. However, some policies may extend for a period after employment. In such cases, you may still be covered under the policy.
If you have an independent policy, then you can file a claim when you become disabled. At that point, you have to notify the authorities at the unemployment office that you are no longer “able, available, and willing” to work.
(2) You can receive disability and then become able to work and receive unemployment benefits. Before applying for UI benefits, you should evaluate your ability to take up a job and whether your previous employer can provide you a job. Once you become able to take a job, you have to notify your disability benefits provider. This would require certification from a doctor.
Note that you will not receive a full Long-Term Disability amount if you qualify for unemployment benefits. The LTD insurers will deduct some amount from your LTD benefits depending on your unemployment benefits.
Though the chances of receiving both the benefits simultaneously are not great, it is worth trying. However, note that filing for Long-Term Disability and UI benefits simultaneously can be challenging. It is always wiser to consult a Long-Term Disability lawyer before applying for UI benefits.
If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you can apply for unemployment benefits if you meet all the eligibility criteria. However, many times, despite meeting the requirements, your state’s insurance program might deny your claim. In such cases, you have the right to appeal the denial. So how do you file an unemployment benefits appeal? Read on to know the process.
How To File An Unemployment Benefits Appeal?
You will have limited time to appeal your unemployment benefits. Some states have as little as 15 days, and others have 30 days. If your claim is denied, you can file for an unemployment benefits appeal through online or mail.
- Log in to your online UI account
- Click view and maintain the option
- Click monetary and issue summary
- Choose the issue ID and click appeal
There are two ways to file an unemployment benefits appeal through mail
- File the appeal request information form that was mailed to you along with the notice of denial.
- Include claimant ID, contact information, and write a letter requesting for appeal.
The form or the letter must be mailed to your state’s Department of Unemployment Insurance. The process of filing an unemployment appeal may vary with your state. Check your state Department Of Labor for more guidelines on how to appeal to unemployment benefits.
On appealing the unemployment benefits, have copies of information like warnings, timesheets, medical records, contracts, contracts, or other documents that support your argument that you were not laid off through your fault. The more supporting documents you have, the higher the chance you will win an appeal.
If you have witnesses who are aware that you haven’t lost your job due to your fault, it can be very helpful. Bring the witnesses with you or ask them to be available over the phone or virtual unemployment appeal on the day of hearing so they can testify on your behalf.
You can also bring legal or other professional representation to the hearing. If you hire a lawyer, ask about fees, so that you can decide if it is worth the expense.
What Happens When You File An Unemployment Benefits Appeal?
After you file an unemployment benefits appeal, you will receive a notice of hearing. The notice will include the hearing date, time, and location. The hearing can be either over telephone or face-to-face. Telephone hearings will be allowed only under certain circumstances like you are located at least 50 miles away from the hearing location.
If it is over the telephone, you will get 14 days advance notice of hearing, and 7 days in advance of the face-to-face hearing.
Not showing up for the appeal hearing may result in denial of your appeal. If you are not able to attend under unfortunate circumstances, be prepared to provide documentation that proves you had a genuine reason for missing the appeal.
Can You File A Claim During The Appeal Process?
Yes, you can file a claim during the appeal process. Continue to file for unemployment benefits as scheduled. Also, be available or able to work and actively look for a job. Unemployment benefits are usually contingent on the claimants looking for work. You don’t want to get through your appeals process, only to learn that you have been disqualified from receiving your benefits because you are not actively looking for a job.
However, note that you will not receive any benefits during the process. If you win the appeal, you will receive the benefits of those weeks.
Despite submitting all the evidence, there are chances that you may lose the appeal. Do not be devastated if you lose the first hearing of an appeal, as many states have multiple levels of reviewing. To know more about the appeal process and rules in your state, contact authorities at the Department of Unemployment Insurance.
The Child Care Services (CCS) program in Texas provides financial aid to low-income families and enables parents to work, take up educational activities, or attend workforce training. CCS is funded through the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and is led by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in Texas.
Who Qualifies For The Child Care Services Program?
Families should meet certain federal, state, and local requirements to be eligible for the Child Care Services program. Families with children under the age of 13 qualify for the Child Care Services under the following circumstances:
- Families are low-income
- Are needing or receiving protective services
- Parents are receiving or transitioning off of public help
- Family is participating in a training program for a minimum of 25 hours per week
Qualifying families can choose from the child care providers who meet local and state requirements such as:
- Licensed or registered child care homes
- Licensed child care centers
- Relative (i.e., family member)
In addition to the above requirements, families should meet gross income requirements.
||Gross Monthly Income
( Initial Ability 200% FPG)
|Gross Monthly Income
( Sustaining Ability 85% SMI)
- Eligibility requirements and coverage payment may differ by service area. In a few cases, the local board may have a waiting list for the CCS.
- The CCS program covers a portion or, in rare cases, all the child care expenses.
The Child Care Services Program During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) authorized Tarrant County Workforce Board has extended the Child Care Services program to essential workers. The CCS program is now available to Tarrant County CCS child care providers, provided they remain open during the COVID-19.
Who Qualifies As An Essential Worker?
Essential workers include:
- First responders
- Military personnel
- Bank staff
- Grocery store staff
- Gas station staff
- Restaurant staff
- Mail and delivery service staff
- Pharmacy and health care workers
- Local and state government staff
- Any workers deemed essential by Board or TWC
- Home health care, nursing home, child care, and other direct caregivers
Eligibility Criteria For The Child Care Services Program During COVID-19
Essential workers must meet a few requirements to qualify for the CCS program. These include:
- Their child is under the age of 13 (under age of 21, if disabled)
- They are US citizens or legal immigrants
- They reside within Tarrant County
Essential workers must meet the state income eligibility threshold requirements either monthly or annually to qualify for the CSS program.
||Gross Annual Income
( 150% SMI)
|Gross Monthly Income
( 150% SMI)
Where To Apply For The Child Care Service Program?
Families can apply for the CCS program either by filing an online application or by downloading the application and sending it to the authorities in your county through the mail. If you have submitted an online application, you will receive a confirmation number. Note down the number as you can use it to track the application.
Your request will be processed within 2 business days of the date post the submission of a completed application form. During the process, the authorities may contact you to verify several aspects.
The Child Care Services program gives you an opportunity to provide quality care and enhance your child’s early learning. If you qualify for the program but haven’t filed yet, then hurry up and apply for the program.
However, if you don’t qualify for this program, you can check if you are eligible for financial relief measures like Texas unemployment benefits, SNAP benefits, etc.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have shut down, pushing millions of Americans into unemployment. As per reports, about 20 million people have lost their jobs in April alone. To help the unemployed meet their financial requirements, the U.S. Congress has passed a $2 trillion stimulus package. This package offers unemployment benefits to full-time employees and self-employed workers, freelancers, contractors, etc.
The package also provides partial unemployment benefits to those who meet certain requirements. Read on to know more about the partial unemployment benefits during COVID-19.
Who Can Receive Partial Unemployment Benefits During COVID-19
1. People whose working hours and wages have been reduced
If your work hours and wages have been reduced as a direct result of COVID-19, you can file for partial unemployment benefits. The authorities will calculate your weekly benefit amount based on your gross wages (wages earned before any deductions).
When filing for benefits, you must report all your wages, and earnings above $30 will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount. You may also qualify for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), provided you have received at $1 under a partial unemployment benefits program.
For instance, if you earn $180 in a week, you would receive $90 + $600 FPUC every week. But if you earn at least $240 in a week, you will not be eligible for partial unemployment benefits for that week.
2. Individuals Who Have Two Jobs But Lost One
If you hold more than one job and are furloughed from one of them, then you may be eligible for partial benefits. The eligibility criteria may vary with states, and the benefit amount would depend on your weekly earnings (gross wages).
Many states offer partial benefits depending on your hours worked. However, states like New York calculate your benefit amount based on the number of days worked during the week. In addition to partial unemployment benefits, you will be eligible for FPUC.
You are not eligible for partial benefits if you have voluntarily cut your working hours because you wanted to spend more time with your family or wanted to go back to school.
The Act also provides funding to states’ shared-work or short-time benefits program. Under this program, employees subject to work reduction or temporary layoff qualify for partial employment benefits, provided their employers are looking forward to retaining them, despite lack of work.
The employee, as well as employer, should fill a Notice of Reduced Earnings form. By filing for benefits through this program, an employee must not show that he/she can work, be available to take employment, and is actively seeking a job.
Where To File For Partial Unemployment Benefits?
You can file for partial benefits through your state’s website for unemployment benefits. To file a claim for partial UI, you must provide the following information (the necessary information may vary with states).
- Full Name
- Mailing address
- Social Security number
- Phone number
- Home address
- Most recent employer information. This includes:
- Company name
- Phone number
- All employer details from the 18 months before you applied your claim
- Names of employers
- Period of employment
- Method of payment
- Wages earned
- Driver’s license or ID card number, if any
- Most recent working date and the reason for no longer working
- Citizenship status (this can include an alien registration number)
The amount received through partial benefits is much lesser than the regular UI benefits. But the additional $600 makes applying worthwhile.
If you are a self-employed pr freelancer and do not qualify for partial unemployment benefits, you can apply for pandemic unemployment compensation (PUC).
The states provide unemployment benefits to help the unemployed meet their financial needs temporarily. States use different formulas to calculate the unemployment benefits. In general, the amount is determined by wages earned during the primary and alternate base period, and the amount given is half the wages. But in some cases you may be paid more than what you are eligible. So what should you do in such situations? Should you repay the overpayment of unemployment benefits? Figure it out here!
What Is An Overpayment?
An overpayment is the extra unemployment benefits that are paid to a claimant who is determined not to be entitled to those benefits.
Reasons for Overpayment of Unemployment Benefits
Overpayment of unemployment benefits can happen due to various reasons such as:
- You did not provide all details
- You have committed mistakes while filing a claim
- You have knowingly given misleading or false information
- You were not willing, ready, and able to work
- You did not submit the report of work search activities
Types Of Overpayment
Overpayment of unemployment benefits are of two types: Non-Fraud and Fraud.
This type of overpayment of unemployment benefits occurs if you receive an amount that you were not eligible but through no fault of your own. You don’t have to pay any penalty if you are overpaid in such situations but just repay the overpaid unemployment benefits.
This kind of overpayment occurs when you give incorrect details, make false statements, or withhold information to get benefits. Fraud overpayment of unemployment benefits will cause you to be ineligible from receiving benefits for 1 year.
Fraud overpayment will require you to pay a penalty in addition to repaying the overpaid benefits. The penalty amount may vary with states. Fraud overpayments exceeding $400 will be treated as a crime.
Common Reasons For Fraud Overpayments
- Working a full-time, part-time or temporary job but not reporting earnings
- Not submitting the record of your work search
- Filing a claim without looking for a job
- Providing fake or incorrect information when filing for benefits or a weekly certification
- Not reporting severance and bonus pay
How To Avoid Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits?
When the authorities find out that you have been overpaid, they may carry out an investigation and disqualify you from receiving the benefits, if proven guilty. Therefore, it is wiser to take necessary steps to avoid overpayment. Some of them include:
- Actively look for job opportunities
- Provide accurate and complete information to DES when you file for benefits and weekly certifications
- Maintain and submit your work search record
- Report gross wages
- Report all income earned for each week you work
Will You Be Notified If You Are Overpaid?
The authorities at the state unemployment department will notify you through mail if you have been overpaid. The notice will include how much penalties you owe (if applicable), instructions on how to appeal and repay the overpaid amount.
What Happens When You Receive Notice of Overpayment?
When you are overpaid, you will receive a notice of overpayment from your state unemployment department. If you don’t request a waiver or appeal, the authorities at your state unemployment department will recover the overpaid amount from your unemployment benefits, provided you are still receiving them. During the process, you will receive lesser amounts. Once they recover all the overpayment, you will receive benefits you are entitled to get.
If you are not receiving the benefits, then the authorities will recover the overpayment by collecting the money from your tax refund. If they cannot recover all the overpayment for the time being, it will collect the money from your future benefits, if you file for any.
How To Request A Waiver?
A waiver forgives complete or a portion of the benefits you have been asked to repay. You can request for a waiver only if you have received the overpayment by mistake, i.e., non-fraud overpayment.
You should request for a waiver within 15 days of receiving the notice. You can apply for a waiver by filling your state’s overpayment waiver request form.
How To File An Appeal?
You can file an appeal if your waiver is denied. In many states, you will be entitled to a hearing before an administrative law judge to consider your appeal.
How To Repay Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits?
You can repay the overpayment of unemployment benefits by sending a check to the unemployment office. If you are unable to pay at once, you can negotiate a payment plan.
Whether you have overpayment due to your fault or through no fault of your own, you must repay the entire amount. If you have any queries, then contact your state unemployment office for clarification.