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The Story of Lisa Parker

Lisa Parker, a budding dot com entrepreneur in her late thirties runs a small company that deals with web development and maintenance for local enterprises in Detroit, MI. Her husband works as a marine engineer employed with a shipping conglomerate. Lisa has two kids who are in high school.

Lisa’s firm, Web Success is registered as sole proprietorship with the local authorities and she pays mandatory taxes into the Michigan Department of Treasury. She has carefully nurtured her business meeting timely expectations of various needs of her clients winning laurels and referrals. In her path to success, Lisa has provided employment to five individuals who assist her with their expertise in content development, web designing etc.

Due to the slow onslaught of economic crisis since 2010 that engulfed the city of Detroit, Lisa gradually lost business from local clients who were themselves victim of this crunch. Many of her clients filed for bankruptcy which resulted in deferred revenue for Lisa as they could not afford to pay her. Web Success was able to sustain for close to two years, thanks to the cash balance and other investments Lisa made which aided continuity of her enterprise and timely payment of salaries.

Web Success had meticulously planned their fall in the second calendar quarter of 2013 as they were no longer getting any deals from existing clients nor were able to sign up any new ones. Lisa decided to call it a day and laid off all her 5 staff members with a severance pay for 6 months. She was left with nothing in her bank after she shut down her business and started looking for employment opportunities outside Michigan.

While she was working hard to find a suitable job, she decided to apply for unemployment insurance benefits provided by the labor department in MI for those who are looking for a job but are currently out of one. Unfortunately, her application was rejected as she was self-employed and did not pay unemployment taxes into the system.

Unemployment Insurance for Self Employed

If you were  self employed  and are currently out of work because of no fault of your own, your chances of receiving unemployment benefits are not that high. However, you should check with your state unemployment office to check your eligibility, as there are some situations in which you would be able to get jobless benefits even if you were self-employed. The labor department in your state will be the best authority to clear the air for you.

Do Not Loose Hope
Do Not Loose Hope

In a few cases that can be considered an exception,there can be light at the end of the tunnel. Please read below to find out more.

When can self-employed workers receive unemployment benefits?

  • Talk to your state unemployment office to find out if you were wrongly classified as self-employed. Long term contractors are classified as employees in some states that make you eligible for UI benefits.
  • Apply for benefits if your business is incorporated and you can’t find work. You should be eligible as long as the corporation paid unemployment insurance.
  • Apply to your state unemployment office if you are not working and you live in a region affected by a disaster. If you lost your employment because of a disaster, you should be eligible to receive disaster unemployment assistance even if you are self-employed.
  • If you are an ex-military service member who was self-employed before entering the service, apply at the state office of the state you reside in after leaving the service, regardless of where you lived before.
  • Talk to your state labor office if you have started your own company since being laid off. Under a special program, you may be eligible for a self-employment allowance while you are establishing your business.

If you’re unemployed and are looking forward to applying for benefits, always consider applying for it before concluding if you will/not qualify.

We hope this article was helpful. Join our community discussion board to discuss more on this and other unemployment topics.

Note: The character of Lisa Parker is a fictional creation by the author out of his experience working on various fora on this website interacting with people. Any resemblance to a living/dead person is purely coincidental.

 

If you knowingly receive benefits based on ungenuine information that you purposely provided when you registered your claim, you are committing fraud. Anyone who commits unemployment insurance fraud is liable to be punished by law and could even face a variety of serious penalties and consequences.

For most jobless workers and their families, UI benefits are continued survival. Unfortunately, a few can ruin a good thing. If you file for benefits and try to receive income that in any way misguides the government, you could be guilty of fraud. Unemployment fraud is a crime in every state and the violators could be charged with fines and even imprisonment.

A nationwide suppression is coming for people unfairly drawing unemployment payments- those who were never eligible and people who have begun working in new jobs but keep getting their unemployment checks. With the poor economy remaining and the jobless rate remaining high, many states are stepping up efforts to stop the improper payments.

You’d think the debt crisis would result in crackdowns on government, but as the claims increase in this jobless recovery, blames in unemployment insurance have hit record levels. Last year, ineligible individuals were paid out a huge $16.5 billion. In the recent months, over-payments have jumped again to 11.6 percent. According to Labor Department’s estimation made in 2010, 30 percent were individuals who continued to cash their UI checks when on work and another 30 percent were people not properly or actively searching for work.

What is considered unemployment fraud?

Unemployment fraud can be someone telling a white lie to extend their benefit or it can also include the fake policies being sold.

Here are a few of the most common examples in which you are held legally liable responsible for your insurance benefits:

Looking for Work

You are required to actively look for a work as a condition of unemployment collection and be mentally and physically able to work unless you’re on a temporary dismiss or a union worker. It is mandatory to attest to that fact each time you file a weekly payment claim. If you do not seek work and lie about looking for work or about being able to work…guess what? You’re committing a crime.

Personal Information

When you apply for an UI benefits claim, your application is a legal document. You are expected by law to provide your personal details like name, social security number, current phone number, current address and current employment information. Any misrepresentation of your identity and employment situation is considered fraudulent. Using anyone else’s personal information to collect benefits is identity theft.

Reporting Income

Besides being eligible and seeking work, you must also reveal any extra income you earned. For instance, if you earn from some freelance consulting or do part time job, you are required to disclose these wages. Any extra income you earn from part time or freelance work is figured out into your benefits claim. If you fail to report additional income while you are receiving state unemployment pay is an offence. It is advisable to give the most correct information you can when filing for your unemployment benefits.

Laid-off workers, Be Alert!

Some of the insurance companies and those who sell fake policies know it will probably be some time before you actually collect on your policy. This makes it very simple for them to take your money and run as by the time you actually claim on your policy they are gone. Do not give any personal details over the Internet. Once they have your account numbers they can do far more damage than a fraudulent policy. If the company is registered in your state, then go ahead and purchase. Finally, it is good to purchase policies from large and reputed companies and avoid becoming victim of unemployment benefits fraud.

Online unemployment fraud

Any organization with a website is not a business. You are likely to deal with a scam company if the legal framework is not there. All authorized US companies have a federal tax ID number that are confidential and not to be shared with customers without reasonable purposes. The products offered by the illegitimate companies do not have any guarantee and the services are not insured. They are not paying taxes and therefore not contributing to the economy and encouraging illegal employment in the US or offshore.

Unemployment Insurance is a social welfare program organized by the State Unemployment Agencies. In New York State you are eligible to get Unemployment Compensation if you are unemployed through no faults of yours and are actively looking for a job. The benefits you receive provide you temporary financial assistance until you get another job. Many unemployed people apply for the benefit to compensate their income while they are searching for new job.

As a localite of New York you are expected to follow some steps to become eligible for unemployment benefits. Let us look into them:

Prior to submitting an appeal

It is very important to collect details of all the documents you need to submit while applying for unemployment benefit claim.

  • Addresses and names of your employers for the last 18 months you worked for
  • New York State’s drivers license card or motor vehicle ID Card number
  • Your mailing address
  • Telephone number
  • Your Social Security Number
  • If you are citizen of any other Country then alien registration card number
  • Identification number of Federal Employer (FEIN) which is found on your W2
  • If you want direct deposit then your bank account numbers are also required.

You are entitled to collect the benefit even if you don’t produce all the above stated documents but the process may get delayed.

In order to maintain your eligibility for obtaining the compensation you need to be available for work and actively seek jobs by applying for job opportunities. You may also be requested to present the documents of your job search efforts. You must be ready to accept the suitable job as per your qualification, training and experience.

Filing for unemployment compensation in New York

Filing the Claim

You can file the claim either through the Internet or by telephone.

For online filing visit New York Department of Labor / Employment Website.

You may file via telephone by calling 1-888-209-8124 which is a toll-free number between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. If you need to file your claim by phone, an automated voice will offer you the choice of filing in English, Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Creole, or “all other languages” (translation services will be provided).

Unemployment Compensation

If you are sure that you qualify for unemployment, then you can surely claim for the compensation from the Department of Labor. Once you are eligible for the benefits then you can receive the temporary compensation. In the state of New York, you will be eligible to collect benefits up to a maximum of $ 405, which is actually half of the state’s average weekly wage. The average weekly unemployment benefit for all states is $293. If you are eligible for extended benefits then the weekly benefit amount paid for additional weeks will also be the same as your as your regular compensation.

Arizona Unemployment Compensation is the benefit provided to the workers who have lost their jobs. People who are capable of fulfilling the eligibility of Arizona’s Unemployment requirements are eligible to claim the unemployment compensation.

Arizona Unemployment Claimants Eligibility

The Arizona claimant eligibility is stated such as when the claimants would have lost their jobs with no faults of their own. He/ she should be efficient enough and readily available to work. In addition the claimants should continuously look and try for full time work unless defined by Unemployment Insurance as a part time worker and they should be willing to accept a job for which they are qualified.

Unemployment Benefit Amount of Arizona

According to State Arizona Unemployment Insurance Guide you can claim the minimum benefit of $60 per week and maximum upto $240 per week.

Calculating Arizona Unemployment Insurance

For calculating your unemployment benefit you need to know the base period first. Usually base period will be the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the date you first applied for unemployment benefit.

  • The 1st quarter is January, February and March
  • The 2nd quarter is April, May and June
  • The 3rd quarter is July, August and September
  • The 4th quarter is October, November and December
  •  To calculate your base period first determine the quarter in which you filed your initial claim.
  • If you filed your initial claim in the 1st quarter of 2012 your Base Period is the 4th quarter of 2010 through the 3rd quarter of 2011.
  • If you filed your initial claim in the 2nd quarter of 2012 your Base Period is the 1st quarter of 2011 through the 4th quarter of 2011.
  • If you filed your initial claim in the 3rd quarter of 2012 your Base Period is the 2nd quarter of 2011 through the 1st quarter of 2012.
  • If you filed your initial claim in the 4th quarter of 2012 your Base Period is the 3rd quarter of 2011 through the 2nd quarter of 2012.
  • Your new claims benefit amount will be based on where you worked during this 12-month period.

Source of Unemployment Insurance Fund

The revenue is funded by the employers as their quarterly unemployment insurance tax and note that nothing is contributed from the employee’s wages. This Unemployment insurance tax amount will be used to pay the compensation to the qualified employees of Arizona.

Arizona’s Unemployment rate and the Job Added

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 8.7 percent as of February 2012 as most of the sectors are added for the additional jobs in order to improve the State’s economy.

State Government has organized some additional jobs over half of the additional jobs, mostly from the sector of good educational background.  The State Arizona has offered more than 42,600 jobs in the earlier year of February 2012.

The unemployment rate of Arizona has fell down to 8.7 percent with 260,443 Arizona unemployed rate since February 2012. The State Unemployment rate was 0.4 percent higher than that of nation’s rate for the month.

Any individual who is considered as unemployed and has been declared as the eligible candidate to claim the unemployment compensation by the state of Washington can receive the unemployment benefit.

The primary objective of Unemployment Insurance Benefits is to provide temporary income for those workers who become involuntarily unemployed.

Unemployment Rate of Washington

As per the report of BLS Current Population Survey (CPS) the rate of  unemployment in Washington fell down for 0.2 percentages as of February 2012 to 8.2%. The unemployment rate in Washington is lowered by 2.0 %.

The State Unemployment rate is 0.1 percentage less than that of national rate for the month.

Source of the unemployment Benefit in Washington

By calculating the total wages paid to the employees in the determined base period an employer needs to pay tax as per the laws of unemployment payment.

How Your Tax Rate is Determined?

In general, the employer’s payable tax depends on how much their former workers were paid as salary.  To sum up unemployment compensation is based on employee payrolls.

So, how it works?

There are two major components of state of Washington unemployment taxes: 1)How does your benefit ratio compares with other employers’ benefit ratios? 2)Which rate schedule is in effect at present time?

As of this year 2012, the standard Unemployment Tax in Washington is rated as 2.12% and the qualified tax rates is calculated from 0.14% as basic to 5.82%. As per the updated legislation or law of unemployment insurance Washington, the lowest tax rate for an experienced employer as per 2012 is 0.92% and the highest is up to 7.85%.

Calculation procedure of Washington employer’s unemployment insurance tax rate

Generally unemployment taxes are calculated using a formula that would be stated in UI’s State Law. In Washington, the Employment Security Department does not have an independent authority to adjust the rate.

As mentioned above there are two components to determine state unemployment tax. Basic components of the tax rate are the experience of based tax that is based on the amount of unemployment benefits paid to ex-employees. Generally there are about 40 experience rate standards and businesses fluctuate with ups and down these standards are based on their past experiences.

The second component is the tax rate that is also known as social cost tax. This social cost tax covers the unemployment costs that cannot be recovered under specific business. Hence, the social cost tax is shared by all the employers. The social cost tax is said to be the brake to slow the decline of the trust fund. By implementing this, employers are not directly hit by sharper tension of more sudden tax to be increased in the future.

Based on this calculation, in 2012 employers will pay taxes on the first $38,200 of each employee’s wages.

Highest, lowest and average tax rates in Washington

As of 2012, the least rate to pay the tax for the employers in the Washington would be 0.14 percent. Taxable employers in the highest rate of class pay would be of 5.82 percent.

To sum up, the average tax rate payable in the year 2012 would be estimated to be about 2.12 percent. Note there is decline of 13 percent compared to previous year.

Finally, the delinquent employer needs to pay the additional tax of about 2 percent extra.

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