To find out all about Coronavirus-related unemployment benefits
Category: Unemployment Benefits
The Families First Coronavirus Response Bill was signed into law on March 18, bringing potential relief to millions of Americans. Though it is a good beginning, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic needs a lot more. Recognizing this, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act(CARES Act)further expands unemployment, healthcare, etc. measures and aid.
The President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27, 2020. This $2.2 trillion package brings relief to the highly stressed businesses, workers and families reeling from COVID-19, while also bolstering essential goods and services. We take a brief look at everything in this law that supports the unemployed, directly and indirectly.
The government is progressively expanding the unemployment insurance umbrella to cover as many people losing jobs as possible. It’s important to remember to file unemployment insurance claim as soon as you know you are losing your job. If you have exhausted your unemployment benefits you may be eligible for Extended Benefits. Keep reading for more details.
Provisions for Unemployment Assistance
This law extends the eligibility to the following persons:
Those who are not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or Extended Benefits under Law Or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Those who have exhausted their regular UI benefits or Extended Benefits under law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Those who can self-certify that they would be able and available to work however
They are suspected to have contracted COVID-19 or are suffering from it
A member of the household is suspected to have contracted COVID-19 or are suffering from it
They are a caregiver for a member of the household suffering from COVID-19
They are primary caregiver for a child unable to attend school closed due to the pandemic. Or for a family member unable to attend a facility that provides care usually.
Unable to go to work or workplace closed due to self-quarantine recommended by healthcare workers
Scheduled employment didn’t commence due to the pandemic
They had to quit due to COVID-19
Those who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, without sufficient work history in the base period.
It excludes the following people:
Those provided telework with pay
Those availing paid sick leave
Period of UI Benefits
A covered individual can receive assistance for a maximum of 39 weeks. This includes the period for which one was able to get regular unemployment assistance, which is usually 26 weeks in most states with some exceptions. One can get Extended Benefits during the remaining period.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act waives the one week waiting period to get unemployment payments. The amounts will not be less than the normally calculated weekly benefits amounts. There will also be a weekly payment of $600 over the regular unemployment allowance, for four months.
The payments will arrive without the one week waiting period because the program is fully federally funded.
Elaboration of Extended Benefits
The law details the eligibility conditions to avail Extended Benefits as follows:
Those who have exhausted regular compensation under state or federal Law for any benefit years after July 1, 2019.
Those with no right to UI compensation or any other compensation under any federal law.
Those who are able and available to work, and actively seeking work though they may not find work due to the pandemic.
They will get as much as they were entitled to get under the regular program or an equivalent amount.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: Other Important Provisions
The CARES Act includes some other important measures to help mitigate the effects of massive job losses. The unemployment phenomenon has a trickle-down effect on people’s ability to meet their basic needs, which this law addresses. COVID-19 has caused an extraordinary situation where people can’t look for new jobs even if they wanted to.
Direct Cash Transfers
Individual Americans earning up to $75,000 will receive a one time transfer of $1200, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400. Families with children get an additional $500 per child.
This will help buy essential supplies and out-of-pocket meds.
Withdrawing From Your Investments
401(k) loan limits are now up to $100,000 from $50,000
Required Minimum Distribution compulsions have been suspended from IRAs and 401(k) plans (at age 72). RMDs were meant to ensure that people didn’t avoid taxation on their retirement funds to leave them as inheritances.
No early withdrawal penalty on withdrawing retirement accounts for COVID-19 related reasons.
Others CARES That Support People
Americans need healthcare the most at this crucial time and thus the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act appropriates $127 billion to hospitals alone.
The Act provides employee retention credits for businesses against an employer’s portion of payroll taxes, to encourage those trying to retain employees and paying them during this time.
Employment development program like the State Trade Expansion Program from the Small Business Administration will continue to be funded.
Funding for programs like the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program will continue, potentially providing employment avenues for those interested in acquiring such training.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act is a big step in the right direction, addressing the large-scale unemployment concerns facing the country. At the end of the pandemic, the economy should not be in shambles and the law attempts to balance this with healthcare.
The real challenge lies in implementing the ambitious provisions effectively. People are facing problems accessing unemployment insurance departments at this point in time. The very first thing to do for the government is to scale up the capacity of state labor departments to help people file UI claims.
In a speedy display of rare bipartisanship, Congress voted to get The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and President Trump signed it into law, passed on March 18. The law brings welcome relief to states in need of funds to pay unemployment insurance to claimants. It commits $1 billion to cover the costs of processing and paying UI as well as 100% federal funding for Extended Benefits.
Also referred to as H.R. 6201, the law details provisions for paid sick leave to workers diagnosed with COVID-19 or caring for family members who may have the disease. There are certain requirements, which states must meet to get the funding. There are also welcome measures that look into other complementary aspects of combating this global pandemic.
What Are The Unemployment-Related Provisions?
This section of the overall act has been called the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020. The biggest breather comes from the provision of $1 billion as emergency grants to states for the processing and payment of unemployment insurance benefits.
There is also a $500 million additional fund for staffing, technology requirements, systems, and other administrative costs. To obtain this $500 million assistance, the states have to:
Make it mandatory for employers to notify the laid-off employees about potential UI eligibility
Provide two ways to apply for UI by phone, in person or online
Keep applicants informed about the status of their application- whether or not its being processed and how to improve the success rate of processing
States which experience at least a 10% increase in unemployment may receive emergency grants worth $500 million. This is over the aforementioned provision. These states would be required to:
temporarily ease eligibility requirements such as work search and waiting period so that more people can access UI
increase employer UI taxes if they layoff too many workers
Ease UI restrictions which are a part of federal law
The Families-First Coronavirus Response Act enables states to get access to interest-free advances to meet unemployment-related needs until Dec 31, 2020.
The law also anticipates that the Extended Benefits program will be needed with the unemployment rate likely to rise over 10%. Hence funding for Extended
Benefits will totally be federal whereas 50% of funding would come from states at other times.
States which offer work-sharing programs can get assistance from the Secretary of Labor. This enables workers to get reduced pay instead of layoff. Employers opting for this plan get some incentives and assistance.
What Should You Do To Get Unemployment Compensation?
You can read all about how to collect unemployment benefits if you got laid off due to the Coronavirus pandemic here.
Most states have waived the waiting period, work search requirements and allowed part-time workers and the self-employed to file for unemployment benefits. If eligible you will receive your Determination Letter.
The new law does not require claimants to do anything outside of the ordinary application process to claim unemployment insurance benefits.
It is best to file claims online as most states have a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications. There will be delays if you try phone filing or in-person visits.
What Can A Worker Expect From The Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
Governments and private businesses with fewer than 500 employees have to provide up to two weeks of paid sick leave at the regular wage rate if anyone contracts COVID-19
Those employees staying away to care for a sick family member or a child out of school are entitled to the same but at two-thirds of the regular wage rate
Sick workers also get an additional 10 weeks off at two-thirds of the regular wage rate
Companies with fewer than 50 employees will be exempted from these rules if they risk going out of business due to closure
What Are The Other Helpful Provisions Of This Law?
The fight against the Coronavirus pandemic requires a multi-pronged approach. Hence the Families First Coronavirus Response Act addresses various other requirements.
Health Insurance coverage at no cost to the customer for COVID-19 diagnostic testing under both private plans and Medicaid.
States can extend Medicaid eligibility to cover uninsured populations.
Medicaid will cover beneficiary cost-sharing for healthcare practitioner visits that order the test.
Personal Respiratory Protective Devices will be covered as countermeasures against COVID-19
Enhanced Medicaid funding
National Disaster Medical System will be able to reimburse the cost of diagnostic testing for SARS-Cov19 of insured individuals with a grant of $1bn
Food and Nutrition clauses
$250 million for the Senior Nutrition Program which will supply about 25 million additional home-delivered, pre-packaged meals to low-income seniors.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program gets $300 million to buy nutritious food and $100 million to supply and distribute it.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children gets $500 million so that laid-off low-income pregnant women and mothers and their children get food.
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) of food assistance to households with children who get meals in school and aren’t now due to COVID-19 shutdowns
No work requirements for “food stamp” program
What Is the Path Forward for The United States?
The Families First Act is a welcome beginning but will need to be expanded to cover various groups who will be left to fend for themselves. As of now, employers with over 500 employees do not have to provide paid leave. This includes workers in banks, grocery chains, etc. who come into contact with hundreds of people daily.
The vast majority of people will be left without protection from the financial hit of getting laid-off. Many applicants do not qualify for unemployment benefits due to having inadequate hours or wages. Further easing of restrictions is necessary.
Many states had cut unemployment staff and benefits on the back of good economic growth over the past couple of years. Twenty-three states had inadequate unemployment trust funds, though the new act should address this.
The technological capabilities will need to be scaled up largely to deal with the massive surge in UI applications as well as other forms of assistance. With so many people having to say home, there is also a shortage of manpower to provide state essential services. States have plans to employ workers to meet this requirement.
The Coronavirus Response Act has addressed all the different war fronts along which this pandemic will have to be fought with allocations for disaster response, food, Medicaid and veteran care, etc. As the situation evolves the US will have to prepare itself to deal with whatever this new world order will dish out.
Are you on the job hunt and not hearing back from the companies you applied to? Well, they could be numerous reasons as to why you do not hearing back from jobs you applied for. Not knowing where you stand in your job search can be pretty stressful for you. The uncertainty on whether you should keep applying for more jobs or wait for a response from previous interviews and positions you applied to is the real challenge.
If you’re in such a position where you lack clarity, its best to keep chugging along and apply to more companies out there, the more companies you apply to higher the chance of you getting hired and landing that dream job.
Here are some reasons we’ve listed out why organizations don’t get back to applicants :
The Company Size Matters
It’s always polite and the correct thing to do for companies to inform potential employees whether they are selected or not. Many large companies do have adequate software and resources, which makes it easier to notify applicants whether they are selected or not. On the other hand, smaller companies lack resources and reserves in place to inform candidates whether they are the right fit or not.
Your Resume is Not the Right Fit
You might be the right candidate for the job, but your resume does not show it Not Hearing Back From Jobs can be really frustrating. You should frame your resume to display the best skill set that you possess. It’s also not a bad idea to frame your resume based on the job description for every job you apply to. This increases your chances of getting an interview call and getting that dream job.
Your Resume Format is Incorrect
If you’ve sent out a resume that is not correctly formatted and includes typos and errors, there is a high chance you will not receive a call from the company. You must know your resume is your first chance to leave a good impression on your potential employer.
The Documentation Could be Incorrect
You may not have submitted the required documentation the company asked for. For e.g., it could be anything ranging from a cover letter, writing samples, or references. Applicants should know this if a potential employer asks for any documentation regarding a job prospect, you must submit the information. This improves your chances of getting a job.
Change in Hiring Plans
Companies can change hiring plans at any given point in time. The required position which a candidate applied for may not be needed anymore. Or budget concerns may have delayed the hiring process currently. The management may have changed, or an internal candidate may have been hired for the role.
Not hearing back jobs you applied for can be frustrating. What you need to do is be patient and keep applying to other companies. Another thing you can do is follow up by calling up the company or sending an email to know where you stand. If you are unemployed currently, fileunemployment.org provides job seekers with relevant information about UI benefits present in each state in America. You can also use our unemployment calculator to know how much benefits you are eligible for. Information on our site helps job seekers connect with your nearest unemployment office and also provides a list of phone numbers.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud includes collecting UI benefits that are based on providing false, unreported, or misreported information while filing a claim. Anyone who is filing a claim, reopening a claim, or certifying for UI benefits is legally responsible to make sure that they follow the requirements that are set by the law of the state that they reside in. UI fraud can occur in more than one form, it could range from intended criminal activity to someone providing incomplete or inaccurate data that results in receiving UI benefits.
What Happens When You Falsely Claim Unemployment Benefits?
Falsely claiming UI benefits is considered to be Unemployment fraud and can lead to serious penalties and consequences. The penalties can range from monetary fines, penalty weeks of unemployment to serving a prison term.
Irrespective of whether the person commits unemployment benefits intentionally, unknowingly, or even if it is a clerical error, the amount needs to be repaid to the state’s labor office. The labor office sends the concerned person a benefits overpayment notice that contains the details of how much unemployment benefits they owe the state. The details for repayment differ from one state to the other. If the person does not repay the money in time or set up a payment plan, the debt is transferred to a collection agency and may also show on one’s credit card report.
Certain states assess penalty weeks to people who indicate an intention to defraud the unemployment insurance plan. Penalty weeks refer to the weeks of unemployment benefits that the person may qualify for at any given point in future but will not be receiving it as a punishment for over collecting the benefits in the past. This system differs from benefits repayment in numerous cases. In penalty weeks, the person first pays back what he/she has fraudulently collected and then serves several weeks of unemployment without payment.
In a case where the state labor department has discovered that a person has intentionally set out to defraud the unemployment program, he/she can face a criminal prosecution for it. In such a situation, the case goes to criminal court where a judge reviews the evidence of the case against the accused to establish whether he/she is guilty of the intent of UI fraud. If the judge finds the crime to be severe and warrants it, the person may be assessed a monetary fine. The fine does not include repaying the overdrawn benefits, and it to be paid to the court.
In the severest cases of UI fraud, the person guilty needs to serve prison time. This is usually given to those who exhibit numerous counts of fraud or defraud the state of large amounts through benefits received from illegal ways. The period of prison time differs according to the state law and the preceding judge’s discretion. The jail time usually varies from one year and can go upto five years as well.
Cases Where People Have Been Caught with Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Unemployment Insurance fraud seldom goes unnoticed. They can be identified through a number of ways. Some of them include:
New employers hire reports
Quality Control Audits
Public tips by internet, telephone or mail
Claim Center Referrals
Cross-matches with some government records
Other investigative efforts
Mentioned below are a few cases of UI fraud along with the verdicts of the presiding judges.
Unemployment Insurance Fraud in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Three individuals, Kenneth Dixon, Jamela Washington, and Natika Washington were convicted following a 5-day jury trial in Ann Arbor. The charges were related to identity theft, it involved fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits.
The defendants were charged with the use of counterfeit access devices, theft of government money, identity theft, and conspiracy to commit those offenses. The evidence presented at trial determined that between October 2009 until April 2012, the accused were systematically involved in a conspiracy to obtain the personal information of unsuspecting victims, and then used that information to submit fraudulent online claims for unemployment compensation benefits.
The guilty verdicts of the three individuals were the cumulation of an expansive investigation into a conspiracy that victimized individuals by stealing their identities and defrauded the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency of more than $400,000. All three guilty individuals were sentenced to serve 10 years of federal prison time in September 2017.
Indiana Unemployment Insurance Fraud Case
William Hicks, 45, of Indiana was charged with unemployment fraud after which he pleaded guilty. The department discovered that Hicks was working and receiving wages while claiming unemployment insurance benefits through the agency records.
Hicks was sentenced to two years of probation in addition to repaying the benefits that were fraudulently claimed. The amount of falsely claimed benefits exceeded $38,000.
Unemployment Insurance Fraud Case, Miami
An Indiana Department of Workforce Development (IDWD) employee began to investigate Joseph Meier and found evidence that he was claiming unemployment insurance benefits while he was working and receiving wages.
39-year old Meier was ordered to pay back $12,607, to the state after he pleaded guilty of unemployment insurance fraud. Meier was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay the amount of benefits claimed along with 8% of interest per annum for the benefits that were fraudulently collected.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Fraud in Michigan City & Indiana
Leo Wilson, 51 of Michigan City was sentenced to 2 years of probation and ordered to repay the department $22,836.50 for the benefits that he had fraudulently collected.
Sherry Beoughter, 46, of Valparaiso was sentenced to 545 days of probation and ordered to repay $13,334.10 for the benefits that she fraudulently collected.
The IDWD’s unemployment insurance fraud investigation task force identified the pair. The force examines claims of individuals who provide false, misreported, or unreported information on purpose in order to fraudulently avail benefits.
Unemployment Insurance Fraud Case, Iowa
A Williamsburg man was convicted of unemployment fraud and was ordered to serve a 100 day jail term for defrauding Iowa’s unemployment insurance program. Paul Meade, 55, had been convicted of fraudulent practice in third degree.
Meade said that he filed for unemployment insurance benefits between December 27, 2015 and June 25, 2016. All through the period, Meade was being paid by Whirlpool Corp.
Meade pleaded guilty to the charge on July 20, 2017. The state department states that Meade collected $10,747 worth of benefits during the 6-month period. It also announced that he would have to repay $12,359.05 to the state; which includes more than $1,600 as penalty.
Tips to Avoid Unemployment Insurance Fraud
The best way to avoid committing UI fraud is to first understand what must not be done and what needs to be done. Sometimes people are unaware that they are falsely claiming for benefits.
Here are some tips to follow to avoid committing unemployment insurance fraud:
Always report your employment before you make a claim. Employment includes cash jobs, self-employment, commission, 1099 or temporary
Do not misrepresent information or make a false statement to increase or receive benefits
Always report your work refusals
Do not fabricate job searches. Conduct enough work research
Always report a work separation
Do not use another individual’s identity (name and/or social security number) to file for insurance payments
Always report other types of reimbursements such as Worker’s Compensation payments
You must report it if you are incapable and not available to work (for example, sickness, injured, living abroad, etc)
Do not help someone else file a fraudulent insurance claim
What Can You Do If You’ve Unknowingly Committed UI Fraud?
Whether you commit UI fraud unknowingly or intentionally, you need to pay back all the benefits that you have collected. The payment may also include a penalty that could go up to 50% of that sum. In most cases, it may also include getting disqualified from receiving future benefits. In severe cases where the amount withdrawn is too high, the person may also face fines or look at prison time. However, the policies that oversee unemployment insurance fraud vary from state to state.
If you have committed unemployment insurance fraud by mistake, it’s best to notify the department of labor and offer to repay the amount collected. UI fraud hardly ever goes unnoticed. You will definitely have to repay the amount that you have overdrawn, you might also have to pay a small fine. But it’s most likely to not be more severe that than.
If you are currently unemployed and on the lookout for jobs, keep your optimism levels high. Search for jobs endlessly and attend as many interviews as you can. Good times are always ahead and the most important thing to stay hopeful and search endlessly. You can also visit Community Forums to interact with peers and professionals to seek guidance during this time.
If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. These benefits provide temporary financial help to eligible individuals, based on their previous earnings, while they are seeking a new job.
Unemployment benefits are offered through an insurance program run together by the federal government and the state.
Know About Unemployment Benefits In TX
Filing for unemployment can be a quite confusing task. You should have complete information about unemployment benefits including how to apply, eligibility requirements, weekly benefit amount, important phone numbers and much more. If you presently reside in Texas, and you have worked in the state during the past 18 months prior to applying for unemployment, you must consider filing for benefits anytime online or call the TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) Tele-Center to supplement your income until you find a new job.
Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits?
TWC assesses your unemployment benefits in each of the following areas to qualify for unemployment benefits:
Past wages requirements
Reason for unemployment
Available to work
Past Wages Requirements
Texas requires that you meet a certain minimum income to be eligible for unemployment benefits. You must have documented evidence of wages in at least 2 of the 4 base period (The first 4 of the last 5 complete calendar quarters before the start date of your unemployment claim) quarters. Moreover, your total wages in the base period must be 37 times your weekly benefit amount. If you have previously applied for benefits, you must have made at least 6 times your new weekly benefit amount since that time.
If you were jobless for at least seven weeks during the base period owing to injury, illness, pregnancy or disability, you might be eligible to use an alternate period. If you meet the requirements under both base periods, you choose which base period to use.
Reason for Unemployment
You must be either unemployed or work reduced hours through no fault of your own to be qualified for benefits. If you are out of work in a layoff, being fired for reasons other than misconduct, lost your job because of a reduction-in-force (RIF) and downsizing, or quit a job with good cause related to work, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Examples of quitting for good work-related reasons:
Risky working conditions
Significant changes in hiring agreement
Not getting paid or difficulty getting your agreed-upon pay
You may also be qualified for unemployment benefits if:
You left your job due to domestic violence or stalking
You were forced to quit your job rather than be fired
You chose to move with your military spouse
You are caring for a minor child who has a medical illness
You are caring for a terminally ill spouse
You entered Commission-Approved Training and the job is not considered suitable under Section 20 relating to your availability for work, active search for work or refusal to accept suitable work
Available to Work
Along with the past wages and job separation eligibility requirements, you must also meet other requirements to stay eligible.
This means that you must:
Register with Texas Workforce Commission and apply for a certain number of jobs per week.
Document your work search activities, which can be asked by TWC at any time.
Call the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631. The office hours are Monday-Friday from 7AM-6PM central time. You can use the contact numbers available on our website.
You should be prepared with the following information prior to filling out the application:
Your previous employer’s business name, address and phone number
The first and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer
Provide the most recent employment dates, if you worked for your previous employer on more than one occasion
Number of hours worked and pay rate you received for the last week of your job (Sunday through Saturday)
Alien Registration Number (if not a US citizen)
Social Security Number (SSN) (if a US citizen)
Information regarding your last payment wages
After completing your application, you must wait for at least 2 business days for the TWC to assess your application prior to checking the status of your unemployment claim. You should register for work online within 3 days of filing for unemployment.
Request your Benefits Payment
Once you have been approved for your benefits, the following step is receiving your payments. Your payments are either directly deposited into your bank account or made by the TWC Visa Card.
By default, your payments will be deposited to the TWC debit card unless you sign up for a direct deposit. You must wait for 1 business day after you apply for unemployment benefits to change your payment options.
You can change your payment option online or by phone.
Log on and select Payments Option from the Quick Links menu
Call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 and select option 5
Note: If you sign up for direct deposit you will have to provide your 9 digit routing number, bank account number and type.
How to Know the Status of Your Application?
Requests for unemployment benefits are processed in about 4 weeks from the date you file for benefits. This time is used to gather information on your past wages, job separation and general eligibility. You can check the status of your claim online or call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 and select option 2.
How Much Will You Get?
Every state in the US has its own rules for computing unemployment benefits.
Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is the amount you collect for weeks you are qualified for benefits. In Texas, your WBA is the wages in the highest paid quarter of the base period divided by 25. Presently, the maximum you can collect is $479 and the minimum amount you can receive is $65 per week based on your past wages.
Your maximum benefit amount (MBA) is the total sum you can collect during your benefit year (the 12 month period that your unemployment claim is in effect). Your MBA is either 26 times your WBA or 27% of all your wages in the base period (whichever is less). You must be partially or totally unemployed and meet the eligibility criteria.
Your benefit year starts on the Sunday of the week in which you applied for benefits and stays for 52 weeks. Your benefit year remains in effect for those dates even though TWC disqualifies you to collect all of your benefits. You may exhaust your unemployment benefits before your benefit year expires.
If you work temporarily, you can earn up to 25% of your weekly benefit amount before TWC reduces your benefit payment. For instance, if your WBA is $160, you may receive $40 without a reduction. If you earn $50, your WBA for the week is reduced to $150. In both the cases your benefits and your earnings equal $200. If you earn more than $200 and working the customary permanent hours for your profession, you are not eligible to collect benefits for that week.
TWC investigates any job separation you have while receiving benefits to decide whether you can continue to collect benefits.
How to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits?
You must be partially or totally unemployed and meet the following requirements to continue to be eligible for benefits.
In Texas, you can collect benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. There are two programs that offer additional weeks of benefits in times of high unemployment: extended benefits (EB) and emergency unemployment compensation (EUC).
At this time, there are no extended benefits available in Texas. TWC last paid extended benefits under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which ended on December 28, 2013.
Possibility of a Benefit Extension:
TWC pays federal extended benefits only when the U.S. Congress passes legislation to create a federal benefits extension program. All potential recipients are notified by TWC if an extension is available.
Any dates on which you will not be able to join in a hearing
Please keep a copy of your appeal for your records
Mail, fax or deliver your appeal to:
Mail: Appeal Tribunal
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E 15th St, Room 410
Austin, TX 78778-0001
There are 3 levels of appeal-
You can write a notice (within 14 days) to the Appeal Tribunal of the TWC. If you differ from the results of the Appeal Tribunal, you may appeal to the Commission. An attorney is not needed for the appeal process. You may apply for a rehearing and appeal to a civil court if you disagree with the Commission and present the following:
Important new information about your case
The reason(s) why you did not present this information earlier
The reason(s) why you think this information could change the decision
You may appeal to a civil court between 15 and 28 days after the TWC mailed you the Commission Appeal decision.
Unemployment Benefits Fraud is Punishable by Law!
Unemployment insurance fraud can be charged if you illegally file for benefits. In Texas, unemployment benefits fraud is regularly prosecuted at the felony level. Penalties may include fines of up to $4,000 or jail up to one year or both, loss of benefits received, and the right to benefits that remain in your benefit year. Unemployment fraud can happen if you misreport previous income, fail to seek a new job, lie on an application or do not report an income source.
Examples of UI Fraud could include:
You start work and do not accurately report your work and work hours
You do not report gross earnings accurately
You do not report a job separation
You do not keep your Tele-Serv Personal Identification Number (PIN) or Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) password protected and someone requests benefits using your personal information
You request payment of unemployment benefits while incarcerated
You use another person’s identity to apply for benefits
If convicted of unemployment fraud, you must pay back benefits that you were not eligible to receive and a 15% penalty on benefits you illegally received. The Texas Unemployment Compensation Act (TUCA) is the legal basis for initiating a civil suit against you for the collection of past due benefit overpayments.
DO NOT contact TWC via email. Instead, you may report any allegations by calling the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642.
Unemployed or not, living in today’s job market, it is always indispensable for you to equip yourself with the know-hows of the unemployment benefits offered in your state. Illinois, like other federal states, has its own department which takes care of unemployed populace and seeks to address their financial problems, either you are a part-time worker or a retired veteran.
In the hope to provide as much knowledge on the unemployment insurance (UI) and benefit claims offered in Illinois, we have compiled everything that you should know. Browse through our website for more information on Unemployment Benefits in other states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, etc.
Know About Unemployment Insurance In IL
Illinois Unemployment Insurance is a state-operated program designed to address the need for replacement of wages at times of emergency – be it health, accident or unemployment. Illinois Department of Employment Security abbreviated as IDES addresses all kinds of needs to those unemployed, only if you are proactive enough to pass through the various steps involved in the procedure, besides looking for jobs. The state also offers unemployment benefits even if you are residing outside of Illinois. However, all these benefits are given only after the claimant has been duly verified of his/her eligibility. And indeed, because of this reason, it is recommended for one to not remain idle after securing the benefit, but to make a persistent effort in finding a new job, now made easier as the department itself assists people for the same. Furthermore, it is expected of you to regularly state your wages, which encompasses part-time working wages and the telling of the reason for your unemployment to the authorities concerned.
All you need to know about the Unemployment Insurance or Benefits are covered by the Illinois Department of Employment Service and to know the specifics like eligibility, procedure for applying UI, read on.
Are You Eligible?
Ensure you have met the following conditions in order to qualify for Illinois unemployment benefits-
Your earnings mustn’t cross the threshold recommended by the IDES. At the time you apply for the Unemployment Benefits, the above can be determined.
You were paid $1,600 or more in wages during your base period* for insured work.
You were paid a lease of $440 of your base period wages at any time during the base period outside the calendar quarter in which your wages were highest.
*Base period – The standard or regular base period consists of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the beginning of your benefit year. There are four calendar quarters, which are January–March, April–June, July–September and October–December
You must be laid off work for no reason of your own which are a voluntary termination of employment, addiction/substance abuse and inefficiency at work. It is advisable that you ascertain as to the exact reason for being laid off, as the adjudicator will call the employer to verify the same. This is after they have recorded your statement through the personal interview by the adjudicator which is usually fixed two weeks from the date of applying for the unemployment benefit.
You should be available/capable of working and actively searching for work.
It is also important to note that you won’t be eligible for unemployment insurance for more than 26 weeks in a year. If you have crossed this limit within a year, then you will no more be eligible for unemployment insurance or weekly benefit.
How To File Unemployment Insurance in IL?
Remember to gather all the right information and documents that would be required for the application for unemployment insurance. Be ready to answer all the questions for the interview in person and for the phone call. Do not forget to carry a copy of all the documents every time you’ll have to visit Illinois Department of Employment Security Office.
There are three ways to apply for unemployment insurance which are –
If you are applying online, make sure you have all the below information ready when you login to your account, which are –
Your Social Security Number (SSN) and your name as appeared on your SSN card.
Your identity proof/ID for the purpose of disclosing your weight. Either your Driver license or State ID will do.
Your Social Security Number (SSN) of your dependents (if any) along with the names as mentioned in the card.
Your employers’ (from past 18 months) name, address, contact number, wage records (W-2 form, check stubs), duration of employment, date of separation and reason for separation.
Your report of all the gross wages earned in the past week, both full-time and part-time, if you worked from the Sunday of the week of application. Gross constitutes the earnings before deductions like lodging, meals, merchandise, etc. Also, the gross wages must be reported the week they were earned and not the week they were received. You will be eligible to weekly benefit or partial benefit even if you’ve secured work but that you earn less than the benefit amount mentioned.
Your Records of pension payments
Your Alien Registration information, if you are not a US citizen.
Your Member 4 copy or the DD form 214/215 if you are a recently separated veteran.
Your Standard form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50 if you are separated as a civilian employee working for the federal government.
Applying through phone
To file for unemployment insurance through a phone call, contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) at (312) 793-5280
Furthermore to enquire on Certification and Benefits Deposit speak to a representative of the Claimant services at 1-800-244-5631/ TTY 1-866-322-8357 (for hearing and speech impaired applicants only)
The Employer’s Service Center can be contacted at 1-800-247-4984
A make or break kind of prerogative that most people tend to ignore during the process of filing for an unemployment insurance is to actively seek work. Once your bed is warmed it is the general notion that people forget about their responsibilities and seeking work in an increasingly hostile job market is an effortless addition. Meritocratic America is on the brink of letting the privileged take the mantle to dictate the terms for the rest. Individual skill is highly valued and puts you in a higher platform which ups your job prospects. And to address this problem, we have the state and federal departments lending a hand at educating the populace in the skill sets required to make you a better competitor, one the rest will have to reckon with. Also, worth mentioning is the IllinoisJobLink, a major priority in the Illinois State government’s point of view, which is a meeting place for all the job seekers and employers. Delay no further and make sure you frequently visit government sponsored job-seeking portals. After all, ‘actively seeking a job’ is a major prerogative, an eligibility factor that has a say in the benefit amount you will receive.
How Will You Receive Weekly Benefits?
Since the insurance you are claiming is received on a weekly basis, the Illinois Department of Employment Security doles out a debit card for the insurance claimer. Also, the IDES is making improvements to the card being issued which was a ‘blue debit card from Key Bank’ and is now being replaced with the updated red Debit MasterCard issued by the Chase Bank.
Once you have been certified for your benefits either online or in person, you will receive an envelope enclosing the Debit card. Though you can opt to have the benefit amount deposited to your account, this facility is mostly temporary, that is until you receive the debit card, which should not extend more than two weeks to reach your residence. You will have to log in to your IDES account and fill in the required blanks in order to receive the benefit amount.
As mentioned earlier, the new red debit MasterCard will have to be replaced for those already receiving the benefit through a current blue debit card. And replacement process will commence from June and the deposits to the old card will cease from June 30, after which you can use the card till it reaches ‘zero balance’. With the new card, you can now access your payments 24 hours a day and 7 days a week through both retail Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Visit the website of the Chase Bank or read through instructions in the IDES website (however you will receive a letter replete with all the instructions on how to activate the card) to know more about exchanging your old debit card to a new one.
Are You An Out-Of-State Claimant?
IDES offers opportunities to those shifted to another state temporarily or for reasons of emergency. Even if you were once a resident of Illinois and worked here but shifted to another state after losing a job, you will still be eligible for the benefit. If you are one to find yourself in such a situation, you can always contact the IDES helpline (IDES claimant services) or apply online. Here’s how –
Or you could contact IDES claimant services to help you through the procedures apart from guiding you about the particulars.
Claimant services – (800) 244-5631
Teleservices – (312) 338-4337 (available from 5.30 a.m to 7.30 p.m – Monday to Friday)
You can claim these benefits if you are now residing in any of the states, the district of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Canada.
As to the method of receiving payment or the weekly benefits, you will be given a debit card, which will be mailed to you or sent through direct deposits. Payments are made to eligible individuals within the span two business days from the date of certification.
To certify your claim to unemployment benefits online, you must register yourself and if you are calling teleservices, have your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and Social Security number ready to identify yourself. Also, have your current statement of certification available, more so if it is not the first time you are calling. The Gross amount that you are being paid as holiday pay must also be disclosed during the phone call, and hence make sure you have all the above information ready before making the call. Some of the questions normally asked are –
Have you received or will you receive a holiday pay during the two-week duration?
Did you work during the two week period?
During the weeks of your certification, have any of your dependents/spouse and children found a job and reached the age of 18 respectively?
How free/available are you to work in the working days of the week?
Did you actively look for jobs in the past two weeks or since you lost your job?
Did you receive any pension for temporary/permanent disability?
Did you attend school or receive training?
Have you received or will you receive workers’ compensation for a temporary disability?
How To Challenge Denied Benefit Claims?
If you believe your claim is right and was still denied Unemployment Benefits, you can challenge the claim by writing an appeal to the referee by challenging the decree given by the adjudicator. This form can either be downloaded online or can be procured by visiting the IDES office personally. Once you download the application online, you have to print the same and fill in the respective details. If you believe you have the right to claim benefits and fulfill all the required eligibilities, you can file an appeal. A Veteran retired from active duty who has been denied the claim to Unemployment Benefits can apply too.
A prepared draft can be found on the website of which you need to fill up the respective details and mail the same to the nearest IDES office-
Chicago Office IDES Appeals Division
33 S State St, 8th floor
Chicago IL 60603-2802Springfield Division IDES Appeals Division
607 East Adams, 9th floor
Springfield, IL 62701
Or mail the request letter to the Claimant services.
If your notice is denied it is immediately sent to the Appeals Division.
You will receive a notice on the date and time of hearing (phone call) when the decision is made as to you are eligible to the Unemployment Benefits.
If you once again want to challenge the decision made at the hearing you can File an Appeal to the Board of Review by writing another letter or using the prepared draft addressed to the Board of Review. You can send this letter to the above Appeals Division or the below Board of Review address – Board of Review 33 S. State St, 9th floor
Chicago IL 60603-2802
An out-of-State claimant can appeal for denied benefits too since the letter could be downloaded online and sent through a mail. Also, since the hearing is made through a phone call and not a live one, you only have to be prepared on the date and time of phone call, the details of which will be communicated to you through an email.
Some of the new changes made to the unemployment insurance scheme is the mandatory registration of all residents into IDES who are receiving Unemployment Benefits. Applying from July 17th 2016, its objective is to minimize casualties and provide insurance as soon as possible. This will also increase each person’s access into the Illinois JobLink, thus apart from speeding the process of doling out insurance, also seeks to reach out to the jobless, into getting a job. This new policy centres on giving employment than managing the unemployed which is already in place.
Since it provides free job-searches and links employers with people fit for the job, it is no longer a zero-sum game. Both the parties are benefited contrary to the assumption employers having to put up with policy changes. The key to enforcing it efficiently is uploading your resume online after registration. Hence, after registration it is made compulsory to upload your resumes, thus helping employers easily filter people and find what they are looking for.
Keep From Fraudulent Practices
Although people apply for UI with the sole intention of acquiring Weekly benefit amount or insurance, they can unconsciously commit mistakes which can be classified as fraudulent. Also, it is important to remember that though your intentions weren’t to commit a fraud, it will however, not set you apart on the basis of intentions and you will nevertheless end up facing the consequences.
Do not go on collecting weekly benefits without informing the authorities of obtaining a new job, be it full time or part time. Though there is a possibility to claim UI benefits when working part time, you must nevertheless keep the IDES tabbed on the changes in your employment’ status quo.
Do not collect weekly benefits if you have been restored to your earlier job.
Do not collect weekly benefits without reporting odd jobs, however less they earn you.
Do not withhold information on the changes in the position or employment status of dependents if they are employed while you are still collecting benefits including them as your dependents.
Do not collect benefit amount without informing whether your dependent/child has turned 18.
If you do not follow the aforementioned conditions before collecting your weekly benefits, you could be guilty of disregarding the Illinois State Law and be faced with the following consequences –
You could be asked to pay a hefty sum as fines and penalties.
You could be sentenced to prison.
You could be offset against State and Federal income tax returns.
You could never avail Unemployment Benefits again.
Go Register NOW!
If you are reading this, there is every chance that you may be in dire need of financial assistance and as the days pass by, it will only get tougher to manage the expenses. All the more reason for you to hurry and register now at the IDES website for unemployment benefits. Given the complete transition of the offline process to an online one, you can practically receive your benefits sitting at home as the debit card too is delivered to your mailing address. However, if you would want to know more on the IDES offices in your locality for applying in person or if you’d like to calculate the amount of benefits you may be eligible for, you can find out from our website. We hope to have addressed all the problems or questions that you may have encountered and if more, please leave it in the comments and we will watch your back!
Unemployment is one problem that doesn’t necessarily need a shout-out. In spite of all the banter on the march towards progression, the unemployment rate of 4.9% is not really hailed as the greatest feat. However, the stagnation isn’t forever.
Know more of the unemployment benefits to cross over all the obstacles in your way to hold you through the tough and testing time that unemployment brings.
What seems to be a great number in itself- 495,000 is only the figure for ‘veteran’ unemployment as published in the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the year 2015. In the survey, veterans are defined as, “men and women who have previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces/military and who were civilians at the time these data were collected”.
Veteran Unemployment rates have been at an all-time low, declining from 6.9% in October 2013 to 3.9% in October 2015, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, notably, this rate was lower than the unemployment rate of non-veterans of 5.9% for 23 consecutive weeks.
This figure is only likely to decline when you enroll yourself in the many training programs designed especially for Veterans to acquire the skills of the generation which mostly covers technical knowledge. Otherwise, leadership skills, capacity to handle stress, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, problem-solving through critical thinking, project planning and so on, which are to be developed goes quite unsaid. And at the rate at which people are pitching into jobs, the sooner you learn to develop these skills, the better equipped you are to acquire jobs at the earliest.
Veteran Unemployment Compensation – A Safety Net
A Service Member separated from active duty may qualify for unemployment benefits if you haven’t found a new job. This program, Compensation for ex-servicemembers abbreviated as UCX is administered by the States as they are agents of Federal Government. To incur the benefits of this scheme, eligibility is to be determined. You are eligible, if –
You were an active member in any of the branches of U.S. military.
You should have separated from service by honorable means.
There should be no deduction from your wages for Unemployment Insurance.
Apart from the above-enlisted eligibility clauses, your Unemployment Benefit can be affected if you are receiving the Separation pay. It is for this reason that retirees will receive little or no amount of benefits, for their weekly amount of retirement pay is considered.
The duration and amount offered through unemployment benefits vary from each state, and hence, to enjoy the benefits of the same, you have to visit the local State Employment Office. The nearest State Employment Office can be located using a Telephone Directory or you could locate the nearest one for some of the states (Nebraska, Ohio, Kansas, Montana, District of Columbia, Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska) from our site. Visit the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) who will assist you in finding a new job apart from ensuring that you get the Unemployment Benefit. When applying for the Compensation, do carry your Certificate of Release (DD form 214), your Social Security Card and your Civilian and military job history or resume.
Since the Certificate of Release (DD form 214) determines the eligibility of a person’s entitlement to Unemployment Benefits, it is imperative to fill the application with utmost care to avoid mistakes. Also, you are expected to keep the original certificate safe and to only show copies of it when demanded by employers or others. Here are some of the details required to be filled in the Certificate of Release form –
The Date and Place at which you entered into active duty
Residential address at the time of entry
Date and place at the time of release from active duty
Residential address after separation from the service
Last Duty assignment
Military Job specialty
Decorations, badges, medals, citations and campaign awards
Information on separation (type, character and reason for separation, etc.)
The amount of benefit will depend on your pay at the time you left military service. The state will compensate by basing its calculation on a “Schedule of Remuneration”, set by the U.S. Department of Labor.
As to the amount of compensation that you get, it depends on the state you reside in (Unemployment benefits is acquired from the state you currently reside and not from the state you quit the Duty).
Other Opportunities At Acquiring Veteran Benefits
Apart from the many communities that have continually engaged in trying to get more veterans employed, there is also an increase in the concerted effort of private and government institutions in order to reduce the already declining rates of veteran unemployment.
The special provision is given to those who were part of the Vietnam War. The VEVRAA, 1974 (Veteran Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act) prohibits job discrimination and pushes federal contractors and subcontractors to take action. They employ qualified Vietnam war-era veterans and also provide training when necessary. Others covered in this Act are Special Disabled Veterans and Separated Veterans.
Veteran Department has enabled various provisions which include education and training, health benefits, Life insurance, Home loans and Housing related Assistance, Employment Services, and Memorial/Funeral Benefits too.
How to Apply for Veteran Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits?
Apply in person – from the nearest VA regional office
Apply at school – through consulting a School Certifying Official
Apply by Mail – Call 888-442-4551 to have the application mailed to you
These Benefits are granted through the Post 9/11 GI Bill/Servicemembers Readjustment Act, also associated with Yellow Ribbon Program, Montgomery G.I. Bill (for active duty members who pay $100 per month in order to receive a monthly benefit for education, if they should choose to leave military service), Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Educational Assistance to the members of Reserve components who constitute the those ordered to active duty in response to a National Security threat or Emergency situation), Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA).
These educational Benefits can be utilized for Traditional degrees, non-college Degrees, Job Training and job apprenticeship.
Requirements to acquire Educational Benefits –
Copies of your military service discharge or separation papers (DD 214)
Documentation of an enlistment incentive or College Fund
To qualify for a monthly housing allowance you must have attended school for more than half the term.
Employment Resources & Opportunities – All through VA Dept.
Veteran Affairs Department offers numerous opportunities to acquire Vocational jobs, Training and Employment Counseling too. In short if you are eligible for the employment benefits provided by the VA, your life is shortly about to change for good as close to millions of dollars are spent by corporations in order to incorporate skilled veterans into service. This benefit can be acquired by both Active Duty Servicemembers and Veterans.
Veterans applying for the same must have an honorable discharge from service, obtain VA service-connected disability rating of 10% or more, including applying for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services and have an established employment handicap resulting from a service-connected disability. If the above four conditions are not fulfilled, the veteran is not eligible for Employment Benefits.
VA has consistently strived to drive its many resources into propelling a massive flux of service members from service-oriented military career to a civilian job duty. And they have indeed succeeded in optimally utilizing existing resources and creating job-seeking tools to transform the face of Veteran Unemployment figures. VA thus connects the Veterans with the employers in order to help them fill their empty chairs. Some of the Employment Services you would want to explore are listed below-
Veteran Unemployment Centre
Skill Transition Tools
For a Private Sector or Federal job, pick one from 3 million jobs at JobsBank
You can access all this and more once you have logged into the eBenefits service enables by the States.
Disability Compensation For Unemployed Veterans
An Injury incurred either while on active duty or those disabilities resulting from a disease which was aggravated due to active military service can be held eligible for Disability Compensations for Veterans. It is a tax-free monetary benefit which can also be paid for post-service disabilities that are secondary to the illnesses/disabilities occurring in service. This benefit can be incurred if you are at least 10% disabled. The disability can arise from physical medical conditions like chronic knee condition, and mental health conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you have dependents, an additional of 30% allowance will be granted. You will be incapacitated to receive compensation if you receive military retirement pay, disability severance pay/separation incentive pay. Eligibility for the above benefit is acquired if you are –
In the Uniformed Services on Active Duty
Active Duty training
Inactive Duty training
Discharged under honorable conditions
10 – 100% disabled from the injury incurred
Apart from the above reasons a person can be readily inferred or presumed as eligible if you are,
A former prisoner of war,
Having a certain chronic or tropical diseases that were evident within a certain time after discharge from active military service.
Exposed to ionizing radiation, mustard gas or Lewisite while in active service.
Served in the Southeast Asia during the Gulf war.
Documents to be kept ready with to in order to avail the Disability Benefits are –
Medical evidence of a current physical or mental disability.
Evidence of a relationship between your disability and injury, disease or event in military service.
Other Disability Benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) which is also a tax-free monetary benefit provided to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Servicemembers who died while on active-duty.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is another additional tax-free monetary benefit that can be paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses or parents. SMC is a higher rate of compensation paid during special circumstances where the injured person is in need of special assistance or aid of another person. Such circumstances arise when there is a specific disability such as the loss of a hand or leg.
Veteran Benefits – Your Key To Financial Security
We certainly hope that all the information provided above has left you with little or no doubts lingering. If you are an ex-service member, wait no more to avail all the benefits you are eligible, for now it is easier than ever with increasing awareness and enhanced connectivity. It has also brought about a healthy online discourse to disseminate the various Government policy initiatives into the general public’s domain. Participate in this community discourse to add your insights and questions so we could keep the wheel turning!
Pennsylvania UC (Unemployment Compensation) program is handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, which aims to provide a cushion, only if you qualify for the unemployment benefits. This enables a sense of relief to all of you who were at a constant risk of being completely stalled in your day-to-day activities because of unemployment and unpaid bills.
Therefore, filing for UI claims gives a fighting chance of being employed elsewhere without losing out much in life, and within the given time frame. So pull up your socks and do the needful!
How To File An Initial Claim In PA?
Keep the following information ready before filing an initial claim:
The Social Security number and your PIN (received in the mail)
The PA Driver’s license number, if you have one
The Employer Information Form, if you have one. Or else, just the name and address of your employer(s)
The most recent pay stub which helps in determining your benefits
The gross amount earned for the work performed during a week. Also, if you were absent from work for a week, then the gross amount you would have earned for the week
The gross amount of vacation pay, if any, for the away week
You can file your applications or reopen your existing UI claim for UC benefits by the following methods:
Indiana UC Service Center 630 Kolter Dr. Indiana, PA 15701-3570
Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington
Duquesne UC Service Center 14 N. Linden St. Duquesne, PA 15110-1067
When once you have applied for the UI benefits, the concerned Department of Labor and Industry will send you three mailers within a span of 10 days.
The first mailer will have An official Notice of Financial Determination with your data, read all the instructions on the reverse of the notice for filing an appeal if any of the mentioned data is found to be false.
In the second mailer, you will be receiving a Claim Confirmation Letter (which is form UC-360). It confirms that your application has been processed at the department. You’ll be provided with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to file for departmental internet claim and to use PA Teleclaims (PAT) for filing a claim over a telephone. When and how to file for claims for weekly benefits, will be mentioned in the letter you would have received along with the form.
The third mailer contains the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook, which should answer most of your doubts. It also contains various responsibilities of a person enrolled in this program and generally delves out all the relevant information on how to deal with all kinds of stuff when you’re unemployed. So read the UC Handbook received in your mail thoroughly and understand its contents.
Qualifying for benefits involves these 3 steps in the state of Pennsylvania:
You must be financially eligible.
You must have a qualifying separation from employment.
You must continuously maintain your eligibility for benefits, by satisfying the UC laws.
Step 1: Financial Eligibility For UI Claims
If you have garnered enough wages and that too for enough number of work weeks, then you’re financially eligible to claim for unemployment benefits. If this initial condition is satisfied, then you’ll receive a Notice of Financial Determination, also called form UC-44F, which mostly explains about the probable amount of benefits you may end up receiving on a weekly basis. Read the Notice and any other supporting documentation which might have come along with the form to learn about your financial eligibility for easy UI claims.
Step 2: Qualifying Separation For UI Claims
You must be laid off or working reduced number of hours with no fault of yours to qualify for unemployment benefits.
The following circumstances DO NOT qualify for your benefits in UI claims:
You voluntarily quit your job, without substantial reason.
You’re suspended from your job because of Wilful Misconduct.
You’ve actively participated in work stoppage determined to be a strike.
A representative from the department will be contacting you and your previous employer to know the reasons for your present unemployment. And if the reasons for your employment are in contention either from you or your employer then you’ll be provided a chance to explain your side of the story so that there is clarity among all the concerned parties regarding the reasons for your unemployment. Say, something like a questionnaire may have to be filled and returned so that the representative is able to resolve all the issues raised, based on your response. However, if benefits are still denied, you can always appeal against the decision.
It could so happen that you could already be receiving the benefits and then a review can also take place later on. You’ll be served with the Advance Notice form, which will give you a chance to give all the necessary information about your eligibility to continue to receive UC benefits unless a written ineligibility has been issued against your favor.
Part-time employees could also be eligible for benefits if the following circumstances are true:
Your regular work hours are reduced.
You have obtained partial employment elsewhere with fewer work hours after being separated from your job.
You are separated from one job but continue to be employed by another employer on a part-time basis.
You’re not eligible for benefits if you’re working your normal hours of work per week with your regular employer or company.
Step 3: Maintaining Your Eligibility For UI Claims
Maintaining your eligibility on a continuous basis is pivotal since your benefits are available to you on a weekly basis. Failing to adhere to certain factors will make you lose your UC benefits. So here’s a heads up for you:
Filing your Biweekly Claim
Work registration requirements
Work search requirements
Able and Available requirement
How To File A Biweekly Claim In PA?
Whenever you are either partially or fully unemployed, you are required to file a claim each week. The claim week ending date shall always be a Saturday and is called as a CWE Date because the regular calendar for a week begins on Sunday and ends on a Saturday.
Generally, you must file for two weeks at once and is called a biweekly claim. However, you need to certify that you’re eligible for the benefits each week separately.
Filing over the Internet: You can directly access the Pennsylvania biweekly claims section online on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. This is the recommended way of filing.
Filing by Telephone (PAT): You can also file a UI claim via Telephone. The toll-free numbers are 888-255-4728 and 877-888-8104 (Spanish).
Filing by TTY: You can opt for TTY message services 24 hours a day, from Sunday to Friday for filing your biweekly claims at 888-334-4046.
Videophone Service: American Sign Language (ASL) videophone service is available for individual workers every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474. This Videophone service is strictly for sign language only.
Work Registration Requirements
You shouldn’t let go of your steam thinking that the government is paying for your survival, you must follow the rules, you must protect the system, remember that!
From the beginning of the third week from your Benefit year, you’re supposed to apply for two jobs and participate in one job search program weekly. And you have to maintain a weekly report which lists the search requirements carried out by you.
You have seven types of work searching activity:
Attend job fairs
Search for posted positions on JobGateway®
Create or post your resume on JobGateway®
Contact your former colleagues and enquire about employment opportunities available
Participate in a program offered by CareerLink®
Take up Civil Service test or pre-employment tests
Sign up with an employment agency or a school placement service
Ability And Availability For Work
This section is self-explanatory. All you need is to be able to work, available to work and willing to return to work which could either be your old job or a new one.
You’ll be disqualified, if:
You’re incapable of performing any work due to physical limitations
You’re outside your labor market or country on a vacation (Contact your UC service center before leaving the country)
You do not have a way to reach work in a timely manner
You do not have a childcare facility for your baby
How Are Benefits Paid In PA?
Your first benefit payment will be received within four weeks after filing your initial biweekly claim application. The benefits are paid every other week, usually within four days of filing your biweekly claim, but it may take up to ten days to receive the benefit payments in some cases. The benefit payment is either a direct deposit or paid through your debit card. Refer more for Claims Confirmation Letter on choosing which option to use.
Your Recent Payment Information and Payment History can be obtained by either logging in to your account or by calling PAT at 888-255-8728 on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can also fax a request for obtaining two free copies to the UC service center at 717-525-5160, you’ll be charged for additional copies.
Your Benefits Appeal Right In PA
Under Article V of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, the Department of Labor & Industry promptly examine each application for benefits and determines whether your application is accepted. The law also provides for an appeal process to allow claimants to object to an unemployment compensation determination in order to ensure that every individual is given an opportunity for a fair hearing.
There are three levels for a claimant to appeal for UI claim denial:
UC Service Center Determination: Within 15 days of the mailing date of the determination, you may appeal a UC Service Center determination to a Referee.
UC Referee Decision: Within 15 days of the mailing date of the Referee decision, you may appeal a Referee’s decision to the Board.
UC Board Of Review Decision: Within 30 days of the mailing date of the Board decision, you may appeal a UC Board of Review decision to a Commonwealth Court.
Stay Away From Frauds
If you fail to report payments or end up deceiving the authorities about your eligibility, then you should expect to be caught. Giving false information to the Department of Labor & Industry or withholding information to obtain UC Benefits may be charged and criminally prosecuted under various existing Pennsylvania laws like:
Unsworn falsification to authorities
Theft by deception and
False statements or representations to obtain or increase compensation
If you are prosecuted you may be subject to a fine, imprisonment, restitution, summons of federal tax refunds and loss of future UI benefits.
You Are Employed, What Next?
If you return to full-time work then notify the UC Service Center about it immediately. After intimating the information, you’re no longer unemployed and thus, you’re not eligible for your weekly UI Benefits.
If you intend to start a spin-off venture on your own, then you’re considered to be Self-employed, so you will no longer be eligible for UI benefits, even if your business isn’t making a profit. But, UI benefits can be still claimed if your business is a “sideline” activity matching the following criteria:
You are able and available for full-time work
You do not engage in your business the whole time
Your business is not the primary source of your livelihood
We all know that the economy was largely gloomy, with a slowdown. Teens and students are bearing high tuition prices and thus, are in dire need of finding alternate sources of income. Usually, teens manage to find work in restaurant chains and the likes but are mostly unappreciated for the work they do and are also underpaid. Yet, there’s always a silver-lining to the entire scenario.
American workers are not getting a boost to their paychecks even though the unemployment rate has steadily decreased and has nearly converted to full-time employment. Employers are able to reduce the bargaining power of prospective employees because of an ever increasing supply of educated labor. This makes it easier to fire troublemakers who demand raises, better working conditions and incentives to stay productive.
The overall growth rate for the population is getting back on track. However, college graduates are finding it difficult to find a permanent position in the job market today, that is because the unemployment rate for teenagers has been the highest ever in over 20 years. From $7.25 to $10 an hour can barely make the ends meet for most of the teens, given the standards of living today. So with such a meager pay it’s like you’re working to be broke. Even underemployment rate has steadily increased over the years clearly indicating the dissent among teens. It is good to know that we have a couple of free tools to calculate benefits of unemployment and to compare unemployment benefits by state. Now, how handy is that!
Generally, the youth labor force surges sharply between April and July each year. Many teens search for or take summer jobs while graduates make an entry looking for permanent positions. Last summer, the youth labor force grew by 2.7 million. This is a positive trend, given the circumstances!
The unemployment rate has reached a 7 year low of 4.9%. But for teens of ages 16 to 19 years the unemployment rate is very high at 16%. This alone accounts for over a million youths in the country!
No wonder, more parents are seeing their adult kids moving back to the basement. And many of the parents are facing this social stigma of teens being holed up and the topic is slowly gaining wider acceptance from the larger sections of our society.
According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD), a whopping 26 million young people are not employed in the developed world. Youth unemployment is a real problem and it is poised to cost the US economy of over $18 billion. Add to that, the damage of rising crimes and deterioration of our social fabric being committed by misguided teens. It’s definitely not the right path to walk on for all of us.
Considering the US global market position since the economic collapse in 2008, US has always stood on a precarious spot, sensitive to minor changes. But we may yet be living at one of the most prosperous times – for all age groups alike. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to witness people, including private individuals and NGOs taking action into seeing the annoyance caused by Teenage Unemployment driven beneath the mud. That the actions have seen considerable success can be vouched for by its mention in the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC). In a moment of pride for the community who have strived for $ 15 pay a day, the Democratic Party announced that they have added support to the cause of $15 pay a day to their party platform. With one of the most prominent parties backing the move to make $ 15 as the minimum pay speaks volumes in terms of how far we have come in this fight. A national institution such as this can boost the presence of more NGOs in many states where the protests haven’t gathered any momentum. An NGO which closely follows the causes of Teenage Unemployment all over America is the “FightFor15”, an organization which individually can be attributed the credit of putting the cause of social evil of Teenage unemployment on the national map. With its proactiveness and regularly protests, organized all over the country, it has done marvels in bringing the unaware and ignorant to the streets, to rightfully demand what’s theirs.
Another milestone to this cause, the speech of Rev. Dr. William Barber II, also the man behind the Moral Monday Movement at the Democratic National Convention is not to be forgotten. He resounded the voice of the stifled working class through the following words, “I say to you tonight, there are some issues that are not left versus right, liberal versus conservative, they are right versus wrong…. When we fight for Fight For 15 and a union, and universal health care, and public education and immigrant rights, and LGBT rights, we are reviving the heart of our democracy.”
Many workers consent to the fact that more than 10 million are on their way into realizing the $15 pay per day. While the movement held and organized by the NGO, Fight for 15 has been successful mostly in New York, California, Seattle and Pittsburgh, while they vow to keep the fight running till all the workers in the country get their $ 15 pay.
The stagnant economy needs to be churned again. Turning the tide in our favor to suit our interests can only be made possible by betting on the zeal of the youth. The teens of today must come up with innovative ways to find work. If there’s no work then do come up with ideas to create work. Start blogging, take tuitions to high school students, conduct workshops on hobbies like stargazing, develop mobile apps using open source projects like Python. Hustle, instead of cribbing about the sorry state of being unemployed.
In the other half, the big corporations and industry experts should impart world-class training and properly mold the teens to deal with the demands of the industry. Then, we can not only hope for a better tomorrow but provide a better one. Get motivated by the likes of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and strive harder than your odds to claim glory! The world needs a center for the New American Dream and we have to live up to expectations and deliver the same!
Despite more jobs being available today in the U.S., unemployment still plagues some sections of the society. While the unemployment rate is officially recorded at 5%, the surveys don’t always tell the complete story.
In this article, let’s discuss the issues faced by adult American women in specific. Over the years, we’ve seen that the females have stepped up to play an active part in contributing to the economy. However, studies have revealed that females face more unemployment woes than their equally qualified male counterparts. Although many reasons could be stated for this phenomenon, many women wonder whether it is the age old misogyny at play.
Why The Gender Gap In Unemployment Rates?
Women have always been known to juggle their time between family and career more than men. This often takes its toll on their professional lives. This is especially true after childbirth. While most European women find a way to have both, their American counterparts find the 12 week maternity leave too short for their liking and so choose to quit jobs. This often leads to a period of unemployment, post which, getting back to work is cumbersome for many.
This sole reason is often held responsible for America falling behind other European countries when it comes to women’s unemployment. The percentage of working women in the nineties was 74 and has since then dropped to 69.
For less educated and financially not well off women, this reason is never more true. The cost of child care just isn’t worth returning to work.
Current Rate Of Unemployment Among Women In America
As per the United States Department of Labor, the following are the percentages of unemployed women in various age groups.
65 and above
(Source – Women’s Bureau, U.S. Dept. of Labor)
Is It A Man’s World Afterall?
Absolutely not. According to the current employment statistics, approximately 11 million people are without jobs (i.e., full time jobs). While a greater percentage is constituted of women, it does not in anyway mean that women cannot make a return after a break.