To find out all about Coronavirus-related unemployment benefits     
FileUnemployment

Florida is one of the states which received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. The approval means that the eligible people can receive benefits on top of their regular benefits. So who qualifies for an additional $300 unemployment benefits in Florida?

In this article, we will guide you through the eligibility criteria in the state and lots more. 

More About $300 Unemployment Benefits In Florida

Post expiration of $600 weekly benefits, President Donald Trump had signed a new executive order under which states can provide enhanced benefits to the qualified, provided they receive approval from FEMA.  

Recently, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) had applied for grants under the LWA program and received the approval. This means that Floridians eligible for Reemployment Assistance for weeks ending on or after August 1 can receive the additional $300 benefits.

After approving the state’s application, Pete Gaynor, FEMA Administrator, stated, “Unemployed Floridians are now eligible for the $300 per week in addition to their regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit, provided the unemployment is the direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Who Qualifies For Additional Unemployment Benefits In Florida?

To qualify for extra $300 unemployment benefits in Florida, you must meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • You must be receiving a minimum $100 weekly benefit under the Reemployment Assistance program weekly benefit
  • You must have notified the Department that you are fully or partially unemployed due to the Coronavirus pandemic

You can also qualify for benefits if you receive at least $100 through any of the following programs. 

  • Extended Benefits (EB)
  • Short-Time Compensation (STC)
  • Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) 
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Benefits under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program

How To Apply For $300 Weekly Benefits In The State?

If you are currently receiving benefits through any of the unemployment programs, you need not separately apply for additional benefits. The Department will automatically collect your information and pay you benefits. 

When Will You Receive The Additional Unemployment Benefits? 

The Department of Economic Opportunity is taking all possible steps to effectively implement the LWA program and pay out the extra benefits to the qualified Floridians as quickly as possible. 

LWA benefits will be issued either through a paper check or direct deposit. Note that benefits will be paid through a paper check if the debit card is chosen as a payment method. It is important to continue requesting your weekly benefit payments to help the Department process it to your account. 

To ensure you receive payments at the earliest, the Department recommends you to choose direct deposit as your preferred payment method. However, if you have selected a paper check as your payment method, make sure you verify your mailing address is correct, failing to which you may not receive the payments. 

What To Do If You Don’t Qualify For Additional Benefits?

Despite meeting eligibility requirements, if your additional $300 benefits are denied, you can file an unemployment appeal. You must file an appeal within 20 calendar days following the date of determination. If the 20th day falls on a legal holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, the appeal can be applied on the next business day. 

After filing an appeal, you will receive a notice of hearing that includes time, date, and contact information. Make sure you don’t miss the hearing, failing to which you may not receive benefits. However, if you cannot attend the scheduled hearing, inform the authorities in advance and request a postponement. 

During the hearing, the appeal referee will review the submitted documents, record statements, and give his or her decision. 

Note – Continue to apply for benefits during the appeals process. If you win the appeal, you will receive benefits for the applied weeks.  

Will You Qualify For Extra Benefits If You Have Recently Lost Your Job?

The state will pay benefits depending on your employment status on August 1. This indicates that you won’t qualify for first round of payments if you are recently unemployed. But if the state gets approval for additional weeks, you may receive payments in the future.

But first, you must apply for a Reemployment Assistance claim. Note that to qualify for the Florida unemployment benefits, you must meet certain criteria such as (but not limited to): 

  • Have lost your job through no fault of your own 
  • Have earned minimum wages in your base period 

Usually, the state requires you to meet work search requirements. However, due to the pandemic, this requirement has been suspended till December 2020.  

If you are self-employed or independent contractor or gig worker, you may not qualify for regular unemployment benefits but can apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. This program was created under the CARES Act and gives benefits up to 39 weeks. 

How To Apply For Florida Unemployment Benefits?

To apply for unemployment benefits in Florida, you must provide information such as:

1. Social Security number

2. Driving License, if any

3. State ID number

4. Details on your employment over the last 18 months, such as:

  • Employer names
  • Employer addresses and phone numbers
  • First and last working dates
  • Reason for job separation
  • Gross wages (before taxes) during employment periods
  • FEIN number (on your 1099 tax or W2 forms) or employer information from paystub

 Note 

1. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, you must provide your work authorization form or Alien Registration Number.

2. If you are a union member, you must provide the union’s name, phone number, and hall number.

3. If you are a military employee, you must provide your DD-214 Member Copy 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8.

4. If you are a federal employee, you must provide SF 50 or SF 8.

To file an initial unemployment claim, either visit www.floridajobs.org or submit an application through connect.myflorida

You can also apply through a paper application. The completed form should be mailed to the following address. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, P.O. Box 5350. Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350. 

When Will The Benefits Last?

The Department has received guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and FEMA, indicating that it would receive funds for approximately three weeks to pay the eligible claimants. However, the state may receive additional approvals on a week by week basis depending on the availability of funds.

Closing Thoughts

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is rigorously working on implementing the new executive order in the state. Though it would take some time, the Department guarantees that all the qualified will receive the benefits to meet their needs. To know more about the program, visit the state’s UI benefits. 

 

On August 8, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that provides $400 extra benefits. As per the new order, the federal government would provide $300 additional unemployment benefits per week, and the states are responsible for contributing the remaining $100. 

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would contribute an extra $300, on behalf of the federal government, states were given the option to choose how they would pay the remaining $100 and decide if they would even pay it. 

Note that the $300 federal unemployment benefits are not automatic. States must apply through FEMA for a grant. So, which states have applied for a grant with FEMA?  

In this article, we have listed which states have received approval to offer $300 additional unemployment benefits. We have also listed the benefit amount each state would provide.

List Of States Approved By FEMA 

Below is the list of states that have applied and have been approved by FEMA. 

1. Alabama

FEMA approved Alabama’s application on August 21. Based on the Department Of Labor (DOL) and FEMA estimations, the Alabama Department of Labor stated, “The eligible people could expect to receive the payment in approximately 3 weeks.”

2. Alaska

Though Alaska received FEMA’s approval on August 23, the qualified people won’t receive the payment immediately. According to the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Alaskans will have to wait for at least 6 six to 8 weeks to receive the benefits.

3. Arizona

Arizona, which received FEMA’s approval on August 15, is the first state to give out $300 additional unemployment benefits. The state has distributed an estimated $201 million to eligible Arizonans. 

An estimation of 250,000 unemployed Arizonans has received the $300 federal unemployment benefit in addition to regular benefits. The extra benefits were retroactively paid for the August first week.

4. Arkansas

Though the state received FEMA’s approval on August 25, it is still unclear when the residents will start to receive benefits. 

5. California

Though at first California Governor Gavin Newsom didn’t support the order, he then applied for the grant through FEMA, which was approved on August 21. But it is unclear when the Californians could receive the payment.

6. Colorado

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 16. But it is unclear when the qualified people could expect the benefits. But Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment has not yet determined the benefit amount nor has any approximation on development timelines to reprogram the systems to give the extra benefits.

7. Connecticut 

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 24. The qualified people can expect payment within 3 to 4 weeks. 

8. Delaware

FEMA approved Delaware’s application on September 2. However, it is unclear when the qualified people can expect the payment. 

9. Florida

Florida received FEMA’s approval on August 29. But the state’s Department has not announced when the residents can expect the payment. 

10. Georgia

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 23. But it is still unclear when the state’s Department of Labor would provide the add-on benefit. 

11. Hawaii

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 29. The state’s Department Of Labor is building a new program to implement and payout benefits. 

12. Idaho

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 19. The state’s Department Of Labor is yet to announce when the qualified Idahoans can expect to receive the benefits.

13. Illinois

FEMA approved the state’s application on September 1. However, it is unclear when the qualified people will start receiving the payment. 

14. Indiana

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 21. The state’s Department of Workforce Development is planning to provide benefits to the eligible people within 4 to four weeks.

15. Iowa

Iowa applied to FEMA on August 13 and received its approval on August 14. However, it is unclear when the Iowa Workforce Development would provide the add-on benefit.

16. Kansas

FEMA approved Kansas’s application on September 7. However, it is unclear when the qualified people can expect to receive the payment.  

17. Kentucky

FEMA approved Kentucky’s application on August 21. The qualified Kentuckians can expect to receive the payment within 2 to 3 weeks. 

18. Louisiana

Though the state received FEMA’s approval on August 14, it is still unclear when the qualified will receive the add-on benefits.

19. Maine

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 25. The residents can expect to receive the payment in about 3 weeks. 

20. Maryland

FEMA approved Maryland’s application on August 20. The eligibles are expected to receive the add-on benefits in late September.  

21. Massachusetts

That State’s application was approved on August 21. But it is unclear when the qualified people in the state will receive additional benefits.

22. Michigan

FEMA approved Michigan’s application on August 21. However, the state agency has not yet notified when Michiganders can expect to collect the extra benefits.

23. Minnesota

Minnesota received FEMA’s approval on August 29. But it is unclear when the qualified people in the state can expect to receive benefits.

24. Mississippi

Though Mississippi received approval on August 22, the Mississippians will have to wait for approximately 3 to 4 weeks to collect add-on benefits. 

25. Missouri

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 16. But it is still unclear when the eligible people can expect to receive the benefits in the state. 

26. Montana

Montana’s application was approved on August 18. But the state’s Department of Labor and Industry has not yet been notified when the qualified people will receive additional benefits. 

27. New Hampshire

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 24. But it is unclear when the state agency will begin paying the additional benefits. 

28. New Mexico

FEMA approved New Mexico’s application on August 15. But it is unclear when benefits will become available to New Mexicans.  

29. New York

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 23. Though an estimated timing is not available, the state’s agency is working to provide extra benefits as quickly as possible.  

30. North Carolina

FEMA approved North Carolina’s application on August 21. But updates on a timeline for collecting benefits is not yet announced.

31. North Dakota

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 31. The residents can expect to receive payments by mid-September.

32. Ohio

FEMA approved Ohio’s application on August 26. The Department announced that Ohioans can expect to receive the benefit by mid-September.

33. Oklahoma

Oklahoma applied on August 17 and received approval on August 18. As per the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, the eligible Oklahomans can expect to receive benefits within 4 to 5 weeks.

34. Oregon

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 28. But it is unclear when the residents will start to receive benefits.

35. Pennsylvania 

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 24. But updates on a timeline for collecting benefits is not yet announced.

36. Rhode Island

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 22. The benefits will be available in the state after 2 to 3 weeks. 

37. Tennessee

Tennessee received FEMA’s approval on August 22. But it is unclear when the state’s agency will begin paying add-on benefits.

38. Texas

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 21. The Texas Workforce Commission has already started paying the qualified. The state has paid approximately $151.6 million as of Monday.

39. Utah

Though the state received FEMA’s approval on August 16, the residents have to wait for at least 3 to 4 weeks to collect add-on benefits.

40. Vermont

FEMA approved Vermont’s application on August 22. But the Vermont Department of Labor has not yet notified when the qualified people can expect to receive the benefit.

41. Virginia

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 26. However, it is unclear when the qualified people will start receiving the payment. 

42. Washington 

Washington received FEMA’s approval on August 24. The state’s agency has not yet notified when the qualified people can expect the payment.

43. West Virginia

The state received approval from FEMA on August 27. But it is unclear when the qualified people will start to receive benefits.

44. Wisconsin

Wisconsin received FEMA’s approval on September 1. The residents can expect to receive the add-on benefit within 8 weeks. 

45. Wyoming

The state received approval from FEMA on August 28. But it is unclear when the qualified people will start to receive benefits.

Note – South Dakota has opted not to participate in this new program. 

How Much Benefits Will Each State Provide?  

All approved states, except Kentucky and Montana, will pay $300 additional unemployment benefits. The states Kentucky and Montana have agreed to contribute the $100, thereby providing $400 extra benefits to the qualified. 

Who Qualifies For $300 Additional Unemployment Benefits?

To qualify for $300 additional unemployment benefits, one must receive at least $100 benefits per week through any of the following programs.

How Long Would a $300 Additional Unemployment Benefits Program Last?

Though the exact expiration date is unknown, the new order is expected to end when FEMA expends 444 billion from Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), or DRF’s total balance reduces to $25 billion.

Closing Thoughts 

Expiration of $600 weekly benefits had taken unemployed Americans by storm. But with the new order, people can receive extra amounts on top of their regular benefits and pay their medical, housing bills, etc. for a few weeks. To know more about the $300 additional unemployment benefits program, visit the state’s Department Of Labor website.

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

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

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

Unemployment Benefits In Texas

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

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

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

How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Qualify For Texas Unemployment Benefits?

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

laid_offLaid Off

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

reduced_working_hoursReduced working hours

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

quitQuit

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

Some of the state-defined good cause include:

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

firedFired

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

Examples of misconduct include:

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

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

Monetary Requirements

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

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

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

standard_base_period

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

alternate_base_period

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

Work Search Requirements

work_search_requirment

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

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

How To Register For Work?

registerRegister

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

contact_officeContact Workforce Solution Office

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

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

How To Search For Work?

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

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

Acceptable Work Search Activities In Texas

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

How To Document Work Search Activities?

work_search_activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

weekly_benifit_amountWeekly Benefit Amount

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

maximumMaximum Benefit Amount

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

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

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

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

How To Report Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

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

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

Withholding Taxes

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

So, How Can You Withhold Taxes?

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

Filing Federal Income Tax Return

income_tax_img

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To File An Unemployment Appeal?

unemployment_appeal

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

Appealing To The Appeal Tribunal

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

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

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

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

Appealing To The Commission

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

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

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

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

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

Final Words

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

The Senate recently announced the HEALS (Health, Economic Assistance Liability Protection & Schools Act.) stimulus bill. The HEALS Act stimulus bill is a $1 trillion stimulus package as an aftereffect of the CARES Act. 

The act offers to extend unemployment benefits and provides a second stimulus check. But this check will be lower than the benefits that one currently receives. For a person to be eligible for this package, the criteria are similar to the Cares Act passed in March. HEALS act will also provide $200 a week to the people who qualify for unemployment benefits until October.  

What The Unemployed Should Know About The Act

Post-October, the states will shift into a joint state and federal unemployment program that aims to replace 70% of the workers’ previous pay. Here are some key points you should know about this bill.

  1. In the two months that unemployed people receive benefits, states must change their unemployment benefits process to substitute the flat rate supplement process. 
  2. Through this bill, the Federal Government will assist in providing 70% of people’s lost pay through unemployment benefits. 
  3. A formula is yet to be designed for those who earn hourly wages since they don’t necessarily work for the same hours during a week.  
  4. Even though unemployed people are set to receive a $400 cut in their benefits, the benefits rate is still higher than what was paid before the pandemic.
  5. Workers residing in Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee are set to receive these benefits first. 
  6. The main reason these states will benefit first is that they receive lower unemployment benefits than other states.
  7. This bill also asserts that state unemployment offices must inform individuals about particular laws pertaining to getting back to work. 
  8. The HEALS Act does improve the situation for sole proprietors allowing them to use net profits for their payroll systems.
  9. People whose earnings are $75,000 or less than that will qualify for the entire $1200 stimulus package. On the other hand, people who earn less than $150,000 per year are eligible for the $2400 check. 

Does This Program Have any Benefits?

This bill passed by the Senate will have several benefits for those struggling with unemployment, such as: 

  1. The HEALS Act furthers the unemployment benefits extension.
  2. The act helps people get by and pushes people to get back to work ASAP since the amount of the benefits is reduced.
  3. To extend financial assistance to state unemployment bureaus, Heals Act will provide $2 billion to help better their respective unemployment insurance systems. This prescribed financial assistance will help state offices handle the surge in claims in a much more efficient manner.

Will The Capping Of Benefits Have Any Downside?

Unemployment benefits will work similarly as it was with the Cares ACT. The only difference is that unemployed people will receive $200 instead of $600 until October. Unemployed workers will continue receiving their regular unemployment benefits. The $200 that workers receive comes as an added benefit. 

Once the $200 benefits scheme is over, a flat payment scheme will come into the picture that will redeem 70% of an unemployed worker’s previous pay. But many analysts believe with this new bill that many state unemployment offices will not be able to determine benefits, let alone promptly pay them on time. 

The capping of unemployment benefits may make it quite tricky for earners to receive the entire 70% immediately in some states, also delays may mainly occur as each state uses a different formula to calculate unemployment benefits.

 This is a huge logistical challenge for state unemployment offices to calculate millions of people’s benefits amount. The states are also under added pressure since they have to get the ball rolling within two months.   

What Happens If States Are Not Able To Reprogram Their Systems 

If states cannot change their systems in time, they can apply for a waiver for the next two months. Since state unemployment offices are already facing an onslaught of claims, it remains to be seen whether states can make this switch in time.

Usually, such a big switch can take much more time, since the states have to receive guidance and a standard set of operating procedures from the Department of Labor. Many experts believe that the 70% replacement wage proposal does not seem like a serious proposal.

 The experts believe Senate Republicans are not dead set on the 70% wage scheme. It is only an entry-level figure to set off negotiations with the democrats. A clear picture will only be seen with the passing time whether the HEALS act is a boon or a bane to state unemployment offices and the unemployed.  

What is the Paycheck Protection Program?

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) helps small businesses with 300 or fewer employees receive forgivable loans. This helps these businesses keep their employees on the payroll. For a firm to be eligible for a loan, it should have reported a revenue fall of at least 50%.

Businesses in low-income communities also receive benefits from the PPP. These businesses can apply for a 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1%. This can benefit these smaller businesses massively to keep the show going on and retain employees so that they keep receiving their paychecks.    

Conclusion

The proposed Heals ACT stimulus bill has failed to reach an agreement as of now. This has left several people in the lurch, as no one knows what the government’s next step is going to be. But if an executive order is signed by the president quickly, it will help the unemployed get some clarity on how the next few months will pan out. 

The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the United States by storm. It has shuttered the economy leading to a drastic increase in the unemployment rate. In Texas alone, the unemployment rate was 13% in May, and about 2.7 million people have filed for Unemployment Insurance (UI) since mid-March. 

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has paid over $800 billion federal and state funding unemployment benefits and is expected to pay more in upcoming days. However, now the state law wants overpaid Texans to repay the money back to the TWC. So, how do you repay overpaid unemployment benefits in Texas? 

In this article, we will guide you through the process of repaying the overpaid benefits, but before that, let us learn more about the overpayment of benefits in Texas and its reasons. 

Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits In Texas

More than 46,000 Texas who lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic were overpaid by the Texas Workforce Commission, which now wants the money back. The overpaid benefits sum up to $32 million. The Commission had received those 46,000 claims through a combination of online portal and mails.  

Cisco Gamez, state agency’s spokesperson, stated, “State law requires the Workforce Commission to recover overpayments of unemployment benefits. Overpayments will stay on the claimant’s record until repaid.” 

It is unclear how many of the unemployment overpayments are due to TWC’s errors and how many are due to claimants’ fraud. After The Texas Tribune’s request, the agency is collecting data on the overpayments due to fraud. 

On average, the Workforce Commission has overpaid nearly $700 per person. These payments account for more than 1% of the total applied claims. 

The Texas Workforce Commission said that it would send a Determination letter on payment of unemployment benefits to those who are overpaid. The letter would include the reason for the overpayment, weeks that were overpaid, and the amount of money one must repay. 

TWC stated that it would mail a statement of an overpaid unemployment benefits account, that is a billing statement, within 30 days following the date of determination of overpayment. The statement would include instructions and steps on how to repay the overpayment. The Commission added that 30 days later, it will send a second billing statement that includes a repayment schedule, provided the case is not prosecuted. 

Possible Reasons For Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits 

An overpayment of unemployment benefits occurs when you receive a payment that you are not entitled to. Some of the reasons for overpayment include:

  • Providing false or incorrect details about the job separation
  • Providing incorrect information about work search when applying for unemployment benefits or requesting payment
  • Not reporting income or submitting incorrect income when filing for benefits
  • Failing to register with WorkInTexas.com or local One-Stop Career Center if living outside of Texas
  • Not participating in job assistance programs conducted by Workforce Solutions or Reemployment Services 
  • Having appeals that reverse the eligibility after receiving unemployment benefits
  • Correction of earning errors that result in a lower benefit amount than calculated initially 
  • Not reporting accurate job separation details 

The Texas Workforce Commission said that if the agency determines that the overpayment is due to fraud, you must repay the benefits that you were not entitled to. You will also be required to pay 15% penalty on the payment that you have received through fraud. 

Why Repay The Overpaid Unemployment Benefits?

State law requires you to repay the payment. TWC will not dismiss or forgive an overpayment, and this can affect your unemployment benefits in the future. You should repay the overpayment because:

1. When applied for benefits, TWC will deduct the amount from the eligible benefits until the overpayment is repaid.

2. The overpayment remains on the claim record until it is completely recovered.

3. State funding for students will not be released until TWC recoups the overpayment.

4. The Texas State Comptroller may withhold certain payments until it recovers the overpayment. That means you cannot collect your lottery winnings, unemployment insurance, or state work-related expenses (except for wages), and unclaimed property.

5. The Texas Workforce Commission can take legal action to recover the money.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits From Another State

If you have been overpaid and you are receiving Unemployment Insurance from another state, TWC can ask that state to recover the overpaid amount. The other state will then send unemployment benefits to TWC as per its laws and repays the overpayment.

Overpayments From Another State

If you have an overpayment in another state, they can request the Texas Workforce Commission to send your unemployment benefits until the overpayment is recovered. If the overpayment is collectible from TWC, the authorities will notify you about the same.

You should continue to file biweekly payment requests so that TWC can process each eligible payment toward repaying the overpayment. Once the overpaid amount is recovered, TWC may pay you any remaining benefits, as long as you are still filing an unemployment claim.

How To Repay Overpaid Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

You can repay overpaid unemployment benefits by mailing your check or money order to TWC Revenue and Trust Management, P.O. Box 149352, Austin, TX 78714-9352.

If you are unable to repay the entire overpayment amount at a stretch, you can request TWC a repayment plan. TWC will review your overpayment and set up a repayment plan if it meets the required criteria. For more information, call 512-936-3338 or Email at special.colloverpay@twc.state.tx.us

What If You Don’t Agree With TWC?

If you have received an overpayment notice but do not agree with TWC, you can file an appeal. Texas has three levels of appeal.

  1. Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal
  2. Appeal to the Commission
  3. Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court

You can first appeal to the Appeal Tribunal. If you are not happy with its decision, you can re-appeal to the Commission. If you are unhappy with the decision of the Commission as well, you can re-appeal to a Civil court. Visit https://www.twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/introduction-unemployment-benefits-appeal-process to know more about the appeal process in Texas. 

Final Words

Do not panic if you have received overpayment notice. Follow the instructions provided by the Texas Workforce Commission and repay the overpaid unemployment benefits. Remember, if you fail to repay, the authorities can take legal action against you.

The Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown has caused millions of Ohioans to lose their jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the unemployment rate in Ohio peaked at 16.8% in April and fell to 13.7% in May. To help the Unemployed Ohioans meet their basic needs, the state provides a range of financial measures. One such is the extended unemployment benefits. 

In this article, let’s have a look at the extended unemployment benefits in Ohio.

More About Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio

Generally, Ohioans receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program announced under the CARES Act, Ohioans could receive benefits for an additional 13 weeks, that is, a total of 39 weeks. 

To add more to this, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is offering extended benefits to its citizens. The Department can offer extended unemployment benefits because Ohio’s insured unemployment rate (a measure of the number of people currently collecting UI as a percentage of the labor force) has crossed the minimum threshold. 

Under the newly extended benefits program, eligible Ohioans can receive payment for an additional 20 weeks. Those who qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program can receive benefits for an additional 7 weeks. 

Who Qualifies For Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio?  

To be eligible for extended unemployment benefits in Ohio, one must meet several requirements. Some of them include:

  • The individual must be out of work
  • The individual must exhaust benefits received under the regular unemployment program
  • The individual must exhaust payment received under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program
  • The individual must be able, available for work, and actively look for work

Note – Despite meeting the requirements, not all may receive the benefits under the extended benefits program. Kimberly Hall, Director of the ODJFS, has said that the Department will soon start notifying people who can receive payment under the extended program. 

How To File For Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio?

The ODJFS has not yet announced the extended benefits application process. The Department will go through the applications, determine who qualifies for benefits, and provide information on the application process. For more details, visit http://unemployment.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility

Note that if you have exhausted only the regular unemployment benefits, you cannot apply for extended benefits. Instead, you should apply for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. 

What Is The PEUC Program?

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a financial measure announced under the CARES Act. It provides benefits for an additional 13 weeks to the eligible. 

Eligibility Criteria 

To qualify for the PEUC program, you should meet several requirements such as:

  • Have exhausted benefits received under the regular unemployment program under federal or state law that ended on or after July 2019
  • Are not receiving unemployment benefits under any other state law
  • Are not collecting benefits under the Unemployment Compensation (UC) laws of Canada
  • Are able, available to work, or actively seeking employment
  • Have work search records 

How To File For PEUC In Ohio?

If you are receiving regular unemployment benefits, you need not reapply for the PEUC. The Department will automatically add 13 weeks of PEUC payment for you. However, if you recently lost your job through no fault of your own and are not receiving unemployment benefits, apply for one.

File For Unemployment Benefits In Ohio

You can apply for unemployment benefits in Ohio online or by phone. You can apply online by visiting http://unemployment.ohio.gov/. However, if you have lost your work due to the direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic, visit https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ for more information on eligibility and filing.

You can also apply a claim by calling toll free number, 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408. The representatives will be available 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday, excluding state holidays. The state also has extended call center hours to help people with PIN resets and initial application process. The representatives will be available 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday to Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM on Saturdays, and 9 AM – 1 PM on Sundays. 

Documents Required While Filing A Claim 

You are required to submit several documents while applying for an unemployment claim. Some of them include: 

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your Email address and telephone number
  • Your Social Security number
  • Names of your employer
  • Address of your employers
  • Contact information of your employers
  • Dates of employment with each company you worked for the past 6 weeks before being unemployed
  • Reason for separation from each employer
  • Your dependents’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc. 
  • Alien registration number and its expiration date if you are not a U.S. citizen 

If you had any out-of-state jobs, are separated from military service, or had worked for the federal government, you will be required to provide some additional information.

  1. If you had worked for the federal government, submit SF-8 or SF-50 form 
  2. If you had served in the military, submit Form DD-214 and a copy of Member-4

What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied?

If your claim was denied despite meeting the eligibility criteria, you can file an unemployment appeal. You must file an appeal with ODJFS through fax, Email, or in-person. You must file within 21 days following the issue of the determination letter. 

A hearing will be scheduled where the ODJFS will review your case and give its decision. If you are not happy with the decision, you can re-appeal with the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). Note that you have only 21 days to re-appeal with the UCRC. The UCRC will schedule a hearing through the phone or in-person. 

Final Words

Unemployment benefits undoubtedly provide you with financial support. But remember that it offers relief only for a certain period of time. Therefore, it is a must for you to look for a suitable job. To find a job in Ohio, visit https://careers.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/careers/

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the United States by storm. Virginia is one of the states worst hit by both the pandemic and pandemic-induced economic shutdown. According to the reports, more than 600,000 Virginians have lost their jobs since March 2020. As tough it is to lose a job, people struggle to collect unemployment benefits, especially under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. 

To help people with the process, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has recently launched an online portal. In this article we’ll guide you on the online portal, but before that, let us quickly look at the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia. 

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia is a federal program announced under the CARES Act in March 2020. It offers an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The weekly PEUC benefit amount will be the same as that received under the traditional/regular unemployment benefits program.

Benefits under the PEUC program is given only to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Some of the requirements include:

  • The individual must have exhausted all benefits received under the regular unemployment program under the state or federal law that ended after or on July 2019
  • The individual must be capable of taking a job, available to work, and should actively look for work 
  • The individual should certify that he or she is not collecting unemployment benefits with respect under any other Unemployment Compensation law of Canada

Facts About PEUC Program-

  • The first payable week under PEUC program is the week that starts on March 29, 2020, and ends on April 4, 2020
  • The PEUC benefits are taxable
  • The last payable week of PEUC benefits is the week that ends on December 26, 2020

Online Portal For PEUC Program

The Virginia Employment Compensation has witnessed a surge in the number of unemployment claims. Since March, the total claims filed is more than that the Department received throughout 2 years of the Great Recession. The considerable amount of claims has burdened the authorities at VEC, making it challenging for them to process claims in addition to slowing down the VEC website. 

To address these issues, the Employment Commission has taken several steps, such as adding more workforce, updating phone lines, and launching an online portal. 

The link to the online portal is available on the Virginia Employment Commission website. You can apply for PEUC through the newly launched online portal or by calling 1-866-832-2363. Note that due to heavy call volumes, you may experience a longer waiting period. Therefore, we would suggest you apply online.

Why The Claim Gets Denied? 

According to Fogg, the communication manager at VEC, several aspects can lead to denial of unemployment claims. Some of the reasons include not filing their weekly certification, submission of incorrect or partially filled application, not available or being able for work, failing drug tests, or not taking up an offer for suitable employment.

He added, “There may be some valid reasons people refuse work like the applicant has some health issues or is giving child care. In such a scenario, the applicants must appeal, but this process may take some time.” Your benefits will be stopped until your unemployment appeal is heard, and a decision is made,” stated Fogg. 

Further, he said, “If your employer wants you to return to work, go back.” This is because a link is added to the VEC website, which will help employers to report if their employees fail to return to work.

“If you were asked to return to work but refused to go back, your benefits would be stopped until authorities have reviewed your case to determine if there was any good cause,” said Fogg. 

Applying For Regular Unemployment Benefits In Virginia

As said earlier, you have to exhaust your regular unemployment benefits to qualify for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia. If you are unemployed but haven’t applied for the traditional benefits, apply for now one. 

To apply for regular unemployment benefits, visit the Virginia Employment Compensation website, and choose the relevant option. While applying, you will be required to enter several details like:

  • Your name
  • Address 
  • Contact information
  • Name of your recent employer
  • Dates of employment 
  • Reason for leaving the job
  • Work search reports

You can also apply by calling the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363. The Customer Contact Center will be open Monday – Friday, 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM, and will be closed on state holidays. 

While filing a claim, you will be asked to choose the mode of payment. You can choose either a debit card or direct deposit. For direct deposit, you have to provide routing numbers and bank account details.  

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in Virginia, you must meet several requirements. They include:

  • You have lost through no fault of your own
  • You are able, available, or actively looking for work
  • You must have minimum wages before being unemployed

Monetary Requirements

Like every other state, your work history and wages will be considered while processing your application. The unemployment payment and the period (i.e., 12 to 26 weeks) will be decided based on your gross wages. 

When you apply for unemployment, you will receive a Monetary Determination. It includes your base period earnings, the maximum number of weeks you can collect benefits, and weekly benefit amount. 

Make sure to review the Monetary Determination thoroughly. If the base period wages shown are incorrect, contact VEC Customer Contact Center and provide correct information. You may be asked to Email or fax proof of proper wages to the Customer Contact Center. 

Note that the Monetary entitlement will last for 1 year following your UI claim or benefits exhaustion date. 

Closing Thoughts

VEC is taking all possible measures to fasten the application process and pay your benefits. If you have applied for PEUC but haven’t received it yet, you can reach out to the Customer Contact Center. Meanwhile, look for suitable opportunities at http://jobs.virginia.gov/. You can also check if you qualify for the extra benefits in the state and get benefited. 

 

Oregon is one of the states worst affected by the measures taken to curb the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the unemployment rate in Oregon in May is 14.2%, and about 600,000 Oregonians have filed unemployment benefits since March. With new jobless claims surging, the authorities are struggling to pay the benefits, especially to those who have applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Oregon.

Are you one among them struggling to collect your benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)? Do not worry! This article will guide you through a few alternatives that can help you collect your benefits. But before that, let’s have a quick look at the PUA program. 

What Is The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program?

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides benefits to otherwise ineligible self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, freelancers, etc. It was designed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic under the CARES Act. 

Who Qualifies For PUA?

To qualify for the PUA, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. Some of them are listed below. 

  • You have lost your job as the direct result of the pandemic 
  • You must not be eligible for any other unemployment benefits
  • You have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and are seeking medical care
  • Your family member has contracted the Coronavirus, and you are giving care
  • You can’t go to your workplace as a direct result of the pandemic public health care emergency
  • Your workplace is closed due to the Coronavirus
  • You have been scheduled to start a job but cannot start it due to the Coronavirus
  • The head of your family lost his/her life to the Coronavirus, and you are the major breadwinner

Why Are PAU Payments Delayed?

The PUA program was announced in March 2020. But the Oregon Employment Department took about a month to get started with the new program, i.e., the authorities began accepting applications only in late April. 

To add more to this, the Employment Department had neither personnel trained staff to process the claims nor a phone number for claimants to help them clear their queries or inquire about the status of their applications until mid-June.

During the period, thousands of PUA applicants flooded the already overloaded calls for traditional unemployment claims in a quest for updated information about their backlogged payments. The staff who were handling the phone lines for traditional unemployment claims weren’t trained on the new PUA benefits and hence couldn’t resolve queries about the program.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Oregon received more than 90,000 unemployment claims in the first 7 weeks after its announcement. But the Employment Department paid fewer than 3,000 claims a week on an average. This led to the enormous backlog of unprocessed claims, i.e., approximately 65,000 applications.

The Oregon Employment Department is largely working on the backlog of traditional unemployment claims. However, the Department has said that it won’t work through the backlogged 65,000 PUA claims till the second week of August. The Department has paid $90+ million PUA benefits till date.

How Does The Oregon Employment Department Calculate PUA Benefits?

The Oregon Employment Department follows the federal requirements while calculating the PUA benefits. That is, it uses gross wages to calculate the payment. While applying, you are required to provide details of your gross income. This helps the Department to determine how much they should pay you in a given week. 

This, in practice, means that if you earn income during a given week, your PUA payment will be affected even if your earnings go to the overhead costs of your business.

What Can You Do If Your Claim Is Not Resolved?

David Gerstenfeld, the head of Oregon Employment Department, recently announced that The Employment Department is set to begin the Focus PUA program to help Oregonians receive their PUA benefits faster. The program aims at improving technology, working speed, and proactive communication in processing the application. The Focus PUA also aims at shifting skilled employees who are currently handling regular claims to work on PUA payments.    

Gerstenfeld stated that “The department is working with private technology organizations to make the PUA claim process smooth and less manual.” He also added that “The authorities are also working on adding more phone lines. They recently added 138 new lines and are planning to add another 150 in the upcoming weeks.” He further added that “The Employment Department intends to hire at least 60 people who will be solely dedicated to the PUA work.” 

Gerstenfeld said, “The authorities are working with Google to develop an automated system that helps in filing PUA claims. The system is expected to be launched by early July. They have also launched a phone line dedicated to PUA: 503-370-5400 (local) or 833-410-1004 (toll-free). These numbers are separate from the main phone number, 1-877-FILE-4-UI, which processes only traditional Unemployment Insurance benefits. The Oregon Employment Department is also looking to host webinars to provide more information about the PUA program.”  

“The Department will post more information about its plan for processing PUA claims in a few days. But the Department cannot suggest an exact date for when the claims will be processed,” stated Gerstenfeld.

You can also consider calling your state senator and representative. Oregon has an online tool to help identify a lawmaker who represents you.

Can You Check The Status Of Your PUA Claim?

You can check the status of your PUA claim using the PIN and Social Security number through the online claims system

  • Choose “Status of Your Claim” 
  • Select Weekly Reports

If you don’t have a PIN, create one. The system will show the claim status once your PUA application is processed. 

Final Words

Do not be devastated if you haven’t received your PUA benefits yet. Call the state representatives and determine the status of your claim. Till then, keep looking for a job. 

For more details on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Oregon, visit the Employment Department website. 

 

Californians who have lost their job or had their work hours reduced due to the direct result of the pandemic can collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. According to the reports of California Employment Development Department (EDD), the authorities have processed about 6.7 claims and paid about $33.5 billion in unemployment benefits in California since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Unemployment Benefits In California And The CARES Act

Generally, the regular unemployment benefits in California last for 26 weeks, but Californians can receive payment for an additional 13 weeks under the CARES Act. The Act also provides benefits to the otherwise ineligible self-employed, gig workers, freelancers, or independent contractors. 

Extended Unemployment Benefits In California

The Employment Development Department is looking to provide a separate extension of traditional unemployment benefits. The program would be the Federal-State Extended Duration benefits program and will be known as the FED-ED program. It would provide benefits for at least an additional 13 weeks. 

Under this program, benefits will be provided to Californians who are struggling to go back to their job and have a prolonged duration of unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Who Qualifies For FED-ED Program?

To receive benefits under the FED-ED program, Californians should meet certain eligibility criteria. Some of them include:

  • Should exhaust benefits received under the regular Unemployment Insurance program
  • Must run out of benefits received under the Federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program
  • Should be capable, available, and actively seeking to take up any job
  • Should submit work search documents

More details about this program are expected to be out in a couple of weeks.

Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits If You Return To Your Work?

As businesses begin to reopen, some employers may require their employees to return to work. If you return to full-time employment, you cannot collect unemployment benefits. But if the work hours are reduced, or you are furloughed again, you can apply for UI benefits. 

To apply for benefits, you should certify the number of hours worked each week and report income in the week in which it was earned. All these details must be reported on a bi-weekly certification form. If approved, you can collect payment for up to 26 weeks.

Note that the amount earned will be deducted from unemployment benefits. For instance, if you earned $200 in a week. The EDD may not count $50 and may deduct $150 from your regular unemployment insurance. So if you are expected to receive a $430 payment for that week, after deductions, you may get $280. 

The same rule applies to the self-employed, independent contractors, or gig workers. The only difference is that they have to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and not regular unemployment benefits.

Filing For Unemployment Benefits In California

You can apply for unemployment benefits in California  either online,  by fax or mail, or the phone. To file online, visit the EDD website, log in to your account if you have one, and enter details asked for. If you don’t have an account, first register and then log in. 

To file by fax or mail, access the paper unemployment application on the EDD website and mail it to the mailing address mentioned on the form. You can also call representatives at the toll-free number mentioned in the EDD website and file a claim. 

What Happens After Filing An Unemployment Claim?

If you are a recent online applicant, you will receive a mail from the EDD confirming your registration. But if you haven’t filed unemployment for many years, you may not receive a mail, but a letter with an EDD Customer Account Number using which you can complete the set-up of the EDD unemployment claims account and file weekly claims. 

Final word

Due to the surge in unemployment applications, the EDD may sometimes take time to process your application. Therefore, don’t panic if you haven’t received any mail from the EDD. Stay patient while the authorities process your form. For more details, you can always contact authorities at the EDD. 

 

In March 2020, the federal government has announced a comprehensive financial aid known as the Coronavirus, Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It included several provisions, one such being the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Under the FPUC program, the eligible could receive an additional $600 unemployment benefits a week. 

The extra $600 unemployment benefits were scheduled to end on July 31. But now the Department Of Labor (DOL) has announced that benefits will be paid through the week ending July 25 or 26. The program is expected to end on July 25 in all states except New York. In New York, it is expected to end on July 26. 

Once the extra $600 unemployment benefits per week expires, the traditional unemployment payment, which varies from state to state, will return to below $400 a week. This is a significant blow to those counting on additional benefits to meet their basic needs.  

Why Is $600 Unemployment Benefits So Important To Americans?

Since March 2020, more than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown, and have applied for unemployment benefits. Even as businesses opened, as per the reports of the DOL, about 1.5 million people have filed an unemployment claim in the week ending June 20, taking the tally to 44 million. 

For millions of households, the Unemployment Insurance, especially the additional $600 benefits, has acted as a financial lifeline and stay afloat amidst layoffs and recession. But if the states end the program, it could have dire consequences for those families dependent on the extra benefits they are currently receiving. 

That is because many families have already exhausted their benefits they received with an expectation that they would receive benefits till July 31. With the FPUC program ending on July 25 or 26, households will continue to receive the standard amount, which is below $400.

Will $600 Unemployment Benefits Get Extended?

The answer, Depends. As per the CARES Act, the $600 unemployment benefits are expected to end in July 2020. However, under the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the unemployed can collect the benefits until January 2021. 

However, it must be noted that the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, but the Senate has approved the bill yet.  

How To Prepare To Cope-Up With The Smaller Payment During The Crisis?

Since the additional $600 unemployment benefits last in a few weeks, it is wiser to save the emergency fund to be able to meet the end needs.  

1. Cut Down Unnecessary Expenses 

Identify areas where you can cut down unnecessary expenses and monthly bills. Instead, you can save or use that money to pay other essential bills. For instance, if you have monthly streaming subscriptions and cable, you can cancel one of the services. You could also go for a free trial period for the time being. 

You can save huge amounts of money spent on food by preparing meals at home instead of ordering food. Also, you can use a cash-back card and get a bit of money back when you purchase groceries.

2. Broaden Job Search

By broadening your job search, the chances are high that you find one relatively faster. If you are willing to relocate, look for suitable positions in some other state. If you have skills that suit fields other than yours, then you can consider changing your existing field. For instance, AI technology finds its application in many fields, including health care, gaming, etc. 

3. Stay Updated On Relief Measures 

Since unemployment is rising despite reopening the economy, there is a possibility that the federal government or lawmakers may extend the additional benefits or announce some financial aid. Therefore, it is wiser to keep yourself updated with the latest developments. 

Final Words

With the FPUC program ending next month, let’s see if the states have to offer any other benefits to the unemployed in addition to the regular UI benefits. Until that, follow the measures mentioned above and prepare yourself to meet your needs with the standard UI benefits. 

 

https://fileunemployment.org