Unemployment Benefits: Common Mistakes To Avoid While Filing A UI Claim

The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the U.S. job market by storm. As per reports, the unemployment rose to 4.4 percent, and about 17 million people have filed for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in March. The UI provides temporary financial help to the unemployed, but not all of them are receiving monetary aid. While some aren’t able to get through the site-crashes and other logistical challenges to file the claim, many others aren’t getting the benefits due to the mistakes committed while filing the claim. So what are the common mistakes to avoid while filing a UI claim? Find out here!

1. Failing To Provide Earning History 

Whether you are a part-time worker, freelancer, full-time employee, while filing a claim, you must mandatorily report your gross wages for each week you have worked. Gross wages are nothing but the total amount earned before any tax deductions. If you fail to report your earnings, your benefits may be rejected, or you may be committing fraud or be prosecuted. 

2. Not Submitting Work Search Records

Though the pandemic has caused many sectors like hotels & restaurants, travel, etc. sectors to shut down, and getting hired seems unlikely, you must keep searching for a job to meet the UI benefits eligibility criteria. If you don’t look for jobs or fail to maintain the required records, your claim may get rejected. Each state will have its requirements for what counts as looking for employment. 

For instance, in New York, the claimants must maintain a written or online work search record and provide it to the labor department, whenever asked for. The document should contain details like numbers of employers contacted, date, address, positions applied, and contact methods. Whereas in California, you must recertify online every 14 days. 

3. Not Providing Required Documents

When you are filing a claim, it is essential to document all the necessary information. In addition to the name, phone number, address, date of employment, employer name, bank account number, you must provide your Social Security number. States like Utah require your driving license as a form of identification, without which your claim will be denied or delayed. 

If you were a federal employee, you have to submit either your Standard Form 50 (SF-50) or Standard Form 8 (SF-8). If you are ex-military, then provide your DD214 form. If you don’t have it, collect a copy through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ milConnect website.

If you are not a citizen of the U.S. but are legally authorized to work in the states, then you have to provide your Alien Registration Number. 

4. Filing The Claim In Another Current State 

You must file for UI benefits in the states in which you have worked and not where you are living or some other state. If you have worked in multiple states, then you choose any one state and file a claim. The authorities from the selected state will contact other work-states and collect the necessary information.

If you are currently stuck in another country and are unemployed, the department of labor will not allow you to file for the unemployment insurance benefits. 

5. Failing To Verify You Are Willing To Take Up A Job

To obtain UI benefits, you must continually prove that you are available, able, and ready to accept suitable employment, failing to which your claim will be delayed or denied. 

Also, if the department of labor learns that you have refused to take up a suitable job, you have to attend a hearing. If it is convinced that you have refused to take up a job without a significant reason, your claim will be denied. 

6. Not Responding To The Notice Of Determination

When you file for benefits, an adjudicator will review your claim and decide whether you qualify for your unemployment benefits or not. Once reviewed, you will receive a Notice of Determination describing whether you are eligible for UI benefits or not.

The Notice of Determination states whether your employer is “chargeable” for your claim or not. If the employer is not chargeable, you have to file an appeal within the specific period and attend the hearing. But if you fail to request an appeal by the given deadline, the state will deny your claim. 

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid while filing a UI claim, make sure dodge them. However, if you have already committed any of the above-listed mistakes listed, talk to authorities in your state. But if the claim has been denied, then request an appeal. 



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