Utah Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment Insurance (UI) in Utah provides temporary financial assistance to those who have lost jobs for no fault of theirs. The aim is to help provide job-seekers a smooth transition while they are in-between jobs.
The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) oversees the functions related to unemployment benefits in Utah. One of the main objectives of the DWS is to help job-seekers in finding appropriate job opportunities, and in the process, to financial help them in the form of UI benefits.
Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in Utah
The UI benefits are given to those who satisfy all the eligibility criteria, which consists of monetary requirements and job separation requirements. The applicants are also expected to maintain their eligibility throughout the benefit period to remain eligible.
To gain monetary eligibility, the applicant must have worked in his/her base period earned a sufficient amount of wage. The DWS has provided clear qualifying criteria in terms of monetary requirements. However, it will be beneficial to understand some basic concepts to get a good grasp of monetary eligibility.
Base Period: A base period consists of a 12-month (four quarters) period, during which the wages earned by the applicant will be considered for eligibility.
Calendar Quarter: A calendar quarter is a set of three months which forms a part of a base period. A base period consists of four calendar quarters, which are:
- If your claim is effective between January through March – October 1 to September 30
- If your claim is effective between April through June – January 1 to December 31 July
- If your claim is effective between July through September – April 1 to March 31
- If your claim is effective between October through December – July 1 to June 30
Weekly Benefits Amount (WBA): WBA is the amount that a claimant may receive as benefits at the end of the week. The amount is decided by taking the wages you earned in the base period into consideration.
Benefit year: A benefit year is a 52-week period in which your claim was established. In this period, you may file for benefits in the months that you were unemployed, which should not exceed the limit given to you by DWS. The number of weeks one may receive benefits range from 10 to 26 weeks based on the wages earned in the base period.
The wage requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits in Utah are:
- You must have received wages in at least two or more calendar quarters in your base period
- Your total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times the wages you earned in your highest quarter
- You must have at least received $3,700 as wages in your overall base period
The reason for separating from your previous organization plays a critical role in establishing whether the claimant is eligible for UI benefits or not. Applicants must have lost their jobs for no fault of their own. Here are some of the important conditions you must fulfill to gain eligibility for unemployment benefits in Utah:
- You were not fired due to any work-related reasons
- You were not involved in any unethical, illegal or immoral activities in your workplace
- You did not quit your job voluntarily due to lack of interest
- You must be partially or completely unemployed
- You must not have lost your job for any reason that directly concerns you
- If in case, you are partially unemployed, the wages you earn must be lesser than the WBA you receive every week
The applicants must adhere to all the prescribed rules and regulations even after gaining eligibility for UI benefits. You may end up losing your weekly benefits and your eligibility status if it’s found that you have not followed all the guidelines provided by the DWS.
Some of the important guidelines prescribed by the DWS, which needs to be followed to receive weekly benefits regularly are:
- The applicant must be available to take up work at all times during the benefit period. This means that you are fit and ready to take up work at all times. If in case you are not available for work in any week, you must promptly inform the DWS regarding the same
- You must be seeking to get a full-time job opportunity. To establish that you are constantly looking for a job, you must submit a weekly job search report while applying for benefits every week
- The applicant must meet at least four prospective employers in pursuit of a full-time job. You are expected to maintain a detailed record on the outcome of the contact. It must contain the following details:
- Date of contact
- Name of the company
- Company address
- Contact details – phone number, email, and weblink
- The position title of the person contacted
- Method of contact
- Results of contact
- The applicant must accept any suitable job offers you receive. Failure to accept a referral to suitable work, properly apply for a suitable job opening, or accepting a suitable offer will result in cancellation of UI benefits
How to Apply For UI Benefits in Utah?
You must have the following documents in order to apply for unemployment benefits in Utah:
The most preferred mode to apply for benefits is by submitting the application online. In order to do so, you must create a Utah-ID using your email address. To set your Utah-ID up, visit https://jobs.utah.gov and select “my Unemployment” and “Log in the wage requirements to qualify for UI benefits are:”, and this will redirect to the web page to create a Utah-ID.
In order to file your initial claim, visit https://jobs.utah.gov//ui/home/InitialClaims/ and log in using your Utah-ID.
You can file your applications for benefits by placing a telephone call. In order to do so, you are required to place calls between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM from Monday to Friday. Note that the claim centers are closed on holidays and weekends. Make note of the following telephone numbers to reach the correct claim center:
UI Benefit Amount
The Unemployment Insurance Benefits Calculator will help you in knowing the approximate unemployment Benefits provided in Utah.
Things to Know After Filing An Application
There are various aspects to UI benefits that a claimant must be aware of to make sure that he/she receives benefits without any problems. Also, information on aspects such as training and development will help claimants to find out about suitable training programs.
Overpayments and Fraud
Overpayments occur when you receive benefits that you are entitled to receive. This may occur for various reasons. However, the most common reason is when an appeal is reversed and you are required to pay back the excessive amount you received prior to the court judgment.
Benefits overpayment generally occurs on the UI benefits including any deductions like child support or taxes. In the event an overpayment occurs, the DWS will send you letter highlighting the same. This letter will carry information on the amount overpayment, methods to repay and the manner in which you can file an appeal against the overpayment.
Some of the reasons why an overpayment may occur are:
- Appeal on the determination of UI benefits falls through, and it is decided that your UI benefits must be lesser than what you received. In such a case, the excessive amount you received so far will be considered overpayment, and you are expected to repay it
- You make a mistake in providing your data relating to wages received in the base period and have evidence to prove that the mistake committed is not intentional
- An error committed by the DWS, the chances of which is very slim
Please note you have the right to file an appeal against the call of overpayment taken by the DWS. Remember to file an appeal in writing and to state the reasons very clearly as to why you think the decision is incorrect.
You may submit your appeal at https://jobs.utah.gov/appeals, which is the most preferred form of appeal submission. You can also fax it to 801-526-9242, or send it through mail to the following address:
Appeals Unit, P.O. Box 45244,
The DWS will rule that3you have committed fraud if you have willfully manipulated the data submitted to the DWS or withheld important information in order to get more benefit amount.
Some of the activities that are considered as fraud are:
- Failing to report your earnings while filing for weekly benefits
- Not providing the correct reason for separating from your last organization
- Forging your weekly job search report
- Allowing others to file for UI benefits on your behalf, and as a result, providing your PIN number to others
- Making false claims regarding being available to work. In other words, falsely claiming that you were available to work when in reality you were not.
- Providing false or misleading information about the wages received during the base period
If it is established that you indulged in fraudulent activities to receive more benefits, you will have to incur penalties and/or face jail time, which will be imposed in proportion to the nature of fraud.
Generally, the following penalties are imposed in case of fraud:
- You will have to repay at least twice the amount of UI benefits that you received
- The DWS may deny payments for up to 49 weeks and until the overpayment and the penalty amount is repaid
- In case you fail to pay off your overpayments and penalty, the TWS may use methods like wage garnishments, tax interception, and liens to recover the arrears
- The TWS may also file a case against you in a court of Law, and you may be prosecuted under federal and/or state law
- You may face incarceration as a result of being prosecuted by the court
- You may also be subject to court fines, community service, and probation
As of 2019, there are no state-sponsored or federal benefit extension programs provided after exhaustion of your benefits week in Utah. It is advised that you find out about the reemployment programs provided in Utah to find a suitable job before the end of benefits week.
Job Training Assistance
The DWS provides ample programs to support those who are looking for job opportunities. It provides services that meet the various needs of the job-seekers and help them have a smooth transition from one job to another.
Below are some of the services provided by the DWS that are beneficial for job-seekers:
- The DWS allows employers to post job requirements on its website to connect with the job-seekers. You can search for job-openings on https://jobs.utah.gov/jobseeker at all times for free of cost
- The DWS provides guidance on career planning, education, and training opportunities to job-seekers, which can be accessed on https://jobs.utah.gov/jobseeker/smartstart.pdf
- The state of Utah provides opportunities for job-seekers to improve their skill set. Job-seekers can make use of free online services such as educational online courses, how-to guides, webinars, consular resources, and courses for industrial certification. You can find out more about the services offered by Utah by checking this website- https://utahfuturesonramp.org/training/
- The DWS conducts free job search workshops to assist job-seekers to find suitable jobs. The workshops are conducted regularly and in order to know where and when the next workshop will be held, visit https://jobs.utah.gov/jobseeker/workshops/
- The state also provides workforce service funding for two categories – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Trade Act Assistance (TAA). WIOA is provided as supportive and training service for dislocated but eligible adults who are 14-24 years old. The TAA is provided to those who have lost jobs due to foreign trade
- The state also provides other training programs such as Federal Student Aid, Futures Through Training, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, Utah Women and Education Initiative Resources. To know more about these programs, visit https://jobs.utah.gov/jobseeker/training.html