- You should if you have not already posted information or mailed information to your employees on lay-offs, reduction of hours or elimination of positions.
- Your employees are more than likely eligible for unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits if hours have been reduced, term of hire has been changed or you have eliminated positions.
- The state departments will continue to provide important employment benefit updates as the situation evolves. For ingoing information log onto our site. www.ucmspecialists.com, or contact your account specialist.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (UC) BENEFITS
Your employees may be eligible if:
- You have temporarily closed or go out of business because of COVID-19.
- You have reduced your hours because of COVID-19.
- You have told an employee not to work because you feel your employees may get or spread COVID-19.
- You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts.
Offer information to your employees on how to apply:
- In all states, it’s the faster and easier way for your employees to file for UI benefits by going online to the state website. (example in Pennsylvania: www.uc.pa.gov).
Important information for you and your employees to know:
- If eligible for UC, your employees will receive state correspondence and a PIN.
- This PIN will typically arrive in the U.S. mail.
- If approved, first week benefit payment should arrive within approximately four weeks of filing for UC. Charges to your State Unemployment Tax Account (SUTA) account will start on the date the employee was laid off., furloughed or hours were reduced.
- Employees should continue filing bi-weekly claims (every two weeks) – even while waiting for approval.
- States are experiencing very large call volumes.
- The Waiting Week is suspended. Previously, claimants were not eligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment (the “waiting week.”) This has been suspended; eligible claimants may receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed during the COVID-19 Crisis.
- Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily waived for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with most states where they applied.
- At this time, benefits are not being extended beyond 26 weeks in most states. Check with specific states for exceptions to this rule.
- Important information for CLAIMANTS in BANKRUPCTY – Due to COVID-19, regular mail collection to the appropriate state department may be delayed or interrupted for the next few weeks due to large UI filings.
- If you have sent the state a bankruptcy notice, it may not be reviewed in time to avoid sending you billing notices or automatically offsetting UI benefits.
- To provide the state with a bankruptcy notice in a timely fashion, please send information about your bankruptcy to your state via electronic communication if available.
- Please attach a copy of any bankruptcy paperwork to the email to expedite processing. If you are unable to attach the bankruptcy notice, please include your company name and account number. This will help offset refunds and will make filings more efficient.
- Employees working from home, as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for benefits if they cannot arrange to work at home or do not have the required equipment. Providing employees equipment (computers, telephones) may eliminate UI filings due to a hardship and/or a change in their original term of hire.
- Employers should anticipate UI rate increases in 2021. All states have experienced a surge in UC filing s. In February 2020 the Unemployment Rate was 3.5%. It is 14.7% as of July 2020. This means the surplus that each state carries will be in deficit digits. The federal and state variables that are added onto your experience tax rate will increase each employers tax rate despite the number of layoffs.