Monthly Archives

April 2020

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for Week-Ending April 18, 2020

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending April 18, 2020 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 4,427,000
  • 4 week moving average: 5,786,500
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 11.0%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 15,976,000
  • 4-week moving average: 9,598,250
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 4,267,395
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 11.3%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 16,438,933

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

COVID-19 & Hawaii Unemployment Tax Payment Extension

Hawaii’s deadline for submitting first-quarter unemployment tax payments will be extended, the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced today.

Unemployment tax and wage reports will remain due on April 30, 2020 as normal, but the Department is allowing for an extension to submit the tax payment until May 31, 2020.

The Department stated that the deadline for unemployment tax payments was moved to May 31st  to assist employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Our office will be monitoring these situations closely and will send out additional announcements or make postings on our website (https://thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/) as we become aware of new developments.

The CARES Act & the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Executive Order:

Florida’s governor signed Executive Order 20-104. This order suspends the biweekly “actively seeking work” reporting requirement for those seeking unemployment benefits.

Reemployment Assistance Processed Claims:

From March 15, 2020 to April 15, 2020, the state notes that 141,451 claims went through the initial monetary determination process, which means that a decision has been made on whether individuals are monetarily eligible to receive reemployment assistance.

Reemployment Assistance Claims Paid:

From March 15, 2020 to April 15, 2020, the Florida Department of Economic Security issued 121,102 payments to individuals in reemployment assistance, totaling $47,544,993. This includes 33,623 individuals who applied for reemployment assistance benefits after March 15, 2020.

For the week of April 17, 2020, a total of 23,801 checks for $600 were sent to individuals through the CARES Act. These checks were sent via paper to ensure they were distributed as quickly as possible. Please be aware that any individuals who received their $600 check will receive their state benefits for reemployment assistance via direct deposit or prepaid debit card based on the preference selected in the application process.

Reemployment Assistance Initial Claims:

Statistics on initial claims filed for reemployment assistance are below.

  • For the week ending March 21, 2020, the state received 74,313 applications.
  • For the week ending March 28, 2020, the state received 228,484 applications.
  • For the week ending April 4, 2020, the state received 169,885 applications.
  • For the week ending April 11, 2020, the state received approximately 175,306 applications.

CARES Act Update:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides benefits to those that may not be eligible for regular benefits, including individuals who are self-employed or independent contractors. The state is expected to provide additional information on PUA within the week.

System Enhancements:

The state announced that they will conduct routine maintenance to their CONNECT system to help with processing claims. Therefore, CONNECT will be unavailable from 8pm to 8am, daily. Any individuals who need to certify must log into CONNECT between 8am and 7:59pm, and log into the system during their scheduled reporting time, to have their claims processed in a timely manner. However, this maintenance will not affect anyone that needs to file a new claim. The CONNECT system will be available for new claims 24/7.

For more information about benefits, including how to apply and frequently asked questions, please visit the state’s website at https://www.floridajobs.org/covid-19.

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

The CARES Act & the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development started to issue the new $600 federal pandemic unemployment compensation to individuals impacted by COVID-19. The state notes that their first federal disbursement included $12,853,200 to 16,183 individuals currently covered by their current unemployment program.

Also, the state advised that the federal pandemic unemployment payment will be retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020 and that the payment will be in addition to regular benefits. Individuals who have received benefits for week ending April 4, 2020, will receive a separate disbursement with the additional $600 payment. The payment will be available for each week of eligibility through July 25, 2020.

Finally, the state will begin to process applications for self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers on the week of April 20, 2020, with payment being issued about two weeks later. Individuals who previously filed and received ineligibility notifications will be contacted for income verification to complete their application process. The state notes that payment will be retroactively made to the week ending April 4, 2020.

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

The CARES Act & the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) advised that they have fully implemented Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). PEUC provides a 13-week extension for unemployment benefits for eligible applications.

In Minnesota, approximately 8,000 individuals exhausted, or are expected to soon exhaust, their benefits. Individuals will be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits, as well as the additional $600 payments, with PEUC fully implemented. Individuals can login to their account at https://www.uimn.org if they exhausted their benefits and believe they are eligible for extended benefits under PEUC.

 The final part of the CARES Act that is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which will provide unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals, independent contractors, gig workers and others who would not normally be eligible for unemployment benefits. The state believes that they will have this program fully operational by the end of April 2020. However, the state encourages those who think they are eligible to apply online.

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Unemployment Weekly Claims Report for the Week-Ending April 11, 2020

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending April 11, 2020 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 5,245,000
  • 4 week moving average: 5,508,500
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 8.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 11,976,000
  • 4-week moving average: 6,066,250
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 4,971,823
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 8.6%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 12,526,711

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

The CARES Act & the Idaho Department of Labor

State Claims Volume:

The Idaho Department of Labor adjusted their phone schedule. From 8am to 4pm MST, the state will accept incoming calls. From 4pm to 6pm MST, the state will process unemployment claims. Additionally, the state advised that staff will be reassigned to help process claims and will hire 12 or more claims specialists to assist with the claim volume. The schedule and additional claims specialists will help to free up time for staff to return phone calls, resolve issues that might benefit payment, and process claims as quickly as possible.

Over the last 3 weeks, the state issued 77,430 payments for a total of $17.95 million to more than 30,546 individuals whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19 over the last three weeks.

Individuals do not need to call the state in order to file a claim for benefits and can access the claimant portal via cell phones and tablets too. Common questions can be found at the state’s FAQ page at https://idahoatwork.com/2020/03/18/faqs-about-unemployment-insurance-and-covid-19/.

 

The CARES Act:

The Idaho Department of Labor advised that the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUAC) benefit payments should be available to individuals by the end of April 2020. Individuals who are currently filing or receiving benefits under the state’s regular unemployment program already qualify for the additional $600 and do not need to take further action. The benefits will retroactively begin on March 29, 2020 and ends with the week of July 25, 2020.

However, the state also stated that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will take a little more time to implement within their current unemployment insurance program. PUA would grant benefits to those that are self-employed, contract employees, and others not ordinarily eligible for benefits. This new program requires that the state make significant system upgrades to process payments and state officials expect it will be May 2020 before payments occur for these types of individuals. The state also expects more guidance from the Department of Labor before it can fully administer the benefits, which is retroactive to February 2, 2020, and ends December 26, 2020.

More information about the CARES Act can be found on the state’s COVID-19 website: https://idahoatwork.com/2020/03/18/faqs-about-unemployment-insurance-and-covid-19/.

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

The CARES Act & the Missouri Department of Labor

The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DOLIR’s) Division of Employment Security (DES) started to issue the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments this week. The state notes that they dispersed a total of $66 million in benefits paid out to over 115,000 individuals. Eligible individuals should receive their benefits within the next couple of days, but this will depend on how long the individuals’ banks hold funds.

As a reminder, the FPUC program provides those eligible for at least one dollar of benefits will receive an additional $600 payment per week. All individuals who are eligible for benefits will also be eligible for the additional $600 payment effective with the week beginning March 29, 2020. These payments will be made retroactively for claims filed on or after March 29, 2020. The last payable week for the $600 payment will be the week of July 25, 2020. Additionally, the state advised that child support payments, existing non-fraud over payments, and taxes, for those that have elected to have taxes withheld, will reduce the additional $600 payment and regular benefits too. Any individuals with an existing fraud penalty will not eligible for additional benefits.

Additionally, the state provided an update about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. This program provides benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment, including those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, self-employed, as well as individuals lacking sufficient work history. Self-employed individuals filing unemployment claims should indicate “none” when asked for states in which they have worked unless they have worked for another employer in the last 18 months. The state will contact individuals who have been determined to be ineligible for regular unemployment benefits because of insufficient wages after the PUA program is fully operational. These individuals will be required to provide proof of earnings and proof of employment to file a claim for benefits. The state advised that acceptable forms of proof of earnings include copies of income tax returns with related Schedules C, E, F and SE, Form K-1 and/or Form 1099-Misc. Also, acceptable forms of proof of employment include business cards, advertisements, telephone listings, business licenses, etc. The PUA program will be retroactive to when an individual was negatively affected by COVID-19. The state expects to begin completing PUA claims as early as the week of April 19, 2020.

Finally, the state believes that it will also begin rolling out the provisions of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program starting the week of April 26, 2020. This program will provide up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits to those that have exhausted their regular benefits.  The state will notify all potentially eligible individuals once the program is operational. The DES encourages claimants who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and still have an active benefit year, to continue to file weekly requests for payments.

The state urges individuals to file for benefits via UInteract: https://www.uinteract.labor.mo.gov. UInteract is available 24/7 and is mobile-friendly. Individuals should log into their UInteract account to check on the status of their claims. Please be aware that those who file should provide as accurate information as possible and avoid typos, wrong dates, or other errors that will cause a delay in processing their claims for benefits. The state also recommends that individuals review unemployment information on their website at https://www.labor.mo.gov/coronavirus. This website includes how-to videos and answers to commonly asked questions.

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

COVID-19 & Arizona Unemployment Tax Filing & Payment Extension

The Arizona Department of Economic Security has provided a 30-day extension for quarterly state unemployment tax filings and/or payments.

The Department announced that the deadline for employers to submit their first quarter 2020 unemployment tax returns and payments has been moved from April 30th to June 1st as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Our office will be monitoring these situations closely and will send out additional announcements or make postings on our website (https://thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/) as we become aware of new developments.

 

The CARES Act & Jobs in Minnesota

The CARES Act:

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that they received final guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL) to be one of the first states to make $600 additional compensation payments available to individuals receiving unemployment benefits. All individuals who are currently receiving benefits will qualify for the $600 additional and will continue to receive their regular benefits as well.  Please be aware of the following details regarding the $600 payments:

  • The first week for the additional $600 is the week beginning March 29, 2020.
  • The week of March 29 on or after April 5 can be requested for the additional $600 payment. If it was already requested for that week, the $600 payment will be automatically issued.
  • There is no need to contact DEED or do anything to receive the additional $600. DEED will automatically process the additional $600 payment after the request benefits for the week of March 29 (and every week after that an individual is eligible).
  • The additional $600 payment will not appear on the online unemployment account. The additional $600 payment will only appear on a bank account or unemployment debit card statement.
  • All payments may take a few days to reach a bank account and/or debit card.

Minnesota Jobs:

Many businesses that provide essential services (like health care, food, supplies and transportation) are currently hiring employees. Some open jobs may be temporary during COVID-19, but many may be permanent and, particularly in the healthcare industry, can serve as an entry position to higher-paying careers.

If needed, CareerForce can help with job searches. CareerForce offers virtual and interactive services, including virtual workshops, videos, and other online resources.  Individuals can connect by phone or email with staff at their nearest CareerForce location and receive personalized assistance with interviewing, resume writing, and other job search resources. To search and find current Minnesota job postings, visit the CareerForce job search page: https://www.careerforcemn.com/job-search.

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.