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GA Employer-Filed Claims, IN Deductions for Separation Pay, IA & WA Weekly Benefit Amounts and Taxable Wage Base Updates

GEORGIA – Changes to the Employer-Filed Claims Process and Earnings Disregard
Employers in Georgia may take advantage of the employer file claims process for any complete pay-period week where an otherwise full-time employee works less than full time where the reason is due to lack of work only and the earnings for that week do not exceed the employees weekly benefit amount plus the non-deductible earnings (set at $50 for claims filed on or after July 8, 2023).

Employers will likely not know what the employee’s weekly benefit amount is at the time of filing. A general rule of thumb that you can use is to take the maximum weekly benefit amount in Georgia plus the earnings disregard and if the employee is earning more than that amount, they would not qualify. The current maximum weekly benefit is $365 and the non-deductible earnings (earnings disregard) is $50 for a total of $415. Any employee who would earn more than $415 in a week of partial unemployment would not be eligible for benefits.

To protect the unemployment system from fraud, Georgia has enacted some additional safeguards. Employers must meet the following conditions to submit employer-filed partial claims:
• Accounts must have been registered within the last 5 years.
• Any employer with delinquent quarterly tax and wage reports or delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, or interest owed will not be permitted to file employer filed claims.
• The week ending date on employer filed claims cannot be older than 30 days.

If the reason for the separation is anything other than lack of work, this program cannot be used, and employees will need to file their own claims. Part-time employees are not eligible for this program and must also file their own claim for benefits.

INDIANA – Changes to Weekly Earnings Deductions, Holiday Pay, and Pension, Retirement, and Annuity Deductions
Effective July 8, 2023, Indiana has made some changes that will impact claimant’s eligibility for benefits in certain cases. The first change is that a claimant can earn up to $100 per week and still be eligible for the full weekly benefit amount. Any amount earned over $100 will be deducted dollar for dollar. Prior to this new change, the first 20% of a claimant’s earnings were disregarded.

The second change coming into effect is that holiday pay is no longer considered disqualifying pay. Claimants will still need to report the holiday pay for the week they are claiming benefits, but it will not be deducted from their weekly benefits.

The final change is that for claimants who receive pension, retirement, and/or annuity amounts, these amounts will not be deductible if only the employer made contributions to those plans.

IOWA –Weekly Benefit Amount and Taxable Wage Base Updates
Effective July 2, 2023, Iowa will increase the maximum weekly benefit amount for new claims. The new maximum weekly benefit amount will be $582. Iowa is a state that has a dependency allowance to increase the weekly benefits amounts if the claimant has covered dependents. The maximum with dependents will be as follows: $604 with 1 dependent, $626 with 2 dependents, $659 with 3 dependents, and $714 with 4 or more dependents.
The state will also increase the taxable wage base amount for 2024 to $38,200 (up from $36,100 in 2023). Meanwhile, the workers’ compensation maximum weekly benefit for temporary total disability, healing period, permanent total disability, and death will increase to $2,199.00. For permanent partial disability, the weekly maximum will be $2,023.00.

WASHINGTON – UI Weekly Benefit, Paid Family & Medical Leave Benefit, and Taxable Wage Base Updates
New claims effective on or after July 2, 2023, will be subject to new weekly benefit amounts. The minimum weekly benefit amount will rise by $6 to $323, and the maximum weekly benefit amount will rise by $20 to $1,019 per week.
In addition, the paid family and medical leave benefits for claims files on or after January 1, 2024, will also change. The maximum paid leave benefit will increase to $1,456 (up from $1,427), however the minimum paid leave benefit will remain at $100 for new claims on or after January 1, 2024.

The taxable wage base for 2024 will also increase to $68,500. This is an increase from the current taxable wage base of $67,600.

Michele Heckmann

Author Michele Heckmann

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