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T&C Unemployment Insurance News And Updates – November 15, 2023

By November 15, 2023November 17th, 2023Tax Rates, Unemployment Cost Management, Unemployment Tax

COLORADO – 2024 Taxable Wage Base Increase
In 2024, the taxable wage base in Colorado will increase to $23,800, up 16.7% as compared to $20,400 in 2023.

CONNECTICUT – State Avoids Federal Unemployment Tax Increase, UI Reforms for 2024
Governor Ned Lamont announced that the state successfully paid down the $1.2 billion borrowed from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to avoid a FUTA increase that would have cost businesses an estimated $28-$30 million in 2024. While the state will soon likely need to borrow additional funds as the UI Trust Fund is still unable to keep up with the dispersal of benefits, paying off the current balance will allow the state to avoid a FUTA increase for 2024.

Furthermore, Connecticut legislature passed Public Acts 21-200 and 22-67 in order to implement reforms aimed at improving the UI Trust Fund solvency long-term. These measures will go into effect January 1, 2024 and include the following tax and benefit changes:

  • The taxable wage base in Connecticut will jump to $25,000, up 66.7% from $15,000.
  • To help offset a portion of the short-term employer impact of the wage base increase, the state has put into place a charged rate reduction factor as part of the employer’s tax rate calculation over the next four years.
  • Benefits paid to a claimant through a Shared Work program during periods of high unemployment shall not be charged to experience rated base period employers.
  • A claimant’s receipt of severance pay will result in disqualification from benefits for the period of time covered by the payment.
  • A claimant’s receipt of accrued vacation pay at the time of dismissal will not disqualify the claimant from receiving UI benefits (if otherwise eligible). But vacation pay issued to a claimant during a shutdown period will result in a disqualification or reduction in benefits.
  • The minimum weekly UI benefit payment will increase from $15 to $40 and will be subsequently indexed annually due to inflation. The minimum benefit will revert to $15 when the federal government provides a fully funded supplement to the individual’s weekly benefit amount.
  • The minimum base period earning requirement increases from $600 to $1,600 and will be subsequently indexed annually to inflation. The minimum base period earning requirement will revert to $600 when the federal government provides a fully funded supplement to the individual’s weekly benefit amount.
  • Each day of absence without either good cause or notice to the employer constitutes a “separate instance” of willful misconduct.
  • The maximum weekly benefit amount will be frozen (at $721) during the four years from October 2024 through October 2028.

FEDERAL LEVEL – Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Credit Reductions
While Connecticut (and Illinois) were able to avoid credit reductions by paying back their outstanding advances prior to the November 10 deadline, California, New York, and the Virgin Islands were unable to do so, resulting in credit reductions. Both California and New York will receive a 0.6% credit reduction due to their failure to repay their advance prior to November 10, 2023 in addition to previous outstanding balances on January 1 from 2021 through 2023. The Virgin Islands, however, applied for a waiver of the fifth year (BCR) add on and was deemed eligible. Therefore, the territory will have a 3.9% credit reduction.

IDAHO – 2024 Unemployment Tax Rates Increase
Beginning January 1, 2024, tax rates in Idaho will range from 0.352% to 5.4% with an increase for all brackets with the exception of the highest deficit class (6). This shift in tax brackets creates an average tax increase of 70% per employee earning the wage limit of $49,900. The standard, or new employer, rate will be 1.231% as compared to 1.000% in 2023. All rates include the UI Rate, Admin Rate, and Workforce Rate.

INDIANA – Claimant Eligibility Requirement Update
As part of continuing eligibility, claimants are required to meet a series of requirements for each week in which they claim benefits, including registering with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), remaining able and available to work, and searching, reporting, and accepting available work. While a claimant is made aware of these requirements during filing, a recent policy update from the Indiana DWD removes the written warning to the claimant notifying them of their failure to meet these requirements before denying benefits.

MONTANA – 2024 Taxable Wage Base Increase
In 2024, the taxable wage base in Montana will increase to $43,000, up 6.2% as compared to $40,500 in 2023.

NORTH CAROLINA – Account Number Format Change
With the rollout of the new North Carolina State Unemployment Insurance Tax System (NCSUITS), the state has announced a change in formatting for employer SUI numbers. Previously, employers used the formats 12-34-567 or 12-34-567 8. With the new system, account numbers will now use the first seven digits of the legacy account number, drop the last digit (check digit), if applicable, and add three leading zeros. An updated account number in NCSUITS will be 0001234567.

UTAH – 2024 Taxable Wage Base Increase, Tax Rates Remain Unchanged
In 2024, the taxable wage base in Utah will increase to $47,000, up 4.9% as compared to $44,800 in 2023. Additionally, the state announced that their tax rates will remain the same for the year, ranging from 0.3% through 7.3%. Employers who have outstanding contributions for the fiscal year ending June 30th may be assessed any additional delinquent payment surcharge of 1.0% in addition to their calculated tax rate.

Darby Gibson

Author Darby Gibson

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