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How to answer unemployment claim questions

It’s Essential for Employers to Respond to Unemployment Insurance Claims

Unemployment Insurance Claims

The UI process is complicated for all parties involved. Although states have recently published detailed handbooks on how to proceed, employers are often unaware of the implications they’ll face if they don’t respond to unemployment insurance claims.

When employees are fired or terminated for any reason, if they should apply for unemployment benefits, the employer must respond to the claim. A formal notice is mailed to the employer or its registered third party administrator when a claim for UI benefits is filed.

This report provides general information about the claim, including the reasons the claimant states they are no longer working. This report is the first opportunity for employers to respond and provide eligibility information. It’s necessary for the employer to respond in writing within 10 days of the mail date at the top of the UI notice about the claim.

Even if there’s a chance the ex-employee will ultimately be disqualified from receiving benefits, it’s essential that the employer still responds to unemployment insurance claims in a timely manner.

Here are three main reasons why an employer should be sure they respond to unemployment insurance claims:

  • The employer’s state unemployment tax rate is directly affected by the number of ex-employees who have collected unemployment after leaving their business.
  • Responding promptly to unemployment insurance claims may eventually discourage a lawsuit from happening. If there’s any chance that an employer gets hit with a discrimination or wrongful discharge lawsuit, the employer may increase their chances of winning the UI compensation hearing by responding to the claim.
  • If a claim is not responded to timely, the employer may not a get a credit for any benefits that are ultimately determined to have not been properly paid.

Consequences of No Response

Not responding promptly to an unemployment insurance claim can directly affect an employer’s tax rate.

All UI benefits are financed through federal and state unemployment taxes which are paid by employers. Every state is different, but generally, they all base the employer’s tax rate on the amount of benefits paid to former workers.

If a business fires or lays off workers only when absolutely necessary, uses the proper procedures to do it, and routinely contests unemployment benefit claims, they can lower their unemployment tax rate.

On the contrary, if an employer ignores these claims, they may find their unemployment taxes eating into their bottom line. If the employer does not respond or responds too late, the worker could automatically get UI benefits, in most states.

Get Help Managing the UI Process

There are smart ways employers can simplify managing the UI process. There are companies who specialize in management of UI claims for employers. From the beginning of a UI claim through the entire hearing and appeal process, these experts can ensure responses and forms are completed on time.

How to answer unemployment claim questions

Although many applications for unemployment benefits are approved without issue, others are denied or have raised red flags that must be investigated. If a state unemployment agency has questions about an applicant’s eligibility for benefits or an employer has challenged the unemployment claim, then, usually the applicant will be scheduled for a phone interview or hearing. Although this process can induce anxiety, if an applicant prepares ahead of time, that can help the applicant establish that he is eligible for benefits.

Unemployment Eligibility Standards

Many challenges to unemployment applications are related to why a worker is no longer employed. For the worker to be eligible for unemployment benefits, that worker must be unemployed through no fault of her own. Typically, this means that the worker has been laid off because of a work shortage, position elimination, department consolidation, or because the employer has gone out of business. Employees who voluntarily quit their jobs or who were discharged for misconduct, usually do not qualify for benefits.

However, state and federal laws allow for flexibility in interpreting these guidelines. For example, if someone voluntarily quits a job because he is being subjected to bullying and harassment, he may be able to qualify for benefits. In some states, a person who quits because of domestic violence issues or because she needs to care for a family member may be eligible for unemployment compensation.

Similar flexibility can be extended to workers who have been fired from their jobs because of performance issues. In some states, being fired is disqualifying only if the employer can show that the worker engaged in serious misconduct such as theft, violent behavior, drug use on the job or engaged in repeated and flagrant violation of company rules. Usually, simple incompetence isn’t grounds for denying somebody unemployment compensation.

Reasons for Quitting

If you quit your job, you can expect the unemployment office to look into your reasons for doing so. The policy from your state unemployment agency dictates whether or not your reasons for leaving meet the standards of involuntary unemployment. In some states, you may be required to prove that your work conditions were intolerable to qualify for benefits. In other states, a serious family problem, such as a child with a deadly illness who needs your care may be considered sufficient justification for approving your claim.

Once you’ve determined that your reasons for quitting meet your state’s standard, be prepared to provide proof of your situation. This might include medical records, doctor’s notes or evidence of harassment or discrimination. Find out what you need to do to send documents regarding your case to the interviewer for review during your conversation.

Example:

Interviewer: It says here that you quit your job. Why did you leave a secure job when you didn’t have another job lined up?

You: I left because my 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer and we could not afford to hire full-time care for her. I’ve sent you her medical records and a statement from her physician explaining the seriousness of her condition.

Questions About Getting Fired

If you are fired from your job, the unemployment agency will examine whether you were terminated because of misconduct or because of other factors. These other factors may include poor performance or not having the necessary skills to adequately perform the job. In many states, misconduct is defined narrowly, and is restricted to egregious behavior such as theft, violence in the workplace, flagrant disregard of safety policies or repeated violation of workplace rules over time.

If your discharge was because of an accusation of misconduct, you might need to answer a series of questions about the incident or incidences. The interviewer needs to ask these questions to determine whether or not your behavior meets the threshold of misconduct, or whether your dismissal was because of a performance issue that was mostly out of your control.

Examples:

Interviewer: Why were you fired from your job?

You: I was promoted to the sales job six months ago. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I was never able to meet the monthly goals. Although I had hoped to be able to return to my previous position — which did not involve sales — that department had reductions and no openings were available for me.

What Not to Say in an Unemployment Interview

There are certain things that you should probably not say or do during an employment interview if you are hoping to impress the interviewer and have your claim approved:

How to answer unemployment claim questions

When you file for unemployment benefits, you may be required to participate in a phone or in-person interview with your state department of labor. Usually, these interviews are conducted to gather more information about your eligibility for unemployment benefits, or to investigate discrepancies between your version of events and your former employer’s. You can expect to be asked questions related to the reasons for your termination and the information that you submitted on your application for benefits, as well as your efforts to find a new job.

Preparing for Your Interview

In many cases, the letter or email you receive from the unemployment division will inform you of the reasons for the interview. If the interview is because they need to clarify information on your application, it’s likely that the initial letter will outline the information required. For instance, the interviewer may have questions about why you waited to file for unemployment after leaving a job. The questions may also be related to clerical errors, such as leaving off a date or other incorrect details. Other questions to expect may have to do with the time leading up to your dismissal, such as: “What actions did you take to resolve problems?” “Did you receive any warnings?” “What specifically led to your termination?”

For this reason, make a copy of your unemployment application for your records so that you can refer to the document you submitted as you answer the questions. Before your interview, you might want to jot down some notes about your employment history, including the names of employers, dates of employment, actions you took to avoid being fired, what led up to the firing. That way, when the interviewer asks questions, you won’t be flustered or inadvertently provide inaccurate information.

Answering the Questions

When you are scheduled for an interview based on a discrepancy between your application and your former employer’s statement, the questions may be more detailed. You may be asked to share the reason you were given for being fired, for instance, or why you are no longer employed. The most important thing to remember when answering these questions is to answer only the question that is asked, and avoid offering additional or excessive details. The interviewer is not looking for your side of the story or for you to explain why your employer was wrong to fire you. A question like, “What was the reason the employer gave you for your termination?” requires a simple answer, such as “I was told that I was insubordinate,” or “My boss said that my performance was not acceptable.” Avoid the temptation to provide any more details, because they could have a negative effect on your case.

Other Possible Questions

In some cases, an unemployment interview may be focused on your efforts to find work or why you have not accepted any work since your benefits began. Again, keep good records about your efforts to find work, and when asked, give concise answers that answer only the question that’s been asked. This is especially important when answering questions about why you refused work. If the employment division finds that you refused work that they deem “suitable,” you could lose your unemployment benefits. Therefore, if you did refuse employment, be prepared to explain why it was not suitable.

Answer Honestly

When answering any of the unemployment interviewer’s questions, be honest. Do not lie or exaggerate your claims. Again, answer only the specific questions you are asked. Offering additional information, even when you have evidence to support your assertion, can work against you. Doing so could lead the interviewer to think you are lying or being evasive, which may trigger further investigation.

How to answer unemployment claim questionsAn unemployment phone interview may be conducted after you apply for unemployment insurance, but it is not always necessary.

Unemployment agencies schedule interviews for a variety of reasons.

Most of the time, an interview will be used to verify the details about your unemployment, such as the dates of your employment ending or the circumstances surrounding your job loss.

An unemployment interview may seem intimidating, but it is often an essential part of the process to apply for benefits.

It is important to keep in mind that both you and your employer will be expected to participate in the fact-finding process in order to help the unemployment agency make the correct decision.

As a claimant, failing to complete the interview may result in a delay or denial of your benefits.

On the other hand, if your employer does not initially participate in the process, its account may be charged if it chooses to appeal the unemployment agency’s decision to award benefits to you.

Therefore, the fact-finding interview is equally important for both you and your employer.

Below, learn about the questions asked during unemployment interview sessions and find out what the process entails.

When is an unemployment benefit interview required?

The policies for unemployment interviews are different in every state, as each unemployment agency has its own rules and regulations.

In general, interviews are held whenever the agency wants to resolve any issues relating to your eligibility for benefits. At the same time, an employer may initiate the interview process by protesting your claim for unemployment insurance.

If there are no questions as to your eligibility, you may not need to undergo an interview.

However, interviews are common enough that you may wish to prepare for one even if you do not need to undergo the process.

Failing to complete your interview or answer the questions satisfactorily may result in your benefits being denied even if you believe you qualify based on the circumstances of your job loss.

When required, an unemployment fact-finding interview will usually be scheduled in advance so that you have time to prepare.

For example, if you are in California, the Economic Development Department (EDD) will notify you and your employer of your interview obligations through the mail.

An EDD phone interview determination will then be made after the interview is complete.

How are unemployment interviews conducted?

When required, an unemployment interview will almost always be conducted over the phone. However, some states will send a questionnaire through the mail that you must return by a certain deadline.

Agencies may also request that you appear at the office for an in-person interview in some cases. At any rate, you should always follow the instructions provided by your state employment agency if you are required to attend an interview.

Do not assume that you need to provide an additional explanation of your situation unless requested.

You cannot help your chances of getting benefits by offering an unsolicited explanation to the state unemployment office, as not all staff members are qualified to make determinations in the first place.

Overall, unemployment phone interviews will happen on the agency’s terms and you will not have to answer additional questions unless you are prompted to do so.

Questions Asked During an Unemployment Interview

The unemployment phone interview questions will be different depending on the circumstances of your job loss.

For example, the unemployment agency will need to verify different information based on whether you were fired, lost your job due to a contract ending, were laid off or quit voluntarily.

Questions you may be asked include the following:

  • Did you or your employer move first to sever the working relationship?
  • Why do you believe you were discharged from your job?
  • If you quit your job for health-related reasons, was the decision based on a physician’s advice?
  • Are you on a mandatory leave of absence?
  • Did you face discriminatory actions at work?
  • Were your wages or hours reduced or cut?

Note that the questions listed above are by no means all-inclusive. Most state unemployment offices publish a guide that provides specific information about filing for benefits.

It is in your best interest to research the questions asked during unemployment interview sessions in your own state before being questioned.

Overall, the questions will provide you and your employer a chance to explain both sides of the issue.

How to Prepare for Unemployment Interviews

Getting ready for an unemployment phone interview is important because the outcome can determine whether or not you qualify for benefits.

The unemployment office in your state will usually provide interview instructions when sending you a notification of your obligations.

You may even receive a list of questions ahead of time that you should prepare answers for. Most of the time, your unemployment interview will be scheduled for you.

In these cases, it is important that you are available at the scheduled time.

Completing the unemployment interview, when required, it a crucial part of obtaining benefits. If you are unavailable for some reason, it is important that you get in touch with the unemployment agency immediately.

Contact information should be provided on your interview notice. If neither you nor your employer responds to the interview request, note that the unemployment agency will simply make a determination based solely on the facts at hand.

When will I receive an unemployment interview determination?

After an unemployment interview is complete, you will have to wait for the unemployment office to make a determination.

The processing times can vary from one state to the next, so it is necessary to contact your unemployment agency to learn exactly when you can expect to receive a response.

It is common for determinations to be made within a week, but the decision may take longer if the agency has to confirm information from your claim with a third party.

If you disagree with the unemployment interview determination, you can complete the process to file an appeal with your state’s unemployment office.

An appeal will usually need to be filed within a short time period (oftentimes 10 days or less) in order to be considered.

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Department of Labor & Workforce Development

NJ Labor Department Clarifies Unemployment Certifying Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TRENTON – With more than 600,000 people now collecting unemployment in New Jersey, the Department of Labor is helping claimants through the process of certifying for weekly benefits so they receive payment without delay.

The US Labor Department requires unemployment recipients to certify for benefits each week. In New Jersey, that means answering seven questions and attesting to the truthfulness of the answers.

But, the certification questions have proven an obstacle for tens of thousands of filers per week because of their work situation. For example, a worker who expects to be recalled to their job after COVID-19 should nonetheless answer “yes” to the question, Were you actively seeking work?

Answering the certifying questions incorrectly will delay payment of benefits.

That’s why the Labor Department has created a how-to guide to walk claimants through the questions. The how-to guide pops up whenever claimants certify for weekly benefits online, and requires them to check a box verifying that they have read the guide. It is also available on the Department’s website.

The department urges everyone to read the guide before certifying for benefits.

“We are doing everything we can to put the best, most useful information out there and urge everyone to read it before they certify,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “This is the process we are required to follow to protect claimants, protect our trust fund’s solvency and protect New Jersey businesses. It’s heartbreaking to hear stories of a single mom or a furloughed dad whose family sustaining payments were held up. It’s even worse when tens of thousands have it held up because of an avoidable, unintentional certification mistake. ”

Answering a question incorrectly will result in a “claim not payable at this time” error message. Unfortunately, there are no do-overs because the answers to these questions may affect benefit eligibility. Agents review the errors, pay the claims that can be paid and contact those from whom additional information is required. But because the number of weekly certifiers is in the hundreds of thousands, correcting the error could take two weeks.

Claimants receive an email when their payment is issued.

The certification questions and interpretations are as follows:

Question 1 – Were you able and available for work?

The answer to this question should be YES if:

  1. You were physically able to do your work before you lost your job (and you lost your job/hours due to your own coronavirus illness, your need to care for a family/household member with coronavirus, or your employment situation changed because of coronavirus public health emergency); OR
  2. You are out of work temporarily due to an employer-closure related to the coronavirus and expect to return to your job; OR
  3. You are able and available for work.

Question 2 – Were you actively seeking work?

If you are waiting to be recalled to your present job, or delaying your job search until this natural emergency ends or subsides, you should answer YES.

Question 3 – Did you refuse any work?

If you refused an offer of work due to concerns related to the travel/stay-at-home restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, or because you were ill with coronavirus, or because you wouldn’t be able to care for a coronavirus-affected family member, or care for a dependent whose place of care or school is closed because of coronavirus, you should answer NO.

Question 4 – Were you attending school or job training?

If you are a student and just filed this unemployment claim as a result of the coronavirus emergency, and the Division of Unemployment Insurance has not reviewed your school status, please answer NO to this question (even if you are attending school online) at this time.

If you are a student who filed an Unemployment Insurance claim prior to this emergency, and have already provided the department with your school information, and your school is currently closed due to the coronavirus, please answer this question in the same manner (Yes or No) you would have prior to the school closing.

Question 5 – Did you receive holiday or vacation pay for the week beginning mm-dd-2020 and ending mm-dd-2020?

If your separation is temporary and was caused by the coronavirus emergency, please answer NO to this question. However, if you receive any type of wage while you are not working, answer YES TO QUESTION #7 (see below) AND REPORT THE AMOUNT THERE.

Question 6 – Are you receiving or have you applied for a pension or other retirement pay from any of the employers listed below?

You should answer “YES” only if you are currently receiving pension or other retirement benefit payments from one of the employers listed below. If you are currently paying into a pension or other retirement plan but you are not receiving payments, you should answer “NO.” If you are receiving pension payments from an employer who is not listed you should also answer “NO.”

Question 7 – Did you work between mm-dd-2020 and mm-dd-2020?

If you did any work between the designated dates, answer YES and report what you earned. If you know you will not have work the following week, immediately (no later than Saturday of the week in which you are claiming) follow steps to REOPEN/REASSERT THE CLAIM. If you received holiday/vacation/sick pay from your employer during this week, report that information here.

As of April 24, more than 622,000 people were collecting unemployment in New Jersey, which means they are receiving both their regular unemployment payment plus the additional $600 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payment as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. More than $1.5 billion in payments and rising has been distributed to workers who have been laid off, furloughed or had their hours reduced.

Though the Labor Department recognizes the frustration of anyone who is not yet receiving benefits, the Department has maintained a 6-day median from the time a claim is filed online until it hits the payment database. From there, approximately 93 percent are starting to receive benefits within 2 weeks.

How to answer unemployment claim questions

After you have applied for unemployment benefits, you may get a request for an interview phone call from someone at your state’s unemployment development department. Common reasons for the call are either that there was something on your application that is ambiguous or unclear or that your account of the circumstances of your leaving your job conflict with your employer’s account. Following some basic testimony practices can help you pass the interview and get your benefits.

Should You Panic?

Not really, although not getting the call is preferred. If your account of why your job ended is truthful, you are in good shape. EDD councilors know that there is an economic benefit to the employer if you either quit for no reason or were fired for cause. In both instances, this makes you ineligible for benefits, which also means your former employer’s unemployment compensation insurance rate will not go up. If you are worried that the EDD councilor is calling because she is suspicious of your account, know that she is likely at least as suspicious of your employer’s account and in most cases will successfully separate fact from fiction.

How to Prepare for the Call

If the EDD wants to interview you, they will mail you a notice of the interview, giving the date and a two-hour window for the time of the call. Be sure to be available and not distracted.

The day before the call, sit down and review your application, making succinct notes about times and relevant dates. Often on the back of the interview notice, there will be a list of questions they may ask you. Review these beforehand and make summaries of your proposed answers. Go over these notes again an hour before your call.

How to Conduct the Call

Your role in the call is similar to the role of a witness giving testimony at trial. The interviewer will lead the call with his questions. Much of the good advice given to prospective witnesses applies to your situation:

Answer the question as briefly as possible. There are a couple of good reasons for keeping your answers short. First, your interviewer’s time on the call is limited; if you ramble on you are making it tough for her to keep on schedule, which is irritating. Obviously, you do not want to irritate someone who may be deciding your benefit eligibility. Second, when you begin elaborating on your answers, you are “opening the door,” – an informal legal term meaning once you have put any new information out there, your EDD interviewer has a right to follow it up. Sometimes this new information may work in your favor. More often, it won’t have any effect at all and may make you appear defensive. This could lead the interviewer to conclude based on the new information that you are ineligible.

Be polite. This seems obvious, but anyone who has ever spent time in a state unemployment office knows that clients are often loud, angry and rude. Remember that your interviewer does this about 40-hours a week. After being yelled at for a few hours, your interviewer will respond favorably to a polite applicant.

Don’t try to game the system. An employer may have put a little spin on your departure. For example, if you were discharged because there was no work, a dishonest employer may try to convince the interviewer that you were insubordinate or just not very good at your job. The temptation is to respond with a countering spin. Don’t! EDD interviewers can spot a self-serving employer’s account a mile off – they have heard it many times before. Equally, they will catch self-serving embellishments in your account. If you don’t try to game the system and your employer does, that’s in your favor and helps your case.

What to Do After the Call

Immediately after the call, while it’s fresh in your mind, write down a summary of the conversation. Alternatively, although you are not allowed to record someone’s call without their permission, you are free to record what you have said.

Here is why this can be important: If the interviewer concludes you are ineligible for benefits, you have a right of appeal. At your appeal hearing, the judge will likely ask you to give an oral account of your position and of the circumstances that in your view substantiate and justify your eligibility. The same judge will also have notes taken by the phone interviewer. The last thing you want to do is give an account at the appeal hearing that conflicts with what you said during the phone interview. Having good notes on the call that you can review afterward and especially before your appeals hearing gives you a decided advantage.

10 Unemployment Benefits Claims Taker Interview Questions

How do you handle stress and pressure?

Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor?

Are you able to cope with stressful situations?

Have you ever been overloaded with work?

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

What decisions are easiest for you to make? What are the most difficult?

What kind of supervisor gets the best work performance from you?

Tell me about your most successful leadership experience.

What do you feel is an acceptable work attendance record?

What is your philosophy towards work?

About This Page

Our Update History for Unemployment Benefits Claims Taker

Interview questions were first added on August 18th, 2017

Dates shown above are approximate. Our date tracking prior to 2019 was not accurately kept. Therefore, any date prior to 2019 might not be accurate. Answer dates might appear two to three weeks before they were published.

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Disclaimer

Our interview questions and answers are created by experienced recruiters and interviewers. These questions and answers do not represent any organization, school, or company on our site. Interview questions and answer examples and any other content may be used else where on the site. We do not claim our questions will be asked in any interview you may have. Our goal is to create interview questions and answers that will best prepare you for your interview, and that means we do not want you to memorize our answers. You must create your own answers, and be prepared for any interview question in any interview.

How to answer unemployment claim questions

BOISE, Idaho — We’re now officially more than a year into a global pandemic, and the state of Idaho has begun to rebound from the effects–but according to the Idaho Department of Labor, there are still Idahoans struggling with unemployment caused by COVID-19.

According to the latest report from the department, Idaho’s unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in January–much lower than the historic high in April 2020, which was 11.6 percent.

Our newsroom at Idaho News 6 has gotten several calls from people saying they’ve seen an increase in their benefits being denied, so we spoke with Director Janie Revier to get some answers.

Key Legislation

Before we get into unemployment, Revier explains we first need to know how those benefits are funded. Up until March 14, 2021, current COVID-19 assistance was funded through a law called the Continued Assistance Act.

The Continued Assistance Act essentially worked as an extension, allowing funding and COVID-19 assistance that was provided through the CARES Act of 2020 to continue. However, the Continued Assistance act came with some changes.

Revier says the Continued Assistance Act extended COVID-19 assistance benefits, but it also came with changes for eligibility requirements.

“The biggest one is a requirement for additional documentation to be eligible for pandemic unemployment assistance,” Revier explained. “We’re doing our best to administer the benefits, and it’s important to remember not everyone is eligible.”

It’s those changes the Department of Labor says might be impacting your claim.

So, we reach the big question: how do you know if you’re eligible for unemployment benefits? There are several factors to consider.

What are Idaho’s unemployment monetary requirements?

  • You must have sufficient earnings in the base period
  • You must have worked and been paid wages for employment in at least two of the quarters in the base period
    • AND have been paid at least $1,872 in wages in one of those quarters
    • AND the total wages paid in your base period must equal one and a quarter times your highest quarter wages

    What are some of the reasons I could be denied benefits?

    According to the Department of Labor, you have to do certain things each week to receive benefits.

    “You must be ready, willing and able to take any offer of suitable work,” the website states.

    To be eligible, the Department of Labor lists these requirements on their website:

    • ABLE TO WORK: You must be physically able to work full time.
      • Communicate with the department if you cannot work because of illness, injury or some other physical or mental condition.
      • Most health problems will not affect your claim as long as you are looking for the type of full-time work you can do.
      • You may be disqualified if you have to refuse work due to illness.
      • You cannot place unrealistic personal restrictions on such things as the hours you will work, the pay you will accept, locations you prefer to work and jobs you will take.
      • You must be willing and able to accept both full-time and part-time work in jobs you can do during all the usual hours and days these jobs are done. Limiting shifts, days, or distance you will travel to work can make you ineligible.
      • Availability for work is very important. For example, you must have child care arranged, a way to get to work, and no other personal commitments that prevent you from accepting a job.
      • This applies even if you are working part-time. You must be willing to accept part-time work while waiting for full-time work to become available.
        • Actively seeking work means you must personally contact employers who hire people with your job skills.
        • If your reason for separation is other than lack of work, a written determination regarding your eligibility will be issued to you.

        When you applied for unemployment, did you indicate you would be returning to work ? If so, you were not required to seek work. If you are no longer returning to work within 16 weeks of your application date, call us at (208) 332-8942 to correct your work search requirements.

        — Idaho Jobs (@IdahoJob) March 16, 2021

        “If you’re not employer attached then you are work seeking and you need to look for work and submit two different work seeking events each week,” Revier explained.

        Unemployment Fraud on the rise

        According to the department, Idaho is one of several states that’s seen an increase in scammers filing fraudulent unemployment claims.

        Revier explains scammers will steal someone’s identity and file for benefits under their name. In order to prevent this, the department has partnered with ID.Me. Anyone applying for benefits must first verify their identity through the online system.

        If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, the Idaho Department of Labor has a specific email account dedicated to fraud questions.

        Funding from the Continued Assistance Act has been used up as of March 14. Now, benefits will be funded by the recently signed American Rescue Plan. Revier says so far, the eligibility requirements won’t change much between the two.

        “As of yet, what we’ve seen with the American Rescue Plan Act, we have not seen significant changes from the changes that were made to the cares act with the Continued Assistance Act,” explained Revier.

        For more resources, and answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

        As record numbers of New Jerseyans apply for unemployment benefits during the coronavirus crisis, many are having trouble getting through.

        They’re frustrated. Exasperated. Pull-out-your-hair and throw-something-at-the-wall exasperated.

        They don’t know what to do.

        NJ Advance Media has been bringing you the most recent updates on what’s happening with unemployment benefits in the wake of coronavirus.

        We know that unemployment recipients should start to see their extra $600 per week benefit this week.

        We also know that gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors will have to wait for the state to get additional federal guidance. But they’re encouraged to apply and expect a denial because that will be the first step in the process.

        Readers have had other questions and complaints about filing for benefits.

        Here are the Department of Labor’s answers to some of your pressing unemployment concerns.

        (The agency said it’s working hard to help everyone and it asks for your patience. Also remember that benefits will be retroactive. While no one wants to wait, you can be sure you will get all the benefits for which you’re eligible, DOL said.)

        Q: I don’t know my PIN/I need to reset my PIN. What do I do?

        A: DOL says when you first certify for benefits, you will choose a four-digit personal identification number (PIN). Write down your PIN and keep it in a safe place. Your PIN is good for one year. If you forget your PIN, you will need to call to ask a representative to reset your PIN.

        Q: I filed my claim and now unemployment told me to call. When I call, a recording tells me they are not taking any more calls and to call back the next business day. But the same thing happens the next day. What can I do?

        A: This is a commonly reported problem.

        “New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance system is experiencing record levels of demand due to coronavirus and all in-person services statewide are currently closed due to COVID-19,” DOL said. “Some people cannot get through online or on the phone. We understand your anxiety and frustration, and we apologize. We’re working diligently to serve all our customers and ask for your patience. Please keep trying. We’re committed to ensuring that everyone receives their benefits during this crisis. You will not lose a day’s benefits as all claims will be backdated to your first day of employment loss.”

        Q: I was told to call unemployment but I can’t get through. So I tried to email [email protected], and none of my emails have been answered. What can I do?

        A: As DOL said above, unemployment representatives are working hard to answer everyone’s questions. Keep trying and be patient.

        Q: I filed weeks ago and it still says my claim is pending, and I can’t get through on the phone. What can I do?

        A: Same as above. Keep trying.

        Q: I know I have to certify my unemployment but I haven’t gotten any instructions on how to do that. What do I do?

        A: After submitting an application, you will receive a confirmation number at the end of your application. Record the confirmation number.

        You are then supposed to receive an email with instructions on how and when to claim benefits.

        If you don’t receive an email, you must phone a call center.

        “With so many people filing for Unemployment for the first time, some folks have questions about the procedure for telling the State that you remain under- or unemployed, also known as `certifying for weekly benefits,’” DOL said “Please visit myunemployment.nj.gov and read our guide and schedule for certifying.”

        DOL said because of high volume, it is taking steps to ensure the stability of its online application. Each week you certify, click this link to review the Social Security Number-based schedule to claim weekly benefits. Regardless of the time you claim your benefit, your request for payment will be processed overnight, it said.

        Q: What is a monetary call and why do I need one?

        A: If there is any question about the amount of benefits you are entitled to receive, you will need to have a phone interview with a monetary representative.

        “The representative will call you at the scheduled time. While every attempt will be made to call you on time, delays can occur. You must be available for two hours after the scheduled time,” DOL said.

        For the interview, you should have proof of employment such as pay stubs and W-2 forms for the last 18 months. The DOL may also contact your former employers to request wage and separation information.

        After the interview, you will receive a determination explaining what benefits you are entitled to receive.

        Q: I had a monetary call scheduled but no one ever called me and I can’t get through. What can I do?

        A: DOL said it will make every attempt to call you on time, but there could be delays.

        Q: I was on unemployment before this all started. Do I need to reapply to get the extra 13 weeks of benefits?

        A: Under the CARES Act, you are likely eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits provided by Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. You should receive more information by email or regular mail. You don’t have to take any action at this time, DOL said.

        Q: I was denied benefits because I don’t have enough credits. What next?

        A: While you may not qualify for regular benefits, you are probably eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. These benefits can be paid retroactively for periods of unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020.

        Q: I’ve already exhausted my unemployment benefits. Am I eligible under the CARES Act?

        A: You are probably eligible for an additional 13 weeks under Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. DOL is still waiting for additional guidance from the federal government before it can process these benefits.

        Q: I was furloughed. Can I get unemployment benefits?

        A: You are probably eligible for Unemployment Insurance. You should apply.

        Q: I was approved for benefits and they said how much my check would be. When I try to certify, it says the claim is not payable at this time. What can I do?

        A: Because each person’s case is different, continue to call and email the agency.

        Q: I was denied but my business shut down and I was a regular employee. How do I appeal?

        The State of NJ site may contain optional links, information, services and/or content from other websites operated by third parties that are provided as a convenience, such as Google™ Translate. Google™ Translate is an online service for which the user pays nothing to obtain a purported language translation. The user is on notice that neither the State of NJ site nor its operators review any of the services, information and/or content from anything that may be linked to the State of NJ site for any reason. –Read Full Disclaimer

        Division of Unemployment Insurance

        Answers to common questions about existing claims

        How to answer unemployment claim questions

        Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get from claimants.

        If you need more help, visit the pages linked from the “Additional information and resources” section.

        1. My benefit year is ending. What should I do next?

        It’s not a glitch, so do not open a new claim.

        Here’s how it works:

        WE REVIEW YOUR CLAIM. Your unemployment claim remains valid for one year from the date it is filed, unless you exhaust benefits sooner. Federal law requires a review for new wages after one year.*

        IF YOU EARNED SUFFICIENT WAGES: If you earned at least $220/week for 20 or more weeks,or $11,000 total, during the base year, which is the first four of the prior five quarters before you filed your claim, a new claim will be filed on your behalf.

        IF YOU DID NOT EARN SUFFICIENT WAGES: If you did not work during the base year, or your earnings did not meet the threshold, you will continue collecting benefits on your existing claim (as long as extended benefits remain available).

        BENEFITS CONTINUE: Continue to certify for weekly benefits according to the latest schedule.

        *Please be aware some claims will require manual review before processing.

        Click the image below for a full-size PDF of the information above:

        2. What does it mean if my claim is pending, or not payable at this time?

        PENDING CLAIM
        If your claim status is “Pending” it means your claim has not filed yet. Keep checking daily until it changes to “Filed.” For claims that, per federal law, require agent intervention (a live claims examiner must process it instead of the computer system), this could take up to four weeks or longer due to the unprecedented volume of filings. NJDOL is currently processing agent intervention claims that were filed about one month ago. Claims that don’t require agent intervention per federal law are processed more quickly.

        CLAIM NOT PAYABLE AT THIS TIME – CONTACT THE REGIONAL CALL CENTER
        This could mean one of a few things:

        • Per federal law, we need more information to process your claim, or
        • You did not properly certify for weekly benefits, or
        • You have a federally-mandated scheduled “monetary” or “non-monetary” appointment to determine your eligibility. You do not need to contact the call center. You will receive more instructions (via email or mail) if we need to contact you to resolve these issues. If you have a telephone appointment scheduled, be sure to answer blocked or “unknown” calls, and answer the call when contacted, or the processing of your claim may be delayed further.
        3. What if I see a message to contact the call center or speak to an agent?

        Please check your claim status daily. While we review the details of your unemployment application, we have completed system updates that will allow many claims to be considered valid under the CARES Act. If you receive an email from e-Adjudication, you still must respond with the requested information.

        If you have filed and received communication from “e-Adjudication” it means that, per federal law, we must collect additional information to determine your eligibility. Unfortunately, this process can take up to four weeks or longer, due to extremely high volume. In addition, if you have a “monetary” appointment scheduled with an unemployment staff person to clear up an issue with your claim, per federal law that appointment must be completed before your claim can be paid. Please note that the system automatically schedules appointments and some are initially dated for August or beyond, but these are being moved up so that you can receive help as soon as possible. If your appointment is being moved up, you will receive a notice. In general, if over a month has passed since you last received communication about your claim, then you should attempt to reach NJDOL over the phone.

        If you received an error message during your weekly certification, you likely answered a question incorrectly which, per federal law, has suspended the claim and your ability to collect benefits. The process to resolve this can take up to four weeks. Please continue to try to certify weekly. If over four weeks has passed since you received a communication from NJDOL regarding this, then you should attempt to reach NJDOL over the phone.

        4. My claim shows $0 in the WBR (weekly benefit rate) amount.

        If your claim status is “Filed,” with a zero ($0) amount in the Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR), we are still reviewing your claim. Some people with a $0 balance, such as those who are self-employed, per federal law, will receive benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Please check your email regularly for more information about what we may need to determine your eligibility for benefits.

        5. How can I reset my PIN or password?

        In order to reset your PIN for certifying for benefits, you will need to have your Claimant Identification No. (Claimant ID) available. Your Claimant ID can be found on notices you have already received from the Division, including “Unemployment Insurance Instructions & Appointment Notice” or “Unemployment Insurance Appointment Notice.”

        DETROIT – Are you still having issues with unemployment in Michigan?

        Help Me Hank held a live Q&A with a director from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency on Friday on the Local 4 Facebook page.

        Steve Gray, director of the UIA, said technical issues have been resolved, but some are still getting locked out of their accounts. “There’s a little form that will be presented that you can fill out, and we’ve got a team dedicated to those issues,” Gary said.

        The Help Me Hank team has been answering common unemployment questions for weeks, but many are still reporting issues filing or receiving payment.

        “We’ve quadrupled the amount of [staff], and we’ve put them either on the phones or to address the technical issues,” Gray said. “Even with that, the majority of people who are calling us are going to get a busy signal.”

        Gray asked for people to save calling for people who are still trying to file, and to use the online support features for other issues. Gray said more than 1 million have received payments.

        Here are some of the questions we asked Steve Gary, UIA director:

        I was approved. Why haven’t I been paid yet?

        “If you haven’t been paid yet, and you’ve done everything you need to do, we’re working to get you paid,” Gray said. “Just keep checking the website to see if we’ve whether or not we’ve been able to get through it.”

        Gray said the UIA team is working around the clock to address claims.

        Gray said your best option is to send a web message though the system, but he said it takes days to get through those messages.

        “We’re gonna get you paid, but unfortunately, there’s nothing they can do at this point to make it go faster.”

        What does “additional claim required” mean?

        There can be several circumstances which your claim will close. If you later need to resume filing for unemployment benefits, you cannot just continue to certify, you have to reopen your claim (file an additional claim).

        Check under your “view all claims” or “determinations” tab in your MiWAM account for an alert.

        Some examples of why a claim will stop: If a claimant is in certification status and then stops because they have returned to work; if they have several waived weeks in a row; if they have weeks in which their earnings are in excess of 1.5 times their weekly benefit amount.

        If the issue continues after your next certification, contact UIA by sending a message through your MiWAM account or by calling 866-500-0017.

        How long will it take to receive my unemployment money?

        It all depends, but typically, it will take between 17 and 21 days before you see a payment.

        If UIA needs to do further investigation, the process could be delayed. That’s why it’s essential to double check everything you submit for accuracy.

        Can I work part-time while collecting unemployment?

        Yes, but your gross wages cannot exceed 1.5 times the weekly benefit if you still want to collect unemployment.

        What if I filed for unemployment but haven’t heard a response?

        Be patient. That might not be what you want to hear, but sometimes no news is good news.

        Remember, it can take around three weeks before the money will be deposited. If UIA needs more information from you, you will be contacted.

        What does “open non-monetary issue” mean?

        Typically, a non-monetary issue means that the claimant certification was accepted but is not yet payable because there’s an issue that needs to be reviewed first. When there is an issue, a situation, or condition that affects the claimant’s benefits rights, the UIA must investigate. This is called a non-monetary issue.

        For those claims with open non-monetary issues, it generally takes about two weeks from the time the issue is detected to determine whether a claimant qualifies for benefits. Because of the high volume of claims as a result of COVID-19, it could take longer. Keep in mind that this is average and that each case has its own specific set of circumstances.

        Once the review or investigation concerning your eligibility for benefits is complete, you will be notified in your MiWAM account.

        Continue to certify bi-weekly while you wait for our team to review the issues with you claim.

        How can I get through on the phones or online?

        As of Monday, UIA has heard from more than 1.3 million Michiganders looking for assistance.

        More employees were hired to take calls and the server has been beefed up. The website is still the best bet, though. Saturday traffic is slow, as is the early morning.

        If I file for unemployment insurance benefits, when will it become effective and when will I receive my first check?

        Although circumstances may vary, individuals should expect their first payment about three weeks after they file their claim. Subsequent payments are released every two weeks after the individual certifies. The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether a worker receives benefits or their benefit amount. Claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19.

        Claimants must certify (report) every two weeks that they are eligible for benefits. After the first certification (which is done during the third week of unemployment) they will receive their payment in about 7-10 days. Certification can be done using a person’s MIWAM account and/or by phone by MARVIN.

        How long does it take for an account to update after speaking with a representative?

        There is no definitive answer here. This all depends on the situation. Some issues take longer to resolve than others. Keep an eye on your MiWAM account for updates.

        What does “disqualified week” mean?

        If you are disqualified you may lose some or all of your benefits. The most common reasons have to do with the reason you were separated from your job.

        A Determination regarding your eligibility for benefits was made. To read the Notice of Determination letter in MiWAM, go to the Determination Status tab and click on the blue ‘Letter ID’ link to the left.

        To submit your protest/appeal in MiWAM, click on the blue ‘File Protest/Appeal’ link on the far right and type an explanation of the reason(s) why you disagree with the decision. To protect your rights to benefits during the protest period, please continue to certify biweekly through MiWAM online or MARVIN by phone during your scheduled certification week until you have returned to full-time work.

        Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

        To request weekly benefits, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

        To check your claim or benefit payment status (*please do not transfer to an agent while in the system-this is not staffed at this time)

        Online

        The Details of Respond to requests for information about your unemployment claim

        What you need for Respond to requests for information about your unemployment claim

        If we need more information from you, we’ll send you a questionnaire and a deadline to respond. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your benefits or your Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits could be delayed. We may request more information from you any time there is a question of eligibility with your claim.

        How to respond Respond to requests for information about your unemployment claim

        Online

        UI Online is designed to be accessed from a desktop computer or a laptop. If you log in to UI Online from a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device, you may not be able to access certain features or view time-sensitive correspondence.

        1. Log in to your UI Online account.
        2. From your UI Online homepage, go to My inbox.
        3. Select the questionnaire that needs to be completed.
        4. Complete the questionnaire by the due date.
        5. While completing the questionnaire, click the Save button frequently to make sure your information stays in our system.
        6. When you are done, click Submit. If you don’t click Submit, we won’t receive your questionnaire.

        By phone

        If you need help, an agent can fill out the information with you by phone. To fill your questionnaire out with an agent, call (617) 626-6800 and select option 2.

        By mail

        • We will mail a time-sensitive questionnaire to the address you provided on your claim
        • Complete the questionnaire
        • Return the questionnaire postmarked by the due date to:
          Department of Unemployment Assistance
          P.O. Box 9511
          Boston, MA 02114

        More info for Respond to requests for information about your unemployment claim

        Keep Your Contact Info Up to Date

        We need to be able to contact you. It is your responsibility to keep your address, phone number and email address up to date. To do this, log in to your UI Online account and update your account information, or contact a DUA agent at (877) 626-6800, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Multilingual call agents are available.

        Downloads for Respond to requests for information about your unemployment claim

        Contact for Respond to requests for information about your unemployment claim

        Department of Unemployment Assistance

        Phone

        Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

        To request weekly benefits, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

        To check your claim or benefit payment status (*please do not transfer to an agent while in the system-this is not staffed at this time)

        Although not all farm employers participate in the Maryland Unemployment Insurance program (check out this past post for farm exemption information) for those that do, it is likely that at some point a past employee will file for unemployment insurance benefits. The time frame for employers to respond to unemployment insurance claims is very tight and can get easily overlooked, especially if the notice comes in the middle of the busy growing season. As is explained below, failing to respond to an unemployment insurance notification can result in an increase in the unemployment tax. This post will outline some of the basics of the program and what employers need to know about responding to a claim. For a more detailed explanation, check out this publication.

        An initial point for employers to remember is that it is unlawful for an employer, for any reason, to require an employee to release, repay, pay into, or waive any unemployment insurance benefit rights. All unemployed workers in Maryland are entitled to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. This right to file for benefits, however, does not guarantee eligibility for benefits under Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance Law.

        After an unemployed worker applies for benefits, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) will make both a monetary and a non-monetary determination of qualification for benefits based on the worker’s reason for separation. In order to determine why the worker is no longer employed, the DLLR will send the employer a “Request for Separation Information” form. This form serves two purposes: it informs the employer that a claim has been filed, and it requests that the employer provide the reason for separation. The facts presented on the form will be used to determine eligibility for benefits. By law, employers must complete and return the “Request for Separation Information” by the due date (eight calendar days after form is generated) indicated on the form, or be assessed a $15 penalty.

        Employers have three ways to respond to the “Request for Separation Information”:

        By accessing the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) by going to DLLR website at http://www.mdunemployment.com under “Employers”;

        By mail (to the address appearing on each form); or

        Via the internet.

        If an employer fails to return the form by mail or via the internet, and the due date has passed, benefits will be paid if the worker had indicated that he/she was separated due to lack of work or temporary layoff.

        If the reason for separation given on the “Request for Separation Information Notice” or via the internet is something other than layoff or lack of work, the employer may be contacted by telephone to provide additional information when the worker’s fact finding interview is held. Employers should to respond to any telephone message and/or request for information within 48 hours, otherwise a determination will be made based on the information provided by the worker. For more information on what to expect during this call, check out page 23 of this guide.

        A worker is eligible to collect benefits if the job loss was through no fault of his/her own. If a worker voluntarily quits employment for reasons determined to be “good cause” – meaning a reason directly attributable to the employment – he/she is eligible for benefits. It is in the employer’s interest to inform the DLLR of the actual reasons that the worker left the employment. According to the DLLR, “[i]n evaluating a voluntary quit, the Agency will generally apply the ‘reasonable and prudent’ test; that is, would a reasonable and prudent person have quit under the same circumstances?”

        Once a determination has been made, either from a fact-finding interview or a hearing, a “Notice of Benefit Determination” is mailed to the worker and the employer. The “Notice of Benefit Determination” will state the issue(s) adjudicated and the applicable section(s) of the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. The Notice will also state the reason for the decision to allow or deny benefits. When a worker is awarded unemployment benefits the employer’s account is charged the benefits paid to the former employee, which will usually increase the employer’s tax rate and will result in higher tax payments that will enable the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to recover the benefits paid over a three year period. Both the worker and the employer have the right to appeal this determination within 15 days. The last day to file an appeal and instructions on how to proceed is noted on the form.

        Unemployment compensation, also called unemployment insurance or UI, is a program that pays benefits to people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. These benefits are managed by the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) and funded by the taxes paid by DC employers.

        Unemployment Insurance provides temporary financial assistance to qualified individuals who meet the eligibility requirements of the District of Columbia. Each person who collects Unemployment Insurance benefits is legally responsible for making sure he or she follows the rules set by the District. The program is not a right to all who have lost their job.

        Keep these top ten key facts in mind when you are filing for UI benefits to ensure accurate and quick payment of benefits.

        Q: WHO IS ABLE TO APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION?

        To receive unemployment benefits, you must:

        1. Have lost your job through no fault of your own
        2. Be able, available, and actively seeking work
        3. Have made enough wages in the last year to show how much you could receive

        Please visit our Overview of UI Benefits webpage for more information.

        Q: HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

        How much benefit you receive every week is based on how much money you made. Individuals who receive benefits, or claimants, could receive a standard 26 weeks of benefits. The maximum weekly benefit amount you may receive is $444.

        Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?

        Within a week after filing your first claim, you should receive a Notice of Monetary Determination in the mail. This notice will let you know:

        • If you made enough wages to get unemployment benefits;
        • What your weekly benefit amount will be;
        • What your maximum benefit amount will be;
        • The date your benefits will end;
        • The base period of your claim (click here to learn more about base period); and
        • Which wages were used to calculate your benefits.

        If you have made enough wages to get unemployment benefits, and you were laid off from your job while working only in DC, it generally takes two weeks to process your claim. If you got fired or you quit, or your employer disagrees that you were laid off, it can take up to 21 days to process your claim. During this time, DOES will collect more information to make a decision on your claim.

        Q: IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD DO WHILE I WAIT FOR MY CLAIM TO PROCESS?

        There are three things that you should do while you wait for your claim to process:

        • Keep an eye out for messages from DOES. Read and respond, as soon as you can, to letters you receive by mail or email from DOES, and always respond quickly to voice messages left by DOES.
        • Certify. Beginning on the Sunday after you apply for benefits, you must certify that you are eligible for UI benefits every week. Certifying means that you answer basic questions every week to tell us that you’re still unemployed and able to receive benefits. This process can be completed online, by phone, or via regular mail using the mail-in claim forms that are sent to your home address weekly. For more information on how to correctly certify for weekly benefits, please click here: Instructions for Completing the Continued Claim Form
        • Look for work. Federal law says that people claiming unemployment benefits must continue to look for work to continue to receive benefits.

        Q: HOW HAVE UI POLICIES CHANGED BECAUSE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

        You can find information on benefit updates on our UI Policy Changes webpage.

        Q: WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO RETRIEVE 1099s?

        1099s for 2021 will be mailed out starting January 31, 2022.

        Q: HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN DOES IS DIRECTLY COMMUNICATING WITH ME ABOUT MY CLAIM?

        The Department of Employment Services (DOES), in conjunction with the District's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), uses a product called ZIX to ensure that all email exchanged between DOES and each claimant is secure and safe. All emails sent to claimants with personally identifiable information will have headers, subject titles, and accessible links from ZixCorp. You can use the links to communicate directly with us about your account or claim.

        Contesting an unemployment claim may seem like a pretty straightforward process, but it’s not always as cut and dried as you might think.

        While the rules vary from state to state, there’s one consistent underlying theme: To qualify for unemployment insurance, employees must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

        This leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

        Just consider these two cases:

        • An employee who was terminated for being habitually late, but claims ignorance of the company’s attendance policy
        • An employee who was fired for theft, but wasn’t officially warned that stealing is grounds for immediate termination

        Surprisingly, both employees could be eligible for unemployment benefits. We’ll get to why later.

        The fact is, it’s not easy to contest unwarranted unemployment claims, even when the fault may clearly lie with the employees.

        Still, it’s worth the effort, if you believe an employee’s ineligible. Unemployment claims chip away at your bottom line — racking up charges to your unemployment insurance account and increasing your tax rate. (An employer’s tax rate is based on the amount of benefits paid to former workers.) And false claims — claims based on false or misreported information from employees — are considered fraud.

        So how can you fight back? The key to contesting a claim is having good management practices overall. Implement these strategies now to put the brakes on unemployment claims later.

        1. Learn who’s eligible

        When employees become unemployed, state agencies can provide them unemployment benefits under certain circumstances.

        Eligibility varies. But generally, individuals must have worked for the employer for a designated time frame within an established period of time to qualify for benefits.

        Also, they must be truly unemployed, actively looking for work, and ready and willing to immediately accept work. And as we covered earlier, they must have lost their job through no fault of their own.

        2. Create a failure-free environment

        That last eligibility requirement is essential. As an employer, you want to make sure you’ve done everything you can to help your employees succeed at their jobs, so they can’t shift responsibility for their failure to you. Make it too hard to fail.

        That starts by hiring the right person for the job in the first place. Also, build in supports and systems to help employees clearly understand your company’s expectations, like regular staff meetings and one-on-one counseling sessions with employees when needed. Everyone needs to be on the same page.

        3. Set up solid policies

        Fighting, sleeping and stealing on the job — these are obvious workplace no-nos, right? Not for everyone.

        Spell out your expectations in company policies. Include these in a company handbook that you update regularly and distribute to employees. The policies you include should reflect what’s important to your company, but could cover:

        • Drug-free policy
        • Employee business expenses
        • Internet use
        • Confidentiality
        • Attendance and time-keeping
        • Acceptable conduct

        4. Give direct and detailed warnings

        Don’t beat around the bush when giving verbal warnings to employees. Give them detailed and direct feedback about their behavior and the consequences for it — whether that means counseling, suspension or dismissal.

        Here’s an example:

        “We feel that your conduct was inappropriate. You were swearing and yelling (substitute the behavior you want to address) and it caused a scene. It was disruptive, and violates our company policies. I need to warn you that any such behavior like that again will be grounds for immediate termination.”

        The message is blunt and to the point, so your employees will know exactly where they stand.

        5. Document, document, document

        Remember the two cases shared at the beginning of the post? Both employees claimed that they were unaware of the policies driving their termination.

        Unfortunately, without documentation, employers can’t prove otherwise. Don’t let that happen to your company. Start a paper trail.

        With every policy statement and handbook you distribute, require signatures from your employees acknowledging they’ve read the information.

        Do the same with warnings. Have the employee sign a written version of what you’ve discussed. You don’t need to get fancy with your documentation. Handwritten notes work fine. Just be sure the employee signs or initials it, with the date and time.

        And while email shouldn’t replace conversation, it’s also a great way to record communications regarding performance errors, such as repeatedly missing deadlines or meetings.

        It’s also critical, and required by certain states, to give employees leaving the company a written notice, detailing the reason for the separation and the date. This applies to voluntary and involuntary terminations. Ideally, both employee and employer will sign. But if the employee is unavailable or refuses to sign, mail the separation letter to him, and keep a copy for your records.

        That way, when they claim they didn’t know why they were fired, you have proof to the contrary.

        Keep these records in your files, or share them with your HR department.

        6. Respond right away

        And finally, when you receive an unemployment claim, answer it immediately. With the passing of the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act in 2011, employers are required to respond to unemployment claims in a “timely and adequate matter.”

        That means promptly verifying facts stated in the claim, including the dates of employment, employee wages or salary, and the reason for the separation. Failure to do so may result in additional charges to your unemployment insurance account or possible penalties.

        The good news is that if you take the time to establish strong policies and procedures — you will increase your chances of successfully contesting an unemployment claim. And you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.

        Find more tips on contesting unemployment claims in our free magazine, The Insperity Guide to HR Compliance.

        How to answer unemployment claim questions

        Job interview questions that ask you about previous coworker relationships are designed to assess how well you get along with others in the workplace. Questions may be behavioral in nature, where the interviewer asks you to describe real-life scenarios about coworkers that pertain to conflict resolution, group work or managing a difference of opinion. Answer these questions by demonstrating your interpersonal communication skills and your ability to get along with a wide range of personality types.

        Contentious Relationship

        You might be asked if you ever worked with a colleague who rubbed you the wrong way, or with whom you had frequent disagreements. The interviewer is assessing your ability to work with someone you might dislike. Don’t claim you get along with everyone all the time. Rather, use this question as an opportunity to show how you remain professional, even in difficult circumstances. For example, you might say, “If I disagree with a coworker, I let him know in a respectful way. I explain the reasons for my position and ask him to do the same. After that, I strive to find mutually agreeable ground to work from.”

        Positive Relationship

        An interviewer wants to know what you view as a positive coworker relationship, so you might be asked to describe your ideal colleague. Respond by describing traits you value as a worker, such as honest communication, respect, professionalism, and a willingness to brainstorm and provide constructive feedback. The interviewer might also want to see if your past relationships with colleagues were team-oriented. If the conversation moves in this direction, you might say, “Everyone has her own individual talents, and I think successful coworkers learn to use each other’s strengths toward the collective good of the team.”

        Group Work

        The interviewer is likely to ask you about previous group work efforts. For example, you might be asked to describe how you responded if a single member of the team refused to pull his weight. Respond by being diplomatic. Explain how the group collectively set individual and team expectations and used positive reinforcement and encouragement to get everyone to perform at peak levels. For example: “Teammates should be accountable to one another and decide as a group how work will be divided and progress monitored. If someone falls behind, the team should work together to address the issue and ensure it is quickly resolved.”

        Dispute Resolution

        An interviewer wants to know that you’re capable of working out minor differences with colleagues without bringing the boss into the situation to mediate. If asked how you resolved problems with coworkers in the past, demonstrate your professionalism and your ability to maintain your temper and composure. For example: “I ask for a private meeting when neither of us is angry or frustrated. I suggest we both give our side of the situation and then rationally discuss how to come up with an equitable compromise.”

        How to answer unemployment claim questions

        PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Work has halted, paychecks have vanished, and as of the end of last week, nearly one in six Pennsylvania workers had claimed unemployment.

        “We went from 40k to a million in a matter of weeks. It’s difficult just because of the volume,” PA Dept. of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak said.

        While new claims actually fell 30% for the week ending April 4 to nearly 284000, the antiquated system has been overwhelmed.

        “We’ve had people working from home, we are bringing in retirees, we are bringing in 70 on Monday, we are adding an additional 100 intake interviewers,” Oleksiak said.

        James Holt is among those having trouble filing.

        “Personally putting food on the table and stuff like that is going to be a real issue at some point,” he said.

        The steamfitter says he has waited seemingly endless hours on the phone to get benefits. He’s been trying to get a PIN number required to file.

        “I was literally having two phones in each hand constantly dialing and not once have I got through,” Holt said.

        The problems are not just in the Keystone State.

        New Jersey saw a roughly 4% increase for that week with 214,000 new claims. Governor Phil Murphy has preached patience.

        “No one will be denied one penny of their unemployment benefits,” he said.

        Delaware had nearly 19,000, about the same as the week prior.

        Here in Pennsylvania, officials say to use the web and don’t try to call into the system.

        if you have an old PIN that was issued within the last two years, officials say you can use it.

        Here is a Q&A with the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry:

        We have been getting lots of calls that it is hard to get through – one viewer saying he has called almost a hundred times yesterday without luck. Can you tell me the average wait time? What the quickest/most efficient way to file?
        The department is working as fast as possible to process the large number of applications while also protecting the health of our employees through social distancing and teleworking.

        Due to the very large volume of claims being filed and questions from claimants, we are urging all claimants to file online at www.uc.pa.gov. The answers to many COVID-19 UC questions are available in an employee/employer FAQ document. We are asking individuals with specific questions about their new or existing claims to email [email protected]

        Last week, average wait times for individuals choosing to apply or ask questions using the telephone were approximately 1 hour. Again, we urge anyone who has questions to review the COVID-19/UC FAQ documents at www.dli.pa.gov. If you can’t find answers in the FAQs, you can email our staff at [email protected] – However, wait times have increased as well for email responses. Due to the incredibly large volume of applications for benefits and related questions, our staff responded to almost 47,000 emails last week alone, with an average response time of approximately 9 days.

        We are also getting inquiries from viewers that they applied for unemployment weeks ago but still have not received a PIN in the mail therefore they have not been able to file for benefits.

        There is not a “one size fits all” answer to this question, because not every person’s situation/claim is the same. In addition to the unparalleled numbers of new unemployment claims we are receiving, there are other situations that may also delay when a person receives their Personal Identification Number (PIN) – such as having out of state or missing wages, re-requesting PINs when opening new or existing claims, etc.

        We are advising anyone who files a claim for unemployment benefits that it could possibly take at least three to four weeks for them to receive their PIN. We include that information in the “confirmation email” we send to claimants, as well as on L&I’s Website, Facebook and Twitter. We will continue to adjust the timeframe for receiving PINs as needed and update claimants via those same methods. It is important to note as well that PINs are not necessarily issued immediately when a claim is filed and, due to security reasons, are sent by U.S. mail, not through email. We also want to reassure anyone who receives a late PIN that we will still accept their biweekly claims for older weeks if that delay occurs.

        Can you tell me how many claims have been filed since the Governor closed non-essential business and what the backlog is? When do you expect to be through the backlog? And how many new claims on average do you get daily?

        How to answer unemployment claim questions

        Lorraine Roberte is an insurance writer for The Balance. As a personal finance writer, her expertise includes money management and insurance-related topics. She has written hundreds of reviews of insurance products.

        If you find yourself out of work, you may feel overwhelmed trying to navigate the ins and outs of unemployment insurance.

        To help guide you through this transition, here are the answers to some of the most common questions about unemployment insurance. Learn what you can do to file for unemployment insurance when you lose your job.

        Key Takeaways

        • Unemployment benefits can provide you with a portion of your old wages after losing your job.
        • Unemployment is only available to people who lose work through no fault of their own.
        • Each state runs its own unemployment program, although the federal government issues some guidelines.
        • Unemployment benefits may temporarily change due to changes in policies for federal benefits or a state’s unemployment rate.

        How Do Unemployment Benefits Work?

        Unemployment benefits are payments for workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. If you meet the eligibility requirements, unemployment benefits temporarily replace a portion of the wages you lost to help you pay for your expenses while you look for a new job.

        The United States Department of Labor oversees the system for the unemployment insurance program, and the federal government pays the administrative costs. The federal government also issues guidelines to help states run their program.

        Within federal guidelines, each state can set its own eligibility requirements and may have a different application process. Check with your state’s unemployment insurance program to find out your requirements and benefits.

        Unemployment benefits first began in 1935, and are funded by taxes employers pay. Unlike some other types of benefits, unemployment insurance isn’t based on financial need.

        Who Is Eligible for Unemployment Insurance?

        Unemployment eligibility requirements vary from state to state. They can also change due to unexpected economic circumstances, as seen during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, or during other periods of high unemployment. This means you’ll want to check out your state’s current requirements when you’re ready to file your claim.

        In general, you’re likely to be eligible for unemployment if you:

        • Are unemployed through no fault of your own.
        • Are willing and able to work, and willing to accept any suitable offer of employment.
        • Are actively searching for work (although there may be exemptions to this requirement).
        • Earned enough and worked enough during the base period to meet your state’s requirements before becoming unemployed.

        How To Claim Unemployment Benefits

        Before you receive any unemployment benefits, you must file an unemployment claim. Depending on your state, you may be able to do this online, over the phone, or in person.

        When you file your claim, consider these important guidelines:

        • You likely need to file your application in the state where you worked, even if you don’t live in that state.
        • You should apply for unemployment as soon as possible after losing your job. Many states ask you to file your claim immediately.
        • When filling out your unemployment application, provide as much information as possible, being honest and thorough as you answer each question.
        • It can take two to three weeks to receive your first benefit payment.

        Can You Apply for Unemployment Benefits if You’re Self-Employed?

        If you’re self-employed, you aren’t usually eligible for unemployment benefits. However, the COVID-19 crisis prompted government officials to extend unemployment to self-employed people, gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors, so check with your state’s unemployment office to check your eligibility.

        Most states require self-employed people to file a standard unemployment claim to begin the process. You may be denied unemployment since you aren’t an insured worker. However, if special benefits are in place, you may be able to apply for those unemployment programs once you are denied.

        Where Can You Apply for Unemployment Benefits?

        You need to apply for unemployment in the state where you worked. Many states allow you to apply online, over the phone, or in person.

        The U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website has a state directory where you can find your unemployment benefits.

        Duration of Unemployment Benefits

        In most states, basic unemployment benefits last for 26 weeks, but this can vary between states, with some states providing fewer weeks and others providing more. Additionally, during times of unusually high unemployment, some states may increase the benefit length.

        What Can Disqualify You From Unemployment Benefits?

        Not everyone is eligible for unemployment benefits. Requirements are different in each state, but typically, you will be disqualified if you:

        • Quit your job without good cause, as determined by your state.
        • Only worked at your job for a short time before becoming unemployed.
        • Didn’t make enough money before you lost your job.
        • Were fired for work-related misconduct.
        • Aren’t able or available to work.
        • Are not looking for work, or don’t report your job search activity.
        • Refuse suitable job offers.
        • Knowingly provide false information on your claim.

        Job search requirements may vary from state to state. Make sure you know what is required in your state and report information about your work search.

        What Can You Do if Your Claim Is Denied?

        If your unemployment claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal with your state. However, most states have a timeline for the denial process. So if you disagree with the decision, start the appeal process right away.

        There are a lot of misconceptions regarding unemployment claims filed by recently-departed employees. This article will try to shed some light on them and help answer the common question: “Should we fight an unemployment claim?”

        A recent state court decision from Oregon shows just how difficult it is for employers to prevail in such claims, and might lend you some guidance in answering this question for yourself. (The laws dealing with unemployment claims vary widely from state to state, but by and large all follow the same general patterns).

        One Employee’s Very Bad Day

        Lisa Fox worked as a pharmacy technician for Kaiser Foundation Health for over 13 years until her termination in January 2013. On January 17, 2013, Lisa knew she was in for a bad day as she was perilously close to being late for work. Her company required her to clock in for her shift within four minutes of the start time of her shift, meaning she needed to clock in by 6:34 a.m. or face possible disciplinary action. She was already on notice of prior attendance violations, so she was frantic that morning and in a rush to get to work on time.
        She drove her car into the parking lot, parked it in a loading zone near her building’s entrance, and dashed into the workplace to try to beat the clock. She breathed a sigh of relief as she punched in at 6:33 a.m., then

        returned to the parking lot to move her car into a regular parking space. She arrived back at her work station at 6:36 a.m. to begin her work day. When her employer learned about this situation, it promptly terminated her employment for “time-card fraud,” concluding that she inappropriately got paid for several minutes while not actually performing any work, and had effectively lied about her true start time.

        Fox filed a claim for unemployment benefits, which was initially denied by the Employment Department. She then appealed to an administrative law judge, who reversed the decision and granted her benefits. Kaiser then appealed that decision to the Employment Appeals Board, which overruled the judge and denied benefits. Lisa then appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which issued a ruling in March 2014 saying that Lisa should be given one more chance to try to prove her case. In order to understand this decision, it is important to take a step back and understand the rules at play.

        A Close Case

        The Oregon Employment Department, along with most employment departments around the country, allows individuals to receive partial compensation while in between jobs in order to help tide them over. But not everyone qualifies for these benefits. Employees who voluntarily quit aren’t entitled to unemployment because they should have made plans for compensation before abandoning a paying gig. And employees who commit an act so reprehensible that anyone committing it would end up fired, also cannot enjoy the benefits because it’s their own fault that they are without compensation.

        If an employee punches someone, steals something, does drugs, or drinks alcohol at work, you can feel pretty comfortable that their benefits claim will be denied – but anything beyond that is tricky. The rules are fairly liberal in nature and allow employees to collect unemployment benefits even when they deserve to get fired, so long as their conduct wasn’t “egregious” in nature. (again, different states use slightly different criteria, but you get the idea).

        So an employee who screws up the job, continually shows up late, blows a critical presentation, loses a big account, consistently gets poor evaluations, forgets basic company rules, or just plain proves to be too un-skilled for the position, will probably still get benefits. And if the employee commits an egregious action but claims that it was “an isolated instance of bad judgment,” the state – at least some of them – may give the employee a one-time pass and allow them benefits anyway (so long as the conduct wasn’t unlawful in nature). That’s just what Lisa Fox argued: that her “time-card fraud” was actually just a one-time screw up that should be forgiven.

        The Oregon court didn’t go so far as to agree with her, but it did say that the lower agency didn’t properly examine her mental state when making its ruling. The appeals court said that whether a rule violation amounts to an isolated instance of bad judgment depends on not only the seriousness of the conduct but also the claimant’s mental state when committing the act.

        Here, Fox said that she made a “snap decision” while in a rush that morning, that she didn’t realize what she was doing would be considered “fraud,” and that she has time-management issues due to diagnosed attention-deficit disorder. All of these things, she said, should play into the decision in determining whether she should get benefits. The court agreed with that much, noting that the lower agency should take testimony and evidence about these issues before rendering a decision, sending the case back to them for further proceedings.

        Drawing Conclusions About Drawing Unemployment

        So what lessons can employers take from this decision? In other words, should employers fight unemployment claims?

        First off, as described above, you should understand that there is a very high hurdle at play to get an employee disqualified. More importantly, understand that unemployment claims aren’t referendums on whether the termination was justified or lawful. There might be a very good, non-discriminatory, well-documented, and supportable reason to terminate an employee, but that doesn’t mean that an unemployment claim will be denied.

        So don’t feel the need to have to fight the claim in order to prove that you were in the right. But if you do decide to fight a claim, be sure that you take it seriously and not try to wing the hearing without preparation. Employers’ statements during the claims process are made under oath, so even though the ultimate decision might not impact a later discrimination or wrongful-discharge claim filed by the worker, the statements made during the process are going to lock you into a story. Do your homework and prepare as if you were in court.

        The answer to whether you should fight an unemployment claim is “it depends,” but at least understand the risks and consequences should you decide to venture down that path.

        The Department of Economic Opportunity said it was going to be able to answer claim-specific questions starting at 7:30 a.m.

        Emily Boyer , Morning assignment editor, backup traffic reporter

        Lena Pringle , Anchor/traffic and general assignment reporter

        JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of frustrated Floridians were duped again by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The department had said it was going to be able to address applicants grievances with unemployment claims over the phone begining Monday at 7:30 a.m..

        In an announcement, the department gave the phone number 1-833-353-6799 to be contacted. If you call the number, you’ll hear the following recording,

        “Thank you for calling the Florida reemployment assistance program. We look forward to answering your questions about reemployment assistance. At this time, we do not have access to claim-specific information but can assist you with new claims and general questions about reemployment assistance. We look forward to serving you.

        Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

        Governor Ron DeSantis announced he plans to make big announcements soon that involve the state’s overwhelmed unemployment system, and the eventual reopening of the state’s economy.

        The Governor is holding a news conference at 11 a.m. in Tampa. New4Jax will bring it to you live online and on Channel 4.

        Friday, frustrations reached an all-time high when a message appeared on the state’s unemployment website showing the website would be down until Monday morning.

        Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged the ongoing problems.

        “This thing was a clunker, there’s no doubt about it,” DeSantis told reporters. “With this volume, it was going to be a problem no matter how good the system was, but I do think the way this thing was designed was very problematic.’”

        Since March 15, Florida has received claims from more than 700,000 people, a surge that overwhelmed the Department of Economic Opportunity’s website. As of Thursday, fewer than one in three claims had been processed and only about one of every five people submitting a claim had received a payment, according to the department.

        An all-new website was launched for first-time claimants to the system, hoping to alleviate the strain on the original website, but it seemed Floridians reached just as many errors and glitches as prior.

        The state has an unemployment dashboard, that is supposed to be updated with the latest numbers, though this web page too, has gone on and offline before.

        How to answer unemployment claim questions

        What happens when you file for unemployment and your employer contests your claim? In most cases, a company appeals your unemployment claim when they don’t consider you eligible to receive unemployment benefits. This could be for one of several reasons related to your termination of employment.

        How Unemployment Works

        Unemployment is a state and federal support system for employees who are temporarily out of work. The system pays benefits from funds collected in taxes on the employer.  

        Each state sets a requirement for the time a job must be held and the total of wages the employee had to earn. States also set the no-fault conditions that qualify for you losing a job and will allow you to be eligible to receive benefits.

        In most cases, the employee does not pay into the system. The amount of unemployment tax an employer pays is based on the number of unemployment claims in the employer’s account. If the employer believes that an employee is not eligible for unemployment benefits, an employer may contest or challenge an employee's claim for benefits.  

        Why Your Claim May be Contested

        Each state sets a requirement for the time a job must be held and the total of wages the employee had to earn. States also set the no-fault conditions that qualify for you losing a job and will allow you to be eligible to receive benefits.

        Employers will receive notification of a claim filed against them. They will be able to review the information presented by the ex-worker and disagree with any items listed.

        Some typical reasons for unemployment disqualification include when an employee is fired for cause or misconduct, when the employee quits, when the person didn’t have enough hours or weeks of employment to qualify, or when they were considered a contractor rather than an employee.

        What Happens When Your Unemployment Claim is Contested

        If your employer contests your claim for unemployment, your case will be reviewed by an investigator from your state department of labor. The investigator will analyze the information provided by the employer and may interview the employer to gather additional insights.

        You may be contacted to answer some questions about the circumstances surrounding your separation from the job. Make sure that you respond quickly, thoroughly, and honestly to any requests for information. The staff from the unemployment office will then make a determination on whether or not you are eligible for benefits.

        If you are accepted for benefits, the employer can still request a hearing to appeal the decision. If you are denied benefits, you will receive written notification of that decision, which will include information regarding the appeals process and the deadline for filing an appeal.

        The Unemployment Appeals Process

        The appeals process will vary by state. Contact your state unemployment office for a determination on your specific circumstances and how appeals are handled in your state. The information can usually be found on the state unemployment website, but don’t hesitate to contact the office with any questions or if you need clarification.

        In general, here's how it works:

        • Your legal representative can participate in the hearing and provide advice, but you will be required to present your case.
        • You can use witnesses who might counter any claims that the employer may be making as grounds for denying benefits. Your employer can also have witnesses to support its position.
        • Be sure to have copies of any documentation that might be used to negate claims by your employer of misconduct.
        • You must continue to file weekly unemployment claims throughout the appeals process if you wish to receive benefits for those weeks.

        How to Protect Your Claim

        The more documentation you can provide to support your claim for unemployment benefits, the more likely you will be to prove your eligibility successfully. You should assemble any doctor’s notes, emails, HR files, letters from supervisors and colleagues, and any other supporting evidence of the legitimacy of your claim.

        Your employer will be required to do the same, and the appeals board will make a determination of whose claim will prevail.

        Be sure to file your appeal before the deadline, and continue to file for benefits while the appeals process plays out, or you will not receive benefits during that time.

        Both parties are allowed to appeal the decision, and the appeals board will determine the outcome during a hearing. You will need to attend every meeting, or have a written legitimate excuse, or you risk losing your case.

        Using a survey instrument to collect information on unemployment can not only help answer the immediate research question, but inform policy and offer insight into future trends. However, creating a questionnaire that measures people’s unemployment situation can be tricky and requires some work. Creating a good questionnaire is both an art and a science and it is important to not only establish a good design for your survey but to word questions carefully to elicit appropriate responses. Use these tips to create effective questions about unemployment.

        Define your research question. Write out a plan noting what you want to know about unemployment and whom you want to survey. This will guide the types of questions you will need to ask. Decide on the definition of “unemployment” that you will use throughout your survey. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts as unemployed only those who are not currently working but who are looking for a job. Those who are not looking for a job are considered to be out of the labor force and not unemployed. You need not use BLS’s definition but you must be clear on what “unemployment” means in your survey.

        Determine what mode or modes you will use to ask your questions. Mode refers to whether you will ask survey questions by telephone, in person, on paper or on the web. The mode you choose will affect how you will word questions in the first place. For example, you can ask a more detailed question on paper or on the web but not by telephone because a person listening to a question is not able to keep as many concepts in mind as a person reading. You will need to limit yourself to creating short, easy-to-understand questions for the telephone.

        Ask questions about current employment status, making sure to create response categories that are exhaustive. Skip those currently employed out of the questionnaire or move them to a different section — such as demographics — if you want to gather some basic information about those who are employed.

        Ask those who are unemployed the reasons for being unemployed, the duration of their unemployment, whether they are looking for work and whether they are receiving unemployment benefits.

        Ask demographic questions at the end of the questionnaire. People are sometimes sensitive about demographic questions and asking them at the end ensures that you have built up enough rapport for people to feel comfortable answering these questions. It is important to ask questions about the demographic characteristics of your participants so that you can analyze data by population segments. Basic questions include sex, race and age. In addition, you can ask about educational level attained, marital status, and number and ages of children in the home, if these are relevant to your research question.

        Before creating a questionnaire, learn how to word questions correctly to ensure you receive meaningful answers. Look at established questionnaires on employment and unemployment for examples of effective, neutral question phrasing.

        Pretest your questionnaire with some practice respondents to make sure the questions work; then, refine your questionnaire accordingly.

        How to answer unemployment claim questions

        Generally, unemployment benefits are for those who have been separated from their employers through no fault of their own. Thus, if you have been laid off from your job, you would be entitled to these benefits. If you resigned or were terminated for cause, you still may be entitled to unemployment benefits; however, you will have to undergo an unemployment hearing and answer several questions to determine your eligibility.

        Why Were You Terminated or Why Did You Leave?

        Under the 1935 Social Security Act that established federal laws regarding unemployment benefits, state governments are responsible for deciding if the employee was at fault in bringing about a termination. As such, a claims examiner — on the phone or in-person — must find out if you were terminated for misconduct (theft, insubordination), performance issues or tardiness. Only termination for misconduct definitely precludes your receiving benefits. Even if you resigned, you could be eligible for unemployment if you resigned because of workplace conditions, conscientious objections or to take care of a seriously ill family member, according to Unemployment-tips.com.

        What Was Your Job Title/Duties?

        If you were fired because of your job performance or your inability to satisfy the demands of your boss, the information you give about your perception of your job title and duties could be important in determining whether you receive benefits. For instance, how you describe your job duties can be completely different from how your employer describes them. The establishment of facts is most important in an unemployment hearing, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

        When Was Your Last Day of Work?

        The information you provide about your last day of work should be consistent with the date on which you filed your claim. Also, documenting your last day of work can be crucial to disproving your employer’s mention of a different termination or resignation date.In many states, an unemployment claim can be filed during the week in which there was separation from an employer. For example, in Michigan “a claim for unemployment benefits begins the week it is filed.”

        • Social Security Act of 1935: Grants to States for Unemployment Compensation Administration
        • Claiming Unemployment Benefits in Michigan

        Leonard Dozier is a freelance writer based in southern New Jersey and New York. His film and sports columns have been published by "Casino Connection Magazine" and Trev Rogers sports respectively. A prolific and extremely versatile writer, he is an ASCAP songwriter and has written screenplays and stage plays registered with the Writer's Guild of America.

        Will PA unemployment call you? The department will never initiate contact with you by text message or email and request your personal information. When the department sends you an email in response to an inquiry made by you, the department will ask to confirm your full name along with the last four digits of your social security number.

        How do I get in touch with unemployment in Virginia? – VEC Customer Contact Center.
        – Voice Response system. 1-800-897-5630.
        – VEC Administrative Office Location. 6606 West Broad Street.
        – Correspondence mailing address. Virginia Employment Commission.
        – Virginia Relay. (Telecommunications Relay Service) Press “711”
        – Toll free access.

        How do I talk to a person at Pa Pua unemployment? For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)​​ you need to dial 1-855-284-8545. Live customer service representatives are available from 8am to 4pm Monday-Friday, Saturday-Sunday closed. For PA Fraud Hotline you need to dial 1-800-692-7469​.

        How do I speak to someone at Gdol? If you need to speak to a live customer service representative in Georgia Unemployment customer service you need to dial 1-877-709-8185. To speak with a live agent, you need to press 1 (for English) and stay on the line (typical waiting time is about 40-55 minutes).

        How do I talk to a person at PA unemployment? – Additional Questions

        How do I talk to a person at PA unemployment?

        If you need to speak to a live customer service representative in Pennsylvania Unemployment Claims customer service you need to dial 1-888-313-7284.

        Why is PA Unemployment phone busy?

        Have you been calling the UC Service Center for hours or days about your unemployment claim without getting past a busy signal? It’s not that your phone (or their phone) is broken. It is that the State does not have enough staff to answer the phone.

        How do I talk to a live person at the unemployment office?

        – Dial 1-800-480-3287, press 3-2-1-0.
        – Once you enter these numbers the system will confirm that you are about to be connected to a live customer service representative.
        – After that, the automated phone system will connect you to a live customer service agent from EDD.

        How do I get through to Pennsylvania unemployment?

        Unemployment compensation (UC) services are provided by telephone through regional call centers. You may call the UC service center at 888-313-7284. A listing of local phone numbers, mailing addresses and fax numbers for the UC service centers is available on the state map of services near you.

        How long does it take to receive Pua payments?

        Normally, it takes about 2 to 3 weeks to receive your unemployment benefits, but it may take much longer depending on the state where you work and the circumstances surrounding your claim for benefits.

        How long does it take to get your first unemployment check in PA?

        If you are eligible for benefits and file timely biweekly claims, you should receive your first benefit payment within four weeks after filing your application for benefits. (Because of the Waiting Week, your first payment may be for only one week.) Benefits are paid biweekly (every other week).

        How long does it take for unemployment benefits to be deposited Ga?

        If the employer files on your behalf, it should take between 24 to 48 hours to get unemployment payment through direct deposit. You can now enter direct deposit information online within 24 hours of the employer filing. If you file for yourself, it could take 12 to 14 days to be paid.

        How do I talk to a live person at the unemployment office in GA?

        If you need to speak to a live customer service representative in Georgia Unemployment customer service you need to dial 1-877-709-8185. To speak with a live agent, you need to press 1 (for English) and stay on the line (typical waiting time is about 40-55 minutes).

        How do I know if my Pua claim was approved in PA?

        ​How will I receive important message regarding my PUA claim? ​Claimants should manage everything through their PUA dashboard on the website through www.uc.pa.gov/PUA. Individuals can use their dashboard to check on their claim and payment status, upload documents, etc.

        How do I contact the Georgia Department of Labor?

        – ​404-232-3500: Agricultural Job Postings (including H2A)
        – 404-232-3260: Child Labor Laws and Regulations.
        – 404-232-3543: Federal Bonding Assistance.
        – 404-232-3500: Foreign Labor Certification.
        – 404-232-3520: Jobs for Georgia Graduates.

        What day of the week does PA unemployment pay?

        Payment Funds Schedule Sunday = funds available by Tuesday. Monday = funds available by Wednesday. Tuesday = funds available by Thursday. Wednesday = funds available by Friday.

        How do I talk to a real person at Gdol?

        If you need to speak to a live customer service representative in Georgia Unemployment customer service you need to dial 1-877-709-8185. To speak with a live agent, you need to press 1 (for English) and stay on the line (typical waiting time is about 40-55 minutes).

        What’s the best number to call for unemployment?

        If you don’t have computer access or you decide to file by phone, you can call a UI Tele-Center toll free at 1-800-939-6631.

        How do I talk to a live person at mass unemployment?

        How do I talk to a live person at mass unemployment?

        How do I get ahold of Pua Pa?

        ​If you are looking to have the effective date of your claim earlier than the week in which you opened your claim, you can call the PUA Call Center at 855-284-8545 OR you can send an email request to [email protected]

        How long does it take for a decision to be made on unemployment in PA?

        You’ll file online or using the Pennsylvania Teleclaims (888-255-4728) and you have all week (Sunday through Friday) to complete it. For your first, biweekly filing and claim, it can take up to four to six weeks to receive the approval determination.