COVID-19 Service Bulletin #1

By March 13, 2020May 1st, 2020COVID-19

COVID-19 and UI Benefits

Please be advised that the Federal Unemployment Insurance program, administered by the individual state agencies, will be a source of financial assistance for associates who are unemployed due to business shutdowns or unpaid workplace quarantines resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.  Although current eligibility rules still apply, there are several states considering waiver of the work search and waiting week requirements should a claimant’s employment status be a direct result of COVID-19.  Eligibility for associates who elect self-quarantine due to concerns regarding coronavirus when continuing work is available will be determined on a case by case basis by the individual state agencies.  Consideration is also being made by the agencies to not charge individual employer accounts for benefits paid if the unemployment is a direct result of COVID-19.

The U.S. Department of Labor is closely monitoring the situation to ensure the UI program remains operational and that the financial assistance intended for workers unemployed through no fault of their own is not disrupted.  Proposals and suggestions have been made to the state legislative bodies to consider making modifications of current laws with the intent to make it easier for displaced workers to receive UI benefits as a result of the pandemic.  Also, although not currently a source of financial assistance for displaced workers, in the event Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits become available, additional communications will be published.  DUA benefits are currently made available when a Presidential declaration of a natural disaster has been made, and the unemployed worker has filed for, and been found ineligible for regular UI benefits.  Consideration is also being made regarding changes in the eligibility requirements for DUA benefits to further assist unemployed workers impacted by COVID-19.

Our office will be monitoring the situation closely and will send out additional announcements or make posts here as we become aware of the state specific modifications related to the administration of the state UI programs.


By: Mike Parker

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

March 13, 2020

COVID-19 and UI Benefits

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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