Your Ultimate Guide to Unemployment Benefits

No company wants to fire its employees.

However, sometimes laying employees off is inevitable to keep businesses afloat. Especially in 2020, when businesses were forced to let go of employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can be difficult to understand how the process of letting employees go works, what responsibilities you have as an employer, and more.

When a former employee files for unemployment benefits, what is your responsibility as the employer?

Keep reading for a guide to understanding your responsibilities.

What Are Unemployment Benefits?

When workers are terminated due to factors that are out of their control, unemployment insurance provides them with monetary payments.

While it varies by state, usually laid-off workers can receive unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. They are also eligible to receive an average percentage of their annual pay.

Businesses pay state and federal taxes to help fund unemployment programs. The federal and state governments manage these programs. Employees in some states pay a state-level tax to support unemployment benefits.

Can a Terminated Employee Claim Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits are only available to laid-off employees who are not to blame for their termination.

If they were fired for violating company policy, they are not likely to be able to collect unemployment benefits

What Are Claims for Unemployment?

An employee can file for extended unemployment benefits in their state after they are let go.

These claims are used to notify the state, federal government, and previous employer that they are looking for unemployment insurance benefits.

What Happens After a Former Employee Files an Unemployment Claim?

When an unemployment claim is filed, you, as the employer, will get a notice. You will be expected to provide details about the claim to validate it, including:

  • Whether the employee is full-time or part-time
  • The reason the worker is no longer employed, whether because of a trade or strike dispute if they were laid off or not
  • Whether the employee refused employment 
  • Whether the employee is legally eligible to work in the United States
  • Whether the employee is receiving a pension or other form of compensation

The worker’s claim can be accepted if it is valid. If they are making a claim that is misleading or invalid, you can challenge it.

How to Control Unemployment Insurance Costs

Employers can take several preventive measures to keep unemployment costs low. Smart and prudent hiring is the most crucial part of this process.

You must also:

  • Budget and forecast for possible contributions.
  • Retain your rights to claims made by former employees.
  • Explore alternatives before deciding to lay off employees
  • Rehire workers after layoffs when possible

You can discover more ways to protect your business from unemployment claims by speaking with unemployment claims experts.

Establishing Procedures for Unemployment Claims

Establishing strong unemployment insurance policies and procedures can take time, but you can increase your chances of successfully contesting unemployment claims.

This will have a positive effect on your business and allow you to reap the benefits for many years to come.

If you’re looking for more information on unemployment benefits and similar business resources, keep browsing our archives for more content.