Unemployment in Uncertain Times

As we navigate through truly unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our workforce is a foremost priority. Many employers have been forced to make difficult decisions while grappling with the reality of business needs.

Those weighing temporary layoffs and furloughs are struggling to find the best options in trying times. Many have questions about how to properly execute and communicate their reductions to their employees. Some are wary of the impact of unemployment filings and how it will affect their organizations.

We provide these COVID-19 resources to assist employers with timely unemployment updates as federal and state agency relief policies are implemented.

ARPA 2021: Nearly two years from the passing of the CARES Act of 2020, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has extended and built new UI relief efforts to claimants and employers. We will continue to update you on the development and adoptions of this historic bill.

Webinars: We are proud to be aligned with many employer-focused organizations working to keep businesses up to date with the emerging impact to their UI accounts. We recommend these webinars:

CARES Act Update: The CARES Act is now law. The challenge of implementing the unemployment-related provisions to make payments is now beginning for the federal and state governments as the expectation is it is implemented quickly. The additional COVID-19-related payments are being implemented with federal funds, but through state UI administrative agencies, thus the first step is a USDOL/State agreement to enable federal funds to flow. States will be immediately tasked with making any administrative changes to program, systems, law and policy to respond to federal requirements.

COVID-19 State UI Reference Guide: This guide will serve to assist you in referencing your state unemployment agency’s progress in implementing UI provisions of the Federal CARES Act. States vary as to how they are enacting new programs such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) as well COVID-19 charge relief, UI fraud and return to work refusals. Please note many states are continuing to modify their regulations, rules and guidelines as the COVID-19 related claims volume continues, so this information is subject to change.

Federal Fraud Update: State agencies are overloaded by the explosion of UI claims caused by the pandemic. Mounting pressure to approve and pay claims has been linked to UI fraud across the country either by filing with stolen social security numbers or scammers looking to “assist” claimants collect easier and then obtaining their personal information.

State Links: State unemployment agencies have continued to evolve their COVID-19-related claim processes and have made their individual guidelines and recommendations available. If you have any questions about rapidly changing state policies, we’re here to help.