When an employee is separated from work, there are several steps the employer and employee must take to ensure that eligibility is determined accurately. As an employer, learn about what you can do to promote an effective claims process, including responding to requests for information from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). You will also learn how to protest benefit charges or appeal an unemployment determination.
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Employer responsibilities during the unemployment claims process
Table of Contents
Eligibility for unemployment benefits
Eligibility for unemployment benefits is based upon 3 categories:
- Reason for separation from job
- Work search requirements
A worker may be initially eligible for unemployment benefits if they:
- Are separated due to layoffs
- Are totally or partially unemployed
- Are discharged for reasons not related to deliberate misconduct or violation of an employer rule or policy
- Quit for reasons attributable to the employer, or for an urgent, compelling, necessitous reason
Learn more about unemployment insurance and how benefits are calculated.
Additional Resources for Eligibility for unemployment benefits
Notify employees of their options upon separation of employment
When an employee is separated from employment, regardless of the circumstance, it is your responsibility to issue the employee a copy of the DUA pamphlet How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (Form 0590A). The law allows you 30 days to distribute this information to all permanently and temporarily separated employees.
This pamphlet is available in English and 12 additional languages. The pamphlet includes space for you to record your federal employer identification number (FEIN) and mailing address to ensure accurate filing of the claim and mailing of the claim notice.
The pamphlet should be issued in person whenever possible, but can be mailed when an employee is not available.
Additional Resources for Notify employees of their options upon separation of employment
Respond to DUA with information in a timely manner
If an employee who worked for you within the past 15 months files a claim, you are considered a base period employer and you may receive a request from DUA to provide information regarding the employee. You will be able to complete these requests through your UI Online account.
Any employer for whom the employee worked during the last 8 weeks of work (prior to the filing of the claim) is considered an interested party to the claim, and has the right to protest an employee's eligibility for unemployment benefits.
If an employee is approved for benefits by DUA, protesting interested party employers receive notice of the approved claim and have the right to request a hearing within 10 business days (provided the request for wage and separation information was returned to DUA timely and adequately). A disqualified employee can also request a hearing.
If you do not respond timely or adequately to requests for information, you may:
- Lose your right to be notified of the eligibility determination and your right to appeal that determination
- Lose your right to a hearing. If a disqualified former employee files an appeal, you will be invited to attend the hearing as a witness only, with no right to introduce evidence or testimony, question the former employee, or examine other witnesses.
- Lose your right to protest benefit charges to your account (even if circumstances are such that you would ordinarily be relieved of those charges)
Review and record the approval or disqualification notices
You will be notified of any approved or disqualified claims if:
- You are an interested party employer, and
- You returned the separation request within the required time frame
If a claim has been approved for payment, you will receive a determination notice with information about your appeal rights and instructions on how to request a hearing.
If you were a base period employer but the claim arises due to separation from subsequent employment and you returned DUA's request for information in a timely manner, your account should not be charged for benefits paid on that claim provided the former employee was separated under disqualifying circumstances. If charges are assessed to your account, you have the right to protest those benefit charges.
Comply with ongoing claim activity
Reopening a claim
In some cases, an individual may stop receiving benefits, but later reapply for benefits. This is called reopening a claim. If you are an interested party to the claim, DUA will contact you to obtain information necessary to evaluate the claimant’s eligibility to receive benefits. If you receive a request for information, it is important to respond in a timely manner.
Although you may not accrue charges resulting from a claim being reopened, charges may result on a subsequent claim. Providing the requested information promptly will protect your rights should any charges result.
In addition, the separation information you provide may have an impact on the claimant’s right to continue to receive benefits on the current claim. The eligibility requirements for a reopened claim are the same as those for a new claim. If a claimant returns to work and then becomes unemployed under disqualifying circumstances, no further benefits will be paid.
Refusing a recall
If an employee is recalled to work but fails to report, you must notify DUA in writing within 5 days. You must include the following information in your notice:
- Employee name
- Social Security number
- Recall date
- How the employee was notified of the recall
DUA will determine if the individual had good cause for failing to return to work. A disqualification of the individual may result if DUA determines that there was no good cause.
Control unemployment insurance costs
As an employer, there are many things you can do to control your unemployment insurance costs. You should:
- Budget and forecast for likely contributions due
- Keep your UI Online account up to date
- Maintain your rights to claims filed by former employees
- Explore alternatives before laying off employees
- Rehire workers after layoffs