Business owners or operators should know about unemployment claims and unemployment insurance. That’s because a time might come when you have to lay off some employees. In fact, in 2020, unemployment claims are higher than they’ve been in many years because of pandemic-related business closures.
In this article, we’ll go over some unemployment insurance basics. When we finish, you’ll know what many Americans around the country face this year.
Companies Can Help You Manage Your Unemployment Claims
You should know that there are unemployment management claims companies. These are operations that may handle things like:
- Unemployment claims management
- Employment verification requests
- Human resource analytics
These companies exist so that businesses can handle things like unemployment claims more easily. If you have to lay off some workers, and they file for unemployment payments, you have to go through some state interactions so these individuals can get the money to which their situation entitles them.
If you try to do all that yourself, but you don’t have much experience with it, you might miss critical deadlines. That will hurt your former employees.
Often, these companies help you by centralizing unemployment correspondence. This way, claims will not fall through the cracks, and you will keep your unemployment tax rates down each year.
Unemployment Replaces Part of Worker Salaries, But Not All of Them
You should also know that when a worker tries to get unemployment, if they succeed, it will replace part of their salary while they look for a new job, but not all of it. The state-federal unemployment insurance system:
- Has been around since 1935
- Is a social insurance system
As an employer, you collect taxes. You then pay those into the system for working people to use if something like 2020’s mass layoffs ever happens. This provides partial income support when there are job losses.
Unemployment payments help, but the laid-off workers are not getting as much as they normally would each week or month. Because of this, they’ll likely try to find work again very quickly, as so many around the country are doing right now.
Unemployment Benefits Keeps the Economy Moving
Another thing about the unemployment social safety net is that the government and the individual states put it in place to try to keep the economy going. In theory, if laid-off workers receive payments, they spend that money, so there’s no substantial economic downturn.
Nothing says that the system can’t work unless there are massive layoffs across nearly all sectors, as has happened this year. The pandemic is almost unprecedented. Something similar happened with the Spanish flu a hundred years ago, but practically no one living can even remember that.
While it’s good that laid-off workers receive some money, even if it’s not equal to their former paychecks, they’re spending it on things like rent, food, and utilities. That means they’re not spending on gifts or more frivolous items during the holiday season.
Laid-off workers need to prioritize, and because of economic hardship, other industries will suffer this year. If you need to spend your money on rent and food, you can’t spend it on luxuries like video game systems, TVs, and other common Black Friday splurge items.
Most States Allow Up to 26 Unemployment Insurance Payment Weeks
Most states allow unemployed workers up to 26 unemployment insurance benefits weeks. They get payments that usually replace about half of their previous salary.
It’s better than nothing, but it puts many families and individuals in dire straits as their benefits run out. That’s because the pandemic continues, and some of these workers can only take jobs that they perform in-person.
In other words, they cannot work from home, as so many around the country have tried to do for health reasons. Vaccines are coming that are probably not that far away. However, as 2021 rolls in, some families are approaching desperation levels.
There Are Extended Benefits Programs
There are also extended unemployment claim benefit programs in place. Most states will provide an additional 13 to 20 extra weeks if the situation demands it.
This year, all states have done that, but we’re close to a time when even those extensions are about to run out. The federal government can use a wholly federally-funded program to extend the benefit weeks, but it’s unclear whether that will happen. Congress is dragging their feet on it.
What’s clear is that 2020 has pushed the unemployment claim and benefits program to its absolute limit.