MEMBER UNEMPLOYMENT COSTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

By January 8, 2018 February 5th, 2018 Blog, Newsletter

At 501(c) Agencies Trust, we receive a lot of calls about current or planned unemployment costs from our member nonprofits. Below are some of our favorites.

We may have to consider layoffs. What should we do to reduce or prepare for unemployment costs associated with potential layoffs?

Taking steps six months or more in advance can be helpful in reducing costs. Contact Doug Adams at dadams@501c.com or 800.442.4867 x166 as soon as possible to begin planning and forecasting potential liability on claims and whether to increase deposits to your Trust reserve account.

Relatedly, contact Gary Casey at gcasey@501c.com or 800.442.4867 x165 to apply for reemployment services information for separated employees, if you wish. And contact the HR Services at hrservices@501c.com or 800.358.2163 for advice about handling the people side of things.

Why am I being charged for an employee who left last year?

You probably have been charged for a base period claim. It all depends on how your state determines claims liability for past employees. Factors determining benefit eligibility may include the span of time and wages paid during an employee’s base year (often defined as the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters) or in some states the most recent employer is charged for all benefits. The amount of benefits the claimant could receive and your percentage of benefit liability, are based on the wages paid by your agency to the former employee.

The best way to learn about why a particular employee is collecting benefits is to contact Doug Adams. (Include the individual’s name, and also the last four digits of their Social Security number.)

The importance of understanding the base year is that keeping an unproductive employee too long can result in the employer paying unnecessary unemployment costs. Furthermore, base period claims are not normally contestable by base period employers.

We might merge with another organization. Would merging affect our Trust participation?

The answer depends on which organization will be the surviving organization and whether that organization has chosen the reimbursement method. Contact Client Relations to discuss your options.

What should we do with an unemployment claim notice that we received from the state?

Immediately email or fax the unemployment claim notice to your claims representative. Always email or fax claim notices to the claims management team even if the notices are for claims that you do not want to contest or that you feel are non-protestable. The federal government now requires that employers respond to all claims whether or not an employer does not wish to contest a claim or feels the claim is legitimate. All unemployment claims have deadlines, so sending notices immediately is important to protect your rights.

You should also send the claims management team any other unemployment-related documents that you receive, including initial, additional, or out-of-state claims. In some cases, the claims management team will have already received copies from the state, but it’s better for them to receive duplicate copies than to not receive it at all.

How can we determine who will be eligible for unemployment benefits?

In some situations, employees who resign voluntarily may be eligible. Contact Client Relations to be certain, especially if any unusual circumstances are present.

For questions about this topic or about your Trust Membership, call Client Relations at 800.442.4867 or contact us online.

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