Author Archives: Idaho Department of Labor

About Idaho Department of Labor

Our vision is to be Idaho’s first choice for employment services. We connect job seekers with Idaho employers, deliver employment services to Idaho businesses and support people during career and life transitions.

Labor Committed to Help Idahoans Navigate Difficult Times

Implementing CARES Act Will Take Time

by Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier

As Idahoans grapple with the fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and many face an uncertain economic future, I want to assure the people of Idaho that the Department of Labor is here to assist our fellow citizens through these difficult times.

Because of the rapid onset of the pandemic and immediacy of its impact on our economy, states across the country had almost no time to ramp up services to meet the urgent demand. Here in Idaho, we have seen a 4,400 percent increase in the number of claims being filed from the week prior to March 8, when Gov. Brad Little declared a state of emergency. Calls coming into our office have exploded and the sheer volume of web and phone traffic has caused strains on our staff and technical challenges for our systems.

We are redirecting department resources and hiring new people, but it will take time – several weeks – to address the issues and answer every question.

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Idaho Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increase 143%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 2, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 x 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

Idaho workers laid off due to the coronavirus filed 32,941 initial claims for unemployment insurance between March 22-28, 2020, an increase of 143 percent over the previous week.

The 32,941 claims represent a record number of Idaho initial claims filed during one week and is 2.4 times more than filed the previous week.

Department analysts also revised the number of initial claims filed for the week of March 15 -21 to 13,585, pushing the total filed since Gov. Brad Little declared a state of emergency, to 46,526 – an increase of 4,400 percent from the week prior to March 8, 2020.

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CARES Act Takes Time for States to Implement

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, 208-332-3570 x 2102

Idaho, like all states, will need to change its unemployment insurance system in order to make payments to people authorized to receive additional benefits under the CARES Act.

Congress passed the CARES Act – which includes numerous provisions affecting the national unemployment insurance program – and Pres. Donald Trump signed it last week.

Workers, such as the self-employed and those paid by 1099 or in the gig economy, may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the Act.

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Labor Phone Lines Overloaded with Calls

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

People are asked to visit Labor website for answers; file for benefits online

Idaho is one of several states across the nation where the surge of newly laid-off workers is overwhelming state unemployment phone systems. 

Laid-off workers who need to file for benefits – or have questions about unemployment insurance – should file online or visit the agency website instead of calling the department. 

“You do not have to call the department to file a claim. Everything can be done online and most questions can be answered by reviewing the posted material,” said Idaho Department of Labor director Jani Revier. “Our call volume is high and most callers are receiving a busy signal and will not get through.”

Jammed phone lines also prevent the department’s claim specialists from calling out to resolve issues with individual claims. When the department notifies a claimant there is an issue with their claim, the individual needs to wait for an agency claims specialist to call.  Continue reading

Idaho Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increased 1,200%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 841-5509 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

BOISE – Idaho workers laid off due to the coronavirus filed 13,341 new claims for unemployment insurance benefits during the week of March 15-21, 2020, up 12,310 for a 1,200 percent increase over the previous week.

“Our priority is to get benefits out to those who are eligible as quickly as possible and help Idaho employers who are hiring find the staff they need as soon as possible,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier.

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Preguntas Frecuentes del Empleador

Preguntas Frecuentes del Empleador

¿Los trabajadores calificarán para beneficios de desempleo si el coronavirus (COVID-19) hace que un empleador cierre temporalmente o permanentemente sus operaciones?

Los beneficios del seguro de desempleo (UI) están disponibles para las personas que están desempleadas por causas ajenas a su voluntad. Si un empleador debe cerrar sus negocios y no hay trabajo disponible, las personas pueden ser elegibles para beneficios de desempleo. Haga clic aquí para más información.

¿Cómo solicitan los trabajadores beneficios de desempleo?

Pueden presentar su solicitud en línea en labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal. Si requieren asistencia o no tienen acceso a una computadora, pueden llamar a nuestro centro de reclamos al (208) 332-8942. Haga clic aquí para más información sobre como archivar un reclamo de desempleo.

Si un empleado recibe beneficios de desempleo como resultado de un cierre comercial relacionado con el coronavirus, ¿podría afectar los impuestos de desempleo del empleador?

Si. No hay provisiones para renunciar a los requisitos de carga como resultado del coronavirus.

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Respuestas a Preguntas Frecuentes de Solicitantes de Seguro de Desempleo

Con el Acta CAREs los legisladores acordaron una expansión significante del programa de seguro de desempleo. Llegarán compensación adicional, extensiones y asistencia para personas que trabajan por cuenta propia. Estamos trabajando con el Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos para más detalles de manera que podamos implementar los cambios. Estamos trabajando tan rápido como podemos para proveer apoyo a las personas de Idaho. Le aseguramos que le avisaremos de cualquier cambio que pueda impactar su solicitud de beneficios de desempleo. Continúe revisando las Respuestas a Preguntas Frecuentes de Seguro de Desempleo relacionadas con el COVID-19 para obtener información actualizada.

Vea estas  Respuestas a preguntas frecuentes de seguro de desempleo  para información de como solicitar y como navegar el sistema.

COVID-19 y beneficios de desempleo

Los beneficios de desempleo pueden estar disponibles para algunas personas cuyo desempleo es atribuible a COVID-19.

¿Qué pasa si me descansan temporalmente porque el lugar donde trabajo está cerrado temporalmente debido al virus COVID-19?

Un individuo descansado temporalmente puede calificar para beneficios si él o ella están, disponible y buscando trabajo activamente o si van a volver a trabajar con su empleador dentro de 16 semanas.

ACTUALIZADO 31 de marzo:

¿Están cubiertos los contratistas independientes o personas que trabajan por su propia cuenta (auto-empleados)?

Si. El acta CARES expande el programa de seguro de desempleo para incluir Asistencia de Desempleo por Pandemia (PUA por sus siglas en ingles). Este programa permite pagos a personas que no son elegibles para el seguro de desempleo regular, particularmente personas auto-empleadas. Estamos trabajando con el Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos en los detalles para poder implementar estos cambios, lo que puede tomar varias semanas. Por favor solicite beneficios en  labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal y continúe entregando sus reportes semanales. Incluya su historial de trabajo en la solicitud como auto-empleo. Le avisaremos de cualquier cambio que pueda afectar su solicitud de beneficios de desempleo.

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Labor Offices Closed to the Public Until Further Notice

This news release was updated March 30, 2020, to reflect Gov. Brad Little’s latest executive orders and proclamation regarding the coronavirus.

 

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, 208-332-3570 x 2102

Idahoans can still file claims online for unemployment insurance

In response to Gov. Brad Little’s state-wide stay-home order and extreme emergency declaration to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Idaho Department of Labor offices will be closed to the public until further notice.

The closure was effective starting Thursday, March 19, however the public can still access the agency’s services online and through the phone.

“We are still open for business and available to serve our customers,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier. “These closures simply allow us to do our part to help slow the transmission of COVID 19.”

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Employer FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

Lawmakers agreed to a significant expansion of the unemployment insurance program with the CARES Act. Additional compensation, extensions, and assistance for self-employed individuals are all coming. We are working with our partners at U.S. Department of Labor for further details so we can implement the changes. We are working as quickly as possible to provide support for Idahoans. Continue to view the Unemployment Insurance COVID-19 FAQs for up-to-date information.

Updated and new FAQs are noted with the date.

FAQs for Employers

Looking for helpful information for your employees? Please visit our Unemployment Facts and How to File for Benefits publications.

Will workers qualify for unemployment benefits if the coronavirus (COVID-19) causes an employer to temporarily or permanently shut down operations?

Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer shuts down operations and no work is available or reduces an individual’s hours due to a drop in business, we would consider this a lay off due to lack of work and the individual may be eligible for benefits. Anyone can apply for benefits, and we will evaluate the individual merits. If there is a situation not covered by these FAQs, the individual may want to file a claim and we will evaluate the circumstances to determine eligibility. Individuals do not need to call us before filing the claim. Click here for more information.

How do workers file for UI?

Anyone can file online at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal. If claimants require assistance or do not have access to a computer, they may call our claims center at (208) 332-8942. Click here for filing information.

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Claimant FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

FAQs for Claimants 

COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits

Lawmakers agreed to a significant expansion of the unemployment insurance program with the CARES Act. Additional compensation, extensions, and assistance for self-employed individuals are all coming. We are working with our partners at U.S. Department of Labor for further details so we can implement the changes. We are working as quickly as possible to provide support for Idahoans. Please be assured you will be made aware of any changes that will potentially impact your unemployment benefit claim.

See these unemployment insurance FAQs for how to file and navigate the system.

CARES Act
COVID-19 Related Questions
General Unemployment Insurance

Updated or new FAQs are noted with the date.

CARES Act

UPDATED March 31: Are independent contractors or self-employed workers covered?

Yes. The CAREs Act expanded the unemployment insurance program to include Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This program allows payment for individuals who are not eligible for regular benefits, particularly self-employed individuals. We are working with the U.S. Department of Labor on further details so we can implement these changes, which could take several weeks. Please apply for benefits online at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal and continue to submit your weekly certifications. Enter your work history on the online application as self-employment. We will inform you of any changes that will potentially affect your unemployment benefit claim.

UPDATED April 6: I heard I am going to get $600 more per week? When does this start?

The CAREs Act includes Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which adds an additional $600 to each claimant’s weekly payment.  This is effective for weeks claimed with the week ending April 4, 2020, but we need additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor as well as to make programming changes which could take several weeks. If you are eligible, you will receive your regular weekly benefit amount now, and then you will receive the $600 retroactively when we get it programmed.

NEW March 30: I have exhausted my UI benefits. Are additional benefits available?

Yes. The CAREs Act expanded the unemployment insurance programto include Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). This program extends benefits for claimants who exhaust their regular benefits. We are working with the U.S. Department of Labor on further details so we can implement these changes. If you have exhausted benefits, please continue to submit your weekly certifications. You will be made aware of any changes that will potentially affect your unemployment benefit claim.

NEW April 6: Do I have to report other income, for example, if my employer gave me part of their stimulus package?

Yes. This is reportable income categorized as ‘other income,’ and reportable in the week that you receive it.

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