A previous version of this post contained outdated information. All federal CARES Act unemployment assistance programs, including PUA were discontinued June 19, 2021. Additional information is available here.
See these unemployment insurance FAQs for how to file and navigate the system.
I have COVID-19 or have been told to quarantine due to COVID-19. I am unable to work, or I am not allowed by my employer to work until my quarantine period is over. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
If you are unable to work due to COVID-19, you do not meet the requirements necessary to qualify for benefits.
People eligible for unemployment benefits must be unemployed through no fault of their own and they must be physically and mentally able to work. People with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 are often not eligible because they are unable to work, or they are on a leave of absence as instructed by their employer. However, we also recognize every claim is different, as are individual circumstances. If you wish to file a claim, you may do so. Once your claim is received, we’ll review it for eligibility using the criteria set forth in state law / rule. If you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, please do not visit your nearest local office. Claims may be filed online or you can call (208) 332-8942 for assistance.
Question: Is Idaho discontinuing federal CARES Act unemployment insurance programs?
Answer: Yes, Idaho will end its participation in federal pandemic unemployment compensation programs week ending June 19, 2021.
Q: What programs are ending?
A: The following programs will end June 19, 2021.
Q: Should I continue to submit my weekly certifications in case the decision to discontinue PUA gets overturned?
A: No. It is not necessary to continue submitting weekly certifications.
by Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier
Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large-scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs, and Idaho is not exempt.
These crime rings possess large databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses.
The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for regular state unemployment insurance benefits increased 14 percent for the week ending Jan. 2 to 13,338, up 1,632 over the previous week. The four-week moving average for continued claims increased from 11,028 for the week ending Dec. 26 to 11,725.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 4,612 for the week ending Jan. 2, up by 386 claims, while the four-week moving average decreased by 3 percent to 4,219.
The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for regular state unemployment insurance benefits increased 4 percent for the week ending Dec. 26 to 11,706, up 481 over the previous week. The four-week moving average for continued claims increased from 10,412 for the week ending Dec. 19 to 11,028.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 4,226 for the week ending Dec. 26, up by 270 claims, while the four-week moving average increased by 1 percent to 4,335.
What is ID.me?
ID.me is the Idaho Department of Labor’s federally certified partner for verifying your identity. The department uses ID.me to prevent fraud and identity thieves from using your information to file for unemployment insurance benefits. Claimants are required to complete the digital ID.me verification process when filing for benefits online at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal.
UPDATED Oct. 12, 2021: Why do I have to sign in with ID.me just to use Claimant Portal?
The department saw significant attempts by fraudsters to file claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of that, we partnered with ID.me to require a higher identity standard to prevent fraudsters from accessing claims or filing claims on other’s behalf. Beginning Oct. 13, we are taking the next step to help make sure your unemployment account is secure by having claimants log in to ID.me every time before accessing Claimant Portal.
UPDATED Oct. 12, 2021: What will I see when I go to the Claimant Portal homepage?
You will see a green button which will direct you to ID.me for your log in. You can follow our tutorial for a step-by-step guide.
UPDATED Oct. 12, 2021: How long will it take me to verify my identity each time I use Claimant Portal?
Once you have an ID.me account, most of the time it should take you just a few minutes. This authentication process is similar to what banks and other businesses use. If you have not signed into ID.me in a while, you may have to upload a new selfie photo or take other steps to verify your identity.
UPDATED Oct. 12, 2021: What if I don’t have a cell phone?
You can borrow a cell phone for the verification process at the Labor office or remote location nearest to you.
The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for regular state unemployment insurance benefits increased six percent for the week ending Dec. 19 to 11,225, up 595 over the previous week. The four-week moving average for continued claims increased from 9,804 for the week ending Dec. 12 to 10,412.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 3,956 for the week ending Dec. 19, down by 127 claims, while the four-week moving average decreased by 4 percent to 4,276.
Note: All federal CARES Act unemployment assistance programs, including PUA will discontinue week ending June 19, 2021. Additional information is available here.
Question: I hear Congress approved extending unemployment benefits and other stimulus programs.
Answer: Congress has passed legislation to extend the CARES Act programs that affect unemployment benefits. Now that it has been signed by President Trump, states will be informed about how to implement the program. Until then, we have no additional details and cannot answer your phone calls regarding the extension. We will post any updates on our FAQs and website as they become available. Please continue to submit your weekly reports.
Q: I hear that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is ending.
A: You are correct, unemployment insurance programs and extensions funded by the federal CARES Act expired Dec. 26, 2020, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
Q: How do I know if I am receiving unemployment insurance funded by the Federal CARES Act?
A: PEUC, or extended benefits program, adds 13 weeks to exhausted unemployment benefits. If you applied for extended benefits on the Claimant Portal, you’ll see confirmation that your extended benefits application was approved on the Claimant Portal home page under Extended Benefits.
PUA is for self-employed, low wage earners or workers with denied issues who were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals who are primarily self-employed uploaded tax information to the Claimant Portal to determine monetary eligibility.
Pregunta: Las solicitudes para beneficios de desempleo, ¿están siendo llenadas por personas que se han robado la identidad de alguien?
Respuesta: Sí. Redes criminales a través de todo el globo están explotando la crisis de Covid-19 intentando cometer fraude a gran escala contra varios programas de seguro de desempleo estatales. Estas redes criminales poseen bases de datos sustanciales de información personal identificable robadas, las cuales son usadas para entregar un gran volumen de solicitudes de beneficios seguro de desempleo. Los estafadores usan los nombres y direcciones de residentes de Idaho, pero hacen enviar los fondos a cuentas bancarias en otros estados o hacen que las tarjetas bancarias sean enviadas a direcciones diferentes. El Departamento está trabajando muy de cerca con las agencias policiacas federales y las oficinas del Inspector General del Departamento de Trabajo Federal para abordar este problema.
Question: Are unemployment insurance applications being filed by people who have stolen someone’s identity?
Answer: Yes. Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs. These crime rings possess substantial databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses. The department is working closely with federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General to address fraud.