Question: I am a federal worker who has been furloughed. Am I eligible for unemployment?
Answer: Yes. You are considered laid off due to lack of work and you need to meet personal and monetary eligibility. However as a federal employee, you also need to be aware of several unintended consequences of applying for unemployment insurance benefits.
Before you apply, please consider the following:
You will not receive your first unemployment insurance payment for approximately three weeks after you file for benefits.
If the federal government compensates you or back pays you for the work you missed during the furlough (as it has historically), you will be required to disclose your payment information to the department and repay any unemployment insurance benefits you collect during that time.
You are required to seek work and make at least two job contacts per week.
Q. Once the shutdown is over, if the federal government back pays us for our time away from work, is this income reportable? If so, how should I report my income?
A. Yes. If you receive your back pay, call us at (208) 332-8942 and let us know.
Q. Once the shutdown is over, if the federal government back pays us for our time away from work, do I have to repay benefits?
A. Yes. For unemployment insurance purposes, any back pay you receive from the federal government is reportable income for the weeks you are furloughed and will result in an overpayment of benefits. Please be aware that unpaid overpayments accrue interest of about 11 percent after 30 days from the overpayment establishment. If you have an outstanding overpayment balance, the department will seize your state tax refund, potentially delaying your refund. If your overpayment balance exceeds $350, you must contact us at (208) 332-3842 to set up a repayment agreement that does not exceed three months to avoid a lien being filed against you.
Q. Why is my profile ‘not verified’ in the Claimant Portal?
The Idaho Department of Labor routinely verifies your claim information to protect your identity. Comparing your information with the Department of Motor Vehicles is one of our verification methods. Due to DMV computer upgrades, your profile information will temporarily show as ‘not verified’ from Wednesday, Aug. 8 until Monday, Aug. 13. Once upgrades are complete, we will complete the identity verification.
Why can’t I continue receiving unemployment benefits after returning to work? It’s just until I get my first paycheck.
There are a few reasons why people are not allowed to receive unemployment benefits after becoming fully employed. First and foremost, it’s important to know that it’s against the law to collect unemployment benefits after you return to full-time work. Unemployment is only meant as temporary financial assistance until you’re employed again.
People who receive unemployment insurance benefits must meet ongoing requirements while receiving benefits. One of those requirements is to make at least two work-search contacts each week, but not everyone understands how to meet this requirement.
Here are a few tips that will help you to meet the requirements and avoid having your claim for benefits denied.
The Top 10 Things You Need to Know
1. Actively look for work
Almost everyone collecting unemployment insurance benefits is required to actively look for work each week.
In very few cases, some people may not be required to look for work if they are scheduled to return to full-time employment soon, and they are considered to be job attached. Never assume you are job attached or are not required to look for work. If you think these situations may apply to you, please call a claim specialist at (208) 332-8942.
Unless you have specifically been told that you do not have to actively look for work, you are required to look for a full-time job. In fact, you are required to make two valid work search contacts each week you file a claim for unemployment benefits.
You MUST comply with the work-search requirements you agreed to when you completed your online application. These requirements can be viewed, and verified, online at our Claimant Portal. Log in to your account at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal, and then go to Manage Claims to view this information.
El departamento de Labor de Idaho lanzará el Portal del Reclamante en español el 9 de Noviembre en nuestra página web labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal
El Portal del Reclamante es un sistema seguro en línea que los reclamantes usan para aplicar para recibir beneficios del Seguro de Desempleo, archivar reportes semanales y para ver información del reclamante. El portal del Reclamante fue establecido en ingles en el 2015.
¿Porque estamos cambiando?
Los reclamantes de beneficios que solo hablan español han tenido que llamar a nuestro centro de reclamos para someter una aplicación para recibir beneficios de desempleo. De ahora en adelante estos reclamantes pueden aplicar para recibir beneficios de desempleo y archivar sus reportes semanales cuando sea más conveniente para ellos. Ya no estarán restringidos por nuestras horas de trabajo y pueden evitar largos periodos de espera en el teléfono.
¿Si tengo un reclamo actualmente, tengo que registrarme en el Portal del Reclamante en Español?
Si. Al utilizar nuestro sistema por primera vez usted deberá registrarse con su correo electrónico y una nueva contraseña. Para instrucciones más detalladas por favor siga esta Guía.
Protect yourself from unemployment insurance fraud and make sure your benefits arrive on time by following these tips.
File your own initial claim and weekly certifications. Never let anyone else submit your application or weekly certifications on your behalf and never share your password.
Report all former employers. When you apply, report every former employer and why you left, regardless of how long you were employed.
Report all gross wages. Report all wages before tax and deductions each week. Include cash, check, barter and part-time or temporary work including work you do for family and friends.
Register for work at idahoworks.gov. Search for jobs, create resumes and receive job alerts by email—all free.
Actively look for work. Make at least two work-search contacts per week or benefits may be denied.
Be able, available and willing to work. Avoid penalties and charges. Report if you are not able, available or willing to accept work for the entire week claimed.
Keep your address current. Keep your address current and read your mail. You’ll receive several letters outlining what you need to do. If you ignore these letters you could lose your benefits.
Going back to work full time? Stop filing for benefits! If you continue to collect benefits after you’ve gone back to work full time, even if only until your first paycheck arrives, you will be required to repay benefits, plus penalties and interest, and you could face criminal charges.
Be honest. Ignoring the rules or providing false information leads to serious monetary penalties, loss of benefits for one year and possibly jail time.
Know your responsibilities and ask for help. Contact the Idaho Department of Labor at (208) 332-8942.
Idaho employers save time, money and easily meet the deadline for responding to employee separations when they manage their unemployment insurance accounts online and communicate with the Department of Labor electronically.
“Many of our documents we get electronically anyway, so prior to having this I would have to go through and print them, get everything together and fax them,” said Connie Herbert, human resources representative for King’s retail. “With this new program I can have it up on one screen and payroll up on another and look up all the information. There’s places I can attach supporting documents and since they’re already electronic that’s really easy.”
SIDES E-Response is a free online program that notifies businesses by email about any benefit claims filed against the business account. It also provides information for the employer to send an initial response.
Seasonal work trends leave many employees laid off during specific times of the year.
Understanding your work search requirements while claiming unemployment insurance benefits as a seasonal worker is important for many reasons.
While claiming unemployment benefits, it is mandatory to make two job contacts per week.
If you are job attached, which means you have been laid off or are working reduced hours and will be called back to your previous time job, you may not have to look for work.
However, there is a 16-week limit when collecting unemployment benefits when you are job attached. Claimants must have a definite return-to-time-work date within 16 weeks of their layoff or reduction in hours or they are required to make job contacts.
These job contacts, which you report when you file your weekly continued claim certification, must be specific and verifiable. Depending on the type of work search contact made, this information may include phone numbers, addresses and the name of the person contacted for the job as well as websites visited (including URL) and confirmation numbers.
Ex-service members have the right to file for unemployment insurance benefits once released from military services. A valid unemployment insurance claim can be established based on the ex-service member’s military service if the individual completed his or her first full term of service and military separation was under honorable conditions.
Under certain situations, an ex-service member may establish a valid unemployment insurance claim even if they have not completed their first full term of service. Eligibility will depend upon the reason of separation from military service.