Category Archives: Unemployment Insurance

Claimant FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

FAQs for Claimants

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

COVID-19 Related Questions
General Unemployment Insurance

Updated or new FAQs are noted with the date.


What is the CARES Act?

The federal CARES Act programs provide economic assistance to unemployed workers. The CARES Act consists of programs for an additional $300 per week, individuals who are not eligible for regular benefits, and extended benefits.

Did the CARES Act programs expire?

Yes. But Congress passed legislation to extend the CARES Act programs that affect unemployment benefits. Former President Trump signed it into law on Dec. 20, 2020.

Will I receive an additional $300 per week?

Yes. The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, a supplemental payment that ended July 25, was reinstated. LWA will add an additional $300 to a weekly benefit payment for up to 11 weeks, effective 12/27/2020.

How do I apply for the additional $300 per week?

No additional action is required on your part. If you submit your weekly certification report and are eligible for a full or partial unemployment payment, you will receive the additional $300.

Are independent contractors or self-employed workers covered?

Yes. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides benefits to self-employed individuals who became unemployed because of COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular benefits.

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Re-employment Interview Gives You the Tools to Get Back to Work

What is the purpose of the RESEA interview?  

The purpose of the interview is to provide you with tools to help you return to work as quickly as possible. Your Labor workforce consultants are employment experts dedicated to helping you find work. They will provide individualized job search feedback and create a plan to help ensure a successful work search. The consultant also may assist you with labor market information, resumes and innovative ideas for seeking work.

Why is the interview required?

In order to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you are required to seek work and may be required to perform certain work search activities. Required work search activities include participating in an in-person interview if you are selected.

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Federal Shutdown: Idaho Unemployment Insurance Benefits

This blog post was updated Jan. 29, 2019

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.

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DMV Computer Upgrades Mean Delay in Verification in Claimant Portal

Unemployment insurance Claimant Portal not verified description

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.

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Why Can’t I Continue Receiving Unemployment Benefits After Returning to Work?

outdoor worker

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.

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Unemployment Insurance Benefits Information for Furloughed Federal Workers

Question: I am a federal worker who has been furloughed. Am I eligible for unemployment?

Answer: You are eligible to file for unemployment insurance compensation. You would need to meet personal and monetary eligibility, but would be considered laid off due to lack of work.

Q. How do I file for benefits?

A. You must file online at We do not file claims over the telephone. If you do not have internet access or need help filing online, you may file at your nearest local Idaho Department of Labor office. If you are filing a claim against Idaho, but live in another state, you also may file your claim online at

After you have successfully filed your initial claim, you will file your weekly continued claim reports at You may want to check out these helpful videos.

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Do You Know How to Meet Your Work Search Requirements While Receiving Unemployment Benefits?

Editor’s note: This article was updated on Dec. 6, 2019, to reflect changes to acceptable work search contacts.

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 within 16 weeks 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 complete two employer contacts or work search activities 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, and then go to Manage Claims to view this information. Continue reading

Respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes acerca del Portal del Reclamante

Note: English translation is below the article.

El departamento de Labor de Idaho lanzará el Portal del Reclamante en español el 9 de Noviembre en nuestra página web

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.

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Ten Tips to Avoid Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Protect yourself from unemployment insurance fraud and make sure your benefits arrive on time by following these tips.

  1. 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.
  2. Report all former employers. When you apply, report every former employer and why you left, regardless of how long you were employed.
  3. 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.
  4. Register for work at Search for jobs, create resumes and receive job alerts by email—all free.
  5. Actively look for work. Make at least two work-search contacts per week or benefits may be denied.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Be honest. Ignoring the rules or providing false information leads to serious monetary penalties, loss of benefits for one year and possibly jail time.
  10. Know your responsibilities and ask for help. Contact the Idaho Department of Labor at (208) 332-8942.



Reporting, Responding Online Saves Employers Time, Money

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.

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