Category Archives: Unemployment Insurance

FAQ Friday – What are My Unemployment Insurance Work Search Requirements?

Note: This article was updated on June 8, 2017

If you are receiving unemployment benefits, you should develop a realistic plan to become re-employed.

You are required to make a good faith effort to seek work each week you claim benefits, even if you are employed part time. We require at least two employment contacts per week.

Never assume that you are not required to look for work.

How do I report my work search?

When you file your weekly certification at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal, you will be asked to enter your work search contacts. We will ask how you applied for the position and for the companies’ contact information. You can save yourself some time by using our work search log to gather the information so you have it ready when you file your weekly continued claim certification online.

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Employer Quarterly Tax Reports Move Online

All Idaho employers are now required to file quarterly unemployment insurance reports online at labor.idaho.gov/employerportal. As of Jan. 1, 2015, quarterly reports are only available online at labor.idaho.gov/employerportal.

Q: Why did Idaho move to online tax reporting services?

A: Online filing saves taxpayer dollars and results in greater accuracy when calculating taxes due. Additionally, payments can be scheduled in advance, up to the due date.

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Responding to Unemployment Claims Online Saves Employers Time

Employers can now receive and respond to unemployment insurance claims online, saving time, money and potential tax amount increases.

In Idaho, all employers are now required to respond to unemployment insurance claims within seven days.

“If employers fail to respond to unemployment claims, their tax amount will increase,” said Tyler Smith, unemployment insurance technical services specialist.

SIDES / eResponse, the State Information Data Exchange System, provides a free online site for small businesses to respond to state unemployment insurance requests quickly, easily and accurately.

Errors such as incorrect addresses, lost mail or delays can result in employers paying more unemployment insurance than they should be responsible for. These errors are now avoidable by using SIDES.

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Why Did I Receive a 1099G Tax Form?

Why did I receive a 1099G tax form from the Department of Labor? Are unemployment insurance benefits taxable?

If you collect or repay unemployment insurance benefits during any taxable year, you should receive a 1099-G IRS form that shows the total taxable unemployment compensation issued to you from the State of Idaho for a calendar year.

Unemployment insurance benefits are taxable. Payment information is reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and you are required to file a tax return for payments received or repaid.

Sample 1099-G form

I collected or repaid unemployment insurance benefits and have not received my 1099G tax form yet. Where is it?

The department mails 1099-G forms at the end of January to the address you have listed on your unemployment insurance contact information. The post office will return a Form 1099-G as undeliverable if you move and do not update your address. It is your responsibility to make sure the Idaho Department of Labor has the most recent and correct address. If your address has changed, go to labor.idaho.gov/iw and update it, even if you are no longer filing. IMPORTANT: YOUR 1099-G WILL INCLUDE YOUR ENTIRE SOCIAL SECUIRTY NUMBER, AS REQUIRED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. FAILURE TO UPDATE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS COULD RESULT IN YOUR 1099-G GOING TO THE WRONG ADDRESS AND PUT YOUR IDENTITY AT RISK.

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FAQ Friday: Are Unemployment Insurance Benefits Taxable?

Q. Are unemployment insurance benefits taxable?

A. Yes. Unemployment insurance benefits are fully taxable, and you are required to file a tax return for payments received or repaid.

 Q. What do I need from the Idaho Department of Labor to file my taxes?

A. If you collected or repaid unemployment insurance benefits, you’ll receive a summary of the benefits you received by the end of January. This form, otherwise known as an IRS form 1099-G, will be sent to your last known address. It’s your responsibility to make sure the Idaho Department of Labor has the most recent and correct address. If your address has changed, go to labor.idaho.gov/iw and update it, even if you are no longer filing. IMPORTANT: YOUR 1099-G WILL INCLUDE YOUR ENTIRE SOCIAL SECUIRTY NUMBER, AS REQUIRED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. FAILURE TO UPDATE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS COULD RESULT IN YOUR 1099-G GOING TO THE WRONG ADDRESS AND PUT YOUR IDENTITY AT RISK.

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FAQ Friday – I Filed My Unemployment Claim. Now What Happens?

This blog post was updated with new information on March 9, 2017.

Q. I filed my initial unemployment insurance claim online. Now what?
  • Ensure your contact information is updated and correct. If more information is needed, we will email or call you, depending on the preferred contact method you selected on your application. We will also mail information regarding your claim. Failing to keep your address current can also result in payment delays.
  • Report your Waiting Week. This is the first weekly report, and you must report your waiting week to certify your claim. File your waiting week online the first Sunday after you open your claim. If you never report your waiting week, nothing will happen on your claim.
Q. How do I give my side of the story about why I am no longer working?

Once you file your weekly report for your waiting week, we will contact you by phone or email for information regarding your separation. Please note: It can take four to six weeks for a determination to be made during high volume months (November though February). Once a determination is made, it will be mailed to you. If you are allowed benefits, you will be paid the weeks you filed for and were otherwise eligible for. Payment will be issued by debit card or direct deposit. If you have received benefits via direct deposit in the past, you may need to update your banking information. If you are denied, the determination will explain why and how to protest the decision.

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Website Downtime: What Unemployment Claimants, Job Seekers Need to Know

Several Idaho Department of Labor Internet applications will be temporarily unavailable starting at 5 p.m. MDT Thursday, Sept. 11, until 7 a.m. MDT Monday, Sept. 15.

The temporary shutdown is necessary for the rollout of several internal computer system enhancements and is scheduled to have a minimal impact on unemployment insurance claimants and businesses.

I normally file my weekly report every Sunday. When should I file my weekly report during the temporary shutdown?

Our system will be available at 7 a.m. MDT Monday Sept. 15. Provided you file your weekly report on Monday, you should not see a delay in your payment for the week ending Sept. 13.

I waited too long to file my weekly report for the week ending Sept. 6. Am I unable to file my weekly report for that week?

Please contact one of our staff members at (208) 332-8942.

Since I am unable to use your website after 5 p.m. MDT Thursday, Sept. 11 to look for work, do I still have to look for work during the week ending Sept. 13?

Although the main Idaho Works job search engine will be unavailable during this planned outage, our expectation is you will still look for work for the week ending Sept. 13. You may use other work search sites, apply online with employers or contact employers in person or by email.

If you have questions, please contact us at (208) 332-8942.

Will your local offices be open on Friday, Sept. 12?

Yes. Veteran services, Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) applicant and participant activities will not be affected. Information on registration files, employer records, job listings, referrals and our lobby computers will be unavailable.

If you have questions, please contact your nearest local office. Learn more about the maintenance shutdown schedule here.

How do I Stay Eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

Note: This blog post was updated Nov. 23, 2016, with new information throughout the article.

To stay eligible for unemployment insurance benefits once you have applied for benefits, you must complete a weekly certification at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal. Click here for instructions. You must also be working less than full time, be available and physically and mentally able to work and actively seeking full-time employment. You also must be willing and able to work all the days and hours normal for the type of work you seek. Finally, you need to remain in the area unless you are seeking work outside of where you live.

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FAQ Friday – Why are Work Search Contacts Required?

Why are we are now required to include work search contact details on our weekly continued claim reports? 

We have always required job seekers to keep records of their work search contacts. What’s changed is now you can save yourself some time by using our work search log to gather the information and enter it electronically in your weekly continued claim report, allowing us to capture the information in a timelier manner.

Last time I claimed unemployment insurance, I didn’t have to look for work during a seasonal layoff because I planned to go back to work for the same employer. What happened?

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FAQ Friday – Why did you change the way we file for unemployment insurance benefits?

Why am I being sent to a phone when I go to my local office for answers to my unemployment insurance questions?

Getting answers to your unemployment insurance questions over the telephone means consistent answers from someone who specializes in unemployment program benefits. It also frees up our local office staff so they can concentrate on helping the unemployed become job seekers and connecting them with employers.

Unfortunately this change is also resulting in high call volumes during our busy times. If you find yourself on hold for more than 30 minutes, you will be asked to leave a voicemail message. Please be assured your voicemail message will be returned. If you are concerned about cellphone minutes or long distance charges, feel free to use a phone in any of our 25 local offices or email us at www@labor.idaho.gov.

I used to be able to not have to look for work during a seasonal layoff because I planned to go back to work for the same employer. What happened?
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