Tag Archives: unemployment insurance

Labor Department Clears 85 Percent of Pending Unemployment Claims

News Release

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2020
Media Contact: Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov or Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Labor has cleared about 85 percent of 42,000 pending claims, as of June 6, and expects to work through the remaining 5,500 pending claims by mid-July.

A total of 120 Maximus call center agents are now working with department staff to answer phones and re-set passwords among other tasks. With increased staffing, wait times have been cut in half and most calls are now being answered. Call volumes have significantly decreased as backlogs reduce.

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Idaho Labor Department Takes Steps to Combat Fraud

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 19, 2020
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov or Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov

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 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 Idaho Department of Labor uses many methods to flag potentially fraudulent claims and stop them from payment until the fraud team can review and confirm identity on the applications. Currently, the department has thousands of pending claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent. About 45 percent of the claims flagged for identity theft turn out to be fraud.

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Idaho Sees 5,800 New Weekly Initial Claims Because of COVID-19

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

A total of 5,800 new initial claims were filed in Idaho for unemployment benefits during the week ending May 16, the same level filed the previous week.

It was the first week new claims numbers held steady after six consecutive weeks of declines. Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment  – fell to 60,121, a decline of 8 percent from the previous week.

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Labor Begins Making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Payments

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

The Idaho Department of Labor is now making payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits to individuals who are unemployed because of COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular benefits.

Payments will be made to workers who are not monetarily eligible for regular benefits and have no pending issues on their claim.

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COVID-19 and Idaho’s Economy – The First Six Weeks

COVID-19 slammed Idaho’s economy in March, causing the most sudden and largest job losses ever. At first, most of the job losses occurred in the tourism industry, as fear of COVID-19 reduced international travel, then domestic travel. Then conventions were canceled, schools closed, classes moved online and the dominoes kept falling. Every day, more businesses shut down or laid off its workers. On March 25, Gov. Brad Little issued a statewide 21-day stay-home order and required non-essential businesses to close.

In the six weeks since the coronavirus began affecting Idaho’s economy, 117,811 claims were filed — 13.5 percent of all Idaho residents who were employed before the crisis.

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Labor Begins Making Payments for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

The Idaho Department of Labor has begun making more than $63 million in payments for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides temporary emergency funds of $600 per week for claimants.

It will take approximately three business days for claimants to see the funds in their bank accounts or debit cards once it has been issued. The payments are retroactive to March 29 or the first week the individual received benefits, whichever is later. The payment will be delivered in one lump sum.

Claimants do not need to do anything extra to receive the $600 weekly, but they should continue to file weekly claims. Claimants with pending issues preventing payment will not receive the additional funds until the issues are resolved and they are allowed benefits. There is no need to call the department as claimants can check the Claimant Portal to confirm payment.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Due to COVID-19 Exceed 100,000

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 23, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

Laid off Idaho workers filed 108,984 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the first five weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Initial claims reached 13,023 during the week ending April 18, a 30 percent decline from the previous week – but still 12 times greater than all of 2019’s weekly average.

It was the second week the number of new claims fell, while continued claims – the number of valid claims filed by people who are eligible, currently claiming benefits and still unable to Continue reading

Filing for UI Benefits? Double Check that Website.

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

Beware of Unemployment Insurance Scams

Idahoans applying for unemployment insurance for the first time should be extra vigilant about what websites they access to file for benefits, according to the Department of Labor.

“People need to be careful,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier. “If you are applying for unemployment benefits, make sure you enter your information into a labor.idaho.gov webpage and not a fake website designed to steal personally identifiable information.”

First-time filers for unemployment insurance represent a large share of Idahoans applying for benefits, and according to the department’s IT security team, hackers are taking full advantage of the urgency people feel around COVID-19.

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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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