What are Some Common Unemployment Insurance Issues?


Facing unemployment, or being unemployed, is stressful. The actual process of unemployment benefits process can be challenging to navigate. However, you may face some common challenges when trying to receive unemployment benefits. At any time, contact the unemployment lawyers at the Maxson firm for assistance navigating the process or to get answers to your questions.

What Exactly is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment is considered a social insurance benefit. While you work, your employer contributes to the unemployment benefit system. The purpose of them paying into the system while you are working is to provide income support if they lose their job. One of the reasons the system was put in place is to protect workers when there is a downturn in the economy. This provides a continuous stream of income for workers and their families.

How Do I Know if I Am Eligible?

There are a few federal statutes around unemployment insurance, but most states have their own criteria for who is eligible for benefits. The most basic program benefit states that a worker is qualified for up to 26 weeks of benefits, intending to replace approximately half of their lost wages. However, there is a maximum amount that the benefit cannot exceed. The funding to pay the benefit comes from the state, but the federal government pays all the administrative costs.

Common Problems Around Unemployment Insurance

You Cannot Reach Anyone

It can often be challenging to talk to a live person at your local unemployment office. This becomes even more challenging when unemployment is high. You can reach out to your state representative to help you talk to someone at the unemployment office. They may be able to help. However, it would be best if you did not give up. You want to continue to call and wait on hold for someone to answer. If that is not working for you, contact the unemployment lawyers at the Maxson firm for assistance.

You Cannot Get Answers

You finally get through and speak to a live person only to find out that person does not know the answer. There is a possibility this may happen to you. You should not get frustrated and give up. If you believe the person you are speaking with does not know the answer, ask for a supervisor or a case reviewer. If that person is not available, leave a message with all your information. You can wait a day or two and call back. If it seems like the person you need is never there, ask for a good time to call to reach this person. This may seem frustrating, but your patience will pay off in the long run.

You Did Not Receive Your Benefit

The most straightforward answer for why you did not receive your benefit is it may have ended. You may have received all the benefits that were payable to you. The rules of entitlement are different for each state. The amount you receive depends on where you live and the specifics of your case.

It is possible that there was a problem with your case. However, if you at any point answer no when you are asked if you are actively seeking employment, that will cause your unemployment to stop. This is because one of the criteria for receiving benefits is that you are actively looking for a job.

Tax Implications

When you are working and earning a paycheck, that money is taxable income. Your employer withholds money for taxes from your check. The taxes have been taken by the time you see it, and you do not know the difference. However, when you receive unemployment, there are no federal taxes withheld from it. You are still responsible for paying taxes on this money. It is up to you to ensure taxes are paid properly on this money. If not, you could owe a large amount of money when you file taxes.

Reasons for Denial

Many people seeking unemployment benefits do not fully understand the process or the rules. This may cause their request for benefits to be denied. If you are not willing or able to work full time without restrictions, your request may be denied. The definition of full-time may change from state to state. It would be best if you understood how many hours you must work to be considered full-time. If you are currently attending school or training classes that prevents you from being available for work, your claim may be denied. Depending on why you were dismissed from your position, your claim may be denied. For example, if you were released due to misconduct, your claim may be denied. Each state has a different definition of misconduct. It would help if you understood the definitions for your state when you apply for benefits.

Improper Payments

When you receive an improper payment of Unemployment Insurance, that means you have either been overpaid or underpaid. Both can present problems for you. If you have been underpaid, the good news is that you do not owe the agency anything. They owe you money. The problem for you could be that you really needed that money when you were supposed to have it. Not having those extra funds could have been a hardship for you. If you have been overpaid for unemployment, you have to pay back those funds. This can also create a hardship for you, especially if you are not working. Unfortunately, it is relatively common for a state to overpay unemployment benefits. If you are notified that you have been overpaid, you can file an appeal. However, you must be able to prove that the overpayment is an error and you were paid the correct amount. You can file a waiver stating that the overpayment was legitimate, but you are asking for forgiveness and not to repay it. You have a short window of time in which you can file a waiver. Lastly, you can repay the money. You can set up a payment plan if you are not able to pay the entire sum at once. Sometimes, you can create a plan where a specific amount is deducted from your future unemployment payments.

No matter what your situation, or your question, contact the unemployment lawyers at the Maxson firm for assistance. We will help you get everything you deserve and provide you with the support you need to navigate the system.

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