Unemployment Insurance Law Changes — Questions & Answers
Claimants — Questions & Answers
Employers — Questions & Answers
1. I’m currently receiving benefits. Will my weekly benefit amount (WBA) change on June 30, 2013?
No. The new law does not take effect until June 30, 2013 and only those New Initial Claims filed on or after June 30, 2013 will be affected. No current claims will experience a reduction of an already established weekly benefit amount. However, New Initial Claims filed on or after June 30, 2013 will be subject to a maximum weekly benefit amount of $350.
2. If I’m currently receiving benefits, will my duration change on June 30, 2013?
No. Only those New Initial Claims filed on or after June 30, 2013 will be affected.
3. I’ve already served a one-week waiting period. If I go back to work for a period of time and get laid off again, will I have to serve another waiting week?
No. Claims filed prior to June 30, 2013 that establish benefit years beginning before that date will only serve the one waiting week required under current law for any claims filed during that benefit year. Effective with claims filed on or after June 30, 2013, each claimant will be required to serve a waiting period week for each claim filed during the benefit year created by that new claim.
4. How much can I make and still get my maximum weekly benefit amount?
Effective with claims filed on or after June 30, 2013, this calculation will be changed to 20 percent of the weekly benefit amount. For example, if you are designated to receive the maximum weekly benefit amount of $350, your earnings allowance will be $70 per week.
5. If I’m unemployed from a part-time job do I have to accept full-time work?
Yes. The new legislation eliminates the part-time suitable work exception. Part-time work may still be suitable work under the new law if it meets the criteria for suitable work. Under current law, if an individual is unemployed from a part-time job, the individual may not be required to accept full-time employment.
6. What is considered suitable work?
The Division’s determination of whether an employment offer is suitable must vary based upon the individual’s length of unemployment. After the 10th week of a benefit period, the Division must consider any employment offer paying 120% of the individual’s weekly benefit amount to be suitable work. For weeks 1 through 10 of the benefit period, virtually of the current criteria for suitable work will be applied. Also, the individual must now be willing to accept full-time employment, beginning with week 1, even though the individual customarily works part-time.
7. If I’m attending school, does that offset receipt of severance pay?
No. It will be treated in the same manner as other separation pay. The new law does not allow for the effects of having received severance pay to be waived due to the claimant’s school attendance.
8. How does the new law affect attached claims my employer may file for me?
For all attached claims filed on or after June 30, 2013, an employer may only file one attached claim per employee during the employee’s benefit year. This attached claim is limited to a maximum duration of six weeks. If an employee has a weekly benefit amount established prior to June 30, 2013, that WBA will not change even though all the other provisions of the new attached claim law will apply. If there is no established WBA, one will be computed using the new law’s calculations. A waiting week must be served for any attached claim filed on or after June 30, 2013.
1. How will attached claims be handled?
An employer may file an attached claim only if the employer has a positive balance in its UI account. If an employer does not have a positive balance, it must pay to the Division an amount equal to the amount necessary to bring the employer’s negative balance to at least zero. Once this has been accomplished, there are other restrictions the employer must adhere to:
2. How will the new law changes affect how I report wages to DES each quarter?
For UI purposes, wages will continue to be reported quarterly. The UI State taxable wage base is $20,900 for 2013.
3. How will the new law affect how I pay taxes to DES each quarter?
Beginning with 3rd quarter 2013 thru 2nd quarter 2014, existing governmental and non-profit employers that choose the reimbursement method of financing benefits will be required to make payments equaling 1% of the taxable wages. Newly liable governmental and non-profit employers must pay tax at the rate of 1% of their quarterly taxable wages for the first four calendar quarters from their first date of employment. Remit payment to DES with your quarterly report.
4. How will I be charged for annual benefits?
Claims that are chargeable to your account will be charged as in previous years. Under the new law, governmental and non-profit employers must maintain a 1% balance in their accounts related to taxable wages. Claims that are charged will impact the balance in that account. In November each year DES will send each governmental and non-profit employer a statement to reconcile its account.
5. If I currently file a paper NCUI 101 each quarter to DES, does the new law change my filing requirements?
Yes, the new law requires that all employers having 25 or more employees and all employer service bureaus (payroll services and accountants) reporting for employers with 25 or more employees per quarter file their quarterly reports in a format prescribed by DES. A penalty will be assessed for failure to comply.
6. I am an experience rated employer, how will the new law affect my unemployment insurance tax rate?
Tax rates will now be calculated by a statutory formula, which can be found in G.S. §96-9.2. The rates for 2014 range from 0.07% to 6.91%.