The Most Common Questions About Unemployment Insurance

When it comes to unemployment insurance, you probably have a lot of questions. It’s a complicated world and many businesses don’t have the resources to dedicate a person fully to navigating its waters. To help you out, here are some of the most frequent questions we’re asked by current and prospective clients.   

Who is charged for an unemployment insurance claim?  

The short answer is the employer in some capacity, but the specifics vary by state. Your state will determine who is chargeable, whether it’s the most recent employer for all benefits or if prior employers will share the claim in inverse order. Some may charge employers in proportion to the wages they paid during the base period and others will offset the unemployment benefit charges through volunteer contributions to the unemployment fund.  

How does the state determine how much to pay? 

The costs are determined by an employee’s past earnings. Paid on a weekly basis, the benefits are based on the claimant’s usual wage and is generally about 50 percent of the wages. Every state has its own maximum weekly benefit amount, with some states paying significantly higher than others. If the claimant receives higher wages, they will usually receive less than 50 percent.  

If someone quits, can they collect unemployment? 

In order to receive unemployment benefits after quitting, the employee has the burden of proof to demonstrate they left their job for a valid reason with good cause attributable to the employer. They can ultimately receive benefits, but only after proving there was a significant change to employment or serious issue that the employer refused to address.  

Can someone work and collect wages while they’re collecting unemployment? 

Yes, this can happen. Most states will pay unemployment benefits when a claimant is partially employed, but the wages will reduce how much they receive from UI.  

Are part-time or on-call employees eligible for unemployment? 

Yes, an employee can collect wages for any week they didn’t work. Part-time employees who earn enough money are eligible to file.  

Can temporary employees get unemployment? 

Even if there is a set time for the contract to end, the temp is still eligible, but as their employer is technically their staffing agency, the agency is responsible for paying the benefits. Once you hire an employee into a permanent position, you become liable to pay their unemployment benefits.  

How are unemployment tax rates determined? 

Ultimately it comes down to your payroll and how well you manage your UI claims and costs. Each state has its own specifics that determine how long the employer’s experience will affect their taxes.   

Have more questions? 

We covered a few of the common inquiries, but we know there are many more. Please contact us if you’re looking for more assistance!