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May 12, 2020
Changes to Unemployment Compensation by State Due to COVID-19

Alabama. Waived one-week waiting period and “able and available” and work search requirements for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19, quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency, laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns, or caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19. The state is urging employers to file partial claims on their employees’ behalf and will not charge these claims to the employer’s experience rating.

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State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. Employees who refuse to return to work when their employer reopens will be ineligible for unemployment benefits, unless they have “good work-related cause.” https://www.labor.alabama.gov/covid19resources.aspx

Alaska. Legislation signed March 26 relaxed restrictions on unemployment aid for Alaskans laid off or seeing reduced hours because of the coronavirus pandemic. https://labor.alaska.gov/unemployment/COVID-19.htm

Arizona. Executive Order 2020-11 waived the one-week waiting period, “able and available,” and work search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits. Eligible individuals include people who work at a business that has been temporarily closed or has reduced hours because of COVID-19, who have to quarantine because of COVID-19, or who have to care for a family member with COVID-19. The order also waived any increase in employer payments to the unemployment insurance fund for businesses whose employees receive benefits under this provision. State is now paying out the federally funded $600 in additional weekly benefits, and has expanded employer eligibility for Shared Work program. https://des.az.gov/services/coronavirus

Arkansas. Governor Asa Hutchinson has directed the Arkansas Department of Commerce to waive the one-week waiting period. https://govstatus.egov.com/ar-covid-19

California. Waived the one-week waiting period so unemployed workers may collect benefits for the first week they are out of work, and the California Employment Development Department (EDD) has indicated that reduced hours because of COVID-19 will qualify for partial wage replacement benefits, too. The EDD is now paying out the federally funded $600 in additional weekly benefits, and has provided details on upcoming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for business owners, the self-employed, and others not usually eligible for unemployment benefits. https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm

Colorado. Executive Order 2020-012 waived the one-week waiting period and the 12-day period for interested parties to respond to a proposed award of benefits. Claims related to COVID-19 will be charged to the fund rather than the employer. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act.

Under Executive Order 2020-044, an employer may not compel “vulnerable” individuals to return to work if they must work in person near others. Employees who refuse to return to work and quit due to unsatisfactory or hazardous working conditions may be eligible for unemployment to the degree of risk involved to their health. However, when employees refuse to return to “suitable” work, Department of Labor and Employment is encouraging employers to report that. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/covid-19-4

Connecticut. Waived work search requirements. Individuals still must be physically able and available for full time work, unless the individual has a note from a physician stating that the individual is only available for part time work. If business has slowed, the Department of Labor (CTDOL) offers a SharedWork program as an alternative to a layoff. Contributory employers will not be charged for COVID-19-related unemployment claims. State is deploying a separate system for processing PUA claims. An employee with COVID-19-related concerns about returning to a specific place of employment may have good cause to refuse employment as it is not suitable due to possible exposure to the virus. http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF

Delaware. New guidelines enhance the flexibility of Delaware’s unemployment insurance program to provide cash assistance to many Delaware workers whose employment has been impacted directly by coronavirus [COVID-19] and who would not typically qualify for benefits. https://news.delaware.gov/2020/03/17/the-delaware-department-of-labor-expands-unemployment-benefits-to-workers-affected-by-the-covid-19-pandemic/

District of Columbia. Employee eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits have been expanded while the Mayor’s declaration of a public health emergency is in effect. https://dccouncil.us/covid-19-response-emergency-amendment-act-of-2020/

Florida. State has indicated that Reemployment Assistance may be available for those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency, laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns, or caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19. State has waived waiting week and “actively seeking work” reporting requirement, and is now paying out the federally funded $600 in additional weekly benefits. hhttps://covid19.floridajobs.org

Georgia. Work search requirements waived. Employers must file partial claims online on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Employer account will not be charged for certain benefits paid for unemployment due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including partial claims.

State is now paying out the federally funded $600 in additional weekly benefits. To be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, individuals must first be determined to ineligible for regular state benefits. Employees returning to work reduced hours may earn up to $300 per week without reducing weekly benefit amount. Employees choosing not to go work for fear of COVID-19 must file their own claims, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. https://dol.georgia.gov/gdol-covid-19-information

Hawaii. The one-week waiting period and work search requirement for unemployment insurance benefits are waived for those unemployed because of COVID-19. https://labor.hawaii.gov/ui/files/2020/03/COVID-19-Labor-Benefits-Fact-Sheet_20200319.pdf http://labor.hawaii.gov/blog/news/covid-19-unemployment-law-changes/

Idaho. A March 27 proclamation waived the one-week waiting period for all applicants who are otherwise eligible, and made it easier for claimants to be considered as job-attached if they have been laid off due to COVID-19 related reasons. An employer must provide reasonable assurance of a return to work and the claimant must be able and available for suitable work. Claimants also have met the available-for-work criteria if they are isolated and unavailable to work at the request of a medical professional, their employer, or their local health district and they will be returning to their employer. Unemployment claims based on these provisions will not be charged to the employer’s account. https://labor.idaho.gov/dnn/COVID-19

Illinois. Under emergency rules IDES recently adopted, individuals temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 do not have to register with the employment service. They are considered to be actively seeking work as long as they are prepared to return to the job as soon as the employer reopens. Those confined to their homes because of a COVID-19 diagnosis, a quarantine, or to care for a family member with COVID-19 are considered to meet the requirement to be unemployed through “no fault of their own.” IDES is now paying out the federally funded $600 in additional weekly benefits. https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/COVID-19-and-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx

Indiana. Under Executive Order 20-05, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will:

  • Interpret, consistent with federal law, interpret state unemployment laws to provide benefits to claimants displaced by COVID-19;
  • Not assess certain experience rate penalties against employers whose employees receive unemployment benefits as a result of COVID-19;
  • Not deny a claimant’s benefits because of a late filing due in part to COVID-19;
  • Let individuals keep accruing unemployment eligibility if they take leave due to COVID-19; and
  • Seek federal authorization to provide unemployment benefits to short-term employees who might not otherwise be eligible.

Executive Order 20-12 waived one-week waiting period. DWD is now paying out the federally funded $600 in additional weekly benefits. To be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, individuals must first be denied regular state benefits. If an employer recalls employees and they refuse to return to work, the employer can complete a Notice of Work Recall Refusal (Employer), State Form 56951 (see DWD Forms page). https://www.in.gov/dwd/19.htm

Iowa. Individuals are eligible if ill with COVID-19 and unable to work due to sickness or quarantine, or out of work due to: caring for a family member with COVID exposure/illness; loss of childcare or school closures; employer shutdown (temporary layoffs have always qualified), or a need to self-quarantine need. Work search requirement is waived for these circumstances. Employers will not be charged for benefits relating to COVID-19.https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/COVID-19

Kansas. Waived one-week waiting period. Requirements to be able and available for work and to look for work may be waived as well. Employers forced to lay off employees temporarily may make a “spreadsheet filing” on their behalf. https://www.dol.ks.gov/covid19response https://www.dol.ks.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/ui-covid19-faqs.pdf?sfvrsn=3b4c881f_12

Kentucky. Waived one-week waiting period. Discretion to waive standards for ability to work, availability to work, work search activities and suitability for work. Any employer with at least 50 employees that is laying off at least 15 employees is encouraged to file a claim on their behalf through the E-Claims process.https://governor.ky.gov/attachments/20200316_Executive-Order_2020-235.pdf

Louisiana. Waived one-week waiting period and work search requirements. http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/PR/COVID_19_Information.pdf

Maine. Emergency legislation (LD 2167) temporarily revised eligibility requirements to include situations not typically covered, such as an employer that temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19, or an individual quarantined with the expectation of returning to work once the quarantine is over. The legislation also waived the one-week waiting period, along with the work search requirement for individuals still connected to their employer. In addition, any benefits paid under these provisions would not affect the employer’s experience rating record. https://www.maine.gov/labor/covid19/

Maryland. Individuals eligible if employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID–19, the individual is quarantined due to COVID–19 with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over, or the individual leaves employment due to a risk of COVID–19 or to care for a family member due to COVID–19. State has set up a new online portal to handle all types of unemployment claims, including the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. Benefits paid due to COVID-19 will not affect employer tax rates for 2020. http://MDunemployment.com
https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uicovidfaqs.shtml

Massachusetts. Waived one-week waiting period. Deadlines missed by employers and claimants due to effects of COVID-19 may be excused under the Department of Unemployment Assistance’s (DUA) good cause provision. Employers whose businesses are severely impacted by COVID-19 can request extensions for filing and paying unemployment contributions. Work search requirements will be interpreted to appropriately permit claimants affected by COVID-19 to collect benefits. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. An employee who leaves work for fear of being exposed to COVID-19 will need to demonstrate, among other things, that such fear was reasonable in the circumstances. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-unemployment-information

Michigan. Benefits were increased from 20 to 26 weeks, the application eligibility period was increased from 14 to 28 days, and the normal in-person registration and work search requirements were suspended. Unemployment benefits extended to workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, and those who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. Executive Order 2020-57 extended prior relief and added provisions to make it easier to implement shared-work plans. Benefits will not be charged to an employer’s account unless the employee was misclassified. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. https://www.michigan.gov/leo https://www.michigan.gov/leo

Minnesota. Waived one-week waiting period. Individuals eligible if a healthcare professional or health authority recommended or ordered them to avoid contact with others, they have been ordered not to come to their workplace due to an outbreak of a communicable disease, or child care is unavailable due to school or daycare closures. https://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/news-updates/covid-19.jsp

Mississippi. Executive Order No. 1462 suspended one-week waiting period, work search requirements, and Department of Employment Security collection activities until June 27. https://mdes.ms.gov/unemployment-claims/covid19

Missouri. Waived one-week waiting period for claims related to COVID-19. Weekly work search requirements are not required when there is a recall date within 8 weeks of the temporary layoff. Waived one-week waiting period for claims related to COVID-19. Weekly work search requirements are not required when there is a recall date within 8 weeks of the temporary layoff. Employers may be able to avoid a layoff with a partial shutdown by applying for the Missouri Shared Work program. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. To be eligible for PUA, individuals must first file a regular unemployment claim and be found ineligible. Employees who were placed on a temporary layoff related to COVID-19 but refuse to return to work when recalled by their employer will lose unemployment benefits, except under specified circumstances. https://labor.mo.gov/coronavirus

Montana. Workers instructed by employers to leave work or not report to work due to COVID-19, workers who must quarantine, and workers who need to take care of a family member due to COVID-19 are eligible for benefits. Emergency rules allow DLI to waive the one week waiting period. http://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19

Nebraska. Waived one-week waiting period and work search requirements. Department of Labor will temporarily waive charges incurred by employers when employees file claims related to COVID-19. https://dol.nebraska.gov/PressRelease/Details/141

Nevada. Waived one-week waiting period and work search requirement. https://detr.nv.gov/Page/COVID-19_(Coronavirus)_Information_for_Claimants_and_Employers

New Hampshire. Waived one-week waiting period. Certain other requirements waived for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, quarantined, caring for a diagnosed or quarantined family member, or caring for a family member due to a school or daycare closing. These benefits not charged to employer’s account. https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/documents/emergency-order-5.pdf

New Jersey. Individuals eligible if employer closes or worker has fewer hours due to low demand. Employees who have COVID-19, were exposed and quarantined, or can’t work because school or daycare closed may use earned sick leave. In certain situations involving family members or quarantine, unemployment insurance may be used after or instead of state family leave or disability insurance. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. https://myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/covidFAQ.shtml
https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covid.shtml

New Mexico. Waived able, available, and work search requirements for up to 4 weeks for employees who are laid off, whose hours are reduced, who are quarantined, or whose family member is quarantined. https://www.dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info

New York. Waived the one-week waiting period for people out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines. State has expanded eligibility for paid sick leave and disability benefits. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act; employers will not be charged for these, because they are federally funded. Department of Taxation and Finance is directing employers to provide the following information to each employee whose work schedule and/or employment status has been impacted as a result of COVID-19 related issues: The employer’s name, address, state employer registration number, and federal employer identification number. https://labor.ny.gov/ui/how_to_file_claim.shtm

North Carolina. Waived one-week waiting period. Discretion to waive “able and available” to work, work search, actively seeking work, and “lack of work” requirements. Employers’ accounts will not be charged for benefits related to COVID-19. Executive Order No. 131 makes it easier for employers to file a batch of “attached” claims on their employees’ behalf, and Executive Order No. 134 enables employers to make voluntary COVID-19 Support Payments without impairing their employees’ eligibility for unemployment benefits. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. https://des.nc.gov/need-help/covid-19-information

North Dakota. If an employer shuts down or lays off employees due to lack of work caused by the impact of COVID-19 on the business, these employees will generally be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. https://www.jobsnd.com/news/unemployment-insurance-and-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions

Ohio. Waived the one-week waiting period for all eligible individuals. Unemployment benefits are available for eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to be isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19, even if not actually diagnosed with COVID-19. Individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits but meet certain other criteria may apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov

Oklahoma. Waived one-week waiting period. Employees given a return to work date do not have to search for other work during the layoff period. Employers may file a mass claim for a temporary shutdown involving 25 or more employees. https://www.ok.gov/oesc/Claimants/COVID-19_Message.html

Oregon. Enacted temporary rules to give more flexibility in providing unemployment benefits to COVID-19 affected workers. Unemployment Insurance benefits are available during temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 situations. These benefits occur for employees whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure, or by government requirement. https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Pages/COVID-19.aspx

Pennsylvania. The one-week waiting period has been suspended, and work search ad work registration requirements have been waived for all claimants. State is now paying out the federally funded $600 in additional weekly benefits and accepting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications from individuals ineligible for regular unemployment compensation. If an employee refuses to return to work due to a high risk of complications from COVID-19 that cannot be reasonably accommodated, or is being asked to return to work at reduced hours that result in lower earnings than before the pandemic, Office of Unemployment Compensation will make a determination based on the specifics of that case. https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/UC-COVID19-FAQs.aspx

Rhode Island. Waived one-week waiting period. Individuals under quarantine qualify for Temporary Disability Insurance. http://www.dlt.ri.gov/pdfs/COVID-19%20Workplace%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

South Carolina. If an employer must shut down operations, lay off employees, or reduce hours, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Employers that have a temporary shutdown or are experiencing a slow or smaller workload than normal can request permission to file claims on their workers' behalf for up to six weeks of benefits, during which the work search requirement is waived. https://dew.sc.gov/covid-hub

South Dakota. Workers who are temporarily unemployed (up to 10 weeks) and expected to return to work with their employer are eligible, and not required to actively seek work each week. Workers sent home because they are considered a risk also are likely eligible. https://dlr.sd.gov/ra/covid_19_ra_eligibility.aspx

Tennessee. Suspended waiting week and work search requirement. An individual who is quarantined or ordered to isolate by a medical professional or health authority may receive unemployment benefits if all other eligibility requirements are met and the individual intends to return to the job. Employers closing temporarily should file a mass claim. Employers may request a non-charge on their account for separations due to COVID-19.

State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. To be eligible for PUA, and individual first must have been determined ineligible for UI benefits or have exhausted all regular UI benefits. Unless an employee meets a qualifying exception, refusing to return to work is a disqualifying circumstance for receiving unemployment compensation benefits. https://www.tn.gov/workforce/covid-19.html

Texas. Waived work search requirements for all claimants and the waiting week for those claimants affected by COVID-19. State is working to implement the federal CARES Act programs; individuals who have already applied for benefits should not reapply. Due to the CARES Act, Texas Workforce Commission has also protected covered employer accounts from chargeback. Under guidance announced April 30, individuals can continue receiving benefits if they choose not to return to work for specified reasons. https://twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-employers

Utah. Employees may be eligible if:

  • Their employer temporarily ceased operations with the expectation they will return to work;
  • They are quarantined, but not showing symptoms, and will return to work; or
  • They are able and available (not showing any symptoms of COVID-19), but cannot go to work because their place of employment has been quarantined.
https://jobs.utah.gov/covid19

Vermont. Waived “able and available” requirements when a claimant is isolated or quarantined at the direction of a health care official due to potential or verified COVID-19 exposure. Waived work search requirements for employees affected by a temporary closure of a business who were provided with a return to work date within 10 weeks, and for individuals in isolation/quarantine. https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19

Virginia. Waived one-week waiting period and weekly job search requirement. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. Self-employed individuals and others eligible for PUA must first apply for traditional unemployment insurance and obtain a determination that they do not qualify. https://www.vec.virginia.gov/covid19

Washington. Waived one-week waiting period and job search requirement. An individual may be eligible if following guidance issued by a medical professional or public health official to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure, and the individual is not receiving paid sick leave from the employer. Employees who are laid off, or whose hours are reduced, temporarily may request “standby” status. Employers may request a relief of benefit charges due to a business closure which is directly related to possible contamination at the business site.

State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. To be eligible for PUA, an individual most first apply for and be denied regular unemployment benefits. When an employer reopens, employees who refuse to return to work will likely be denied regular unemployment benefits, unless the employee cannot telework and has “good cause” such as:

  • Being at higher risk for severe COVID-19 related illness;
  • Living in a household with a person at high risk;
  • Providing direct care for a high-risk person; or
  • Being asked to work at a worksite not following federal or state guidelines.
https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19

West Virginia. Discretion to waive one-week waiting period, “able and available” requirement, and work search requirement. Benefits are available to eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to be isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed. https://workforcewv.org/covid19

Wisconsin. Waived waiting week, work search, and availability requirements. Claims for unemployment related to COVID-19 will not be charged to the employer’s account. State is now providing the additional benefits authorized by the federal CARES Act. An employee who decides not to return when a business reopens usually will not be eligible for employment benefits, but the Department of Workforce Development would investigate the underlying facts. https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/public/ui.htm

Wyoming. If an employer must shut down operations or lay off employees, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the monetary criteria and the federal weekly eligibility criteria. If a layoff is temporary, the employer may request that the employee be job-attached for up to 12 weeks so the employee can collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work. http://wyomingworkforce.org/data/epidemiology/coronavirus/

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