September 21, 2022 | By Christie Obrien
Unemployment claims come with a series of downsides, not the least of which is an increase in your state and federal unemployment taxes. However, in some cases, employees try to claim unemployment benefits when they shouldn't. As such, it is essential to know when to challenge an employment claim and when to accept it as valid.
The most effective and easy way to keep claims at a minimum is to outsource unemployment claims management to experts in local, state, and federal employment law compliance. However, it is crucial for those who want to manage unemployment claims in-house to know the circumstances under which a claim should be accepted.
While there are several commonalities among different states regarding rejecting unemployment claims, each state is allowed to set its own rules and regulations. To keep up with these legal requirements, it is essential to research your own state's laws surrounding unemployment claims. You can readily find your state's specifications by searching for the unemployment department online or going to CareerOneStop, a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
While every person's situation is different, several instances can cause a former employee to get disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. Here are six circumstances where unemployment benefits are rejected.
In a nutshell, the base period is a period that allows employees to meet state income and time worked requirements to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Most states have a base period of one year, where the employee made a certain amount and worked for a specific period to claim unemployment. If employees are terminated before the base period ends, they will not be eligible for unemployment compensation.
Employees who voluntarily quit their jobs without valid reasons will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. While it might be a good way for workers to explore other opportunities for advancement, it is among the reasons that will disqualify them from receiving unemployment benefits. However, some states allow former employees to receive benefits if they leave employment for credible personal motives.
Some reasons that might entitle employees to unemployment benefits for quitting a job include:
Several states consider failing a drug or alcohol test misconduct that can disqualify an employee from receiving unemployment benefits. In addition, employees can be disqualified from getting the benefits if they lose new jobs because of failing a drug or alcohol test.
Most states disqualify employees from unemployment compensation benefits if they are charged with misconduct, such as theft. Whether the employee stole from the company or coworkers, they will most likely be ineligible for unemployment. Some states will deny the employee compensation, followed by other legal matters. Other misconduct behaviors include violence and embezzlement.
Employees who make careless mistakes might qualify for unemployment benefits. However, workers will likely be ineligible to collect unemployment if they willfully, intentionally, or negligently disregard critical safety rules. In addition, since it is considered misconduct when an employee violates a company policy, an employer may argue the claim, limiting the worker from receiving unemployment benefits.
Some states will disqualify employees with a severance package, provided they are getting severance. For example, if a worker receives 12 weeks of severance, they may qualify for unemployment on the 13th week after becoming jobless. In addition, the employer will be required to report the payments as wages before becoming eligible. However, it is essential to understand how severance can affect a worker's unemployment benefits in your state before contesting benefits.
Outsourcing unemployment claims management helps employers fight employees trying to claim unemployment benefits when they are not eligible. If an employee appeals the rejection, the PEO will attend the unemployment hearing on your behalf and represent your best interest.
Comprehensive HR outsourcing, such as Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), staff experts in unemployment claims management and will help cut down on your rising unemployment insurance costs.