Unemployment: Employee Eligibility / Employer Effect

April 11, 2008

 

 

During the last few weeks I have noticed there is a lot of attention being paid to unemployment. Many people have logged onto our blog to find out information regarding unemployment.

 

Below you will find information about:

  • What is unemployment?
  • How do you become eligible?
  • How do they calculate the amount paid?
  • How does it effect employers account?

 

 

 

Per NJSSI

 

The unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for jobs as a share of those considered to be in the labor market. Unemployment affects individual well-being, and the rate of unemployment tells us about the health of the state’s economy. High unemployment means financial hardship for individuals and families. They, in turn, are less able to buy goods and services, which detracts from the strength of the economy.

 

New Jersey Eligibility

 

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have worked at least 20 base weeks in covered employment or you must have earned $7,200. For weeks worked in 2006, the amount needed to establish a base week is $123; for weeks worked in 2007, the amount is $143; and for weeks worked in 2008, the amount is $143.  These wages must have been earned during a 52 week period that is called a base year.

Base Year Period

Your regular base year period consists of 52 weeks that is determined by the date of your claim. The chart below shows what your regular base year period would be if you filed your claim any day between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008.

If your claim is dated in:

Your claim is based on
employment from:

January 2008
February 2008
March 2008

October 1, 2006
to
September 30, 2007

April 2008
May 2008
June 2008

January 1, 2007
to
December 31, 2007

July 2008
August 2008
September 2008

April 1, 2007
to
March 31, 2008

October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

July 1, 2007
to
June 30, 2008

Example: Mary Jones filed her unemployment claim as of May 11, 2008.  Her month and year appear in the second box on the left of the chart. This means that her Base Period is from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007.

If you do not meet the above requirements but you worked at least 770 hours in employment involving the production and harvesting of agricultural crops during your base year, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Alternate Base Year Period

If your earnings during your regular base year period do not meet the qualifications for a claim, earnings in other base year periods will be reviewed. You may qualify for benefits if you worked at least 20 base weeks (a base week in 2006 is minimum weekly earnings of $123; a base week in 2007 is minimum weekly earnings of $143; and a base week in 2008 is minimum weekly earnings of $143), or a total of $7,200 in any one-year period in the last 1 1/2 years for a claim dated in calendar year 2008. Generally, if you have established 20 base weeks or earned at least $7,200 in any one-year period in the last 18 months, you may qualify for a claim.

Figuring Out Your Benefit Amount
How Much Can You Collect?

Weekly Benefit Rate

The amount of unemployment benefits you may receive each week is your Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR). The amount will be 60% of the average weekly earnings during your base year period, up to a maximum of $560 (in 2008). The maximum amount may change each year.

If you are not entitled to the maximum amount of weekly benefits, you may be able to increase your entitlement with Dependency Benefits.

Total Amount

The total amount of benefits you may collect is called your Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA). The MBA is equal to the WBR times the total number of weeks worked in the base year period. Generally, for every week you worked during your base year period, you may be entitled to a week of benefits, up to a maximum of 26 times your Weekly Benefit Rate.

Example 1: An individual worked 20 weeks during the base year period. His Weekly Benefit Rate is $200. His Maximum Benefit Amount will be $200 times 20 weeks ($4,000).

Example 2: An individual who is entitled to a maximum 26-week claim (because he worked at least 26 or more weeks during the base year period) at a Weekly Benefit Rate of $300 will have a Maximum Benefit Amount of $7,800. (This is because $300 times 26 weeks = $7,800.)

Your unemployment claim will be in effect for approximately one year from the date of your claim. If you return to work before you collect all the benefits in your claim, and then become unemployed again before the one-year period ends, you should immediately reopen your claim (see the section entitled “Apply for Benefits”). If your one-year benefit year expires before you collect all the benefits in your claim, the remainder cannot be paid to you. You would then have to file a new claim for benefits.

 

 

 

Employers:

 

State unemployment laws were set up to help both employees and employers. However, Employers must beware to not take everything the state does as gospel.

 

The State of New Jersey has a 12 % error rate in the payment of claims.

 

Although an employee may be eligible to collect unemployment, the state may be paying either too much money or not properly allocating the cost of the benefit.

 

Your unemployment account is very much like having a checking account with the state.

 

The State annually determines and assigns the rate to your company. The rate is based on the relationship between the current reserve balances to the average taxable wages paid by the employer.

 

This rate determines how much an employer will be paying into their account for the next year.

 

The State also notifies you as to how much they have paid out of your account in claims.

 

The balance left in the account is called a reserve. (This is your checking account balance).

 

Employers should be looking at their current rates and asking, are they correct?

 

If your company has been thru a merger or an acquisition in the last 3 years there is a 50% chance that you have been assigned the incorrect rate and that you are overpaying unemployment taxes.

 

We are finding many companies (our clients) are overpaying unemployment taxes and have received refunds.

 

Are your unemployment rates correct?

 

Are you overpaying unemployment taxes?

 

Do you qualify for a refund?

 

All you have to do is contact us and ask.

 

We offer a no cost review of your current rates.

 

Do you have a question?

 

Let us know your thoughts?

 

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.

 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

13 Responses to “Unemployment: Employee Eligibility / Employer Effect”

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. Michael Gurgo said

    I was employed with the intent of working one day a weekend every six weeks and now I’m being asked to work at least two days every other weekend or one day every weekend. Would I be able to collect unemployment if I resign because I can no longer work weekends

    • ghutch said

      If you resign, I do not believe you wille eligible for unemployment. If they layed you off or reduced their workforce, you would be eligible to collect.

  3. LIz said

    I am currently working as an aide in the public school. I will not be working after June 15 until September. I started working in the public school as an aide in November 2007. Ahead of that I was working in a private preschool for 15 years. I did quit that job. Am I able to collect any unemployment this summer. I heard a rumor I could but I would have to wait. Please help me with these questions.

    • ghutch said

      I would call the local unemployment office. Normally teacher salaries are annualized over the school year. I am not sure they pay unemployment since schools close everyyear for the summer months.

  4. CiCi said

    Due to the lack of work, I started to work 3 days only, instead of 5 days a week. Can I claim the unemployment benefit for the two days of not working weekly?

    • ghutch said

      Depending on which state you live in, different rules may apply. I would call you local unemployment office.

  5. chris said

    I worked around five years ago and before that I did work around seven years. I was wondering if I would be able to collect unemployment for all those years I did work and never collected.

    • ghutch said

      You will have to call the state unemployment office. Normally they look back as to who was your employer during the last 5 quarters. Being there are so many years in between, the state may approach it differently. The state normally has a general fund that claims can be paid out of. I am not sure if that would qualify in this situation.

  6. david said

    I found a job and worked for 17 weeks in N.J. Iwas making 50 thousand for the year but was laid off can i still collect

  7. MILLY said

    I’M START MY DIVORCE I WANTED START MY NEW LIFE IN OTHER STATE.IN CASE I’M MOVED AND TRY FIND A JOB,BUT IN CASE NOT FOUND I CAN APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT

    • ghutch said

      If you are laid off you can collect. If you quit, yo may run into some problems. I would call your local office and coordinate

  8. Ernesto said

    I’m a full-time employee for the last 3 years but currently on workmans comp due to injury. I had knee surgery and undergoing therapy. I’m expected to be back at work doing same job which requires lifting, bending which is hazardous to my current physical condition. There is no light duty for me as implied by my employer. I’m thinking of filing for unemployment once i get office approval.

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