When a natural disaster disrupts operations, companies can often anticipate UI claim activity to increase for several weeks or months afterwards. Having workflow processes and training completed in advance is ideal, but in the event disaster strikes before you have those protocols in place, there are a few things to remember:
Unemployment claims that occur because of and during a Major Disaster Declaration made by the President of the United States may be processed under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, if the claim falls within the Disaster Assistance Period (DAP) and the employee is not otherwise eligible for regular UI.
In some states, employers become eligible for unemployment benefits charge relief when a Major Disaster is declared.
If a displaced worker IS eligible for regular UI, a regular UI claim should be filed, but it is important to note that during a Disaster Assistance Period (DAP), some employers become eligible for unemployment benefits charge relief, though not all states offer it. For example, North Carolina provides for employer account charge relief, New York does not.
So when a natural disaster affects your workforce, the following adjustments should be made to the unemployment claims management process:
Determine if the event has been declared a major natural disaster by the President. (Tip: Equifax UCM clients enjoy a proactive bulletin from our service team when DAPs are declared.)
Determine if the claim is DUA eligible or is a standard UI claim.
Research whether the affected state offers benefit charge relief. (Tip: Equifax notifies UCM clients with operations in affected states that benefit charge relief is available.)
Monitor the status of the UI cases filed during a DAP to value your UI liability.
Carefully review your unemployment tax account to ensure that any charges are properly credited based on the UI cases in the DAP window. (Tip: Equifax UCM service teams routinely audit client accounts for assessed charges.)
For more information about how Equifax can help your organization with unemployment cost management, contact Pete Krieshok at 314.214.7325 or pete.krieshok@Equifax.com.