Unemployment Benefits Update
As you are aware, small businesses have been hit hard due to COVID-19. MBE CPAs and its affiliates have been receiving numerous questions with regard to unemployment and we would like to provide information and clarity to help you get through this difficult time.
If your business was closed or partially closed due to the pandemic or government ordinance, you may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. If you’re uncertain of the unemployment qualification requirements, we encourage you to still file a claim. After filing, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will be in contact to assist you.
The DWD recommends that all individuals use the on-line portal as their staff are unable to handle the volume of phone calls they are receiving. They’re working diligently to increase the scale of the call center to meet the unprecedented need for unemployment claims. Due to the high volume of claims being submitted, you are encouraged to apply online whenever possible. To proceed with filing an unemployment claim, click here.
DWD is also updating their systems to provide the benefits recently passed by the federal government. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment benefits to those who are self-employed, independent contractors, and part-time workers impacted by COVID-19. Under the PUA, workers will be eligible for retroactive benefits and may receive benefits for up to 39 weeks.
A second federal program was created under the CARES Act — the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Through this program, an additional $600 per week may be available to those eligible for certain unemployment insurance and PUA benefits. The DWD hopes to have its systems ready to receive initial claims during the week of April 21. It is anticipated that these payments would start on April 26. As additional information regarding state and federal benefits becomes available, it will be available here.