On Monday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued additional guidance to state agencies regarding recently expanded unemployment benefits. The Q&A format followed a DOL webinar where many of the questions addressed were first raised. The guidance answers a number of questions involving benefit eligibility for people who do not traditionally receive benefits.
For example, workers who lost their jobs and decline employer return-to-work notices are no longer eligible for benefits, even if they express concerns over exposure to COVID-19 at work. Employees who leave work due to diagnosed coronavirus-related medical issues can collect benefits, even if those conditions would not otherwise qualify the employee for such payments.
The guidance addresses complicated questions involving gig workers and self-employed people, including where to file benefits when they live in one state but work in another. A different question tells states how to pay benefits to non-employees who cannot substantiate their prior earnings. The Q&A offers guidance for employers asked by employees about their potential eligibility for benefits in certain situations. The guidance can be found here.
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