Unemployment Insurance - FAQs
Q. Our company has had to layoff a substantial number of workers? How will this affect my experience rates this year and next year?
A. Your experience rate for 2020 will not change based on these layoffs and you will not have to pay any additional contributions in 2020. Your 2021 experience rate may increase if there is substantial number of workers laid off over a long period of time. Experience rates are based on a combination of factors including the amounts of contributions you paid, the number of benefits paid to your workers on unemployment insurance and the overall solvency of the Trust Fund based on current economic conditions.
Q. Will the Department of Labor relieve my business of charges caused by COVID-19?
A. Federal and State law require all employers to be charged for benefits paid out to workers and for their rates to be based on their use of the system. There is currently no legal authority to relieve employers of those charges based on COVID-19.
Q. Will the Department freeze my businesses’ experience rates for this year?
A. Your businesses’ rates and contributions will not be increased and you will not have to pay additional contributions this year. Any charges you incur resulting from lay offs during 2020 will be reflected in your 2021 rates.
Q. Will I have to pay any additional charges if New York State needs to take out loans?
A. The Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act waived interest on loans states have to pay to the federal government from March 18, 2020 and
December 31, 2020
to pay for the surge in benefits. Employers would therefore not be billed for the interest that would have accrued during period.
Q. How else can I reduce the costs of my Unemployment account and future UI contributions?
A. You can reduce the charges to your account by hiring back your former workers as soon as your business is in a position to reopen. By reducing the number of weeks your workers receive benefits, you will be more likely to reduce the risk of having your experience rate increasing next year. Even if you can have workers return part-time, your workers would receive a partial benefit and your charges would be lower. You should also know that the Federal government is providing an additional $600 on top of your workers’ UI benefits even if they are working part-time. Your account will not be charged for the $600.
Q. Are there any additional options for saving money?
A. You can also apply for the Shared Work program. This allows you to reduce the hours and wages of your workers between 20% and 60% on a weekly based. Your workers would then receive a partial benefit based on the percentage of the reduction, the additional $600 and their reduced wages. Right now the Federal government is providing 100% of the cost of the Unemployment Insurance benefits for Shared Work and the additional $600. Your account will not be charged to pay benefits and you will only have to pay the reduced wages. You also have the flexibility each week of changing the percentage of hours and wages as your business reopens and rebuilds. Federal funding will continue
through December 31st
of this year.