Answers to Your Unemployment (UI) Benefits Questions

Q&A with Sarah Skinner, Administrative Support

Sarah has worked for VenSure Employer Services for 4 years. She processes on average 20 claims a day. In addition to processing VenSure’s unemployment claims, Sarah is one of our amazing payroll techs. In this interview, Sarah talks about VenSure’s unemployment claim process and what you can expect when an employee files a UI claim.

What should clients expect when an employee is filing an UI claim?

It will vary by state. If the state is an electronic filing state, the UI claim is automatically sent to Equifax; therefore, the employee files an electronic version of the claim, then Equifax will email me if there is missing information they need to get back to the state. Not all states are electronic filing, but it seems like they are all moving in that direction. Some states, like New Jersey, send both paper and electronic filings.

Who is Equifax?

Equifax is the third party administrator that we use to manage our unemployment claims. I act as the liaison between our clients and Equifax. So, we have the benefit of getting information to the state quickly as well as access to the ins and outs with all of the different states.

Why is my employee filing for unemployment?

An employee, regardless of the situation, can file for unemployment at any time. However, this doesn’t mean the employee will be awarded benefits, but we do need to respond to all claims because if we don’t, the state is automatically going to go with whatever the employee stated on the claim form. The state checks with every
employer that the employee has worked for in the last two years, so it is possible to receive a claim on an employee that has worked for you at any time in the past 2 years.

What if the employee is still working?

If the employee had a reduction in hours then they can claim unemployment for the difference. Is there information that is often missing for claims that you receive?
The biggest issue is with the section “Detailed Reason for Separation.” Most of the time, the state is going to come back asking for those details. The state wants information such as the names of supervisors that let the employee go, any write ups, and any warnings. For example, if you terminate an employee due to attendance issues, the state will want to see records of the employee being written up. It is only in the employer’s best interest to provide as much information as possible to the state.

What if our client receives a notice of an appeal?

An appeal is sent to the client when the employee has received what is called an “unfavorable decision,” meaning the state has awarded the claimant UI benefits. At that time, the client has an option to “appeal” the decision. The appeals representative from Equifax contacts the client to see if they would like to go that route. If so, the representative submits the appeal.There are exceptions to this rule in the states of NC, SC, and MO.

If a client gets a notice of a hearing?

The hearing representative from Equifax will prepare clients on what they should be prepared for. A client will typically not get an appeal or hearing notice out of the blue. Most of the time, I have been in contact with clients prior to these notices, and the hearings usually take place over the phone.

Does VenSure or Equifax participate in the appeal or the hearing?

We do not participate in hearings or the appeals process as we do not have working knowledge of the employees; however, either myself or one of our representatives are more than happy to help you get prepared. We are here to provide as much information as needed in order for you to feel comfortable during this process.

Closing thoughts?

I just want our clients to know that I am always happy to answer questions and will do whatever I can to make the processes as painless as possible.

 

Sarah Skinner