The Basics of Unemployment Benefits and Workers Compensation – Can You Obtain Both?

The Basics of Unemployment Benefits and Workers Compensation

Unemployment insurance provides unemployed workers with monetary payments while they search for new jobs. State governments and the federal government jointly administer the program. In addition, during recessions, the federal government has temporarily funded wholly federal unemployment programs that provide additional weeks of benefits. Generally, injured workers can only obtain workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits once. There are some exceptions.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance (UI) pays a weekly benefit to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault. Eligible workers may receive 26 weeks of benefits during one year. Individuals must qualify for UI by meeting minimum income and work eligibility requirements. Applicants must also verify that they are actively looking for employment. It is essential to read more about the basics of Unemployment Benefits and Workers’ Compensation to understand better because, unlike workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance is a state-run program funded by employers through specific payroll taxes collected. Each state manages its own UI program and sets eligibility rules. Ideally, states levy these taxes to build balances in their unemployment insurance trust funds during economic growth. They then draw down those balances to pay laid-off workers during local and national recessions and downturns. However, the system needs to be funded more because most states adopted a pay-as-you-go approach rather than building UI trust fund balances during periods of economic expansion. Consequently, many states offer less of a benefit duration or as high of a maximum number of weeks of benefits as they could under a forward funding system.

Workers’ Compensation

The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide medical care and partial wage repayment after an injury or illness. It may also cover some of an injured worker’s living expenses. While workers’ comp pays out to employees who cannot work, unemployment benefits pay those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are actively seeking new employment. It is a program managed by the federal government and individual states. You can’t simultaneously collect unemployment and workers’ comp because getting approved for unemployment typically demonstrates that you’re capable of working, which contradicts the credibility of your claim for time-loss workers’ comp benefits. However, in some cases, it is possible to qualify for both programs. It’s essential to consult with your legal counsel to determine if this is appropriate. Also, you should update your status with the workers’ compensation insurance provider if it changes.

Unemployment Benefits and Workers’ Comp

Generally speaking, you can’t receive unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation simultaneously. However, this is only sometimes the case. For example, if you get hurt at work, and your injury prevents you from doing the work you did before you got injured, you may be eligible for workers’ comp while seeking employment that does not conflict with your injury or illness. Remember that the benefits you receive from workers’ comp are deducted from any unemployment checks you might receive. You also have to meet state requirements for receiving unemployment, including reapplying periodically and showing active job-seeking efforts.

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits

Each state manages its unemployment insurance program, and the eligibility rules differ from state to state. After you file your claim, you will receive a “Monetary Determination” email explaining whether you have enough wages to qualify and your weekly benefit amount. This determination is based on the wages your employer reported to the Department of Labor. You can request a reconsideration of the monetary determination within 30 days if you believe that the Department made a mistake about your earnings or the information from the employers you worked for. To receive unemployment benefits, you must certify each week that you are unemployed and have been actively looking for work. You must do this by Sunday for the previous week, and you may certify online or by telephone. You must also certify that you are ready, willing, and able to work and that you have not violated any of your doctor’s restrictions on working.

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