Best Practices for Unemployment Claims Management in Response to COVID-19

restaurant employee after hours looking on phone

Actionable guidance here from David Harrod, Alliance Relationship Manager IV for employment verification and unemployment claims for ADP.

As businesses respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 global health event, the impact on the workforce has become obvious. Employers across the United States have been working hard to establish measures that keep employees safe while trying to maintain viable business operations. Unfortunately, as people continue to social distance and work remotely where possible, many businesses have been forced to make reductions or temporarily shut down, contributing to a substantial rise in unemployment claims.

News of new unemployment laws and regulations in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act"), may have some employers wondering what they should be doing to manage unemployment claims. This article will outline recommended best practices for employers and employees in face of these circumstances.

Best Practices for Employers

Especially during this time, it is important that employers maintain best practices to protect the business and assist displaced workers in receiving benefits they may be eligible to receive.

  • When reducing hours, wages or staff for reasons related to the COVID-19 health event, provide a written statement to the employee(s) notifying them that they may be eligible for benefits. In the statement, clearly convey the following information:
    • The reason for reduction is COVID-19 global health event
    • Effective date of the action
    • Type of reduction in hours or pay
    • Length of reduction (temporary / permanent / undetermined)
    • Date of hire (if available) and last date physically worked
    • Guidance that the employee should notify the unemployment agency of the facts listed above
  • Respond in a timely manner to all unemployment claims and requests for information received by your organization.

Best Practices for Employees

In the unprecedented circumstances presented by this global health event, it is recommended that employers advise their employees the information they will be expected to provide when filing for unemployment benefits, including:

  • Full Legal Name
    • Alias names may be requested
  • Social Security Number or TIN
    • Proof of employment eligibility may be requested
  • Driver's license or state identification number
  • Home / mailing address
  • Employer name(s)
    • Most recent and others during the past three years
  • Bank account information for a direct deposit payment option
    • Stored value debit card may also be available

By following these best practices, businesses may assist state unemployment agencies in making faster determinations on eligibility for unemployment benefits employees may be eligible to receive.

Learn more

Launch this special edition webcast: Understand and Prepare to Manage Unemployment Compensation Changes in Response to COVID-19

Read this article for additional information: COVID-19 Workplace Impact and Employer FAQs: Unemployment Insurance

Find FAQs, checklists, webcasts, and the resources to help you protect and manage your workforce here: ADP Employer Preparedness Toolkit — Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)