Benefits

COVID UPDATE on UNEMPLOYMENT IN NONPROFITS:

From our partner, Unemployment Savings Trust 3/18/20:

Good morning,

We have been fielding many calls from your members letting us know that they are making the painful decision to lay off their employees effective immediately.  Many states are making decisions on accelerating benefits for displaced workers and in doing so also trying to relieve employers of some of the charges if there is an executive order to close their business.  What we want to be sure happens is that “reimbursing employers” (UST members and other direct payers) are protected in the language.  Michigan did so yesterday.  I encourage you to work with your legislators to adopt the same highlighted language as MI in order to protect your members.

See below text highlighted in yellow.  Please share with your legislative team on what the MI Unemployment agency is doing for nonprofits as it relates to proving relief of charges to all employers, regardless of employers payment method.  (taxing, reimbursing).  We encourage all state unemployment agencies to follow Michigan’s lead and not discriminate mission driven, public sector and Native American Indian enterprises by charging their UI accounts for these emergency benefits.  We feel that your state and national platforms representing nonprofits, are best positioned to be the voice and champion to lead our efforts with policy makers, governors and unemployment agency directors across the country as it relates to this issue affecting your member associations.   

 

 

 

 

UIA, Michigan Works! Urge Residents to Avoid Offices and Use Online Resources

LANSING, MICH. To mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak, the Unemployment Insurance Agency and Michigan Works! Agencies are strongly urging workers to avoid visiting their statewide offices and utilize user-friendly online resources for unemployment assistance.  Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits at Michigan.gov/UIA  or by calling 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can also be found here. Michigan Works! resources can be found at MichiganWorks.org or by calling 1-800-285-WORKS.

UIA and Michigan Works! statewide offices will remain open, but the agencies will be limiting the amount of people within the offices at one time.

“In an effort to protect the health and safety of our residents and promote social distancing, Michigan workers needing assistance from the UIA are strongly urged to avoid visiting our offices. The fastest and best method is online at Michigan.gov/UIA.  You can also connect with our agency by calling 1-866-500-0017,” said UIA Director Steve Gray.  

UIA online resources include:

  • File a claim for unemployment benefits
  • Chat with a customer service agent (M-F, 8am to 5pm)
  • Send a message to a customer service agent (weekdays after 5pm and before 8am and weekends)
  • Manage your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

The Michigan Works! Agencies are also encouraging people to avoid public spaces and will be limiting in-person visits. Impacted workers were formerly required to appear in-person at a Michigan Works! service center but that requirement has been waived because of the public health emergency. The agencies are encouraging all individuals to connect with their local Michigan Works! office by call 1-800-285-WORKS or visiting MichiganWorks.org to set up an appointment. Virtual and phone appointments will be prioritized.

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-10 to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Under the governor’s order, unemployment benefits would be extended to: 

  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill. 
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. 
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19. 

 Access to benefits for unemployed workers will also be extended: 

  • Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks. 
  • The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days 
  • The normal in-person registration and work search requirements are suspended.  

Under the order, an employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations.  

The order also expands the State’s Work Share program. Employers are encouraged to implement the program that permits employers to maintain operational productivity during declines in regular business activity instead of laying off workers. More information about Work Share can be found here

Additional unemployment resources for employees can be found here and for employers here

 Updates will be posted to Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus

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Contact: Jason Moon, 517-282-0041, moonj@michigan.gov

 

 

 

Unemployment Savings Trust Program - our members reduced their Ohio Unemployment costs 53%! Every year our members that utilize UST get money back in their savings!  Something you'll never see from the State Unemployment! In addition you can utilize the FREE ThinkHR LIVE hotline, and outplacement services!.  Get a FREE unemployment costs analysis HERE

"We’ve experienced two claims in the past 10 years and in both cases, UST representatives provided excellent communication and support resulting in the denial of both claims.  We do not employee a human resource staff member so UST’s customer support is crucial.  Also, UST allows us to accrue our payments over time resulting in an experience refund on three separate occasions in the past ten years. " Kathy List, CEO, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of GC

"Being part of UST has kept the claims process very easy for us since they manage it all.  We only fill out a questionnaire when someone makes a claim and they handle the rest.  The rate we pay has been very, very low as well, and we have gotten these refunds twice now that have helped us with funding needs since they are unrestricted dollars for us."  Shari Patrick, CFO Santa Maria Community Services

Evaluate Your Nonprofit’s Taxes, Safeguard Your Funding

As a nonprofit leader, you rely on your staff to stretch resources to meet your mission’s objectives. But with rising operating costs, maintaining cash flow is an ongoing concern for employers. Couldn’t you use some relief? 

As a 501(c)(3), when your organization has an unemployment claim, you are allowed by federal law to pay only for the unemployment benefits claimed by your former  employees, instead of state taxes. This allows you to continue to provide unemployment benefits, without sharing in the excess costs of state unemployment tax systems that have high administrative fees and use your funds to subsidize employers with high turnover.

Essentially you put more money back into your nonprofit’s resources.

Leadership Council for Nonprofits has partnered with the Unemployment Services Trust (UST)  since 2007. UST helps organizations nationwide exercise this option effectively while reducing overall costs through expert claims management, asset protection and cash flow improvements.

From e-filing unemployment claim reports to representing you at claim hearings—UST can help organizations like yours save money and simplify your job.

Just last year, UST helped more than 2,100 nonprofits save $28,316,109.96 in unemployment claims costs… plus an additional $1,652,775.51 in recovered state errors.