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Employer UC & COVID-19 FAQs

As of: November 16, 2020

REFUSAL TO RETURN TO WORK

If you have offered work to employees and your employee refuses to return to work, please complete Form UC-1921W, Refusal of Suitable Work.

FEDERAL CARES ACT

The CARES Act provides for state and local governmental entities, certain nonprofit organizations, and Federally recognized Indian tribes that make payments in lieu of contributions to their state’s unemployment fund to be reimbursed at 50 percent for payments made on benefit claims from March 13, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Please see the FAQs below for further information on how the CARES Act mitigates the economic effects of COVID-19 on reimbursable employers.

On August 3, 2020, the Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act was enacted into law. This Act amends the CARES Act and now allows for reimbursable employers that are eligible to receive reimbursement (those that did not pay the Solvency Fee for calendar year 2020) to only pay 50% of the amount due on eligible benefit charges. Previously the CARES Act required that 100% of the benefit charges for the billing period be paid before the 50% reimbursement could be applied. The Department will post the reimbursement to the billing period once the funding for that billing period has been received from the US Treasury. The reimbursement amount will be reflected as a payment/credit on your account and will be applied to the appropriate billing period. If an over-payment exists after the 50% reimbursement is applied, a credit will be created that may be used to pay future benefit charge amounts due.

ACT 9 OF 2020

On March 27, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 9 of 2020 to temporarily amend the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation (UC) Law. Pursuant to these emergency provisions related to COVID-19, contributory employers and reimbursable employers who have paid the 2020 solvency fee will receive automatic relief from charges for those employees whose UC claims are due to the COVID-19 outbreak or public health officials’ efforts to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Contributory employers and reimbursable employers who have paid the solvency fee for calendar year 2020 do not have to apply for relief from these COVID-19 related charges. If you receive a denial of a previous request for relief from COVID-19 related charges, you can ignore this denial.

Act 9 of 2020 also allows reimbursable employers who did not pay the solvency fee for the calendar year 2020 to have 120 days to repay charges for COVID-19-related claims from the date UC Tax Services (UCTS) issues a Statement of Account. UCTS may extend the 120-day deadline by an additional 60 days upon the request from an employer who demonstrates financial hardship. UCTS will offer interest-free payment plans to employers who demonstrate financial hardship. No interest shall accrue or be charged on late payments until January 1, 2021.

Employers and businesses can also see additional FAQs about unemployment in general.

Act 9 of 2020 Automatic Relief from Charges Update

The Department has begun processing the benefit charge credits for the COVID 19 related claims.

The credits from the automatic relief from charges for eligible claims for reimbursable employers that have an approved 2020 solvency fee election were processed on 11/10/2020 and will be included on the Statement of Account dated 11/11/2020 for Article XI reimbursable employers. The credits will appear on the Statement of Account dated 1/11/2021 for Article X and Article XII employers.

Impacted contributory employers should see the updated benefit charge values in their reserve account by the end of November.



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If my employee takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to care for their child whose school, place of care, or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19, what records do I need to keep?

Under what circumstances may an employer require an employee to use his or her existing leave under a company policy and when does the choice belong to the employee under the Department's regulations, specifically 29 CFR 826.23(c)826.24(d)826.60(b) and 826.160(c)?

My employees have been teleworking productively for some time without any issues. Now, several employees claim they need to take paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to care for their children, whose school is closed because of COVID-19, even though these employees have been teleworking with their children at home for some time. Can I ask my employees why they are now unable to work or if they have pursued alternative childcare arrangements?

I am a reimbursable employer, if I didn't participate and pay the Solvency Fee for 2020, will I still be eligible?

​When will employers begin seeing the 50 percent reimbursements on the billings?

​I am a reimbursable employer and did not participate in the 2020 Solvency Program. Is there any assistance I can obtain to aid in the payment back of benefit charges?

​How will that reimbursement be administered?

​The CARES Act provides for state and local governmental entities, certain nonprofit organizations, and Federally recognized Indian tribes that make payments in lieu of contributions to their state’s unemployment fund to be reimbursed at 50 percent for payments made on benefit claims from March 13, 2020 to December 31, 2020.  When will Pennsylvania begin issuing those reimbursements?

​Is there is anything we need to do to preserve our claim to the reimbursement. Is there a form or application we need to complete now?

​Does the CARES Act provide any relief for reimbursable employers whose charges are not a result of COVID-19?

​What relief is available to reimbursable employers for COVID-19 related charges?

​When will employers begin seeing the relief from charges on their Accounts and/or reimbursable billings

​I paid the reimbursable Solvency Fee for Calendar Year 2020 but when I received my Statement of Account, there are charges for April 2020. I thought I was supposed to receive automatic relief of these charges. Must I pay these charges?

​I did not pay the Reimbursable Solvency Fee for Calendar Year 2020. My Statement of Account reflects benefit charges for April 2020. I thought I am entitled to 50 percent reimbursement. Must I pay these charges in full or do I only need to pay 50 percent?

Will my UC tax rate increase if my employees file for benefits?

​Do contributory employers need to request relief from charges for COVID 19 related charges?

​I received a denial of my request for relief from charges.  Is this correct?

​Should my employees file for UC or should they use paid leave?

​Can my employees file for UC benefits if I tell them to stay home because I think they are at risk of spreading or at risk of contracting COVID-19?

​Can my employees file a claim if they have COVID-19 and cannot come to work?

​Can my employees file for UC benefits if I reduce their hours because of COVID-19?

​Can my employees file for UC benefits if they are told to isolate or quarantine?

​Are there any programs to support employers experiencing financial difficulties or business downturn due to COVID-19?

​If I am a small business owner, am I eligible for unemployment benefits if I need to close or temporarily shut down my business because of COVID-19?

​Can my employees file for UC benefits if my business is closed (temporarily or otherwise) because of COVID-19?

​I am self-employed, can I file an initial unemployment claim?

Am I required to continue to pay employee health benefits during a layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

​My business is permitted to reopen, and I have employees who refuse to return to work because they can make more money receiving UC benefits.  What can I do?