Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-05 on March 19, 2020, that expanded unemployment insurance benefits to individuals who lose employment due to COVID-19 until April 5, 2020, unless otherwise extended.
The Executive Order requires the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to permit individuals to continue to accrue unemployment eligibility if they elect to take leave due to COVID-19. In addition, if DWD finds that a claimant’s untimely filing was due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, DWD will not deny the claimant’s benefits for that reason. DWD further states that it will not assess certain experience rate penalties to employers as a result of employees receiving unemployment benefits related to COVID-19.
Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-12 on March 26, 2020, suspending the seven-day waiting period for receiving unemployment benefits for individuals. This suspension is retroactive to March 8, 2020.
Governor Beshear issued Executive Order 2020-235 on March 16, 2020, waiving the seven-day waiting period for receiving unemployment benefits for individuals who temporarily lose their jobs or who are quarantined due to COVID-19.
Governor Beshear recently announced that the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC) is implementing new filing procedures for unemployment benefits due to the influx of claims and the closing to the public of Kentucky Career Centers (KCC) due to COVID-19 precaution, which was previously ordered to help with in-person claims.
Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-07 on March 16, 2020, waiving the seven-day waiting period for individuals who are unemployed and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits until April 8, 2020, unless otherwise extended.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently adopted emergency rules as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the IDES, an individual temporarily laid off because his or her employer is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 may qualify for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits as long as the individual was able and available for and actively seeking work.
IDES also states that an individual would be considered unemployed for any of the following reasons:
- The individual has been advised by a medical professional to quarantine because he or she was diagnosed with COVID-19;
- The individual is caring for a child or family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional; or
- The individual is subject to a government quarantine order.
However, to qualify for UI benefits for the above-stated reasons, the individual must still meet all other eligibility requirements.
IDES further states that an individual who left work to care for a child whose school is closed due to COVID-19 precautions may be considered unemployed, as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements. No additional UI benefits are available to individuals who have already received the full 26 weeks of UI benefits for their current benefit years.
No guidance has been issued as to whether an employer’s unemployment contribution rate will increase for an employee who receives unemployment benefits as a result of COVID-19.
Please contact Mark McAnulty, Olivia G. Robinson or any of the following KDDK labor and employment law professionals for additional information and individualized guidance on this or any related topic.