Update to Lower and Higher Authority Appeals Deadlines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MEDIA CONTACT:

Kenneth Briscoe
Communications Coordinator
Delaware Department of Labor

 

[Monday, October 12, 2020, Wilmington, DE] The Delaware Department of Labor has issued the Ninth Emergency Rule, which updates and revises the First and Seventh Emergency Rules, establishing deadlines to file appeals to the Lower Authority (Appeals Referees, the “Referees”) and Higher Authority (the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, the “Board”).  The new Rule establishes November 5, 2020 as the revised deadline to file certain appeals to the Referees or the Board.

On March 16th, 2020, Governor John Carney issued a First Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency for the State of Delaware due to a Public Health Threat (the “State of Emergency”), which gave the Secretary of Labor the ability to develop emergency rules to amend the Delaware Unemployment Insurance Code in response to COVID-19.  The Secretary of Labor issued the First Rules, which provided an extension of all deadlines to file an appeal to the Referees or the Board until 30 days following the conclusion of the State of Emergency.

When it became clear that the State of Emergency was on-going, the Secretary of Labor issued the Seventh Rules, which were amended by the Ninth Rules.  The Ninth Rules set November 5, 2020 as the new deadline for any appeals that would have been due between March 16, 2020 and November 5, 2020, but were extended by the First Rules. 

This new deadline means that anyone who was issued an unemployment decision, including a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance decision, that listed a deadline between March 16, 2020 and November 5, 2020 to file an appeal to either the Referee or the Board must file those appeals by no later than November 5, 2020.  The deadline to file appeals to the Referees or the Board is no longer extended to 30 days following the conclusion of the Governor’s State of Emergency.  If you already filed an appeal of your decision or decisions issued prior to November 5, 2020, then you do not need to do anything further.  If the deadline listed on your decision is later than November 5, 2020, then the appeal deadline listed on your decision controls.

 

How to file an claims appeal:
You must include your full name, contact information and case number when filing an appeal. There are three ways you may file your appeal to our appeals referees or the appeals board.

  1. To file online: Appeals may be filed through the online portal at http://ocs.delawareworks.com
  2. To file mail:
    Please send your written appeal to:
    Division of Unemployment Insurance Appeals Unit
    PO Box 9950
    Wilmington, DE 19809-0951
  3. To file by email: dol_dui_appeals_request@delaware.gov

For more information regarding the update, or to read the full rule, please visit www.dol.delaware.gov/

 

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Extension Of The Delaware Contractor Registration Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2020

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kenneth Briscoe
Delaware Department of Labor
Communications Coordinator
kenneth.briscoe@delaware.gov

 

Thursday, October 1, 2020, The Delaware Department of Labor announced that the effective date of The Delaware Contractor Registration Act has been extended to July 1, 2021. 

 

On September 28, 2020, Governor John Carney signed the following Legislative Advisory #34 regarding the Delaware Department of Labor.

 

SS # 1 for SB #239 (9/28/20) – AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 168, VOLUME 82 OF THE LAWS OF DELAWARE RELATING TO CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION. (Sponsors: Sen. Walsh & Rep. Osienski). (Volume 82, Chapter 291, Laws of Delaware).

 

This bill extends the effective date of the Delaware Contractor Registration Act to July 1, 2021, or upon promulgation of final regulations. The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic facing Delaware and the nation necessitates moving the implementation of the law until July 1, 2021, or upon promulgation of final regulations. The bill also extends the effective date of changes to the Workplace Fraud Act to mirror the effective date of the Delaware Contractor Registration Act. This will facilitate enforcement and alleviate logistical issues with the implementation of the contractor registry.

 

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DOL Announces the “High Extended Benefits” Program

 

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2020
Contact: Kenneth Briscoe
Director of Communications
Kenneth.Briscoe@delaware.gov

 

(Wilmington, DE) – Monday, September 28, 2020

The Delaware Department of Labor announced today the extension of unemployment benefits, triggered by Delaware’s high jobless rate. Delaware’s three-month averaged, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate as of August 2020, is 10.6%.

 

Primarily federally funded, the “High Extended Benefits” program kicks in when the state’s unemployment rate averages 8% or higher for three consecutive months. It offers claimants an additional seven weeks of extended benefits for a total of 20 weeks. It also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for another seven weeks, offering a total of 46 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to eligible Delawareans.

 

State Labor Secretary Cerron Cade said, “This expansion of benefits will provide much needed assistance for Delawareans whose eligibility for Extended Benefits was due to expire at the end of September. With the expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and the short period during which the FEMA Lost Wage Assistance program is active, this provides seven additional weeks of the safety net for the long-term unemployed. This extension of benefits will help workers for as long as the state remains above the three-month average threshold.”

 

Claimants can expect to be notified by mail of the extension, according to the Department of Labor, they must continue to file their weekly certification and will not need to complete a separate application.

 

High Extended Benefits began September 19, 2020 and will remain in place until the three-month average for state unemployment falls below 8 percent.

When the state “triggers off” of the High Extended Benefits program, claimants who have received 13 weeks of Extended Benefits will receive two additional weeks before benefits are ended.

 

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Delaware Department Of Labor Will Begin Issuing An Additional $300.00 In Benefits Through Lost Wages Assistance Funding

WILMINGTON (Sept. 8, 2020) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Delaware’s application to receive Lost Wages Assistance funding from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. On August 8, 2020, President Trump made available up to $44 billion from
FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to Americans who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to apply for and receive approval to provide additional support to Delawareans who have experienced unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cerron Cade, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. “We want to emphasize that this benefit is time-limited and not everyone who has filed an unemployment claim will be eligible.”  

The LWA program was created to provide temporary additional benefits to unemployed workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  LWA benefits are retroactive to the week ending August 1st, and eligible individuals will receive $300 per week in benefits in addition to their regular unemployment benefits.  The LWA program and the availability of LWA benefits will end when the first of the following occurs: 1) available federal funding is depleted, 2) federal legislation is enacted to provide unemployment benefits covered, or 3) December 27, 2020.

The Delaware Department of Labor applied for and was approved for the Lost Wages Assistance funding on September 2, 2020. The Delaware Department of Labor expects to  begin issuing LWA payments to eligible claimants beginning the week of September 14, 2020. Because funds for the LWA program are limited, it is uncertain how many weeks will be fully funded and how long the LWA payments will be available.

Individuals are eligible for Lost Wages Assistance if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. Your weekly unemployment benefit amount is at least $100 under regular state unemployment insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or other eligible federal UI programs, and
  2. You certify that you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and
  3. The Delaware Department of Labor determines that you are eligible for an underlying benefit payment for that week, and
  4. The LWA program has available funding from FEMA.

 

Benefits will be automatically calculated and distributed based on unemployment claims received; individuals do not need to call or apply separately for this .  To receive LWA in a given week, you must receive unemployment insurance benefits of $1 or more for that week.  If an individual’s claim for underlying benefits and LWA is subject to adjudication or in appeal status when the LWA program ends, then the individual will not be entitled to LWA payments.

The Delaware Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance will coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and FEMA to program, implement, and distribute LWA funds.

For more information about the Lost Wages Assistance program, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program?
    To ease the economic burden for those struggling with lost wages due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been authorized to expend funds from the Disaster Relief Fund for lost wage payments as a result of COVID-19. The Lost Wages Assistance program (LWA) supplements the payment of lost wages $300 per week to claimants who:
    1. are eligible for $100 or more of weekly unemployment benefits under a qualifying program, and
    2. self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

LWA is available for a week of unemployment starting the week ending August 1, 2020. If you are eligible, LWA will be paid automatically to you along with your underlying unemployment benefits.

  1. When will I receive my LWA payments?
    The Delaware Department of Labor expects to begin issuing LWA payments to eligible claimants beginning the week of September 14, 2020, on a first-come, first-served basis. The LWA payments will be retroactive to the week ending on August 1, 2020. Because the LWA program has a limited budget, it is uncertain how many weeks will be fully funded and how long the LWA payments will be available.
  2. How much money will a person be eligible for each week and for how many weeks?
    For the state of Delaware, an eligible individual could receive a $300 benefit in addition to their weekly unemployment benefit.   The LWA program has a limited budget, so the length of time the LWA program is available, the amount that is paid out, and to whom will be determined by the number of participating states, the number of payments that go out and how fast the limited federal funds are exhausted.
  1. How long will the LWA program continue?
    FEMA grants for lost wages supplemental payments will continue until the earlier of:
    • FEMA has expended $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF).
    • The Disaster Relief Fund balance reaches $25 billion.
    • Enactment of legislation providing supplemental Federal unemployment compensation, or similar compensation, for unemployed or partially employed individuals due to COVID-19.
    • The program end date of no later than December 26, 2020.

 

  1. Will I receive LWA benefits if my claim is adjudicated or appealed in my favor?
    If an individual’s claim for underlying benefits and LWA is subject to adjudication or in appeal status when the LWA program ends, then the individual will not be entitled to LWA payments.
  2. How often do I have to self-certify that I am unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19?
    Just once per claim. There is no requirement for weekly LWA self-certifications. You must continue to file your regular weekly claim certifications to receive your unemployment benefits along with any applicable LWA payments,.
  3. Do I need to submit additional documentation to receive LWA?
    No additional documentation is required to receive LWA.
  4. My weekly benefit amount is $176 but $80 of that is taken out for child support payments. Do I qualify for LWA if I complete the LWA self-certification?Yes. The $100 minimum weekly benefit requirement to receive LWA is calculated before any offsets, including tax withholding, child support deductions, or overpayment offsets, are deducted.
  5. How will I receive my LWA payments?
    You will receive your LWA payments in the same manner that you receive your other unemployment compensation.
  6. What underlying unemployment programs are eligible for LWA?
    If you are eligible for a weekly benefit of at least $100 in weeks when the LWA is effective from any of the following programs, and you complete the LWA self-certification that you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, you will be eligible for LWA:
    • Regular unemployment insurance benefits;
    • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX);
    • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE);
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
    • Extended Benefits (EB);
    • Work Sharing Benefits; and
    • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).

 

  1. Who is ineligible for the LWA?
    • Primarily, the following individuals are not eligible for the LWA benefit:
    • Individuals who did not receive an unemployment benefit in the week ending August 1, 2020 or later.
    • Individuals whose weekly benefit amount is less than $100 in one of the above listed programs in the week ending August 1, 2020 or later.
    • Individuals who became unemployed, or who become partially unemployed, due to disruptions not caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Is the $300 LWA weekly payment taxable?
    Yes, the $300 LWA payment is taxable. If you request to have Federal taxes deducted from your benefits, those taxes will also be deducted from the $300 LWA payments. For specific guidance on the tax treatment of unemployment compensation, please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  2. I am back to work now, but I was receiving unemployment benefits for some of the weeks covered by the LWA program. May I receive LWA for those weeks?
    If you were eligible for at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits for any week ending on or after August 1, 2020, but you went back to work before LWA payments were available, you are eligible to receive available retroactive LWA if you self-certify that during those weeks you were unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

 

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Contact:
Kenneth Briscoe
Communications Director
Delaware Department of Labor
kenneth.briscoe@delaware.gov

 

 


The Delaware Department of Labor applies for Lost Wage Assistance Program

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday August 21, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kenneth Briscoe
kenneth.briscoe@delaware.gov

 

(Wilmington, DE) – Today, the Delaware Department of Labor (DEDOL) announced that Delaware will apply for the Lost Wages Assistance Program through the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

 

As outlined by FEMA and the United States Department of Labor, this funding will provide an additional $300 per week to claimants who are unemployed due to COVID-related reasons and are receiving at least $100 in unemployment benefits from the state. 

 

The Lost Wage Assistance Program was established through a memorandum issued by President Trump after Congress failed to reauthorize the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provided an extra $600 payment to eligible Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants.

 

To qualify for this new program, claimants must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

 

Upon approval, the DEDOL would provide retroactive payments to eligible claimants from the date of August 1, 2020,  forward. The duration of this payment is dependent on the terms of the President’s memorandum. This funding could end in a matter of weeks or sooner unless Congress passes a new law. This additional benefit is scheduled to end no later than December 27, 2020.

 

“ While Delaware will be applying for these funds to support workers unemployed due to no fault of their own, I need to be perfectly clear; President Trump’s plan is a Hail Mary that is unnecessarily complicated and will be a nightmare to implement quickly.

 

One of the challenges with this new program is that states are being directed to pay these benefits through FEMA rather than the traditional unemployment sources which we have been using since this crisis began. These funds cannot intermingle. Therefore, states will have to establish new systems which must interface with our existing unemployment rolls to determine eligibility. This could take weeks to get operational. While communication with our federal partners continues as we apply for this assistance, our various requests for greater flexibility have been rejected. Furthermore, with the stability of the funding source and overall legality of the President’s memorandum in question; it is unclear if or when the additional benefits will be available.

 

We are committed to continuing to work with our federal partners so that we can begin planning and implementing the distribution of these funds to Delawareans who need it.

 

Until then, while there is an incredible public need for this assistance, there is no need for claimants to contact DEDOL regarding this program. We will provide more information once it becomes available, ”  said Cerron Cade, Delaware Secretary of Labor.

 

DEDOL continues to encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance, or for those that fall under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility guidelines, to file a claim online at ui.delawareworks.com and continue to certify your claim weekly.

 

 

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