Claiming Benefits for Unemployment in Nebraska
After claiming benefits for unemployment in NE, the applicant needs to read all communication regarding his or her claim sent through email, the NE Works Message Center, the telephone and regular mail for any claim-related updates. Applicants need to keep their address information current because they will receive letters describing what they need to do to maintain eligibility for unemployment benefits. The decisions about a claim are made based on newly available information, so the claimant needs to be timely in his or her responses when instructed to do so.
To continue to claim unemployment benefits, the UI petitioner must file a weekly claim for and meet all eligibility requirements for the “waiting week” (an applicant’s first eligible week). He or she will then receive credit for the waiting week, but the waiting week is never paid. They must serve a waiting week to receive unemployment insurance coverage for later weeks. There is one waiting week per benefit year. If for some reason, a candidate’s benefits are denied for the beginning weeks of the request, the waiting week will be his or her first eligible week after the denial period.
Calculating Unemployment Benefits in Nebraska
The Nebraska unemployment benefits claim uses a time period of employment called the “base period” to evaluate a claim. Each calendar year consists of four quarters, composed of three months each. The regular base period is the first four of the last five completed quarters at the time of the claim. If eligibility for unemployment cannot be established using the regular base period, the NE Department of Labor will explore eligibility using the “alternate base period,” which consists of the last four completed quarters.
To receive federal unemployment benefits, the former worker must meet the minimum earnings required from insured work during the base period. The minimum base period earnings requirement is adjusted annually, and for 2016 it is $4,107.61. In addition to meeting this unemployment claim requirement, he or she must also have been paid at least $1,850 in one quarter, and at least $800 in another quarter. These wages must be earned from employers required to pay unemployment insurance taxes. With Nebraska law, recipients cannot receive benefits on back-to-back unemployment claims unless they worked in insured employment since the effective date of their prior claim, and earned at least six times the previous weekly benefit amount.
In claiming benefits for unemployment in Nebraska, the “maximum weekly benefit amount” for 2016 is $392. The claimant’s individual benefits are calculated by identifying his or her highest quarter earnings in the base period. That amount is divided by 13 to arrive at the average weekly wage, then divided again by two and rounded down to the next even dollar amount to get the “weekly benefit amount.” The claimant can receive an estimate of the weekly benefit amount after he or she files for unemployment. at the end of the online filing process. This information will also be in their monetary determination which they will receive in the mail.
Applicants may be eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits during a 12-month period. An unemployment benefits extension when in effect could add to that amount. The maximum amount of unemployment insurance benefits an applicant can receive during his or her benefit year is 26 times the weekly benefit amount, or 1/3 of the total base period wages, whichever is less. This maximum amount is calculated after any separation from work issues are decided, and may be reduced when there are separation disqualifications applied.
Nebraska federal unemployment benefits are taxable income under federal and state law. The benefits paid to the former employee are reported to the Internal Revenue Service and to the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Unless requested, no income tax is deducted from the unemployment benefit payments. If the claimant opts to have taxes withheld, 10 percent will be deducted from the weekly benefit amount. An applicant can request, stop or change income tax withholding online. No later than January 31, the UI recipient will be mailed IRS Form 1099-G, which shows the total benefits paid for the prior year, and income taxes withheld. It will be sent to the claimant’s last known address.
Filing Weekly for Unemployment Benefits in Nebraska
Claimants must file for federal unemployment benefits weekly while their claim is being processed. They have from Sunday at 12:01 a.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight) Friday to request benefits for the previous week. If they do not file on time, their unemployment benefits claim may be denied. Furthermore, petitioners must report gross earnings, including wages, tips, salary and other earnings before deductions and taxes. These earnings need to be reported when they are earned; applicants should not wait until they receive the funds to declare them. Misreporting wages is a fraud and could result in penalties and criminal charges.
To claim unemployment benefits in Nebraska, the applicant must make five work search contacts per week, including one contact using NEWorks. Work search requirements will change throughout the length of the unemployment claim. If the claim was effective prior to October 18, 2015, the applicant must make a minimum of two new contacts with prospective employers each week. For weeks 1 to 5 of the claim, there is 1 required application to be submitted, and a minimum number of 1 day to contact employers. For weeks 6 to 13, there are 2 required applications to be submitted, and a minimum number of 3 days to contact employers. For 14 or more weeks, there are 2 required applications to be submitted, and a minimum number of 4 days to contact employers.
For the unemployment benefits claim, the UI beneficiary must also log his or her work search contacts online in NEWorks, before making the weekly claim for benefits. The receipt of federal unemployment benefits also requires the applicant to take part in a Reemployment Services (NEres) program designed to help him or her find work. If a claimant receives a notice that he or she has been selected, the candidate must take part in the program in order to remain eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
If the claim is based on full-time earnings, the work search being conducted must be for prospective full-time employment. If is based on part-time employment, claimants are permitted to make job contacts for part-time or full-time work. The active work search requirement for each week benefits are claimed may be waived if the federal unemployment benefits petitioner is on a temporary layoff with a definite return to work date, attached to certain industries, or is a member in good standing with a union hiring hall.