What Is Involved in Unemployment Insurance Law?

Misty Amber Brighton

One of the biggest considerations in unemployment insurance law is determining who is eligible for benefits and how much money they might be paid. Lawmakers may also try to set amounts for employers to pay for various unemployment insurance programs. Each jurisdiction normally has administrative laws that detail the process for obtaining unemployment benefits and whether there are certain requirements for citizens to adhere to in order to continue receiving payments.

Workers who are laid-off may receive unemployment benefits.
Workers who are laid-off may receive unemployment benefits.

Determining which workers are eligible for benefits is usually part of unemployment insurance law. Normally, a worker must become unemployed due to no fault of his or her own. This could be whenever a business closes or needs to lay off workers. Some jurisdictions have stipulations regarding the amount of time worked, so employees who were recently hired may find themselves ineligible for this type of insurance even if they are otherwise qualified. Only workers that are classified as employees may be covered under unemployment insurance law, so those who are self-employed may also be ineligible.

An individual must prove that he or she is actively seeking work in order to receive unemployment benefits.
An individual must prove that he or she is actively seeking work in order to receive unemployment benefits.

The amount of money paid for claims is also part of unemployment insurance law. This amount varies from one location to the next, and could be determined by the local cost of living and the worker's salary. Monies paid to claimants are normally dispersed through a general fund, which is contributed to by employers on an ongoing basis. The amount each company must pay into this fund may also be determined by statute, and could depend on the size of the company, past history of lay-offs, and whether the business primarily operates seasonally or year-round.

Unemployment insurance law also governs the process of applying for and determining eligibility for payments. In many areas, special agencies are set up to handle applications; some may also be responsible for issuing payment to workers. The law normally determines the type of documentation needed to file a claim and tells agency workers how to process this paperwork. It might also provide remedies for citizens who are denied payment by way of an appeals board, which is a type of administrative hearing.

To continue receiving benefits, recipients must usually perform certain tasks as specified by local unemployment insurance law. This normally consists of looking for full-time work, and many jurisdictions require applicants to report the names of businesses they have visited. Workers may also be required to report any income they have received while performing temporary jobs or face severe penalties for withholding this information.

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