COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Employers
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Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations

On March 12, 2021, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a new law granting employees paid leave time to receive
COVID-19 vaccinations. See the Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations fact sheet for more information.

Employer Charging/Experience Rating

QUESTION: Will I be charged for the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC)?

ANSWER: No. Those benefits are fully federally funded.

 

QUESTION: Will I be charged for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Benefits (PEUC)?

ANSWER: No. These benefits are fully federally funded.

 

QUESTION: Will I be charged for the additional Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments?

ANSWER: No. These benefits are fully federally funded.

Shared Work

QUESTION: I would like to sign up for the Shared Work Program to get through this time. How do I do that?

ANSWER: You can find information about the program and forms to apply for the program at the Shared Work Program website. If you have further questions, please call the Liability and Determination Section at 518-457-2635.

 

QUESTION: Can people on Shared Work get Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation? Will it be prorated?

ANSWER: Yes, Shared Work participants will receive this assistance. The additional $600 payment is available for benefit weeks ending 4/5/2020 to 7/26/2020. The additional $300 payment is available for benefit weeks ending 1/3/2021 to 3/14/2021. Both payments are available to anyone receiving any amount of unemployment benefits. This amount is not prorated. Anyone receiving benefits will receive this amount in full.  

 

QUESTION: Can a corporate officer be on Shared Work during this time?

ANSWER: Officers of a corporation may be approved to participate in the business’s Shared Work plan through September 6, 2021. Please contact the Liability and Determination Section at 518-457-2635 for more information.

 

QUESTION: Will I be relieved of charges for Shared Work benefits my employees receive during this time?

ANSWER: Yes. Shared Work benefits are federally funded from March 30, 2020, through September 5, 2021, with the exception of temporary, intermittent or seasonal workers.

Claims

QUESTION: Do my employees have to apply separately for the additional FPUC benefits?

ANSWER: No. Anyone receiving regular unemployment benefits will automatically receive FPUC benefits for the benefit weeks ending 4/5/2020 to 7/26/2020 ($600) and benefit weeks ending 1/3/2021 to 9/5/2021 ($300).

 

QUESTION: My employees filed claims and then I was able to bring them back part time. Are they still eligible for FPUC benefits?

ANSWER: Yes. Any individual who receives any amount of unemployment benefits due to COVID-19-related circumstances will receive the additional payments.

 

QUESTION: My employees can work from home. Can they collect the additional benefits because they are not working in the office?

ANSWER: No. The benefits are only available to individuals who are unemployed.

 

QUESTION: My employee wants to use vacation time while the business is closed. Can they collect benefits while using paid time off?

ANSWER: No. Individuals using paid sick leave or other paid leave are employed.

 

QUESTION: Do I need to respond to all fact finding forms regarding dismissal or severance pay?  

ANSWER: NYSDOL has been advised that some employers are receiving fact finding forms pertaining to dismissal/severance pay issues. The labor law provides that dismissal pay does not affect unemployment benefits when the initial payment begins 30 days or more after the last day of employment. (See Labor Law Sec. 591.6(d).) In a situation where, for example, workers are separated during the spring of a given year but dismissal payments do not begin until the fall of the same year, the fact finding form regarding that dismissal/severance pay would be immaterial as the information would have no material legal consequence. 

Reimbursable Accounts

QUESTION: I have a reimbursable account. Will I be responsible for reimbursing all the benefits my employees collect?

ANSWER: You will receive relief of 50% of regular unemployment benefits paid from March 13, 2020 through September, 2021. The additional $600 or $300 in FPUC payments your former workers receive is fully paid for by the federal government.

 

QUESTION: Will I be required to pay the benefits of my employees who are on a Shared Work Plan?

ANSWER: Your account will be relieved of charges for weeks of Shared Work from April 5 through December 31, 2020.

 

QUESTION: Will my account be charged for the waiting week?

ANSWER: The first week of a claim is normally an unpaid waiting week. The requirement to wait has been waived for claims filed between April 2, 2020 and September 5, 2021 and is a paid week. Your account will be relieved of charges for the waived waiting week.

 

QUESTION: Will I be charged for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is available through September 5, 2021 for some claimants?

ANSWER: No. Those benefits are fully federally funded.

 

QUESTION: Will I be charged for the 53 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Benefits (PEUC), which is available through September 5, 2021 for some claimants?

ANSWER: No. These benefits are fully federally funded.

 

QUESTION: Will I be charged for the additional $600 or $300 FPUC payments?

ANSWER: No. These benefits are fully federally funded.

Timeliness/Communications

QUESTION: Will I be given extra time to file my NYS-45, Combined Unemployment Insurance, Withholding and Wage Reporting Return for the first quarter of 2020?

ANSWER: The due date for the first quarter of 2020 return has not been changed at this time. You should file by April 30, 2020.

Individuals Who Do Not Normally Qualify for Benefits

QUESTION: I am a corporate officer and my business has slowed or closed during the crisis. Can I collect benefits?

ANSWER: To receive benefits, a person must be totally unemployed. Normally, corporate officers are considered fully employed. In the current crisis, however, you may be eligible. If you are totally or partially unemployed you should file a claim, and the Department will determine your eligibility. If you are found eligible, make sure you report any day you work for the corporation when you certify for benefits.

 

QUESTION: Can individuals who are normally not qualified for unemployment benefits access benefits during this crisis?

ANSWER: Yes. Individuals who are ineligible for regular unemployment based on State or Federal law may be eligible for up to 79 weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Individuals who exhausted their regular unemployment benefits after July 1, 2019 may be eligible for an additional 53 weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.