Remember that you don’t pay unemployment insurance (UI) claims directly. They are paid by the state, and the state gets funds for that from unemployment insurance taxes that employers pay into regularly. Some employers are concerned that their UI tax rate will increase due to current layoffs, but it appears that many states (perhaps all) will essentially be forgiving COVID-19-related terminations with respect to future increases in UI tax rates.
Most employees who experience reduced hours, furloughs, or layoffs will be eligible for at least some unemployment insurance. Exactly how much will depend on a number of factors. Employees should be encouraged to file as soon as possible and to research rules, benefits, and options themselves to ensure they get the best benefit possible. We recommend that both employers and employees visit their state’s unemployment insurance department website and track local and state news, as departments across the country are updating their rules to facilitate displaced workers during this time.