Record unemployment has touched every industry over the last few months, including school districts. Rises in the number of unemployment claims will likely lead to increases in coverage contributions in the next year. However, school district employers can act now to protect their unemployment compensation accounts. Here are four things members can do:
1. Review for reasonable assurance
Check your records for unemployment claims filed since school closures in March. Look for claimants who did not get paid any wages during that time through the end of the school year but have been offered reasonable assurance to return to work next year. Many of these will be substitutes. Claimants with reasonable assurance to return cannot use school wages over the summer to calculate benefit amounts.
It is important for you to notify the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that those claimants have been offered reasonable assurance to return after the break so that TWC will suppress their wages as they do every year.
2. Correct for double payments
Check your records for unemployment claims filed since school closures in March through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Search for full-time employees who continued to receive their full-time wages. Many school districts continued to pay employees who were unable to work during the coronavirus pandemic.
By statute, these claimants are not unemployed, cannot file for benefits, and their claims should be voided. This includes full-time employees at the school who lost a part-time side job with another employer.
3. Appeal reimbursements
Appeal any claim that names a different employer as the last place of employment and the form is labeled “Wage Verification Notice – Reimbursing Employer – Base Period Wages Only.” You may submit an appeal on the TWC website or by using the fax number on the form.
4. Create an account
Make an online employer account for the TWC’s Employer Benefits Services for responding to claims. This enables you to receive electronic information more efficiently than regular postal mail about unemployment benefits, responding to claims, submitting and checking the status of an appeal, and more.
Contact us for help
Fund members with Unemployment Compensation coverage can email TASB Unemployment Compensation Attorney James Ezell at email@example.com with any questions about how to review claims or provide information to TWC.