COVID-19 Public Information

COVID-19 Resource Center

UST has been supporting nonprofit employers for over 35 years. We know many of you have questions about how the COVID-19 crisis and associated public health response is likely to impact your organization. Below, we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions nonprofits are asking about the unemployment and workforce challenges that are likely to come, and how best to prepare for them.

NONPROFIT SURVEY: Discover how nonprofit organizations are coping with the unprecedented challenges during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please help UST—and the nonprofit sector—and take the short survey to help us answer questions about the COVID-19 impact on 501(c)(3) employers.

TAKE ACTION: Congress just passed sweeping legislation aimed at addressing unemployment compensation for those affected by COVID-19. Current legislation includes 50% relief for reimbursing employers. Tell Congress, and also get the message to your State leadership, that it is vital to treat ALL employers equally with regard to these pandemic claims by providing 100% subsidy of these payments and not to discriminate against these mission based employers because they elected a special financing option specifically designed for them by the Federal Government. Click here to contact your elected officials today!

For additional COVID-19 insight, we also recommend the following resources from our allies and partners:

You can also view some of our top COVID-19 FAQs in the section below.

COVID-19 Public FAQs

 

Search our Frequently Asked Questions:

If my state is offering relief of charges for unemployment benefits, will we also receive relief of charges?

Since each state may pass their own legislation as it pertains to relief of charges, we can’t provide a definitive answer to that question at this time. To access an updated list of current state and federal legislation, please click here.

UST is actively working with lobbyists across the country to push for nonprofit –specifically reimbursing – employers to be included in each states legislation. The current proposed Federal bill includes language to relieve 50% of unemployment charges to nonprofits that are direct reimbursing employers.

Can UI benefits be disqualifying or delayed to an individual if they receive qualified income like vacation, PTO and/or severance payout?

Disqualifying or deductible income is governed by State law. Although law provisions vary among the States, most provide for disqualification or reduction in benefits for any week or part of a week during which the claimant receives income such as earnings, wages in lieu of notice, dismissal pay, workers' compensation, back pay, holiday or vacation pay, payments made under an employer's pension plan, etc. A list of disqualifying income broken down by state can be found here.

This income may result in the total or partial reduction of weekly benefits. Please contact your state unemployment agency for the latest information.

Equifax is not providing, and cannot provide legal advice on any legal issues relating to state requirements. Your company should work with its legal counsel and other experts to make all determinations regarding specific state obligations.

Do we qualify for the Workshare program through our State?

So long as you meet your states qualification, you may apply for the Workshare Program. Workshare programs are designed to offer assistance to employers during a temporary downturn. You will still have unemployment charges, but you may experience lower costs associated with these claims since they are only covering for reduced hours rather than a full layoff.

Can you provide language that we can share with our elected representatives to support nonprofit employer advocacy efforts? How do I contact my elected officials?

You can contact your elected officials here. Please use the following language and choose the appropriate option based on who you are contacting:

The urgent public health response provoked by the spread of COVID-19 has forced employers around the country to lay off workers for reasons beyond their control, and unrelated to any organizational mismanagement on their part. [Congress/Our state legislator] has rightly recognized that employers should be shielded from the full economic cost this crisis response has incurred, but at this time, has not taken steps to ensure that all employers will be equally protected.

I am writing, as your constituent and a member of the nonprofit community, to ask that you do everything in your power to ensure that 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers—and particularly those who have opted to exercise their right under federal law to reimburse their state for unemployment benefits paid to their employees—receive equivalent relief of charges and/or other financial assistance under any legislation passed in response to this crisis, as their for profit counterparts do. If you have any questions about how best to accomplish this, I will be happy to connect you with a relevant subject matter expert.

For additional information on how you can help, please click here.

Can employees with reduced hours still apply for unemployment?

Yes, any employee whose hours are reduced will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits for the difference in pay. This would be limited by the maximum weekly benefits in your state.

If individuals are afraid to come to work even though we are still open for business, will they still qualify for unemployment?

Yes, employees who are afraid to come to work may still qualify for unemployment benefits. In these instances, you can protest the claim to seek a denial of benefits, but some state regulations may make these claims eligible.

Is UST working to lobby on behalf of nonprofits?

UST has been actively working with our state and national nonprofit association partners–including the National Council of Nonprofits–and their policy and legislative staff to provide information, wording, updates and advice on what to bring forward and how to talk to legislators to make sure that nonprofits in general and those that have chosen the reimbursing option for unemployment benefits are included in any relief programs passed by the federal or state governments.   

How does the state determine benefit amounts?

While each states calculations may vary, each state uses wages reported over the last five quarters to calculate weekly benefit amounts. 

Which states can implement a Short Time Compensation plan (work share)?

To find out whether your state offers a Short Time Compensation plan, go here.