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Pandemic-related financial relief for reimbursing employers

Federal financial relief has been applied to 2020 and 2021

Congress authorized federal funding to reimburse states for certain unemployment costs during the pandemic. Under Minnesota law, employers are not required to repay any unemployment benefit charges that the federal government has already reimbursed. 

This federal financial relief came with a series of unique requirements that were challenging to implement. In the 85-year history of the UI program, we have never had to relieve employer charges at this scale or level of complexity. We appreciate your patience as we adapted our accounting systems to ensure this federal financial relief was applied correctly. 

We have applied federal financial relief to reimbursing employer accounts for both 2020 and 2021. This is how federal law provided that this relief could be applied:

  1. 100% of non-payable weeks paid between 03/29/2020 and 01/02/2021 
  2. 100% of Shared Work weeks paid between 03/29/2020 and 09/04/2021 
  3. 50% of benefit charges not otherwise relieved for benefits paid for weeks between 03/15/2020 and 04/03/2021 
  4. 75% of benefit charges not otherwise relieved for benefits paid for weeks between 04/04/2021 and 09/04/2021

Relief of charges under these federal provisions occurred even when the employee left your employment prior to the pandemic or during the pandemic but not because of the pandemic.

We also relieved additional charges under state law, when possible

After we removed charges under the federal provisions above, we reviewed all the records submitted by you and your former employees to determine if some of the remaining charges to your account could be relieved. 

Under Minnesota law, a reimbursing employer may be relieved of benefit charges when:

  • We determined an applicant was overpaid for benefits they previously received 
  • We determined you provided regularly scheduled, part-time employment to an applicant who applied for benefits because they separated from a different employer 
  • There is also a state law that allows us to relieve benefit charges when 25% or more of the workers at your work site became unemployed due to an “act of nature”. We consider the COVID-19 pandemic a qualifying “act of nature” under this law.

Even with the relief of charges that have taken place due to federal reimbursements and under state law, you may still have at least partial charges that have accrued to your account that you will ultimately have to pay. Why might that happen?

  • You may have had more layoffs, but did not reach the 25% threshold described above. 
  • You may have met the 25% threshold described above, but there were former employees that left your employment prior to the pandemic 
  • You may have met the 25% threshold described above, but there were employees that left your employment during the pandemic for reasons unrelated to the pandemic.

This has been a long process …

We know this work has taken longer to complete than any of us would like. Most of the delay has been caused by the complexity of the federal provisions that relieve charges; which, of course, were outside of our control. That said, the work we have done so far has resulted in much lower bills than would have otherwise occurred. In order to ensure that your bill is as accurate as possible, we are currently re-reviewing all remaining charges to determine if more relief is possible. 

After we finish this final review, our next step is to send letters to each reimbursing employer with details about what charges were relieved and what charges remain. This will give you a chance to let us know if we are missing something before we turn billing back on. We expect to get the informal letter to all reimbursing employers before the end of December and to have billing turned back on in January 2022.

You can see the relief applied to your account

You can review all of the relief already applied to your employer account online. A few reminders as you review your account:

  1. Federal Relief
    1. One category of federal financial relief became available starting with benefit charges for the week of 03/15/2020. 
    2. The two other categories of federal financial relief became available with benefit charges for the week of 03/29/2020. 
    3. Federal reimbursement was 100% for non-payable weeks and Shared Work Weeks. 
    4. Federal reimbursement was 50% for other Benefits paid for weeks between 03/15/2020 and 04/03/2021.
    5. Federal reimbursement was 75% for other Benefits paid for weeks between 04/04/2021 and 09/04/2021.
  2. If we applied relief under state law, you will see additional adjustments applied to your account.

Step-by-step instructions will help you review federal financial relief applied to your employer account. As you review your benefit charges, you may notice that they are quite complicated. This guide is not comprehensive and may not explain every benefit charge adjustment you see.

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