Updated: 2020-09-14 17:00 EDT
Congress passed new legislation to expand unemployment benefits. What does this legislation do and when will benefits be available?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act) includes three key programs for workers affected by the Coronavirus.
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
Will provide an additional $600 to claimant’s weekly benefits. This added benefit is actively being disbursed for regular unemployment insurance benefit claims.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
Provides workers with up to 13 weeks for claims opened after July 1, 2019. If you have exhausted the 26 weeks of regular or traditional unemployment benefits, you may all be eligible for PEUC.
- Upon (UI) benefits expiring, your UI account information will be transferred and housed in the Delaware DOL’s PUA system.
To recieve the additional 13 weeks of PEUC benefits you must next re-apply through our PUA website.
Note: Although you will be using the PUA website, you will not be applying for PUA, you will simply be re-applying for PEUC [13 weeks of additional extended benefits though the Delaware DOL PUA website].
- Once you’ve reapplied for PUEC in our PUA system, you will now satisfy your weekly certifications in at pua.delawareworks.com. Do not complete your weekly certifications by calling Telebenefits or Web Benefits as you were doing when receiving traditional UI benefits.
Provides unemployment assistance to independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and religious/faith-based organizations affected by the Coronavirus. Individuals requesting PUA will be able to apply for benefits beginning the week of May 11th, 2020.
What do self-employed, independent contractors, "gig," 1099 workers need to do to file for unemployment?
The Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance is currently implementing a new system where claimants will be able to apply the week of May 11, 2020. We will be providing additional information as soon as possible. You can visit our website for updates at dol.delaware.gov. In the meantime, you can collect the following information and get it ready to submit once the system is implemented:
- Driver's license or state issued identification
- Last year's income tax statement or quarterly earnings statement
- State of Delaware business license number (if applicable)
- The complete list of required documents is listed on our website located at dol.delaware.gov
I have exhausted my unemployment claim, are there extensions?
If your benefits exhausted or expired between the dates of July 1, 2019 and Saturday, April 18, 2020, you will need to apply for the 13-week extension after 8:00 AM on Sunday April 19, 2020 by visiting ui.delawareworks.com and completing an application for benefits. If you are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits and they will not exhaust or expire until after Sunday April 19, 2020, you do not have to take any action. When your current benefits have been exhausted, your additional 13-week extension will automatically begin.
Am I eligible for Unemployment Benefits if I am out of work because my employer closed (temporarily or otherwise) because of COVID-19?
Yes. File for unemployment benefits on our website. If your employer has given you an expected day to return to work you should provide that as a recall date. If you are unsure of when you are scheduled to return, then do not provide a recall date. Keep in mind that eligibility can not be determined via email or by phone. Please file a claim at ui.delawareworks.com and an eligibility decision will be rendered after your Unemployment claim is reviewed.
Am I eligible for Unemployment Benefits if I am quarantined due to COVID-19?
No, not for regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits. If you have been directed by a health care provider or public official to isolate or quarantine you will be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. If you are currently collecting unemployment insurance benefits and have been directed to quarantine or isolate, you will answer “No” to the question about being able and available on your weekly certification. For individuals currently working, you will need to file a claim at ui.delawareworks.com and an eligibility decision will be rendered after your Unemployment claim is reviewed.
Am I eligible if I experience a reduction in hours as a result of the pandemic?
You may be eligible. Individuals experiencing a reduction in hours may be eligible. You should file a claim and report your gross wages each week. Keep in mind that eligibility can not be determined via email or by phone. Please file a claim at ui.delawareworks.com and an eligibility decision will be rendered after your Unemployment claim is reviewed.
I am a part-time employee. Am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits if I have to self-isolate/quarantine or am unable to work because I tested positive for COVID-19?
Part-time workers may be eligible for benefits and should file a claim. Please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Keep in mind that eligibility can not be determined via email or by phone. Please file a claim at ui.delawareworks.com and an eligibility decision will be rendered after your Unemployment claim is reviewed.
Will I be eligible for benefits if my child’s school has been closed and I stay home with them?
You may be eligible for benefits if schools are closed by order of the Governor and you must stay home to care for them. Please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to email@example.com for more information. Keep in mind that eligibility can not be determined via email or by phone. Please file a claim at ui.delawareworks.com and an eligibility decision will be rendered after your Unemployment claim is reviewed.
If I am an undocumented immigrant or my work Visa has expired, am I eligible for Unemployment Claims benefits?
Individuals applying for unemployment compensation benefits must be US citizens or lawful residents of the US, or have work authorizations to work in the US. Keep in mind that eligibility can not be determined via email or by phone. Please file a claim at ui.delawareworks.com and an eligibility decision will be rendered after your Unemployment claim is reviewed.
How am I supposed to meet job search requirements related to my existing Unemployment Insurance claim if I am in isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19?
Delaware has temporarily waived the requirement to look for work during the State of Emergency. Please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If you have already registered for a Delaware JobLink account and having issues with your password or other concerns, please contact the Division of Employment & Training (DET) at (302)761-8085.
How do I submit medical documentation to DOL with the office closed to the public?
The requirement to submit medical documentation is waived during the State of Emergency. For more information about your Unemployment Insurance please visit ui.delawareworks.com. For specific questions regarding medical documentation please send an email to email@example.com with a subject line, "medical documentation."
How much will my Unemployment Insurance benefits be? I receive most of my income from tips, am I eligible for Unemployment Claims?
We make every effort to pay eligible claims within 10-14 days due to the current circumstance. This is pending all information received is accurate and timely. If you have specific questions about your claim, please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. To check on the status of your benefits, call the hotline. The hotline will let claimants know if a payment was made. The Information Hotline, at (800)794-3032 or (302)761-6576 is available 7 days a week, 24 hours per day.
I filed a claim and received a message that said "I need an active Delaware JobLink account." I am not looking for a job, because my job is shutdown due to the coronavirus. How did I know you accepted my claim?
As permitted by the Governor’s Declaration of a State of Emergency, we suspended the work search requirement and also the requirement to create the JobLink account. When your claim is submitted you should receive a confirmation page and confirmation email. If you receive either of those items, we received your claim and the team is working to process it. Weekly certifications can be submitted the Sunday following the day you submitted your initial claim. Make sure you submit your weekly pay authorization either online or phone.
I disagree with my Monetary Determination, what is my next step?
How can I set-up or reset my PIN?
Each claimant is required to create a PIN on their 1st Pay authorization submission whether it is done through web-benefits or tele-benefits. If you currently do not have a PIN established for either WebBenefits or TeleBenefits, use "9999" as the default PIN the first time you call or login PIN. You will then be prompted to establish your own PIN. The PIN cannot contain the same number four numbers and cannot be sequential (1111 or 1234).
The four-digit number you select will become your Personal Identification Number (PIN), which you will use each time you log into WebBenefits. You are responsible for the security of your own PIN, and it serves as your electronic signature. Do not give your PIN to anyone, even family members. If you have forgotten your PIN, please click on the Forgot PIN link.
- Enter your SSN
- Security code
- Enter the security code as it is displayed on the application
- Login: ocs.delawareworks.com
How can I reset my PIN if I have already tried "9999?"
If you have attempted to reset your PIN by using 9999, please send an email to dol_dui_benefitspinN@delaware.gov with the subject line "PIN REQUEST." Please provide your full name and phone number and a UI Staff person will contact you to assist with PIN REQUEST.
What if I don’t have Internet access at home right now?
We accept Unemployment Insurance applications outside each location. They can be returned by mail or dropped off at our secure drop box outside our Wilmington and Dover locations. Self applications must be completed in full and must be legible.
Mail: Division of Unemployment Insurance PO Box 9950 Wilmington, DE 19809-9959 Drop-off Wilmington: 4425 N. Market Street Wilmington, DE 19802 Drop-off Dover: Blue Hen Corporate Center 655 S. Bay Road, Suite 2H Dover, DE 19901
I get a busy signal or disconnected when I call, and I have sent multiple emails and no responses. I’ve reached out on Facebook too. How can I get a hold of someone in Unemployment??
The phone lines are extremely busy and we are working to add employees to assist in responding to phone calls as well as emails. You can email your questions to email@example.com. Please try to limit the number of emails, duplicated emails will delay the team from answering your questions at an efficient rate. The communications team who handles social media are DOL employees, but work in other divisions, so it may take them a while to respond to specific questions.
How do I update my contact information (mailing address)?
Update your contact information (such as your address) on the claimant portal: ocs.delawareworks.com
Should CARES Act stimulus be reported as income or earnings for Unemployment Insurance Compensation?
No. CARES Act stimulus is not considered income or earnings for Unemployment Insurance Compensation. You do not need to report it when making your weekly pay authorizations.
Should the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) be reported as income or earnings?
No. FPUC is not considered income or earnings for Unemployment Insurance Compensation. You do not need to report it when making your weekly pay authorizations.
What does it mean if you get an email that your case is being escalated to a deputy?
There is an issue on your claim that requires an investigation.
Will payments be retroactive?
If a claimant filed a claim and continues to submit weekly pay authorizations they will be paid for any week in which they are eligible for benefits. If you applied for benefits and there is a hold-up with your claim, once the hold is lifted you will receive benefits retroactive to when you originally applied. If you are an independent contractor or are self-employed, your benefits will be retroactive from the day after the State of Delaware signed the agreement with the federal government under the CARES Act which was Sunday 3/29/20.
How do I report for previous weeks that were missed?
You can only submit a pay authorization for the current week. If you miss a week, you have to speak to a representative about having it manually corrected. It’s important to continue to submit a weekly pay authorization after filing your initial claim, even if you haven’t received payment. You don’t want your pay authorizations to be out of sequence.
I applied and only got a blank Monetary Determination letter, I have no confirmation number. I don’t even know if it was approved. Why did I get a blank letter?
If you received a monetary determination with no wages and you worked for a covered employer in 2019, please send your W2 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If all your wages were earned in another state during the last 18 months, you need to file in that state. If you have all Delaware wages, you would file in Delaware.
If you applied for benefits and there is a hold on your claim, once the hold is lifted you will receive benefits retroactive to when you originally applied.
If you are an independent contractor or are self-employed, your benefits will be retroactive from the day after the State of Delaware signed the agreement with the federal government under the CARES Act which was Sunday 3/29/20. Self-employed/ independent contractor wages need to be cross referenced with the IRS data to find out how much that person will receive.
If I filed by phone AND online is that going to create a problem due to the duplication of efforts?
No, but it results in stress on the system.
Is there any way to find out if something on my application was submitted incorrectly other than calling in or sending an email?
The Division of Unemployment Insurance will send you a letter if there is an issue with your claim. You should also keep an eye on your email, especially your spam/ junk folder.
I need to go back to work. If I want to apply for a job, where can I go to look up current job openings at “essential businesses?”
Is the Delaware Department of Labor hiring?
There is information out there on Goodwill’s website for anyone who may be interested in helping out with UI claims: goodwillde.org/work-at-gw.