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Category Archives: Federal & State Legislation

Drug Tests May Determine Some Unemployment Eligibility

On the last day of March 2017, President Donald Trump signed legislation that will grant states more leeway to drug test unemployment insurance applicants for benefit eligibility and job readiness.

Historically, states haven’t drug tested people seeking unemployment benefits because the Social Security Act (SSA) hasn’t allow agencies to restrict factors that are not related to the “fact or cause” of a worker’s unemployment. Many lawmakers have been seeking to allow states to drug test applicants as a condition of receiving unemployment compensation (UC) benefits.

In 2012 an amendment to the SSA allowed states to drug test unemployment compensation applicants as a condition of eligibility in the following limited circumstances:

  • If they were fired by their last employer for unlawful drug use.
  • If they were seeking jobs in occupations that regularly drug test.

Then in 2016, a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rule narrowly defined the “occupations” for which drug testing was permitted as those for which testing is required by federal or state law. That DOL ruling allowed drug testing for:

  • Occupations that require carrying firearms
  • Occupations that require operating vehicles that transport passengers.
  • Flight crews
  • Railroad crew members
  • Air traffic controllers.

On March 31, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed legislation to nullify the 2016 U.S. Department of Labor rule that narrowly limited the circumstances under which drug testing may be carried out by states in administering their unemployment insurance systems.

This most recent legislation now expands those DOL regulations so that all states are cleared to explicitly deny unemployment insurance benefits to applicants who lost their job due to illegal drug use, and establish a state’s ability to conduct a drug testing program as a condition of eligibility. As of now, 20 states deny unemployment insurance benefits to applicants who lost their job due to illegal drug use.

Schemes to Swindle State Unemployment Agencies on the Rise

Internet fraud is a significant threat everywhere. Concurrently, the proliferation of intricate fraud schemes against state unemployment agencies by organized crime is also on the rise. Nationwide, since 2012, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL/OIG), Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations reports conducting over 750 major unemployment compensation (UC) investigations that resulted in “1,200 criminal convictions that created over $67.5 million in improper UC payments”.

Historically, there has always been a certain amount of individual fraud related to UC payments but advances in technology have made it easier for multi-claimant scams to financially impact state agencies. The proliferation of organized crime efforts takes advantage of specific state vulnerabilities using stolen personal claimant identification and the anonymity of the Internet. For example,

State administrators throughout the country are partnering now, more often, with local law enforcement, FBI and DOL/OIG for the purpose of investigating criminal fraud in their UC programs. Should you know of or suspect wrongdoing as it relates to UC benefit payments, please contact your unemployment claims administrator.

Reference: Employment and Training Administration, Advisory System, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 20210, Subject: “Disclosure of Confidential Unemployment Compensation (UC) Information to the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General for the purpose of investigating UC fraud is mandatory”, December 16, 2016.

Enrollment deadlines are quickly approaching!

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With Fall arriving and the holiday season around the corner, it’s about that time to review your state unemployment tax (SUTA) cost options. SUTA costs have increased for most states since 2009 — by as much as 630%! — and costs continue to grow due to factors such as improper claim payments made by the state. Nonprofits, governmental and tribal entities have the option to opt out of paying SUTA and instead, reimburse their state unemployment benefits paid to employees. The reimbursement financing option gives employers the opportunity to:

  • Avoid annually varying tax rates which create a statewide reserve against future unemployment risk
  • Reduce the actual cost of benefits to dollar-for-dollar
  • Avoid having to pay the pooled costs built into each state’s unemployment agency

Choosing the reimbursement financing method is less costly for nonprofits however it comes with potential risks such as an unexpected loss of funding. At First Nonprofit, we have programs tailored to help nonprofits take advantage of savings while minimizing any potential risk that may arise. The deadline for many states to enroll in reimbursement financing is on November 30th, while for others it’s December 1st.

First Nonprofit Group provides nearly 2,000 nonprofits around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. To find out how much money your organization can save, request an unemployment cost savings evaluation. Evaluations are free, there is no obligation to join, and an estimate of your 2017 unemployment rate is included!

Unemployment insurance cost facts every Rhode Island nonprofit should know!

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What do state unemployment taxes (SUTA) and claim overpayment rates mean to your nonprofit?

These factors could mean less money for your nonprofit organization’s cause.

$772 Average SUTA Cost Per Employee

Average state unemployment tax costs per employee range from $!21 to $953 per employee across the country. With an average cost of $772 per employee, Rhode Island ranks as the 4th highest.

$20 Million Unemployment Claim Overpayments

Rhode Island’s April 2014 – March 2015 unemployment claim overpayment rate was 11.841%, equaling over $20 million.

$1.78 SUTA Vs. Benefits Paid

Rhode Island employers pay $1.78 in SUTA to the Department of Labor and Training for every $1.00 paid in unemployment benefits.

However, there are options to financing your nonprofit organization’s unemployment costs.

First Nonprofit Group provides state compliant, individually insured, cost-saving options to satisfy SUTA requirements for nonprofit, governmental and tribal entities. Below is a sample savings analysis of one of our Idaho members since 2009.

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We provide more than 1,800 organizations around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Click here or 1-(800) 526-4352 to request a free, no-obligation cost saving evaluation. Evaluations include a 2017 rate projection!

Did you know Maine’s state unemployment tax cost increased by 63% since 2009!

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What do state unemployment taxes (SUTA) and claim overpayment rates mean to your nonprofit?

These factors could mean less money for your nonprofit organization’s cause.

63% 2009-2015 Increased Tax Cost

The average state unemployment tax cost per employee increased by 63% from $191 in 2009 to $311 by 2015.

$33 Million Unemployment Claim Overpayments

Maine’s April 2014 – March 2015 unemployment claim overpayment rate was 23.692%, equaling over $33 million.

However, there are options to financing your nonprofit organization’s state unemployment costs.

First Nonprofit Group provides state compliant, individually insured, cost-saving options to satisfy SUTA (State Unemployment Insurance Tax) requirements for nonprofit and governmental entities. Below is a sample savings analysis of one of our members since 2009.

maine-graphWe provide more than 1,800 organizations around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Click here or call 1-(800) 526-4352 to request a free, no-obligation cost saving evaluation. Evaluations include a 2017 rate projection!

Delaware’s average state unemployment tax cost per employee increased by 88% since 2015!

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What do state unemployment taxes (SUTA) and claim overpayment rates mean to your nonprofit? These factors could mean less money for your nonprofit organization’s cause.

88% 2009-2016 Increased Tax Cost

The average state unemployment tax cost per employee increased from $214 in 2009 to $401 by 2015.

$13 Million Unemployment Claim Overpayments

Delaware’s April 2014-March 2015 unemployment claim overpayment rate was 16.394%, equaling over $13 million.

$1.75 SUTA Vs. Benefits Paid

Delaware employers pay $1.75 in SUTA to the Division of Unemployment Insurance for every $1.00 paid in unemployment benefits.

However, there are options to financing your nonprofit organization’s state unemployment costs.

First Nonprofit Group provides state compliant, individually insured, cost-saving options to satisfy SUTA (State Unemployment Insurance Tax) requirements for nonprofit and governmental entities. Below is a sample savings analysis of one of our members since 2005.

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We provide more than 1,800 organizations around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Click here or call 1-(800) 526-4352 to request a free, no-obligation cost saving evaluation. Evaluations include a 2017 rate projection!

Unemployment insurance cost facts every Idaho nonprofit should know!

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What do state unemployment taxes (SUTA), state unemployment reserve balances and claim overpayment rates mean to your nonprofit?

These factors could me less money for your nonprofit organization’s cause.

$540 Average SUTA Cost Per Employee

Factors used in calculating employer state unemployment rates have increased; therefore increasing the average unemployment tax cost per employee by 28% since 2009.

$8.5 Million Unemployment Claim Overpayments

Idaho’s April 2014 – March 2015 unemployment claim overpayment rate was 13.860%, equaling over $8.5 million.

$37,200 2016 Wage Base

Idaho’s unemployment wage base increased from $36,000 in 2015 to $37,200 in 2016; therefore increasing the wages on which employers pay SUTA on.

There are options to financing your nonprofit organization’s unemployment costs.

First Nonprofit Group provides state compliant, individually insured, cost-saving options to satisfy SUTA requirements for nonprofit, governmental and tribal entities. Below is a sample savings analysis of one of Idaho members since 2009.

ID graph pic

We provide more than 1,800 organizations around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Click here or call 1-(800) 526-4352 to request a free, no-obligation cost saving evaluation. Evaluations include a 2017 rate projection!

New Mexico nonprofits! Did you know your unemployment tax cost has increased by 101% since 2009!

New Mexico

What do state unemployment taxes (SUTA), increased wage bases, and claim overpayment rates mean to your nonprofit? These factors could mean less money for your nonprofit organization’s cause.

101% 2009-2015 Increased Tax Cost

Factors used in calculating employer unemployment rates have increased; therefore doubling the average unemployment tax cost per employee from $232 in 2009 to $466 by 2015.

$56 Million Claim Unemployment Claim Overpayments

New Mexico’s April 2014 – March 2015 unemployment claim overpayment rate was 31.478% (the highest in the nation), equaling over $56 million.

$24,100 2016 Wage Base

New Mexico’s unemployment wage base increased from $23,400 in 2015 to $24,100 in 2016; therefore increasing the wages on which employers pay SUTA on.

There are options financing your nonprofit organization’s unemployment costs

First Nonprofit Group provides state compliant, individually insured, cost-saving options to satisfy SUTA requirements for nonprofit , governmental and tribal entities. Below is a sample savings analysis of one of our members since 2011.

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We provide more than 1,800 organizations around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Click here or call 1-(800) 526-4352 to request a free, no-obligation cost saving evaluation. Evaluations include a 2017 rate projection!

Unemployment insurance cost facts every New Hampshire nonprofit should know!

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What do state unemployment taxes (SUTA) and claims overpayment rates mean to your nonprofit?

These factors could mean less money for your nonprofit organization’s cause.

$178 Average State Unemployment Tax Cost Per Employee

On average, employers pay $178 per employee in SUTA into New Hampshire Employment Security’s reserve accounts participating in the state’s unemployment tax pool is non-refundable and owned by the state.

$4.8 Million Unemployment Claim Overpayments

New Hampshire’s April 2014 – March 2015 unemployment claim overpayment rate was 6.901% equaling over $4.8 million

There are options to financing your nonprofit organization’s state unemployment costs

First Nonprofit Group provides state compliant, individually insured, cost-saving options to satisfy SUTA requirements for nonprofit, governmental and tribal entities. Below is a sample savings analysis of one of our members since 2005.

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We provide more than 1,800 organizations around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Click here or call 1-(800) 526-4352 to request a free, no-obligation cost saving evaluation. Evaluations include a 2017 rate projection!

Unemployment insurance cost facts every North Dakota nonprofit should know

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What do state unemployment taxes (SUTA), state unemployment reserve balances and claims overpayment rates mean to your nonprofit?

These factors could mean less money for your nonprofit organization’s cause.

58% 2009-2015 Increased Tax Cost

Factors used in calculating unemployment tax rates have increased, therefore increasing the average tax cost per employee form $243 in 2009 to $384 in 2015.

$14 Million Improper Claim Payments

North Dakota’s July 2014-June 2015 improper claim payment rate was 10.470%, equaling over 14 million.

$37,200 2016 Wage Base Increase

The wage base is the maximum amount on which an employer must pay unemployment taxes for each employee. North Dakota increased its unemployment wage base from $35,600 to $37,200 in 2016.

There are options to financing your nonprofit organization’s state unemployment costs.

First Nonprofit Group provides state compliant, individually insured, cost-saving options to satisfy SUTA requirements for nonprofit, governmental and tribal entities. Below is a sample savings analysis of one of our members since 2011.

ND graph pic

We provide more than 1,800 organizations around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Click here or call 1-(800) 526-4352 to request a free, no-obligation cost saving evaluation. Evaluations include a 2017 rate projection!

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