Significant Reform to NYS Unemployment Insurance

As of January 1, 2014 ALL base period employers in New York State will be able to protest a claimant’s eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits giving employers the opportunity to save thousands of dollars?

As part of the 2013 Unemployment Insurance Reform, employers will now be able to protest unemployment claims that could not be protested previously.  In the past, only the last employer could protest a claimant’s eligibility for benefits.  Now, any claim with an Effective Date of January 1, 2014 or later can be submitted to the NYS Department of Labor for adjudication based on the reason for separation.  Claimants that quit without good cause or were terminated for misconduct will not be able to use wages earned with that particular employer to establish a benefit rate.  This new regulation has the potential to result in thousands of dollars of new savings to employers.

In addition to the above change to Unemployment Insurance Law, the following changes will also take effect as of January 1, 2014:

  • The taxable wage base will increase to $10,300 and will increase every subsequent year.
  • In order for claimants to requalify after an ineligible determination, they must earn ten times their benefit rate (the requalification standard was previously five times the benefit rate).
  • If a claimant receives dismissal or severance pay that is greater than the maximum benefit rate will not be able to collect benefits.
  • If a claimant collects a pension from an employer that is chargeable on the claim and that employer contributed to the pension, the claimant will not be able to collect benefits.