AN ACT TO PROVIDE 2021 COVID-19 RELIEF MEASURES FOR EMPLOYERS AND CLAIMANTS UNDER THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE SYSTEM, TO REDUCE
THE SUTA TAX RATE FOR 2021, AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL AND CLARIFYING CHANGES REQUESTED BY THE DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY.
Identical to H 107, filed 2/17/21.
Amends GS 96-14.15, which provides for unemployment benefits payable in response to the coronavirus emergency, including eliminating the waiting week and work-search requirements, allowing employers to attach claims, and not charging such benefits paid to the account of any base period employer of the individual. Makes clarifying changes to subsection (b) to specify that the exceptions allowed apply only to claims and benefits payable in response to the coronavirus emergency defined in subsection (a). Changes the sunset of the act to now apply to employment benefits filed for period beginning on or after March 10, 2020, and expiring for unemployment benefits filed for period beginning on or after the earlier of the date the Governor signs an order rescinding Executive Order No. 116, or December 31, 2021 (was December 31, 2020).
In determining whether the State is in an extended benefits period from November 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, directs that the State disregard the prohibition of GS 96-14.14(b)(3) that bars an extended period from beginning before the fourteenth week following the end of a prior extended period which was in effect with respect to the State, thereby permitting back to back extended benefit periods with no waiting period.
Formally elects the option by which the State will coordinate the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC) and regular unemployment compensation program for individuals meeting four criteria specified in the identified December 31, 2020, Department of Labor Letter. Elects option one for the State to require exhaustion of certain PEUC claims prior to payment of new regular unemployment compensation claims for individuals whose benefit year has expired and must file a regular unemployment initial claim.
Sets the base contribution rate for an experienced-rated employer at 1.9% for the 2021 calendar year.
Amends GS 96-14.14 to specify that extended benefits payable under GS 96-14.14(b)(5)c., which set unemployment thresholds that trigger an "on indicator" for extended benefits in the State for a certain week, are not required under federal law and can be paid only if 100% federally funded (previously, only covered extended benefits payable under GS 96-14.14(b)(5)b., which sets a percentage unemployment over a time period that triggers an "on indicator" for extended benefits in the State for a certain week).
Amends GS 96-14 to require reduction of partial unemployment weekly benefit amounts by the amount of any wages earned by the individual (rather than by the amount of any wages the individual receives) during the benefit week in excess of 20% of the benefit amount applicable to total unemployment.
Sections 4 and 5
Makes a technical correction to GS 96-15. Further amends the statute to consistently refer to rules adopted by the Division of Employment Security (DES) concerning disputed claims.
Further amends GS 96-15 to make the Board of Review's decision of an appealed claim final upon the earlier of 30 days after the date of notification or mailing of the decision, unless judicial review is sought (previously, the general rule made decisions final 30 days after the date of mailing unless judicial review was sought). Specifies that DES must furnish the names and address of the parties as found in DES records upon request of the petitioner seeking judicial review (previously did not specify that the party names and addresses must be found in DES records). Applies to decisions made on or after June 1, 2021.
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