What to know about unemployment benefits

Many people have had frequent questions about obtaining unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor provides the following answers to its frequently asked questions. This and more information is available at dol.delaware.gov.

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.

•Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

Provides workers with up to 13 weeks for claims opened after July 1, 2019. The Department is waiting for the U.S. Department of Labor to issue rules and regulations needed to implement this program. Once we have more information, we will update our FAQs.

•Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Provides unemployment assistance to independent contractors and self-employed individuals affected by the coronavirus. The Department is waiting for the U.S. Department of Labor to issue rules and regulations needed to implement this program. Once we have more information, we will update our FAQs.

How much will my Unemployment Insurance be? I receive most of my income from tips, am I eligible for Unemployment Claims?

The maximum weekly benefit amount in Delaware is $400 a week. An individuals’ benefit amount is determined by wages reported by the employer in the base period. Please refer to the claimant handbook on how your benefit amount is calculated.

Visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to uiclaims@delaware.gov for more information. Please include your name and claim/confirmation number, if you have one.

When will I receive my benefits?

We make every effort to pay eligible claims within 14 days. If you have specific questions about your claim, please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to uiclaims@delaware.gov for more information. Please include your name and claim/confirmation number, if you have one.

Am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance if I am out of work because my employer closed (temporarily or otherwise) due to COVID-19?

Yes. File for unemployment benefits on our website, https://uics.delawareworks.com. 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.

Am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance if I am quarantined due to COVID-19?

Yes. If you are employed but have been directed by a health care provider or public official to isolate or quarantine you are eligible for unemployment benefits. Delaware emergency rules waive the requirement to be able and available for work during the State of Emergency if the reason is a result of COVID-19.

What if I am a part-time employee or I experience a reduction in hours as a result of COVID-19

Part Time workers and individuals experiencing a reduction in hours may be eligible. You should file a claim and report your gross wages each week. Please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to uiclaims@delaware.gov for more information.

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 quit your job, or take reduced hours, to stay home to care for them. Please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to uiclaims@delaware.gov for more information. Please include your name and claim/confirmation number, if you have one.

How am I supposed to meet requirements related to my existing Unemployment Insurance claim?

Delaware has temporarily waived the requirement to look for work during the State of Emergency.

As permitted by the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration, we suspended the requirement to create the Job Link account and work search requirements. When your claim is submitted you will arrive at a confirmation page and receive a confirmation email. If you receive either of those items, we received your claim and the team is working to process it.

Make sure you submit your weekly pay authorization via web-benefits https://uicc.delawareworks.com or tele-benefits at (302) 761-6576 or (800) 794-3032. Weekly certifications can be submitted the Sunday following the day you submitted your initial claim.

If I am an undocumented immigrant or my work visa has expired, am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance?

Individuals applying for unemployment insurance must be US citizens or lawful residents of the US, or have work authorizations to work in the US.

How do you apply for unemployment insurance if you currently don’t have internet access?

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 locations: 4425 N. Market Street, Wilmington and Blue Hen Corporate Center, 655 S. Bay Road, Suite 2H, Dover.

What’s the best way to get in touch with someone if you need assistance?

The phone lines are extremely busy and we are working to add employees to assist in responding to emails. You can email your questions to uiclaims@delaware.gov. Please include your name and claim/confirmation number, if you have one.

A Frequently Asked Questions flyer is available via text – text uifacts to 555888, and available on the websites at dol.delaware.gov or ui.delawareworks.com. People can also call 302-761-8446. Call volume has increased as quickly as claim volume so there is a longer than usual wait time to speak with a claims processor.