The Mass Claims Program allows employers who are experiencing a slowdown in business, or a temporary/permanent layoff for a group of five or more employees, to open claims for the affected employees.
This process eliminates the 10 day employer notification period that would normally be placed on the employee’s claim.
It is essential that employers submit the necessary paperwork the Friday before the employees are laid off or working less than thirty five (35) hours. Late additions submitted by the employer will not be opened retroactively.
This process has employers report separation pay such as vacation pay, severance and wages in lieu of notice.
The employer’s responsibility would be to fill out the Mass Layoff Template spreadsheet [XLSX] providing specific employee’s information which includes but is not limited to:
- the employee’s social security number
- Legal name
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Start date
- Last physical day of work
- Return to work date and
- Any separation pay the employee receives
The mass claim agreement letter outlines the provisions the Department requires from an employer before the Mass Claims Template can be processed.
An authorized company representative must sign and return the letter to assure compliance with those provisions, such as required information, deadlines and instructions for appeals.
If the employee has an open, valid claim, the Department will reopen the claim entering the most recent employment information.
If the employee has never filed before or has an expired claim, they will need to fill out an “Application for Unemployment” otherwise known as a “B65.” This application, completed and signed by the employee, allows VDOL to open the initial claim.
Employees/claimants will be responsible for filing their weekly claims and reporting any hours worked and wages earned.
If the employees have a return to work date that is within 10 weeks, they will not be required to seek new employment; however, they must remain available to accept any suitable work offered, even if this offer does not come from your company.
If claimants have questions about being Able and Available to work, they should be advised to call Claimant Assistance at 1-877-214-3332.
If they have a return to work date that is greater than 10 weeks, they will be required to seek employment and file their claims online entering their work search contacts. If the claimant’s return to work date changes the employer must update the return to work date. This can be done online or contacting the VDOL in writing.
They will have six days to file a weekly claim after the week ends on Saturday.
Failure on the claimant’s part to file a weekly claim timely may result in a denial of Benefits for such week.
An unemployment claim becomes effective when the claim is opened by VDOL and cannot go backward in time.