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Governor announces unemployment relief measures

Gov. Brad Little announced relief measures on March 27 for those facing unemployment as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a press conference at the Capitol’s Lincoln Auditorium, Little signed a proclamation to ease the requirements for applying for unemployment benefits. He also announced steps to enable the state’s immediate purchase of critical emergency supplies while avoiding tax increases to make up for any revenue shortfalls.

“Today I am signing a proclamation to help Idahoans who are temporarily unable to work through no fault of their own because of illness, quarantine, lay-offs or reduction of work related to coronavirus. The Idaho Department of Labor announced yesterday (March 26) that 13,341 new claims were filed for unemployment insurance benefits for Idaho workers laid-off due to coronavirus. That was up 12,300 from the previous week for a 1200% increase in just a matter of days.”

The proclamation directed the Idaho Department of Labor to take several measures:

  • Waive the one-week waiting period for all applicants who are otherwise eligible
  • Consider claimants as job-attached if they have been laid-off due to COVID-19-related reasons
  • Allow claimants to meet the available-for-work criteria if they are isolated and unavailable to work at the request of a medical professional, their employer, public health district or local or state government and will be returning to work for their employer
  • Extend the normal 14-day period in which to appeal claim decisions for both employees and employers by an additional 14 days
  • Not to charge businesses that pay a quarterly unemployment tax when employees are laid off due to the COVID-19 virus

Idaho’s ability to process unemployment claims is currently at maximum capacity. Many people calling the Department of Labor regarding claims have had their calls timed-out and dropped after being on the line for 55 minutes. At the press conference, IDL Director Jani Revier acknowledged that the IDL phone lines and staff are operating at their limits. She encouraged everyone to use the IDL online claim portal and to avoid calling if at all possible.

Claims can also be filed at any Department of Labor office. In addition, IDL now has guidance on its website for those filing unemployment claims related to coronavirus in both English and Spanish.

Little also outlined how the federal coronavirus relief legislation will send approximately $1.25 billion Idaho’s way. The Governor thanked President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress for getting the $2.2 trillion relief package passed.

In addition, Little announced that he moved $39.3 million by an executive order from the Tax Relief Fund to the state’s Disaster Emergency Account. The amount moved is the maximum allowed under state statute. Moving this money will make it immediately available for the quick purchase of badly needed personal protective equipment, ventilators, test kits and other critically-needed supplies for Idaho’s health care sector.

Little signed a second executive order to reduce non-coronavirus related general fund spending by 1% for this fiscal year. This measure will save the state approximately $40 million and help Idaho avoid raising taxes to cover costs incurred by the current crisis.

“The coronavirus situation has not only affected our daily lives and personal finances but the state’s finances as well,” Little said. “While the impact of the pandemic on state revenue collection is yet unknown, it is going to have a significant impact and we must do everything we can to ensure the state is positioned for long-term success. These actions are never easy, but I appreciate our agency directors and state employees who have done a tremendous job in managing through tough times and making sure we emerge stronger.”

About Catie Clark

17 comments

  1. With so many unemployed why cant they hire more representatives. Why cant they be open weekends. I have called with redial over 500 times per day since March 20th with no answer. We pay our taxes for years and yet when we need help none is available.

  2. Even before corona idaho unemployment was a pain..I got unemployment last year after being layed off did all I was supposed to ..but their own person who approved it after 3 weeks of investigation gave it to me..then 3 months later I got a letter saying they messed up ..they messed up garnished my wages cause I missed a call they forgott to tell me about..now my wife got layed off and so did I cause of corona..its pending has been for 3 weeks no chat no letter no call no email…and idaho governor puts out remarks like we are taking care of it..when?after we starve and your living high on the hog buckle up idaho cant get unemployment figured out with out a pandemic..

  3. Even before corona idaho unemployment was a pain..I got unemployment last year after being layed off did all I was supposed to ..but their own person who approved it after 3 weeks of investigation gave it to me..then 3 months later I got a letter saying they messed up ..they messed up garnished my wages cause I missed a call they forgott to tell me about..now my wife got layed off and so did I cause of corona..its pending has been for 3 weeks no chat no letter no call no email…and idaho governor puts out remarks like we are taking care of it..when?after we starve and your living high on the hog

  4. Allie Wooderchak

    Hello my claim says Monetarily Pending. Not sure what that means or what to do next? Please call or email me. Thank you! 509-540-6074

  5. I had to shut down my salon of 10 years. I am very good at answering phones and problem solving. Maybe I could get a job at the Unemployment Office??? I do not understand why I have been denied assistance.

  6. I have a similar issue. I have been in an area which is strictly quarantined and shut down for Covid19 since before everyone else was… I am self employed and not able to be working at the moment as a business operator and self employed person I’m still able to work when we are finally back up and running as a nation state and county but the issue I’m having is my job requires face to face interaction and working with materials not considered only for hospitals and government. What am I supposed to do? I keep getting busy signals and no person has answered chat or phone calls. It said I need to have two applications per week? I have a job just am not allowed to do it at the moment! I have a family that didn’t plan for this financially and needs to get bills paid, food purchased, etc…

  7. If you’re employment attached, I believe there is a paragraph on the other side of the letter that states what that means specificly, unless you are not going back to the same job..I think they would like you to be at least looking so that on or before your benefit runs out you will be self sufficient. I’m pretty sure they are aware that there are limited jobs hiring right now..the whole point being why UI is so high at the moment. Go to their contact page and shoot them an email..it says they will contact you within 3 business days..I’m job attached as well, but it changes to work seeking in July..and by then in all reality nothing is certain..

  8. Sandra Hepworth

    Guys if you get a busy signal just keep calling over and over again, you Will get through eventually!!

  9. When is UI going to up the $ to 600 max and raise our weekly benifiets! Also there was supposed to be a cares package for 600$ also attached to UI. That I didn’t receive.
    Does not matter what time you call UI just get a busy signal now so I cannot speak to anyone either way.

  10. Laura Torgensen

    What happens if you’ve been withdrawn due to miscalculation and don’t even qualify to receive unemployment. Out of work due to this virus, as I am a school bus driver. Miscalculation on hours last yr withdrew me from getting UI.

  11. Rebecca M Jimenez

    I am unemployed due to the virus and I was denied unemployment how do i file a appeal I have a children to feed and my power needs to be paid .please can some one please tell me how to appeal

  12. We’re so sorry to hear that people are having trouble filing for unemployment, but we don’t have any information here about anyone’s specific situation, and the Department of Labor isn’t going to be monitoring this page. We urge you to contact the Department of Labor directly, and try online first. Good luck.

  13. Jessie e perkins

    Filed ui yesterday, laid off due to covid-19. Says moneterally pending. Not sure what that means. Also says work attached which i am after we open back up. Cant get ahold of anyone to figure out my next step is. Or what monetarily pending means. Please email or call at +12088171523

  14. Hi I own a beauty salon. I am self employed with 5 part time independent operators. The salon is closed due to coved 19 . I am unable to pay mortgage due to no rents being paid by independent operators. Is there any financial aid for this situation. Thank you in advance

  15. I applied for unemployment, and am told I am monetary ineligible, but I was laid off due to the coronavirus. I was diagnosed with the coronavirus and have been quarantined for 14 days. If an unemployment representative could please give me a call I would greatly appreciate it. My # is 209 618 9021. I have tried calling all the numbers on the website only to get busy signals.

  16. Gregory s Rodman

    Jedediah, I’m in the exact same situation. If you or someone else figures this out or manages to get a hold of someone please let me know as well. My # is 2088806658

  17. Hi I am wondering how I can talk to a unemployment representative I applied for UI on Friday March 27 and I am job attached however it saying that I have to look for another job 2 times a week. My temporary unemployment is due to covid 19 and need help with this question and I also tried calling but the line is always busy can someone please call me at +12086051134 or email me thank you