Compared with many other states, North Dakota has managed to navigate the COVID-19 crisis with ease: as per Forbes, the state is among just 8 others who’ve managed to keep their unemployment rates to below 10%. While this compares favorably to states such as Hawaii or Nevada (where the unemployment rate now sits at a record 28.2%), it’s likely to be scant conciliation to the thousands of North Dakota residents left jobless as a result of the crisis. While UI won’t fill the void of a lost income completely, it can be a lifeline to those struggling to make ends meet. If you’ve been affected by the crisis, here’s how to file for unemployment in North Dakota.
Am I Eligible to Claim?
As applicants are required to fulfill certain requirements before they can claim UI, check whether you’re eligible before proceeding. To claim, you’ll need to:
- Have lost your job through no fault of your own
- Be physically able to work
- Be available for work
- Be actively seeking employment
- Register for work at www.jobsnd.com within ten days of filing your claim
- Complete online Reemployment Activities
- Have met minimum income requirements during a specific one-year timeframe
Further to the CARES Act of March 27, rules around the work-search requirement have been relaxed. If you’re sick with COVID or in medically ordered quarantine; are a caregiver to someone who is sick or in quarantine; if your work premises has shut because of COVID; or if you’re unable to get to work because of school closures or shelter in place orders, you’ll be eligible to claim benefits even if you’re neither physically able or available to work. As a further change to the previous requirements, those who wouldn’t normally be eligible for benefits – the self-employed, gig workers, and freelancers – may now apply for support.
How Do I File in North Dakota?
As part of your application, you’ll need to verify certain personal information, along with details relating to your employment history. Before starting your claim, be sure to have the following information to hand:
- Your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and SSN
- Pension information if applicable
- Details of any severance or holiday pay received (or to be received) since leaving your last job
- Recall date (if applicable)
- Union hiring hall information, if applicable
Work history to cover the last 18 months. This will need to include name, address, and contact information for all employers, dates of employment, and your reason for leaving If you’ve been in the military in the last 18 months, a DD-214 will be requested; if you’ve been a federal employee in the last 18 months, a Form SF-8 or SF-50 will be needed After you’ve gathered all the required documentation, proceed to file your claim by logging on to the Job Service North Dakota website. If you’d rather, it’s also possible to file by phone by calling the Unemployment Insurance Claims Center on 701-328- 4995, 8 am to 5 pm Mon through Fri. Due to the high volume of calls currently being received, it’s recommended to file on the portal wherever possible to avoid lengthy hold times.
Once you’ve filed your initial claim for UI, you’ll need to start filing weekly certifications to request payment. The certifications can either be made on the portal or by phone. As eligibility.com advises, certifications should be made within 13 days of the Saturday of the week your initial claim was filed; or within 13 days of the Saturday of the previous weeks claim. Don’t forget to make the weekly certification, as you’ll not be able to claim payment for the missed week retrospectively.
How Much Will I Get?
If your claim is accepted, you’ll be entitled to claim up to a maximum of $594 and a minimum of $43 per week, depending on your previous earnings. In addition to your state entitlement, you’ll also receive a supplementary payment of $600 per week under the provisions of the CARES Act. This is payable for up to 4 months, or until the end of July 2020. If you’ve already filed a claim, it’s not necessary to apply for the supplementary payment separately; the state will determine your entitlement and organize any due payments, retroactive to the week ending 29th March, alongside your usual benefits payment.
How Long Can I Claim?
Under normal circumstances, benefits can be drawn for up to a maximum of 26 weeks in any 52-week period. However, further to the introduction of the CARES Act, this has now been increased by an extra 13 weeks, taking the total to 39 weeks until the end of July.
When Will I Hear Back?
Within 5 days of filing your initial claim, you’ll receive a Monetary Determination Letter to confirm your weekly benefit amount and the duration you’re eligible to claim UI. Note that this isn’t a confirmation of acceptance – it simply reflects what your entitlement will be if all other criteria is met.Within 3 weeks, you’ll receive the final Notice of Determination to confirm whether your application has been accepted.
If you disagree with the decision or any of the determinations, the department will accept an appeal within the timeframe specified in the letter. Full details of how to appeal will be included in the determination. The first part of the appeals process will involve a telephone hearing – you may be required to provide evidence prior to the hearing taking place, in which case, try to submit it in a timely manner to avoid any delays. If you disagree with the decision of the hearing, a further appeal can be lodged with the Executive Director of Job Service North Dakota. If you continue to disagree with the determination made after this point, you’ll need to file a further appeal through the district court. Remember to continue to file your weekly claims, even while the appeal is ongoing. If the appeal is granted, you’ll then be able to receive payment backdated to your initial claim date.