Unemployment Insurance FAQs

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What are unemployment benefits and how are they determined?

The VERB Unemployment Insurance program pays a temporary weekly benefit to individuals who have lost their job with a member municipality through no fault of their own, while they are looking for but unable to find suitable work. The exact weekly rate varies in relation to each claimant's wages. The Vermont Department of Employment & Training uses the highest quarter going back as far as the last five completed quarters. The claimant may receive a benefit each week of total or partial unemployment for up to 26 weeks.

As a member of the VERB Unemployment Insurance program, how is my contribution calculated?

Each year we collect payroll figures for each municipality's full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees for the prior year. (For example, in 2003 we collect 2002 figures). Only the first $16,800 of each employee's salary is figured. Employees earning less than $16,800 are figured at their actual salary. Salary information plus total claims are given to our actuary, who then issues a report estimating each municipality's payroll for the following year. Estimated payroll, claims, and distribution credits are input into a report to figure each member's contribution plus the $250.00 management fee.

Who will collect Unemployment benefits immediately?

Employees are eligible for benefits only when they are out of work through no fault of their own. Some examples of qualifying reasons for benefits are:
• Lack of work
• Poor job performance with no willful misconduct
• Physical limitations verified and no light work available
• Quit with good cause attributable to the employer
• Discharged with no element of willful misconduct
• Absenteeism or tardiness with no willful, deliberate misconduct

Who will have their benefits denied?

An employee who causes his or her own unemployment will be denied benefits for an indefinite period. In Vermont the individual must obtain new employment and earn wages in excess of six times the weekly benefit amount. Some examples of disqualifying separations are:
• Voluntary quit without good cause
• Discharged for willful misconduct
• Voluntary retirement
• Absenteeism/tardiness after written warning and without good cause
• Failure to return from leave of absence
• Failure to answer recall

Can a part-time employee collect unemployment benefits?

Yes. If an employee is working less than 40 hours per week through no fault of their own, and if the employee does not limit his or her hours to less than 40 hours in a week, the employee may be entitled to benefits. A person receiving unemployment benefits is expected to be available for and actively seeking full time employment on any shift.