The current health situation is having a dramatic impact on business operations and employment in Washington State and throughout the nation. Many people are relying on unemployment insurance to get them through. However, there are often disagreements as to eligibility for unemployment insurance and people not receiving expected payments on time or not getting them at all. For those dealing with problems getting what they believe they are owed, it is important to consider their legal options.
Unemployment payments are reportedly delayed for many in Washington State
A recent report from the non-profit Working Washington says that the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) has not paid unemployment benefits on time for a substantial number of unemployed people in the state. In the report, there are specific instances of issues with the ESD process. If ESD finds information is lacking, inconsistent information or errors, it is flagged and the person does not get the unemployment insurance. Many of these missteps are minor and it is irrelevant who is at fault when the payments are denied. Clerical errors have been flagged. If the application for benefits is flagged for any reason, it can be sent for adjudication or denied. The health crisis has not just resulted in people losing work, but it has slowed the adjudication process, muddying the waters further.
The number of claims has been massive since April when businesses shut down. ESD had launched an initiative to ensure everyone who was eligible for unemployment insurance was paid. It was called “Operation 100%.” At the time, around 7% of those who applied were waiting for an approval. The goal was to settle disputed claims in June, but it was not completed until the beginning of August. Even with that, the report says that people are still not getting benefits they believe they are entitled to.
Having legal assistance may be important with unpaid unemployment claims
Facing personal and professional challenges is difficult enough without facing the reality that the expected unemployment payments are not made on time or in full. Failing to receive these benefits can lead to the inability to pay bills and result in an uncertain future. This is especially critical given the ongoing pandemic and lack of certainty as to when things might return to normal. Those who are dealing with problems getting their unemployment may benefit from legal assistance. A firm that is experienced with all areas of insurance law might be able to help.