Utah Unemployment: Look for work, pandemic benefits deadline next week

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The deadline for pandemic benefits and the 13-week extended benefit is coming fast. State urges Utahns to look for work. Utah is still seeing four times more claims than in 2019.

New numbers sent to ABC4 from the state create a picture the state is concerned is artificially low because of the time of year.

The new unemployment claims total from last week was 4,386 for the week of Dec. 6-12, 2020, with a total of $9,659, 812 of benefits paid. There were 26,442 continued claims filed during that same week.

Some of the lower numbers are because of people exhausting their benefits. The state wants everyone to remember unemployment insurance is time limited.

Utahns on unemployment were also urged to be accurate in how they assess looking for employment and reporting wages. Kevin Burt said “You have to be actively looking for work, we do randomly sample and audit cases to determine if the person reporting job search actually filed an application for those jobs and will contact those employers.”

Of note the state said overpayments will be pursued to keep money in the trust fund that is unemployment insurance. They check to help keep tax rates on employers low, and the integrity of the program up.

If you do receive an overpayment you will be contacted to see how it can be resolved.

“There continues to be national discussions regarding federally-funded unemployment benefit extensions, as the December 26, 2020, expiration date for both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and 13-week extended benefits is fast approaching,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division, director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “Regardless of the outcome of those discussions, we continue to strongly encourage those receiving unemployment benefits to actively look for work, as Utah’s economy remains resilient and offers a multitude of employment opportunities.”

The State of Utah asks if COVID-19 has impacted an individual’s employment, they should visit jobs.utah.gov/covid-19;

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