Nebraska workers filing for unemployment can now file online 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The Nebraska Workforce Development– Department of Labor recently unveiled improvements to the new online filing system.
The user-friendly system provides unemployed workers with 24/7 services. Internet initial claims reduces the amount of time it takes unemployed workers to apply. In the past, unemployment insurance benefits claims were processed only over the telephone. The addition of improvements to the online application process will decrease the cost of toll-free telephone charges.
In addition, the online application provides users with a section to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement of the system. According to the Governor, online filing serves residents of rural Nebraska better. “During the initial introduction period, the majority of online claims were from small towns across Nebraska,” the Governor said. “The e-claims service is a great tool, especially during difficult economic times for workers in rural areas.”
Labor Commissioner Fernando “Butch”Lecuona III said the improved web-based application system shows a commitment to customer service. “The Nebraska Workforce Development-Department of Labor has made an ongoing commitment to make the unemployment insurance benefits application process as easy and efficient as possible,” Lecuona said. “Customer service is always at the forefront of what we do.”
Commissioner Lecuona also said the Department of Labor has taken measures to safeguard the privacy and security of Internet claims information. “We have taken what we consider to be reasonable measures to safeguard the integrity of data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained by the Nebraska Workforce Development – Department of Labor,” Commissioner Lecuona said. “These measures are designed and intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of information.”
Users of the improved system report completing their claims for Nebraska unemployment compensation in as little as 10 minutes.
The Nebraska Workforce Development – Dept. of Labor reminds workers that unemployment benefits are taxable. The Department will mail out statements of unemployment earning, called 1099s, in late January.
Workers who have received unemployment insurance benefit payments during calendar year 2006 should receive their 1099s no later than the first week in February. The total amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid out during 2006 was over $171,856,893.92.
If you collected Nebraska unemployment in 2006 and have not received a 1099 by the middle of February, contact the nearest branch of the Nebraska Workforce Development – Dept. of Labor.
Nebraska Unemployment Insurance benefits are taxable wages under both federal and state law. Workers may choose to have taxes withheld from their unemployment checks. Of the more than 55,000 1099 tax statements issued, almost half, or 27,590 had federal withholdings in the amount of $7,117,571.00. These numbers reflect regular unemployment insurance payments, Trade/Readjustment Assistance and Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC).
For calendar year 2006, the state sent out more than 55,603 tax statements for a total of $154,577,198.96.
“The numbers in 2006 compared combined with the numbers in previous years show how the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund continues to be greatly reduced,” Labor Commissioner Fernando Lecuona III said. “We paid out over $17 million dollars more this year than in previous years.”
Lecuona said the increase in unemployment made benefit payments even more important to the state’s economy. “Unemployment Insurance benefits not only help workers get by during times of unemployment, it helps stimulate our Nebraska economy,” Lecuona said. “With more than $171 million in benefits going out during the calendar year, our state has given significant assistance to both workers and employers.”
“The Governor’s action in securing the TEUC benefits helped out a great deal in our efforts to assist those who have lost their jobs because of the slow economic recovery,” Lecuona said. “The Governor recognized a real need to give further assistance to the unemployed and he acted quickly.”