Ricketts issues Executive Order to loosen unemployment insurance eligibility requirements

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Governor Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order to permit the loosening of eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance benefits.  In line with federal guidance, Governor Ricketts is allowing the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) to waive the following requirements for claims filed between March 22 and May 2.  This timeframe will be evaluated as the situation with COVID-19  progresses.

  • Work Search - This change applies to all workers filing for unemployment.  While many job search efforts are conducted online, waiving the requirement to search for work is in line with the social distancing practices that are needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and potential exposure to the disease.  The change will also accommodate those workers who are temporarily impacted by COVID-19, including those who are in an unpaid status due to a shutdown, quarantine, or because they are caring for a family member due to illness or a facility closure.

  • Unpaid Waiting Week - This change will make the first week of eligibility payable rather than an unpaid waiting week and will help all unemployment recipients get their payments sooner.

  • Employer charging - Unemployment benefits are typically paid with contributions from employers.  NDOL will temporarily waive charges incurred by employers whose team members are filing claims related to COVID-19.  Nebraska has a healthy Trust Fund that will be utilized to pay for unemployment benefits tied to COVID-19.

The Department of Labor will continue to look at ways to streamline the process of filing for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

Workers needing to file for unemployment benefits should do so online at NEworks.nebraska.gov.  The NEworks mobile app is available to download free for those who don’t have computer access.  For technical assistance, access the NEworks live chat feature, email ndol.nichelp@nebraska.gov, or call 402-458-2500.

Complete text of the executive order is available by clicking here.