Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Reemployment Assistance Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

What are reemployment assistance benefits?

Do I pay for reemployment assistance out of my paycheck?

How do I apply for benefits?

When should I apply for benefits?

What information do I need to have with me when I file?

Will my former employer be notified if I file for benefits?

What must I do to be eligible for reemployment assistance?

What does monetarily eligible mean?

How long will it take before I receive my first payment?

When can I expect to receive my payment after filing a weekly request for payment?

How will I receive my benefit payments?

Do I need to search for work?

Can I attend school or training and collect reemployment assistance benefits?

If I quit or am fired from my job, will I be eligible for reemployment assistance benefits?

What can I do if I disagree with a decision?

Are reemployment assistance benefits taxable?

Who can I contact with questions?

What are reemployment assistance benefits?

Reemployment assistance benefits provide temporary assistance to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and are either looking for full-time work or awaiting recall to employment. They are not based on financial need.

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Do I pay for reemployment assistance out of my paycheck?

No. Reemployment assistance benefits are paid by your employer through taxes on your wages. Nothing is ever withheld from your paycheck to pay for reemployment assistance benefits.

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How do I apply for benefits?

Log in and apply for benefits online or to file by telephone, contact the Claims Call Center at 605.626.3179, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. (Central Time). For TTY service, dial 711 or 800.877.1113. Translator services available on request.

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When should I apply for benefits?

You should file a claim for benefits on or after your last day of work. A claim filed on a Sunday is effective that Sunday, and a claim filed on Monday through Saturday is effective on the Sunday preceding the date the claim was filed.

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What information do I need to have with me when I file?

You will need the following information to file:

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license number or other state identification number
  • Your employment history for the last 18 months, including business names, complete addresses and phone numbers of all employers
  • The name and local number of your union hall, if you obtain work through the union
  • Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. Citizen
  • Your SF-8 and SF-50 forms if you are a federal employee
  • Your DD214 if you served in the military

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Will my former employer be notified if I file for benefits?

Yes. A notification of claim is sent to the employer requesting verification of the dates of employment and the reason you separated.

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What must I do to be eligible for reemployment assistance?

In order to be eligible for benefits you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be partially or totally unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • You must have sufficient wages in the base period to establish a monetary entitlement.
  • You must be a US citizen or legally authorized to work in the US.
  • You must be able and available to accept work.
  • You must be actively seeking work, unless we’ve told you otherwise.
  • You must be registered with your states designated workforce agency.

This list does not include all of the eligibility requirements. Your eligibility is determined based on your specific situation.

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What does monetarily eligible mean?

There has been a growing misperception about what “monetarily eligible” means. It only indicates you have sufficient wages in your base period. While the monetary determination includes your weekly and maximum benefit amount information, it is not a guarantee you will receive payments. You may be disqualified depending on the reason you became unemployed, or you may be denied benefits if you do not meet other eligibility requirements.

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How long will it take before I receive my first payment?

If there are no issues, your first payment can take up to four weeks after the claim is filed. The first eligible week of your claim is a non-paid waiting week.

If there are issues that need to be investigated before we can determine eligibility, payments will be delayed until the investigation is completed. View eight common reasons your payments might be delayed.

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When can I expect to receive my payment after filing a weekly request for payment?

Once determined eligible for payment that claim week, you can expect to receive payment within two to three business days of filing your weekly request for payment. If issues need to be investigated, it will be longer.

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How will I receive my benefit payments?

Your benefits will automatically be direct deposited to a Way2Go Card Debit Mastercard. Direct deposit is also available upon request. To enroll in direct deposit, either complete the direct deposit enrollment form located on the back side of the Reliacard information sheet included separately in your claimant packet, or log on to the website and select the “Change Payment Method” option.

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Do I need to search for work?

Beginning Aug. 2, 2020, and after, unemployment claimants must report at least two work search activities in the weekly payment request to be eligible. This is effective for the claim week ending Aug. 8, 2020. Failure to do so will result in ineligibility and no payment for that claim week. This requirement was previously waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Reemployment Assistance Division will notify you when you file your claim if you are required to search for work by making a minimum of two job contacts each week. You will be required to provide your job contact information when you file your weekly request for payment. Your reported job contacts are subject to verification.

If you are exempt from having to search for work due to being on recall to return to work for your employer, you MUST notify the department of any changes in your recall status. If you are no longer on recall to go back to work for your employer, you must reopen your reemployment assistance claim immediately to receive the proper work search instructions.

View more details and exceptions 

Can I attend school or training and collect reemployment assistance benefits?

You can receive reemployment assistance benefits if the department determines your schooling or training does not interfere with your availability for full-time work. If you are attending classes or receiving training, this information must be reported.

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If I quit or am fired from my job, will I be eligible for reemployment assistance benefits?

Generally, reemployment assistance benefits are only available to persons who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. Eligibility for reemployment assistance benefits can only be determined once the claim is filed and facts are obtained from you and your former employer.

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What can I do if I disagree with a decision?

Your determination notice will explain how and when to appeal if you disagree with a decision. Read these decisions carefully and timely as your appeal rights expire within 15 days.

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Are reemployment assistance benefits taxable?

Yes. Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) income-tax law does not require us to withhold taxes from your weekly reemployment assistance benefits. However, you may choose to have 10 percent of your weekly benefits deducted for income-tax purposes. Both you and the Internal Revenue Service will receive a year-end statement (Form 1099-G) in January, indicating the total amount of RA Benefits paid to you for the previous calendar year. The total also includes benefits you may have paid back because of an overpayment.

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Who can I contact with questions?

Contact our Customer Service department at 605.626.2452, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and

Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m (Central Time)

Please note, wait times are averaging 90 minutes or more at this time. Any calls still on hold after operations close are ended.

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