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PPP, Unemployment and Bringing Employees Back to Work

Now that many of you have received PPP funding and are bringing employees back onto payroll, we’re fielding a number of questions about how this pertains to unemployment, etc. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions: 

My Employees are earning an extra $600 on unemployment and they do not want to come back to work, what do I do???

If you are hiring employees back and putting them back on payroll, employees will no longer be eligible for unemployment. Employees must accept suitable work or they will lose their benefits. Employees may be eligible for a “good cause” exemption in limited circumstances (ex: childcare due to schools being closed).

Unemployment will be doing audits on all employees once this pandemic is over. If employees are found to have “double dipped” during this period, they will be required to re-pay any unemployment benefits received while you were paying them on payroll. There is no liability on the employer for these “double dipped” wages. We do recommend that you notify employees in writing that you’re re-hiring them with their start date so when unemployment does this audit, you will have records to send along.

What if we have to reduce hours again? Can my employees get unemployment for the difference of what we’re paying them and their normal full-time salary? 

The unemployment office recommends that employees continue to file their weekly claims through Re-EmployME and indicate how much their employer paid them for that week. This way, the employee’s “case” remains open and active. If the amount dips below the maximum unemployment benefit of $440 per week, the employee MAY be eligible for “gap” benefits. 

My Employees haven’t received any unemployment benefits yet. What do they do? 

They should start online at the ReEmployME website. Make sure all of the documentation is uploaded for unemployment. Don’t enter your password more than twice or it will lock you out!

Call the 800 number on your allotted day. The state has increased the number of call takers to 100 (from 13 last month) and extended hours of operation. To get ahold of the unemployment office, call 1-800-593-7660. 

Remind me again what I can use my PPP funds for? 

In order to be eligible for forgiveness, PPP Loan funds can be used for payroll expenses (detailed below), utilities, rent and interest on debt incurred before 2/15/2020.

Eligible payroll expenses include:

  • All payroll wages for employees who earn under $100,000 and who are U.S. Citizens
  • State Unemployment Tax
  • Retirement Contributions made by the employer
  • Health Insurance Premiums (Dental and other benefits are not included)

Ineligible payroll expense include: 

  • Employer social security, medicare and federal unemployment taxes. 
  • Payroll processing fees
  • Payroll wages paid utilizing FFCRA Sick Pay Credits

We are anticipating that iSolved will release a report on Friday, May 1 that will detail eligible and ineligible payroll expenses for each payroll. We will include this in your payroll packages to assist you in determining appropriate expenses. 

OMG I have more questions, what do I do?

Call us. We’re happy to walk through specific scenarios with you. 

We’ll all get through this together! We hope you and your team is healthy and safe-