Your unemployment check may be pending or delayed for a number of reasons, from failure to comply with work search requirements to receiving additional income. Depending on the reason for the delay, there may be steps you can take to resolve the matter and get your payments back on track. In other cases, however, there's nothing for you to do at all but wait out the delay.
Receiving Additional Income
Although rules can differ between states, your unemployment check likely will be delayed or reduced if you receive certain forms of income. For example, in Minnesota, you will not receive an unemployment check for the weeks covered by severance pay. This means that if you lose your job and your severance package includes 10 weeks of severance pay, you will not receive an unemployment check for that period of time.
Similarly, if you're receiving worker's compensation, your unemployment check is likely to be halted until you are no longer receiving these payments. Other forms of income that may delay your unemployment check include holiday, vacation, sick, personal time off, retirement, Social Security and back pay.
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Failure to Meet Requirements
Some states will delay your unemployment check if you don't comply with work search requirements. For instance, in Rhode Island your unemployment checks will be halted if you fail to post your resume on the Department of Labor and Training's website within six weeks of applying for unemployment benefits. Your checks also will be stopped if you are selected for mandatory reemployment training and don't show up to your assigned Career Center on your appointment date.
Receiving an Overpayment
If you received benefits you were not entitled to, either in the past or during your current unemployment benefit period, your unemployment checks will be stopped while your state's labor department investigates the matter. In Pennsylvania, like in many other states, the Department of Labor and Industry will inform you of the investigation by sending you written notice, It takes up to 10 business days for the department to determine how the overpayment happened and issue the accurate payment amount.
Failure to Respond to Inquiry
If your state's labor department has a question about your claim and you fail to respond in a timely manner, your unemployment check will be delayed. For instance, in Oregon, the Employment Department will halt your check until you make contact with the department and resolve the matter. Any time there is an issue that requires investigation, such as your reason for separating from employment, failure to look for work or missing a work assignment, your unemployment check likely will be delayed.
Timing of Claim Submission
Many state labor departments request applicants to submit claim forms by a specific day of the week. For example, in Iowa, the Workforce Development Department advises claimants to submit their weekly claims, by phone or online, on Sunday or Monday to avoid payment delays. If your unemployment benefits are direct deposited onto a debit card, your payment also could be delayed if the scheduled deposit date falls on a weekend or banking holiday.