Columbia EDP Blog

Daily Updates on COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits part 3

Question:  Can an employer participate in a mass claim filing?

Answer:  Yes.  The Electronic Mass Claims Filing System is available to employers during a temporary mass lay-off. Employee information provided by the employer, allows the DES to file an initial or renewed unemployment claim on behalf of employees quickly and efficiently.  An employer can participate in a mass claim filing if they meet the eligibility requirements below:

  • The lay-off must be due to a lack of work;
  • The lay-off must be less than eight weeks in duration;
  • An employee is not on a leave of absence;
  • The employee is not receiving pay; for example, sick pay, vacation pay, family medical leave pay, etc.

For more information about the Mass Claims Filing System, please call 573-751-0436.

Question: Will an employer’s unemployment taxes increase if an employee receives unemployment benefits because of a coronavirus-related business shutdown?

Answer: Unemployment benefits are proportionately charged to each employer based on weeks worked and wages earned in each individual’s base period. For contributory employers, benefits paid out and chargeable to the employer will be used to calculate future tax rates and could result in an increase in unemployment taxes. Reimbursable employers are charged dollar for dollar for benefits paid, which could result in higher than expected unemployment costs for the employer.  For more information about employer tax rate calculations and the impact of benefit charges, please call 573-751-1995 or email

Posted Date: 2020-03-20

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