LINCOLN – The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that 15,994 new unemployment insurance claims were filed during the week ending April 11, 2020. This is a decrease of 40 percent from the previous week when 26,539, a record high, initial claims were filed. Over the past four weeks, 82,682 initial claims have been filed; there were 41,727 filed in the entire 2019 calendar year. Spreadsheets showing claims data are available here and will be updated every Thursday.
Initial claims are filed by individuals to request a determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. NDOL processes initial unemployment insurance claims and, if an individual meets eligibility criteria, benefits are paid for each week of continued unemployment.
Claims by Industry
The highest counts of initial claims were in the retail trade industry (2,711), which decreased 27.5 percent from the prior week (3,744). All industries had declines in initial claims from the prior week except for the Information sector, which saw an increase of 7.3 percent.
Filing A Claim
Any worker in a non-paid status due to COVID-19 may file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployment claims in Nebraska are filed online at NEworks.nebraska.gov. The NEworks mobile app is available to download for free. After filing a new initial claim, applicants must certify their eligibility every week that they continue to be unemployed by logging into their NEworks account. These weekly certifications must be completed even while the new claim is still being processed. Claim and payment status can also be viewed by logging into the NEworks account.
The federal CARES Act created a temporary program that offers benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA). The Act also increases the amount an individual on regular unemployment or PUA will receive by $600 per week through July 25. Workers who have been affected by the pandemic should file a claim for unemployment. NDOL will automatically review every claim that comes in for eligibility under the CARES Act.