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3 Things Your Nonprofit MUST Know About Unemployment Insurance

by Katie Manter

Nonprofits that proactively learn about unemployment taxes, also known as unemployment insurance (UI), can lower associated costs. Here are the top 3 things every nonprofit should know.

1. What is the state Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Tax?

The state Unemployment Insurance (SUI) tax is an insurance program that provides temporary, partial wage replacement to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The program is funded by Unemployment Taxes paid by employers.  Each employer is assigned a tax rate, which is based on the amount of benefits charged to their account each year.

2. Is Your Nonprofit Liable?

501(c)(3) nonprofits are exempt from federal unemployment taxes, but may be liable for state unemployment taxes if they meet something called the “4 for 20” provision. This provision is triggered when four or more individuals are employed on the same day for 20 weeks in a calendar year, though not necessarily for consecutive weeks.

Even for small nonprofits that are exempt from liability, we strongly encourage them to pay into the unemployment tax system, or an alternate coverage plan, to protect their current employees from the ups and downs of employment.

3. What are Potential Cost-Saving Alternatives?

There are cost-saving alternatives available to nonprofits with 10 or more employees who are interested in lowering the cost of unemployment.

Unemployment Services Trust (UST) provides an alternative to paying into the state unemployment tax system. Through UST, agencies directly reimburse the state only for the claims of their former employees, dollar for dollar.  This saves organizations an average $100 per employee upon joining UST.

MANP has partnered with the Unemployment Services Trust (UST) since 2002 to help our members lower the cost of unemployment.

Don’t miss the chance to learn more about UST on September 6th at the free Lunch + Learn on Best Practices for Managing Unemployment and HR Liability, or on October 11th at the free webinar, Unemployment + HR Risk Management with UST.

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