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October 12, 2021

Vermont employers must apply by October 31, 2021 for relief of COVID-19 UI benefit charges in the computation of their SUI tax rates

The Vermont Department of Labor has updated procedures for the relief from inclusion of COVID-19 unemployment insurance (UI) claims on the employer's state unemployment insurance (SUI) experience and future SUI tax rates.

According to the Department, although COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief was automatically applied to employer SUI experience rates for calendar year 2020 (affecting employer fiscal year 2022 SUI tax rates), employers must apply for relief from COVID-19 UI benefit charges in 2022. This relief of UI benefit charges from an employer's UI account applies only to COVID-19 UI benefits paid out during Governor Phil Scott's declared state of emergency, which ended on June 15, 2021. (Vermont Department of Labor announcement.)

Employers that wish to apply for COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief for the period of January 1, 2021 through June 15, 2021, must do so on the Department's website by October 31, 2021.

New claims for COVID-19 UI benefits submitted after June 15, 2021 will not be eligible for this special UI benefit charge relief. Note that UI benefit charges applied to employer UI accounts after June 15, 2021, will not affect SUI tax rates until fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023).

Requirements for relief of 2021 COVID-19 UI benefit charging

Employers are required to submit the following information with their application:

  • Business information, including the name of the employer/business, the seven-digit Vermont employer UI account number, name of the employer contact, telephone number and email address.
  • Claimant information regarding the individual that received COVID-19 UI benefits for which the employer is requesting relief of UI benefit charges, including the individual's name and the last four digits of their Social Security Number.
  • Clearly identify each month during 2021 for which the employer is seeking relief of COVID-19 UI benefit charges.
  • Demonstrate that the reason for separation still exists and meets the COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief eligibility criteria.

The following criteria must be met for an employer to be eligible for COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief.

Step 1

To receive COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief for 2021 (through June 15, 2021), employers must demonstrate that the reason for separation was directly related to one of the following COVID-19-related reasons:

  • The individual voluntarily separated from employment due to a COVID-19-related reason.
  • The employer temporarily closed (partially or fully) in response to a request from a public health authority because of COVID-19, in response to a directive by Governor Scott or the President related to COVID-19, or the employer temporarily closed due to actual exposure of COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • The individual claimant became unemployed because of a change or reduction in the employer's operation at the claimant's workplace as a direct result of the state of emergency, public health order or public health directive.
  • The employer temporarily laid off the individual based on a recommendation or request by a medical professional that the individual be isolated or quarantined.

Step 2

To receive COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief for 2021, an employer must demonstrate that it meets one of the following rehiring requirements:

  • The employer offered to rehire the employee within 30 days after the reason for separation no longer exists (e.g., restrictions were lifted on capacity, allowing a restaurant to return to full capacity, or the individual was no longer recommended to isolate or quarantine).
  • The employer can demonstrate that there was good cause for failing to rehire or offer to rehire the employee within 30 days after the reason for separation no longer exists.

The Department will investigate applications for UI benefit relief and the employer must be able to provide evidence to satisfy both steps identified above if the Department requests information. Failure to provide sufficient documentation when requested will result in COVID-19 UI charges being reapplied to the employer's UI account and may result in additional fraud penalties of up to $5,000 per employee, per application.

Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2021 and must apply to UI benefit charges incurred in 2021 as a direct result of COVID-19.

Employers will receive a determination no later than March 31, 2022 on their request for UI benefit charge relief. This will ensure employers can appeal the determination before the Department performs the calculation of fiscal year 2023 SUI tax rates.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Workforce Tax Services - Employment Tax Advisory Services
   • Kristie Lowery (
   • Kenneth Hausser (
   • Debera Salam (


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