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Recap of DC DOES Webinar: Unemployment Insurance, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

April 8, 2020
This morning we hosted a restaurant industry specific webinar with DC DOES focused on Unemployment Insurance, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and relevant Wage/Hour issues.  To date DOES has received 55,000 UI applications, and roughly 14,700 are specifically from our industry. In total, DOES has administered benefits to roughly 18,000 people, and approximately 2,700 are from the restaurant industry. 
Below is a breakdown of the major takeaways from the webinar and Q&A. 
Timing for UI Determinations 
  • While the Emergency legislation that went into effect on 3/15 waived the week waiting period, DOES is still given 21-days to investigate why a person has been discharged. 
Who can apply?
  • If a person has been laid off or furloughed for reasons out of their control like COVID-19 they are eligible for UI. 
  • If a person’s hours have been reduced because of COVID-19 they are eligible to apply. 
  • If a person’s pay has been reduced but are still working full time hours, they are not eligible to collect UI. 
  • If a person is applying to UI because of COVID-19, they should check off “laid off due to lack of work” in the application.  
Once the employee applies, they will receive the below within roughly a week
  • First receive a monetary determination. Please note this doesn’t mean you have been approved. 
  • You will also receive access to enter your UI portal.
  • You will receive a weekly certification form.
Once an employee applies, the employer will receive a request for separation certification. 
  • It takes about a week to receive the employer certification, however, the employer can speed things up by visiting the employer portal ( or SIDES.
  • If you missed the deadline for the agency’s request and you don’t agree with DOES’ determination you are able to exercise your appeal rights, and DOES will provide that information.
  • We received questions about a blanket certification for all applicants from a particular restaurant and that is not possible at this time. 
The CARES Act 
  • The additional $600 provided by the CARES Act will be automatically provided when the benefits system has been modified. The modification is a top priority, and once it is ready to go DOES will notify all claimants and provide retroactive payments.
  • DOES will contact people individually on their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility. 
How can employers help speed things along? 
  • All employers should file their quarterly wage reports early or on time. 
  • Reports are due on April 30th, but you can submit a request for a waiver by email at
In some cases DOES is asking for copies of IDs and SSNs?
  • You should only respond to the email address with personal identifying information. This is an encrypted email address. 
Applying as a self-employed individual
  • DOES does not currently accept applications for self-employed individuals. Email to be notified when the application for non-traditional (gig, self-employed, 1099, etc.) filers is ready and the system modifications have been made. If applications are submitted by non-traditional filers prior to that time, those filers will receive notices deeming them monetarily ineligible.
Debit Cards
  • If you received a debit card with a zero balance, you are advised to hold on to them. Once monetary eligibility has been determined, benefits will be loaded to the card accordingly.
If you have specific questions that were not addressed during the webinar, please email them to and we will submit to DOES for answers.