Additional unemployment benefits at no cost to nonprofits

December 16, 2020

On Monday, December 14, the Minnesota Legislature met in a special session, and took up Senate File 31, which ultimately passed both the House and Senate Tuesday night.  There are two important parts of this bill for nonprofits regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI):

First, nonprofit employers who are reimbursing employers will not be charged for the additional 13 weeks of benefits that the Legislature passed.

There was significant disagreement over whether reimbursing employers would be charged for the cost of these additional weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) for their eligible employees or former employees; about half of all nonprofits in Minnesota fall into this category. Reimbursing employers quickly mobilized, sending over 50 individual, timely messages to key legislators in just a few hours. Your voices were heard and made a difference!

The other half of Minnesota nonprofits, known as "tax-paying" or "contributing" employers for purposes of Unemployment Insurance (UI), will also not see additional cost. The bill clearly states that your Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax rate will not increase based on these 13 weeks.

This means that applicants (your former or furloughed staff) who are eligible will receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, at no cost to your organization.

Second, the bill that passed on Monday appropriates money to counties, and the counties will grant to local businesses that were impacted by an Executive Order related to COVID.

The bill states specifically in lines 10.10-10.13:  “Nonprofits, nonprofit arts organizations, nonprofit museums, and nonprofit fitness centers that earn revenue similar to businesses, including but not limited to ticket sales and membership fees, are eligible for grants under this section.”

We assume each county will create its own process to award these grants, and it will happen fairly quickly – all grants must be awarded by March 15, 2021. Keep an eye out or contact your county for more information!