My position was paid through the church, they are exempt from paying into unemployment
Q) my teaching position was paid through the church which said that they are exempt from paying into unemployment. My tax accountant doesn’t feel that this makes sense that I would be turned away from collecting unemployment. How can I collect unemployment?
A) If your employer was a church or other religious organization, it may be exempt from paying into the state unemployment insurance system. However, this does not necessarily mean that you are automatically ineligible for unemployment benefits.
You should still apply for unemployment benefits with your state’s unemployment insurance program. In some cases, church employees may be eligible for benefits if the organization has voluntarily elected to participate in the state unemployment insurance system. Additionally, there may be certain circumstances under which church employees are eligible for unemployment benefits, such as if their work was not directly related to the religious functions of the organization.
It is important to note that eligibility for unemployment benefits varies by state and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, it is best to consult with your state’s unemployment agency to determine your eligibility and the steps you need to take to apply for benefits.
This is an unfortunate situation as generally, churches are not required to pay unemployment taxes because they are exempt from the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. However, not paying the tax means church employees will not be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. Please follow up with your local unemployment office for any service available in your situation.