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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 9, 2020 10:31 AM
From: Representative Dawn W. Keefer
To: All House members
Subject: UC Law - Requalification of Benefits
I am preparing to introduce legislation to amend the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Law to strengthen the requalification requirements for claimants who are found ineligible due to circumstances within their control.
Under current law, an employee is not eligible for UC benefits if he or she:
  • Voluntarily quit work without a necessitous and compelling reason;
  • Was fired/suspended for willful misconduct;
  • Was fired/suspended for failure to participate in a legally administered drug test;
  • Was engaged in self-employment; or
  • Separated from the employer in order to preserve entitlement to retirement benefits.
When an employee is denied benefits for one of the above reasons, current law allows them to requalify for benefits after they earn at least six times their weekly benefit rate (only $3,366 for someone earning the maximum benefit of $561/week). 
Since these reasons for disqualification are all within the ability of the claimant to prevent, my bill will require a claimant show a stronger attachment to the workforce before they can apply for UC benefits again.  Specifically, my bill will require a claimant to:
  • Work ten credit weeks (a credit week is any week where the employee earns at least $116); AND
  • Earn fifteen times their weekly benefit rate.
Unemployment compensation is intended to help people who become unemployed through no fault of their own.  When someone is denied benefits due to their own actions, the law should require a more substantial period of re-entry into the workforce before they can requalify for benefits.
I hope you will join me as a cosponsor.

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Introduced as HB2849