The Trump administration on Wednesday announced the creation of a “supervisory program” to oversee the transition of thousands of unemployed workers to unemployment benefits.
The new policy was prompted by the fact that thousands of people who were previously eligible for unemployment benefits are now ineligible for unemployment assistance under the administration’s new rules, which are being phased in through 2020.
The program will be overseen by a federal agency tasked with enforcing the new rules.
The agency is expected to oversee a process to transition roughly 3.4 million workers who were originally eligible for the program from the program to unemployment assistance starting in 2020.
Under the new regulations, workers who are now eligible for jobless assistance will still be able to receive assistance, but they will have to complete an additional training program, complete an application for unemployment compensation, pay a $50 application fee and submit a work history check.
Those who have already completed the work training program and have been eligible for Job Training and Employment Assistance (JT&E) payments for the past six months are eligible for these benefits.
Workforce Development Administration Administrator Kathleen Stott said that about 1.4 percent of the unemployed in the program were previously unemployed, so the new program will likely help them gain access to the unemployment assistance program, Stott told reporters in a conference call.
In the meantime, employers will still have to pay the $1,000 annual fee to the Department of Labor for each worker who is removed from the unemployment rolls.
“We’re looking at this to try to bring some certainty to this process so that the transition to the program is more seamless,” Stott added.
Some states, including California and Washington, have already removed the unemployment eligibility requirements from their state’s unemployment programs.
In Florida, for example, the state is now working on a “workfare” plan that would allow workers to qualify for unemployment payments even if they were previously ineligible.
Stott said she expects to be working with the White House and the Labor Department on this issue as soon as possible.
“We have to make sure that we have a transition in place, and I know the president and the administration have been working with us on this,” Stottsaid.
“It’s a good start.”
In an email to members of Congress, Stotson said the transition is expected in 2020, with the goal of providing benefits to 1.5 million people who are previously unemployed and who are currently eligible for benefits.
“This transition will be a gradual one, so it will not be instantaneous,” she wrote.
“The plan will include a process for the removal of these workers from the rolls, which is part of the administration goal of ensuring that our economy remains strong and that workers are not penalized for work they have done.”