Friday, November 9, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Hopkins (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Organizers: Eileen Poe-Yamagata, IMPAQ International, LLC
Moderators: Larry Temple, Texas Workforce Commission
Chairs: Wayne Gordon, U.S. Department of Labor
The recent passing of the The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 reflects a bipartisan effort to help create jobs and provide relief for families. In addition to extending the payroll tax cut, the Act extends emergency jobless benefits (in some states up to 99 weeks) and identifies certain recipient requirements as a condition for UI eligibility. For example, for the first time, the Act creates national job search requirements for everyone collecting state and federal UI benefits, from the first through the last week of benefits. In additional the Act requires Reemployment and Eligibility Assessments (REAs) for every long-term unemployed person who begins collecting federal UI benefits to determine what services and activities they need to return to work. The Act also provides States almost $1 billion in new, time-limited funds to assist the long-term unemployed, partially unemployed and self-employed.
The REA initiative is a new type of unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility review and referral to services approach. It is designed to ensure that claimants are meeting the eligibility provisions of state laws and are exposed to reemployment services (i.e., job search assistance and placement services) so that they may return to the labor market as quickly as possible. While the REA initiative began in 2005, its features are grounded in past research findings and proven methods of administration that have been shown to be efficient and cost-effective. Beginning in the 1940s, states established rules to require that claimants provide evidence of work search contacts. Further, some states implemented periodic reviews of claimants’ work search actions after a specified number of weeks. By the late 1960s, the periodic review of eligibility was being tested with different combinations of job finding and placement services and training in a series of research demonstrations. In the 1970s, research findings were incorporated into the national design of revised periodic eligibility review system, dubbed the Eligibility Review and Reemployment Assistance Program (ERP). The purpose of ERP was to help states reestablish sound eligibility review processes in the UI program and reemployment assistance in the Employment Service (ES). The initial national implementation of the ERP included many of the components of the current REA initiative.
This session focuses on the U.S. Department of Labor's current efforts to strengthen the link between UI claimants and the workforce system to help connect claimants to reemployment services and jobs. In particular, the panel presents results from the Evaluation of the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) Initiative, which provides evidence that supports integrating REA and Reemployment Services (RES). In addition, the panel will present DOL's historical (e.g., ERPs, WPRS) and current efforts (DOL's National Vision for Connecting UI Claimants with the Reemployment System) for strengthening this link.