Reforms to Unemployment Insurance Reviewed by House Committee

Chairman Reichert of the House Committee on Ways and Means held a Hearing yesterday on the Implementation of 2012 Unemployment Insurance Reforms that will focus on the implementation of reforms to unemployment benefits enacted in P.L. 112-96, The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act.

According to Doug Holmes, President of UWC – Strategic Services on Unemployment & Workers’ Compensation:

“On February 22, 2012, the President signed P.L. 112-96, The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. This legislation extended and reformed the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program for the remainder of 2012, which was subsequently extended through December 2013. This legislation also included landmark reforms to the permanent unemployment program, such as creating new job search requirements for Federal benefits, permitting States to have new flexibility to seek “waivers” to promote pro-work reforms, allowing States to screen and test certain UI applicants for illegal drugs, requiring “reemployment eligibility assessments” (REAs) for the long-term unemployed, and requiring States to recover more prior overpayments of UI benefits. The initial implementation of these 2012 reforms was previously explored during a Human Resources Subcommittee hearing in April 2012.”

“In announcing the hearing, Chairman Reichert said, ‘Fourteen months ago, Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate agreed on commonsense reforms to the unemployment insurance system designed to help more Americans return to work sooner. The President signed those policies into law, but the Administration has since been selective in implementing some policies and has created barriers to successfully helping states take action on other policies. This hearing will help us evaluate how the Administration has implemented the 2012 reforms and determine what we can do to help more Americans collect paychecks instead of unemployment checks.’

UWC provided testimony and advocated in favor of the integrity provisions in the legislation in 2012, many of which were adopted. UWC testimony from the April 25, 2012 hearing in review of implementation can be viewed here.

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04/16/13 7:37 PM

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