Kentucky unemployment insurance indexing bill takes effect

An unemployment insurance indexing law in Kentucky took effect January 1, 2023, establishing a 12-week maximum benefit period during periods of low unemployment and a 24-week maximum benefit period during times of high unemployment. The Kentucky House and Senate both voted on March 21, 2022, to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of House Bill 4 and pass the indexing law.

Indexing unemployment insurance program benefits is an approach that ties benefit lengths to economic conditions with the goal of moving benefit recipients back into the workforce during times of low unemployment. State unemployment programs that index their benefits provide shorter periods of benefits during times of low unemployment and longer periods of benefits during times of high unemployment.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

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