Kansas legislators introduce bill proposing state unemployment insurance benefit pause when federal benefit supplements are available

Kansas House of Representatives introduced House Bill 2570 on January 23, 2024, which proposed pausing state unemployment insurance benefits when the federal government creates temporary benefit supplements—such as the $600 weekly stipends issued by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill also proposed the following:

  1. Requiring prospective employers to disclose the identities of applicants who miss job interviews without notification.
  2. Defining temporary unemployment insurance benefits as benefits claimed by employees temporarily laid off from a job they expect to resume in under four weeks.
  3. Authorizing the secretary of labor to extend temporary unemployment insurance benefits upon request by employers who expect a layoff to last longer than four weeks.
  4. Creating an audit process for work search activities in the state’s unemployment insurance information technology system.

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.

For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.

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