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Update: Unemployment Insurance Benefits Extension Bill Signed by Governor Kelly

Posted by: Andrew Wiens on Thursday, March 19, 2020

As discussed in our blog post on Tuesday, the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce supported legislation extending unemployment insurance (UI) weekly benefits to 26 weeks (from the current formula-determined 16 weeks) until next year. This talent retention mechanism will assist employees affected by the 737 Max supply chain layoffs and the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In addition to extending UI benefits to 26 weeks, SB 27 eliminates the “waiting week” (to allow workers to receive UI benefits sooner) and applies retroactively to new claims for UI benefits starting January 1, 2020 (which will help those who were impacted by aviation layoffs earlier in the year). The bill will sunset back to current law on April 1, 2021. If the three-month seasonally adjusted average statewide unemployment rate is 6.0% or higher at that point, the UI weekly benefits will remain at 26 weeks due to the current statutory formula.

The House passed this bill on Tuesday by a vote of 119-0. The Senate then voted later that afternoon to concur in the House amendments by a vote of 31-3. Governor Kelly signed this bill into law today. The enrolled version of the bill can be found here

Thank you to the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate for their quick work to pass this legislation, with a special shout-out to our South Central Kansas Legislative Delegation‚Äč for their early leadership on the issue. Thank you also to Governor Kelly for quickly signing and implementing this legislation. Keep an eye on the Kansas Department of Labor website for more information. 

If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Wiens, Vice President of Government Relations.

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4 comments on "Update: Unemployment Insurance Benefits Extension Bill Signed by Governor Kelly"

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Michael Hurd on April 8, 2020 at 3:00:38 pm said:
I applied for benefits in 07-19 and was denied and then I got employed but was let go recently. So even though I got no benefits of 2019 I still will not get the additional 10 weeks because I "applied" in 2019. Is this going to be reviewed in the near future? I work in the retail sectors and nowhere is hiring. Please respond.
jgreer316 on March 25, 2020 at 10:44:37 am said:
If a person claimed unemployment between August 2019 and October of 2019 using all their benefits for that 12 week period and have now been furloughed, will they be eligible for unemployment benefits under the new extension and stimulus packages? If not when should they reapply? How are the benefits and base time periods calculated with the new extension and stimulus packages?
Chamber Team on March 23, 2020 at 3:21:10 pm said:
Thank you for your inquiry. If an individual filed an initial claim on January 1, 2020 or after, and the individual is complying with all program requirements, they would be eligible to receive 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. However, since 16 weeks haven't passed yet since January 1, an individual who recently exhausted 16 weeks of benefits wouldn't be eligible for the 26 weeks of benefits. For more information, check out this FAQs document (https://www.dol.ks.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/ui-covid19-faqs.pdf?sfvrsn=3b4c881f_12) on the Kansas Department of Labor website.
jgreer316 on March 23, 2020 at 2:09:52 pm said:
If an individual has previously used their 16 weeks of unemployment, and were cut off just a few weeks ago, are they able to reapply for the extension if they were not part of the Spirit layoff but are struggling to find work as their interviews have been cancelled do the current Covid-19 situation?
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