What does “reasonable assurance” mean?
This means a school employee has been given written, verbal, or implied assurance that they will be performing services for a school after the break period. This is a legally required, technical analysis the Employment Department must do to determine if someone is able to receive unemployment benefits during school recess periods.
Can school employees who are not eligible to get regular UI access PUA this summer even though they have “reasonable assurance”?
No. If a school employee is found to have reasonable assurance they would not be eligible for PUA. Current federal guidance requires us to review for reasonable assurance on PUA claims just as we would on a regular claim.
If school employees potentially were PUA-eligible, would a “reasonable assurance” analysis still be applied?
Yes. If a school employee who is on PUA has wages in tax year 2019 from a school employer, a reasonable assurance review would be required.
Could we bypass or waive doing a reasonable assurance assessment for school employees due to COVID-19?
No. These are guidelines set forth by the federal government. At this time, there is no change to the process of determining eligibility during the break periods for a school employee. This process could change if new guidance is provided by the federal government that relates to school employees.
If school employees are off of work for more than one week due to the extended COVID-19 closures, would they be eligible for regular unemployment for the other weeks?
Yes. Potentially, they will be eligible if they meet other eligibility requirements. Any weeks outside of the customary break period would be reviewed similar to any other week claimed.
Does the Governor’s emergency declaration supersede or in any way change the customary recess periods?
No. The Governor’s announcement does not change the customary break period or how the customary break period would be reviewed.
Could a school employee receive benefits if they return to work mid-week or work less than full-time in the week they return?
Maybe. They could be eligible for partial benefits depending on their earnings and weekly benefits amount.