Friday, March 13, 2020

CORONAVIRUS: Booker Introduces Bill to Get Unemployment Assistance Immediately to Laid-Off Workers

Bill would eliminate “waiting week” requirement.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) today introduced a bill to reduce barriers to unemployment insurance for workers throughout the country who are unable to work due to the Coronavirus. The bill will address “waiting week” requirements, which forces laid-off workers who have satisfied every other eligibility requirement to wait one week before being able to access unemployment assistance. These requirements exist in 42 states (though New Jersey doesn’t have a waiting period).

The bill would federally fund the first week of unemployment insurance during national disasters and public health emergencies and it would give states two years to amend their laws to ban waiting weeks altogether.

“Public health emergencies can quickly become economic disasters for those who are already struggling,” Booker said. “This common-sense bill ensures workers and their families don’t have to needlessly wait to receive assistance when they need it most.”

Full text of the bill is available here

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