Republicans are seeking to implement a wage replacement system in two months, meaning that laid-off workers eventually draw 70% of their previous earnings from the federal government.
“It’s not clear what Congress will approve, but the worst-case scenario is something based on a percentage,” Michele Evermore, policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, said.
Experts say implementing that wage replacement formula could be a nightmare for state agencies already burdened by a massive backlog of claims and antiquated technology.
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Republicans are pushing to end a $600 federal payout to state unemployment benefits and eventually replace it with a new wage-based formula that doesn’t pay millions of laid-off workers more than they earned on the job.
It’s a cornerstone of their stimulus plan to aid the unemployed. The plan was unveiled on Monday after days of GOP hangups over which measures to pursue and remedy an economy displaying renewed signs of weakness.
Under the proposal, a $200 federal payout would be kept in addition to state unemployment benefits through September. In early October, the weekly flat amounts would be replaced with a new system capping benefits at 70% of a jobless person’s lost wages. The federal government would also kick in a maximum amount of $500.
But experts say implementing a new wage replacement system could overwhelm state unemployment offices already struggling to process a flood of claims — and compound what’s already been a logistical nightmare.
“It’s not clear what Congress will approve, but the worst-case scenario is something based on a percentage,” Michele Evermore, policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, told Business Insider. “That would take states months, not just because of antiquated computer systems — you’d have to completely change how you calculate benefits.”
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Source:: Business Insider