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AIM testifies on unemployment benefits

February 1, 2022- This morning AIM testified in support of Senate Bills 665, 777 and 808 in front of the Small Business and Industry Committee. All three bills are in relation to unemployment in Missouri.


SB 665

SB 665 aims to modify the duration of unemployment benefits based upon the Missouri average unemployment rate. Under current law, the maximum duration for an individual to receive unemployment benefits is 20 weeks. This act modifies the duration an individual can receive such benefits by basing it on the Missouri average unemployment rate.


Ray McCarty, president and CEO of AIM testified Tuesday morning stating, "We support reducing the number of weeks of unemployment benefits in relation to the unemployment rate." McCarty added, "We also support fixing the current double dip for severance and termination pay that allows a claimant to be paid unemployment while still effectively receiving pay, either in a lump sum or as continued periodic payments after termination."


SB 777

This act creates the Employment Security and Job Referrals Act of 2022. Under this act DES (Division of Employment Security) is required to establish a process by which open positions submitted by employers to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will be directly shared with claimants of unemployment compensation. DES is to then establish a process by which claimants will be referred to such open positions. If a claimant fails to comply with a job referral, the person will be deemed to have failed to participate in reemployment services, as required by current law.


McCarty testified in support of this bill stating, "We support allowing employers to share job openings with DOLIR and then requiring those job openings to be shared with unemployment benefit claimants. There are so many open jobs our unemployment rate for those that want to work should be close to zero. It is important to require claimants to be actively seeking work and this would be helpful."


SB 808

The final bill AIM testified in favor of this morning was SB 808 which would create new provisions relating to employment security. This act creates the Employment Security Program Integrity Act of 2022.

DES is required to:

  • Utilize the Integrity Data Hub in order to ensure that only eligible individuals receive employment security benefits;

  • Check its records of individuals receiving employment security benefits against the list of incarcerated individuals provided by the Department of Corrections to verify the eligibility of such individuals for employment security benefits;

  • Check, on a weekly basis, its employment security rolls against the state death records;

  • Check its new-hire records against the National Directory of New Hires to verify eligibility of individuals named in DES's new-hire records;

  • Verify the identity of all unemployment compensation claimants;

  • Perform a full eligibility review of any suspicious or potentially improper claims for unemployment compensation;

  • Adopt and implement policies to prioritize and pursue the recovery of overpaid unemployment benefits;

  • Attempt to recover all overpaid employment security benefits;

  • Maintain records of all attempts to recover overpaid benefits.

McCarty testified in favor, stating that, "requiring the DOL to review records periodically to ensure only those that are deserving of benefits are receiving benefits would help improve the system and we support those accountability measures that can help identify fraud."


The Committee took no action on the bill at this hearing.



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