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Training Benefits Program

Contact: Gene Walker
Employment Security Department
Training Benefits Unit
P.O. Box 9046
Olympia, WA 98507
Telephone: (360) 407-1732
E-mail: gwalker@esd.wa.gov

State Website: http://www.esd.wa.gov/uibenefits/specialservices/training/training-benefits.php

Participation: 2,102 participants were served by the Training Benefits Program between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.

Participants: To be eligible for the Training Benefits Program, participants must show that training is needed to find suitable work, establish that a full-time training program will enhance their marketable skills and earning power, and that the training is for a high-demand occupation as determined by the local Workforce Development Council.

Program Description: Training benefits are additional unemployment benefits that can pay up to 52 times a participant’s unemployment weekly benefit amount, minus any regular unemployment benefits received. These additional benefits are available to eligible dislocated workers enrolled in and making satisfactory progress in a full-time vocational training program approved by the unemployment insurance (UI) program. Training benefits are paid after a participant receives all regular (and federally extended) benefits payable. However, participants must apply for training benefits within 90 days of being notified of the program and be enrolled in training within 120 days of being notified of the program. As of July 1, 2012 the 90-day application, 120-day enrollment and full-time requirements are waived for dislocated workers.

Other Program Characteristics: Training benefits are payable until the participant completes (or withdraws from) training or runs out of benefits, whichever comes first. Training benefits are payable only while a participant is enrolled and making satisfactory progress in an approved full-time training program.

Program History: Enacted by the Legislature in February 2000, training benefits provide additional unemployment insurance benefits to qualified individuals participating in approved training programs determined necessary for their reemployment.

Planning Cycle: Annual.

Outcome Measures: Outcome measures include participant employment and earnings.

Funding and Regional Division: Training benefits are paid from the UI Trust Fund. The law allows $20 million in obligated funds each fiscal year and allows any funds not obligated in prior years to be carried forward. In the first quarter of 2011, the state’s Employment Security Department had at least $91 million in unobligated funds for Training Benefits.

State Funding: Varies. (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014).

Federal Funding: None.

Statutory Authority: State - RCW 50.22.130, RCW 50.22.140, RCW 50.22.150.

Administered by the Employment Security Department.

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