Posts Tagged ‘Renee Olson’

Federal Unemployment Program To Expire In January

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:39 pm November 28th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A federal emergency unemployment benefit program will expire on Jan. 2, cutting off about 25,000 Nevadans from the program, a state agency reported today.

The federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program will expire unless Congress votes to extend the federal benefits as it has done in the past, said Renee Olson, administrator of the Employment Security Division of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

As a result, about 25,000 Nevadans currently receiving EUC will be abruptly cut off and each week another 1,000 claimants who are receiving regular unemployment, (which allows for a maximum of 26 weeks), will exhaust their benefits and not be able to move to the EUC program, Olson said.

However, claimants should continue to file their weekly claims so that benefits can be paid as quickly as possible if Congress does vote in favor of extending the EUC program, she added. There are nearly 32,000 people on the regular unemployment benefits program in Nevada.

“The last week payable for EUC benefits is December 29, 2012, which means those claimants on EUC will stop receiving benefits, even if they still have balances remaining on their claims,” Olson said. “In the past, claimants have been allowed to continue receiving benefits through the end of the tier they were in.”

Congress first enacted the federal benefits package in June 2008 in response to record high unemployment. Claimants currently qualify for a maximum of 73 weeks. In July of this year, the State Extended Benefits program ended, dropping the number of weeks from 99 to 79, then in September, six more weeks were cut, dropping the maximum weeks from 79 to 73.

Nevada’s unemployment rate is below its peak of 14 percent hit in October of 2010, but remains in double-digits as of October at 11.5 percent.

DETR Director Frank R. Woodbeck said the department is remaining diligent in its efforts to offer innovative training programs that will lead to positive employment outcomes for Nevada’s job seekers.

“We understand the severity of this situation and sympathize with our citizens who are still having a difficult time finding employment,” Woodbeck said. “I want to encourage these Nevadans to visit their nearest Nevada JobConnect office so that our counselors can assist them with job placement and training needs as they pursue gainful employment.

DETR Director Frank Woodbeck.

“Additionally, DETR is working tirelessly with the Governor’s Office on Economic Development and other partners to explore every opportunity to bring more industries to the state, while also creating training programs that will assist our job seekers in being prepared for a more diverse business environment,” he said.

Information on local support services may be obtained by calling 211; this is a centralized number for social support service directories.

Claimants are encouraged to visit DETR for updates on the status of the EUC program, as representatives in Telephone Claims Centers won’t be able to answer questions or provide any further information, Olson said.

Nevada’s Declining Jobless Rate Triggers End Of State Extended Benefits

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 1:07 pm June 18th, 2012

CARSON CITY – About 5,500 unemployment insurance recipients who are collecting State Extended Benefits (SEB) will see an end to those benefits on July 7, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced today.

Renee Olson, administrator for DETR’s Employment Security Division, said Nevada’s declining unemployment rate, which hit 11.6 percent in May, is the reason for the end of the benefits. The May rate announced Friday is the lowest in Nevada in three years and the ninth consecutive month of declines.

SEB is a federally funded extended unemployment insurance program available to high unemployment states, and has been active in Nevada since February 2009. Federal and state laws mandate that states in which SEB is paid have a three-month average unemployment rate that remains at least 10 percent higher than the corresponding months in any one of the three prior years.

Nevada’s current three-month average unemployment rate is 11.8 percent, and in order to meet this threshold for SEB, Nevada’s three-month average rate would have needed to be 12 percent or higher, Olson said.

“This exceptionally severe recession left many people unemployed for long periods of time,” she said. “The SEB program assisted them while they continued to search for their next job, and we understand that this is unfortunate news for those who depend on these benefits. We are committed to continuing to help them in their job search through Nevada JobConnect.”

SEB has provided up to a maximum of 20 additional weeks of extended unemployment benefits. Those individuals currently exhausting the fourth tier of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) may be eligible for SEB through the week ending July 7.

The SEB program is not part of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. The EUC program will remain available for those exhausting regular state unemployment insurance benefits. The federally funded EUC program will remain in effect until the end of 2012.

DETR is notifying all individuals currently receiving SEB by mail that the program is ending, Olson said. Notices include information on how to access other government resources, including services provided by the Nevada JobConnect locations and public assistance offices. Telephone claims representatives will not have any further information to provide.

“The declining unemployment rate suggests that Nevada’s labor market is on the mend, however, we recognize that it is still a challenge for many to find work,” said DETR Director Frank R. Woodbeck. “With continuous support from the governor’s office, DETR is committed to doing everything possible to rebuild Nevada’s economy, which means attracting more businesses to the state and cultivating our training and placement services offered through Nevada JobConnect. We want to assure our citizens we are behind them every step of the way through this difficult time.”


Big Changes Made To Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 1:57 pm April 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A state agency today reported that significant changes have been made to the unemployment insurance benefit structure affecting both current and future recipients.

In February 2012, federal legislation extended the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program through December 2012. The recent change in federal law will affect nearly 75,000 Nevada claimants who currently receive, as well as those who may file, for EUC, said Renee Olson, administrator for the state Employment Security Division.

The changes affect how work searches are documented and the number of weeks claimants can receive EUC benefits. Recipients will now be required to attend a reemployment services orientation as well, she said.

Californians who lost jobs due to freeze. / Photo courtesy of FEMA.

Under the new regulations, all individuals filing new EUC claims, or transitioning from EUC Tier I to Tier II, must participate in reemployment eligibility assessment and reemployment services programs.

“The purpose of the orientation is to ensure job search compliance, assist claimants with their reemployment efforts and improve the likelihood of claimants securing new employment,” Olson said. “If selected to participate in these services and an individual fails to comply, benefits must be denied. All EUC claimants will receive a letter providing specific details on the reemployment service orientation and work search requirements.”

An appointment notice will be mailed to EUC claimants to advise them of their mandatory orientation session with the time and location of the orientation. All individuals receiving EUC must complete and document two to three substantive work searches each week for submission and review by division representatives at the orientation event. Failure to attend the scheduled orientation or provide adequate proof of work search is cause to terminate unemployment benefits.

“The changes to the regulations are designed to transition individuals from unemployment benefits to gainful employment,” said Frank Woodbeck, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). “In doing so, we will rebuild our economy, as well as provide individuals with a more permanent income. We will remain diligent in helping our customers become job ready and in supporting them in reaching their career goals.”

One portion of the regulation won’t take effect until September 2012. At that time, the number of weeks a recipient can receive benefits will be reduced to a maximum of 73 weeks, down from the 99-week maximum that has been in place since 2009.

The federal legislation did not add additional funds for those who have already exhausted their unemployment benefits, Olson said.