SB 665
Modifies the duration of unemployment benefits based upon the Missouri average unemployment rate
Sponsor:
LR Number:
4292S.01I
Last Action:
5/11/2022 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection
Journal Page:
Title:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SS/SB 665 - This act modifies various provisions relating to employment security.

SEVERANCE PAY

(Sections 288.036 and 288.060)

This act modifies the definition of wages for purposes of employment security law to include termination pay and severance pay. The total amount of wages derived from severance pay, if paid to an insured in a lump sum, shall be pro-rated on a weekly basis at the rate of pay received by the insured at the time of termination for the purposes of determining unemployment eligibility.

These provisions are identical to SB 1114 (2022) and substantially similar to SB 183 (2021), HB 756 (2021), HB 215 (2021), SCS/HCS/HB 649 (2021), SB 680 (2020), provisions in SCS/HB 1559 (2020), HB 1921 (2020), SCS/HB 332 (2019), HB 217 (2019), SB 869 (2018), HB 1409 (2018), SCS/SB 189 (2017), HB 288 (2017), HB 150 (2015), which was vetoed by the Governor, and SB 220 (2015).

DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

(Section 288.060)

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, as follows:

· 20 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than nine percent;

· 19 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8.5% but no higher than 9%;

· 18 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8% but no higher than 8.5%;

· 17 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7.5% but no higher than 8%;

· 16 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7% but no higher than 7.5%;

· 15 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6.5% but no higher than 7%;

· 14 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6% but no higher than 6.5%;

· 13 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 5.5% but no higher than 6%;

· 12 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 5% but no higher than 5.5%;

· 11 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4.5% but no higher than 5%;

· 10 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4% but no higher than 4.5%

· 9 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 3.5% but no higher than 4%; and

· 8 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is at or below 3.5%.

These provisions take effect beginning January 1, 2023.

This provision is identical to a provision in SCS/HCS/HB 649 (2021) and substantially similar to a provision in SCS/SB 539 (2021), SCS/SB 622 (2021), a provision in HB 215 (2021), SB 690 (2020), HB 1921 (2020), HB 2039 (2020), HB 217 (2019), provisions in SB 869 (2018), SCS/SB 189 (2017), HB 288 (2017), HB 150 (2015), which was vetoed by the Governor, and SB 220 (2015).

AUTOMATION ADJUSTMENTS

(Sections 288.132 and 288.133)

This act provides that any employer required to make contributions under the unemployment compensation laws shall pay an annual unemployment automation adjustment equal to .02% of its total taxable wages for the twelve-month period ending the preceding June 30th. The Division of Employment Security is permitted to lower this rate under certain circumstances.

This provision has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2023.

This provision is identical to SB 876 (2022) and substantially similar to SB 115 (2021), SCS/SB 691 (2020), a provision in SCS/HB 1559 (2020), HB 765 (2021), HB 2072 (2020), SB 161 (2019), HB 375 (2019), and a provision in SCS/HB 332 (2019).

RECOVERY OF OVERPAID UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

(Section 288.552)

This act requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) to waive the repayment of any unemployment benefits that were incorrectly but nonfraudulently distributed to claimants if such benefits were paid out of the state unemployment compensation trust fund, and the federal government has granted authority to the state to waive the recovery of such benefits.

The act requires any claimant who is denied a waiver to be sent a notice by DOLIR, not later than 90 days after the effective date of this act, notifying them that they are allowed to appeal such denial. If the claimant returns the notice to DOLIR within 60 days, indicating an intent to appeal the decision, then DOLIR shall cease all efforts to recover the overpaid benefits. Under no circumstances shall DOLIR or any division thereof attempt to recover the overpaid benefits while the case is pending appeal. Claimants must file an appeal not later than 60 days after notifying DOLIR.

The act additionally provides that in the case of over-recovered overpaid unemployment benefits, DOLIR is required to notify claimants by certified mail within 15 days of discovery of over-recovery and must furthermore repay the funds within 30 days of such notification if the amount is less than $10,000. If the over-recovered amount is $10,000 or more, repayment of funds shall occur within a reasonable time period, as determined by agreement of DOLIR and the claimant, with interest. If DOLIR fails to provide notice of an over-recovery then interest shall accrue starting from the date of the discovery, regardless of the amount of the over-recovery.

This provision is identical to SCS/SBs 673 & 709 (2022).

This provision contains an emergency clause.

SCOTT SVAGERA