EES POLICY NO. 09-03-02

RE:  $25 Unemployment Compensation Increase/ Stimulus

These changes are a result of the recently passed and signed economic stimulus bill, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


Contact Person:

Denise Kelly, Benefit Section Manager

FROM:   Bobbi Mariani, Director, EES     

KEESM Reference: 6000, 7000, 11124,

DATE:     March 13, 2009


Primary DCF Areas Affected: TAF, Grandparents as Caregivers, General Assistance, Child Care, and Food Assistance

Where Posted on Web:

This memo provides instructions for treatment of the increase in Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This memo also clarifies policy in situations where Unemployment Compensation benefits are pending and expected, but have not yet been issued. These instructions are effective immediately upon receipt of this memo. The following changes will be incorporated into the May 2009 KEESM Manual Revision.

Additional Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Under the ARRA, also known as the economic stimulus, individuals receiving UC benefits, will receive an additional UC benefit of $25.00 each week beginning on March 4. All individuals receiving regular unemployment compensation will also receive the additional benefit. The individual does not have to request the additional benefit as it will be issued automatically with other UC benefits.

TAF, Grandparents as Caregivers, General Assistance and Child Care
The additional weekly benefit is exempt for TAF, Grandparents as Caregivers, General Assistance and Child Care programs.  The additional weekly benefit is also exempt for medical programs as outlined in the KHPA Policy Memo 2009-3-01 which can be found on the KHPA website.  

Only the special increase is exempt under this provision, all other UC continues to be countable.

Example: Mary receives regular UC of $423 per week. She also receives the additional $25 weekly benefit. When determining eligibility for medical, TAF, General Assistance or Child Care, $423 is countable and is included in the budget. The $25.00 additional benefit is exempt for TAF, Grandparents as Caregivers, General Assistance and Child Care programs.

Payments will appear on the Kansas Employment System (KES) – Benefit Account Record Information (BARI) file. The additional benefit amount paid will appear as a separate line item on the BARI record of the individual recipient. Payments identified as additional benefits will be recorded under program code 44 on the BARI file. Recipients may elect to have tax withholding apply to the benefit (indicated by ‘on’ or ‘off’ designation on the Withholding indicator). Amounts paid and withheld will also appear as separate line items on the BARI file. Examples of BARI screens which reflect the benefit are attached.

Food Assistance

Food assistance is the only program that is to include the additional Unemployment Compensation in the eligibility budget.  As stated above, individuals receiving UC benefits, will receive an additional UC benefit of $25.00 each week beginning on March 4. The additional benefit of $25 will continue to be available for eligible UC recipients through December 2009.

Continue to budget the base Unemployment Compensation on the unearned Income (UNIN) KAECSES screen   as previously done. However, enter the additional $25 UC stimulus benefit on a separate line on UNIN with coded as “OF”. This will count the additional $25 UC income for food assistance only.

Staff are not required to search and identify food assistance cases that receive UC. However, as cases receiving UC are identified through customer reporting, IR’s and reviews, action to include this income is to be taken.

Simplified reporting rules remain in place. Customers whose increase in unemployment puts them over their 130% reporting threshold are required to report the increase. Failure to do so continues to result in an overpayment. Customers who are not required to report the receipt of this increased benefit will not be subject to an overpayment.

Pending Unemployment Benefits

It is not necessary to hold case action pending a final decision regarding Unemployment Compensation. When all other information is received to finalize processing, the case is to be processed according to scheduled time frames – and would not be held in anticipation of a UC decision. If UC benefits are approved, recipients are required to report receipt of UC benefits within 10 days of receipt.

Attachment: BARI Screen Prints

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