I am sad to report, that there still is a serious implementation error in the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (part of the Recovery Act under Division B Title II Section 2001). Since a great many people will not believe the facts presented from one individual so far, maybe its best to hear it from the Department of Labor themselves.
Mistakes similar to what I have described ("Multiple EUC Claims Error"), have happened before, and the Federal Government acknowledged the problem and made repairs in the past. The appeal victory in CUIAB Case A0-265448, 10/20/2011, had the same result for me and me alone, and adjusted my EUC08 payments according to the correct "applicable benefit year". The "Multiple EUC Claims" implementation mistake that our Department of Labor has made, is what caused the improper payments in the first place, in my case and for millions of others.
Many Claimants were paid entitlement to their EUC08 with respect to the wrong/older and terminated benefit year before, during the 1990's recession. The "applicable benefit year" was misinterpreted by many states and the claimants determinations, payments and adjudication were made incorrectly, in very much the same way that the "Multiple EUC Claims" error has done during our own 21st century recession. In both cases the claimants were paid less aid, they were harmed by this and the Economy did not benefit from the loss.
I will let the past Department of Labor speak for themselves, as they describe a very similar situation (claimants being paid EUC08 based on the older terminated benefit year), from the 1993 General Administration Letter 12-92 Change 5, issued October 31, 1994, by Barbara Ann Farmer Administrator for Regional Management:
References: Title I of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Act of 1991, P.L. 102-164, as amended by P.L.s 102-182, 102-244, 102-318, and the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1993, P.L. 103-6; the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970, as amended; 20 CFR Part 615; GAL 12-92 (57 Fed. Reg. 54106) and Changes 1-4, (58 Fed. Reg. 34484) ; UIPL 9-92 and Changes 1-5; UIPL 45-92 (57 Fed. Reg. 47871, 47873); GAL 7-93, dated March 5, 1993. Background: GAL 12-92, dated September 11, 1992, and published in the Federal Register on November 16, 1992 (52 Fed. Reg. 54106) consolidated earlier operating instructions for the EUC program based on the amendments to the EUC Act of 1991 and other provisions of P.L. 102-318.
This document became the official controlling guidance for the States and the cooperating State agencies in the administration of the EUC program. In response to questions received from the States and other interested parties, the Department issued UIPL 9-92 and Changes 1- 5. These UIPLs have provided the States and cooperating State agencies with responses to various questions that have arisen regarding the administration of the EUC program.
Some State agencies' questions, concerning the answer to one question in Change 5, indicate a need for clarification of the operating instructions with respect to Section 102(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 102-318. This GAL clarifies the implementation of Section 102(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 102-318, provides guidance with respect to the handling of improper payments, and revises Section III.C.2. of Attachment A to GAL 12-92 for the reasons described below. Controlling Guidance: The revised operating instructions in this GAL 12-92, Change 5, are issued to the States and cooperating State agencies and constitute the controlling guidance provided by the Department in its role as the principal in the EUC program.
As agents of the United States, the States may not vary from the operating instructions in GAL 12-92 and GAL 12-92, Changes 1-4, or this Change 5 (or any subsequent or supplemental operating instructions) without the prior approval of the Department of Labor.
Clarification: Section 102(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 102-318 provides that an individual with a current (subsequent) benefit year, as of July 3, 1992, that was established after the enactment of the EUC Act (November 15, 1991), may defer the receipt of regular benefits in order to receive EUC based on the prior "applicable benefit year," until rights to such EUC benefits are exhausted.
This section is effective for weeks of unemployment beginning after July 3, 1992. Questions have been raised regarding when rights to benefits based on a prior benefit year are exhausted. That is, whether EUC, based upon the first (prior) benefit year, may be paid after the end of the second (subsequent) benefit year, or whether those EUC rights terminate at the end of the second benefit year.
The definition of "applicable benefit year" at 20 CFR 615.2(c)(2) applies in determining the prior benefit year upon which EUC is payable. This regulation provides that the "applicable benefit year" shall be the claimant's current benefit year or most recent benefit year ending in the extended compensation period.
Therefore, a claimant exercising an option under Section 102(b)(2)(B) to defer rights to regular compensation in the current (subsequent) benefit year, in order to receive EUC attributable to a prior benefit year, has rights to such EUC only during the period that the prior benefit year is the "applicable benefit year" for EUC purposes.
Hence, when the claimant's rights to regular benefits based on the current benefit year are exhausted, either monetarily or by virtue of the benefit year expiring, this subsequent benefit year now becomes the claimant's "applicable benefit year" for extended compensation purposes, and all rights to benefits based on the prior "applicable benefit year" are exhausted. See also 20 CFR 615.(h)(2).
This interpretation produces the identical results for an individual covered by Section 102(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 102-318 as is produced by Section 101(f) of the EUC Act. In both cases, the individual receives EUC based on the "applicable benefit year" (i.e., the most recently expired or exhausted benefit year). This interpretation is applicable to all weeks of unemployment beginning after July 3, 1992. Amendment to Operating Instructions: The revised operating instructions in this GAL 12-92, Change 5, are issued to the States and cooperating State agencies and constitute the controlling guidance provided by the Department in its role as the principal in the EUC program. As agents of the United States, the States may not vary from the operating instructions in GAL 12-92 and GAL 12-92, Changes 1-4, or this Change 5 (or any subsequent or supplemental operating instructions) without the prior approval of the Department of Labor.
At the end of Section III.C.2. of Attachment A of GAL 12-92, insert the following new paragraph: "When the current benefit year (subsequent), of an individual who has exercised an option to postpone regular benefits to receive EUC, ends, the subsequent benefit year becomes the "applicable benefit year" for EUC purposes as defined in 20 CFR 615. Therefore, all rights to EUC based on the prior benefit year are exhausted. Any further EUC entitlement must be based on the most recently expired/exhausted benefit year."
Guidance for Handling Improper Payments: Some claimants were paid EUC based on the "prior" benefit year after their rights to EUC based on that benefit year were exhausted. In order to correct the problem, States will have to review the payment history of each individual who exercised an option in accordance with Section 102(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 102-318 to determine if a payment was issued, on the EUC claim based on a prior benefit year, after the benefit year ending date of the subsequent claim.
When it is determined that an individual has been improperly paid benefits under one program (or based on one claim) and was entitled to benefits for the same week(s) of unemployment under another program, procedures permitting the necessary payment adjustments to be made by correcting the bookkeeping charges are appropriate.
In correcting these improper payments, those claimants, with no regular entitlement or those who exercise an option to postpone establishing a new benefit year pursuant to Section 101(f) of the EUC Act, are entitled to EUC based on the "subsequent" benefit year for the same weeks that were previously paid. Others with regular entitlement and who do not exercise an option to receive EUC will be entitled to regular benefits for the same weeks that were improperly paid.....
.....Where EUC payments to individuals exceeded Federal or State benefit entitlement for the weeks paid, ensure that the implementation includes the proper accounting for EUC payments and the establishment of overpayments, as appropriate.
7. Question: May an individual have more than one EUC08 claim?
Answer: Yes. An individual may establish a claim for EUC08, qualify for a new UC benefit year, exhaust that benefit year, exhaust the first EUC08 claim and subsequently qualify for a second EUC08 claim based on the new (most recent) benefit year.
An individual is determined eligible for EUC08 based on a UC benefit year that ended on May 12, 2007. S/he receives 10 weeks of EUC08 prior to the calendar quarter change, at which point s/he qualifies for a new UC benefit year. Because the individual qualifies for regular UC, EUC08 payments must stop.
The individual exhausts benefits based on his/her new UC benefit year; therefore, s/he is again an exhaustee for EUC08 purposes. S/he may collect the remaining entitlement on his/her existing (first) EUC08 claim and after exhausting these benefits s/he may file a new (second) EUC08 claim based on the new (most recent) UC benefit year. The new/most recent benefit year is the applicable benefit year for a second EUC08 claim, if the initial claim for that second claim is for a week of unemployment ending on or before March 31, 2009.
The "boot" that sticks out so obviously, is what our Department of Labor intends to ignore.
The current Department of Labor has not learned this important lesson from the past (what the correct "applicable benefit year" is and how older EUC08 claims are supposed to be ignored). This incompetent federal agency has repeatedly blown off my attempts to find the same resolution and repair for the same issue, except this time instead of making the mistake at the state determination end in the 1990's, this Department of Labor published it as a historic error in "policy implementation", August 15 2008, that they refuse to explain nor back down from.
When challenged again this week, the Department of Labor, Chief of Legislation, Office of Unemployment, Suzanne Simonetta, declined to make any written defense of their "Multiple EUC Claims Policy". We have spoken and emailed before. She has been presented the same irrefutable evidence, and this federal agency cannot even produce a defense for what they implemented four years ago.
Why is the US Government unwilling or unable to explain a point of regulatory compliance that they made (or did not make), affecting billions of dollars in ARRA emergency designated funds?