A national nonprofit group that promotes taking away earned unemployment benefits has awarded Iowa its top prize for adding more restrictions for folks on unemployment.
IWD said the award came as a result of launching its Reemployment Case Management program in January 2022, which placed increased work requirements and expectations for unemployed workers to qualify for unemployment benefits.
“We’re extremely appreciative that AIFE and others are recognizing the progress that Iowa has made since a year ago, when we launched our new focus on improving the pathway to reemployment,” said IWD Director Beth Townsend.
Reemployment Case Management held over 24,000 meetings with those claiming unemployment in its first year, IWD said, noting just over 5,000—20%—of those people found employment during the program. It was unclear if the extra hoops they had to jump through directly led to finding that work.
AIFE’s stated goal is to “help everyone who has the ability and desire to work to engage in productive employment,” according to its website. But it does so by lobbying state legislatures into taking benefits working people pay into, like unemployment, and making them harder to access, limiting them, and rerouting them toward corporate subsidies, according to SourceWatch.
And AIFE and IWD proudly tout the fact that Iowa workers were pushed off of their earned benefits quickly.
While the national rate of those on unemployment using their full benefits was 31%, “Iowa was able to reduce the percentage of its claimants who exhausted their unemployment benefits to 13.7%, the second lowest in the nation,” IWD said in the release.
by Amie Rivers
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