KS Governor eases path to expanded unemployment

April 01, 2020 - 5:14 am

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is taking steps to address what she described as hundreds of thousands of calls to the state labor office by making it easier for Kansans to receive unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus outbreak. Kelly announced that Kansas would temporarily waive the one-week waiting period for people to receive the unemployment benefits and waive the requirement that they seek employment. 

It is part of Executive Order 20-17 that Kelly signed on March 31st which allows Kansas to draw millions from the Federal CARES Act.  The federal stimulus signed by President Trump expands unemployment insurance to include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months.

Besides waiving the one-week waiting period the Governor's order also waives the requirement that Kansans receiving unemployment benefits actively seek work each week, to allow Kansans to continue the necessary social distancing practices.  It also requires all Kansas employers, as is already required by the federal Department of Labor, to notify separated employees if they qualify for unemployment insurance.

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