Reemployment Services and Reemployment Eligibility Assessments

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Labor

The Middle Class Tax Reduction and Job Creation Act of 2012 added a requirement, starting on March 23, 2012, that states must provide Reemployment Services and Reemployment Eligibility Assessments (RES/REAs) to certain types of the recipients of unemployment benefits through the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008 (EUC08) program. The EUC08 RES/REA program represents a unique innovation for long-term recipients of unemployment benefits because it was designed to (1) foster better access to reemployment services among benefits recipients and (2) increase scrutiny of eligibility for benefits. The reemployment services were to include, at a minimum, an orientation to services available through American Job Centers, the provision of labor market and career information, and a skills assessment. In addition, benefits recipients were required to participate in an in-person review of their eligibility for benefits. The number of benefits recipients who were mandated to participate in these services was much larger than had been the case through similar types of programs.

The U.S. Department of Labor directed Mathematica to conduct an implementation study of the EUC08 RES/REA program, with a particular focus on gaining insights about best practices that could be applied or adapted for similar programs in the future. We examined strategies that states used to implement the mandated EUC08 RES/REAs service requirements, the conditions under which recipients were exempted from participation, the typical sequence of services that were provided, and how agency partners collaborated to implement the program. We also examined the ramp-up of the delivery of services over time. Our research included 1) a qualitative description of implementation of the EUC08 RES/REA program and best practices based on interviews and other site-visit data from nine states and 2) a quantitative comparison of EUC08 RES/REA receipt across states over time based on aggregate data that states reported to DOL.