WASHINGTON (WMBF) – Congressman Tom Rice is part of a bill that is encouraging people to return to work.
Rice and members of the House Committee on Ways and Means introduced the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2021 on Monday.
MORE INFORMATION | Return to Work Bonus Legislation
The bill turns enhanced unemployment benefits into a back-to-work bonus to encourage people to go back into the workforce.
The American Rescue Plan Act provides an additional $300/week in benefits, and according to lawmakers, that means as many as 37% of workers receive more on unemployment than their paycheck.
“Job openings are at a record high, yet businesses are struggling to recruit employees. I know this is the case in the 7th District. Businesses shouldn’t be competing with unemployment benefits in order to get employees working again,” said Rice. “I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation which will allow a bonus to be provided to unemployed workers upon accepting a job offer.”
The legislation introduced on Monday offers a one-time payment of either $1,200 for unemployed workers who find full-time work and $600 for unemployed workers who get a part-time job. This bonus would be available through July 1, 2021.
The bill also reinstates the federal work search requirement for those who are receiving unemployment. Last March, Congress provided flexibility for states to waive this requirement.
RELATED COVERAGE | SC to require 2 steps for unemployed to receive benefits starting in April
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said it will reinstate work searches required to maintain eligibility for unemployment benefits starting in April.