TITLE 28
Labor and Labor Relations

CHAPTER 28-44
Employment Security – Benefits

SECTION 28-44-70


§ 28-44-70 Entrepreneurial training assistance program.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) "Entrepreneurial training assistance program" means a program administered by the director under which an eligible individual may receive employment assistance allowances pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(2) "Employment assistance activities" means activities, including entrepreneurial training, business counseling, and technical assistance, approved by the director in which an individual identified through a worker profiling system as likely to exhaust regular benefits participates for the purpose of establishing a business and become self-employed.

(3) "Employment assistance allowance" means an allowance payable in lieu of regular benefits from the fund or an allowance payable in lieu of emergency unemployment compensation benefits to an individual participating in employment assistance activities who meets the requirements of this section.

(4) "Full-time basis" means that the individual is devoting such amount of time as is customary to establish a business which will serve as a full-time occupation for that individual, but in no case less than thirty-five (35) hours per week.

(5) "Regular benefits" means benefits, including dependents' allowances, payable to an individual under chapters 42 – 44 of this title, or under any other state law, including benefits payable to federal civilian employees and to ex-service persons pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 8501 et seq., other than additional and extended benefits.

(6) "Emergency unemployment compensation" means benefits, including dependents' allowances, payable to an individual as authorized by the unemployment compensation extension act of 2008 and in accordance with regulations established by the secretary of labor.

(b) Eligibility requirements for employment assistance allowances. Employment assistance allowances shall be payable to an individual at the same interval, on the same terms, and subject to the same conditions as regular benefits under chapters 42 – 44 of this title, except that:

(1) The requirements of §§ 28-44-12 and 28-44-20 relating to availability for work, active search for work, and refusal to accept suitable work are not applicable to the individual;

(2) The requirements of §§ 28-42-3(26), 28-42-3(28) and 28-44-7 relating to income are not applicable to income earned from self-employment by the individual;

(3) An individual who meets the requirements of this section shall be considered to be totally unemployed pursuant to § 28-42-3(28); and

(4) An individual who fails to participate in employment assistance activities or who fails to actively engage on a full-time basis in activities, which may include training, relating to the establishment of a business and becoming self-employed or who fails to provide information that the director requires shall be disqualified for the week the failure occurs and for each subsequent week until the individual shows to the satisfaction of the director that the individual meets the requirements of this section.

(c) Amount of employment assistance allowance. The weekly allowance payable under this section to an individual shall be an amount equal to the weekly benefit amount, including dependents' allowances, payable to the individual for a week of total unemployment during the benefit year pursuant to § 28-44-6.

(1) For those individuals participating in the entrepreneurial training assistance program while collecting regular benefits under chapters 42 – 44 of this title, the sum of the allowance paid under this section and regular benefits paid under chapters 42 – 44 of this title to an individual with respect to any benefit year shall not exceed the maximum potential regular benefits, including dependents' allowances, payable to that individual under chapters 42 – 44 of this title with respect to the benefit year.

(2) For those individuals participating in the entrepreneurial training assistance program while collecting emergency unemployment compensation benefits under the unemployment compensation extension act of 2008, the allowance paid under this section to an individual, with respect to any benefit year, shall not exceed an amount equal to twenty-six (26) times the individual's regular weekly benefit amount, including dependents' allowances, payable to that individual under chapters 42 – 44 of this title, with respect to the benefit year. Any individual who chooses to terminate his or her participation in the entrepreneurial training assistance program, or who has completed participation in the program, and who continues to meet the emergency unemployment compensation eligibility requirements, shall be permitted to receive his or her emergency unemployment compensation benefits with respect to subsequent weeks of unemployment.

(d) Termination from the entrepreneurial training assistance program. The director may terminate any individual from the entrepreneurial training assistance program who fails to meet requirements of the program for three (3) or more weeks. Individuals who are terminated from or voluntarily leave the entrepreneurial training assistance program may receive, if otherwise eligible, regular benefits with respect to the benefit year; provided, that the total amount of regular benefits and employment assistance allowances paid to the individual shall not exceed the maximum potential regular benefits, including dependents' allowances, payable to that individual under chapters 42 – 44 of this title with respect to the benefit year.

(e) Limitation on receipt of employment assistance allowances.

(1) The aggregate number of individuals receiving employment assistance allowances under this section and under the regular benefits program under chapter 42 – 44 of this title for any week shall not exceed five percent (5.0%) of the total number of individuals receiving regular benefits under chapters 42 – 44 of this title for that week. The director shall, through regulations, prescribe any actions that are necessary to assure the requirements of this subsection are met.

(2) The aggregate number of individuals receiving employment assistance allowances under this section and under the emergency unemployment compensation program for any week shall not exceed one percent (1.0%) of the total number of individuals receiving emergency unemployment compensation benefits.

(3) The director shall, through regulations, prescribe any actions that are necessary to assure the requirements of this subdivision are met.

(f) Financing costs of employment assistance allowances. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of chapters 42 – 44 of this title, employment assistance allowances paid pursuant to this section shall be paid with money drawn from the fund and the allowances shall be charged in the same manner as provided for regular benefits paid under chapters 42 – 44 of this title. Allowances attributable to federal military or federal civilian service or paid under the unemployment compensation extension act of 2008 shall be charged to the appropriate federal account.

(g) Effective date and termination date. The provisions of this section shall apply to weeks beginning after June 22, 1994, or to weeks beginning after any plan required by the United States Department of Labor is approved by the department, whichever date is later; provided, that nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require the director to operate an entrepreneurial training assistance program as allowed under this section. The authority provided by this section shall terminate:

(1) As of the effective date of the withdrawal of approval of any plan required by the United States Department of Labor; or

(2) As of the week containing the date when federal law no longer authorizes the provisions of this section.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1994, ch. 60, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 32, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 43, § 1.)