Unemployment Insurance as a Potential Safety Net for TANF Leavers: Evidence from Five States. Endnotes

09/01/2004

(1) See, for example, the Advisory Council on Unemployment Compensation (1996); and the National Economic Law Project (2000).

(2) Among our study states, Texas has the highest minimum qualifying earnings requirement ($1,776), which places it a little above the median state level of $1,600. Illinois lies at the median level, and Arizona and Pennsylvania are somewhat below the median. Maryland has a very low minimum qualifying earnings requirement ($900 in 2001), which places it in the bottom decile of requirements among all states.

(3) The high quarter wages criteria specify that workers must earn a certain dollar amount in the quarter with the highest earnings of their base period. Workers must also earn total base-period wages that are a multiple--typically 1.5 of the high quarter wages. For example, if a worker earns $5,000 in the high quarter, the worker must earn another $2,500 in the rest of the base period. States require earnings in more than one quarter to minimize the likelihood that workers with high earnings in only one quarter receive benefits. Although monetarily eligible, those workers wouldn't be substantially attached to the labor market.

(4) The very low maximum weekly benefit amounts in Phoenix ($205) caused many in this site to be capped at the maximum weekly benefit amounts set by the state; however, because of the low earnings levels of the sample members, we observe only small changes in the potential average weekly benefit amounts.

(5) In fact, some states use alternate base-period rules in this way. In New Jersey, for example, monetary eligibility is first calculated using the standard base period; if an individual does not achieve eligibility, two alternative definitions (the last four completed quarters and the last three completed quarters plus the quarter of filing) are then used to determine whether that individual would qualify under any of these rules. The claimant would be monetarily eligible to receive if they qualify under any definition.

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