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SD Dept of Labor

South Dakota COVID-19 Reemployment Assistance Program

South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulations has added provisions for employees who have lost their job through no fault of their own due to a COVID-19 related situation.  Employees who become unemployed because their employer temporarily closes or is quarantined due to COVID-19 might be eligible for reemployment assistance.  They call these “RA benefits,” and are essentially enhanced unemployment benefits.

While the Department of Labor examines each case individually for eligibility here are some proposed scenarios and the potential interpretations (scenarios and information provided by South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulations).  For more details see the Department of Labor and Regulations website at https://dlr.sd.gov/ra/covid_19_ra_eligibility.aspx.

Proposed Scenario Interpretations:

  1. A worker has tested positive for COVID-19 and is temporarily unable to work. – ELIGIBLE for RA benefits. A claim would need to be filed online at raclaims.sd.gov or by phone at 605.626.3179. Workers who are temporarily unemployed and expected to return to work with their employer would not be required to actively seek work each week. As of now, a layoff lasting longer than 10 weeks would require the person to be able, available, and actively looking for work.
  2. A worker is out of work because their employer closed due to COVID-19. – ELIGIBLE for RA benefits. A claim would need to be filed online at raclaims.sd.gov or by phone at 605.626.3179. Workers who are temporarily unemployed and expected to return to work with their employer would not be required to actively seek work each week. As of now, a layoff lasting longer than 10 weeks would require the person to be able, available, and actively looking for work.
  3. A worker has their work hours reduced because of a reduction in force related to COVID-19. – LIKELY ELIGIBLE for PARTIAL RA benefits. Depending on the number of hours that have been reduced and the amount of earnings for the week, a person would be eligible for reduced RA benefits. 75% of earnings over $25 would be deducted from the weekly benefit amount. A worker would not be eligible if earnings were equal to or more than the weekly benefit amount.
  4. A worker is sent home from work because their employer thinks they are a risk, or they are at risk. – LIKELY ELIGIBLE for RA benefits. If the worker is not being paid by the employer while at home, the worker may be eligible for benefits. A claim would need to be filed online at raclaims.sd.gov or by phone at 605.626.3179. The worker would not be required to actively seek work each week. As of now, a layoff lasting longer than 10 weeks would require the person to be able, available, and actively looking for work.
  5. A worker chooses to self-quarantine and is unable to work. – INELIGIBLE for RA benefits. To receive benefits, an individual must be able and available to work.
  6. A worker is unable to work because they need to care for a dependent (e.g. child). – INELIGIBLE for RA benefits. To receive benefits, an individual must be able and available to work.
  7. A school worker is unable to work because their place of employment is closed. – LIKELY ELIGIBLE for RA benefits. South Dakota schools will stay closed through March 27 as a precaution to slow the spread of COVID-19. If the worker is not being paid by the employer while at home, the worker may be eligible for benefits. A claim would need to be filed online at raclaims.sd.gov or by phone at 605.626.3179. The worker would NOT be required to actively seek work each week.
  8. An employer decides to temporarily close or do a reduction in force because of COVID-19. – LIABLE for RA benefits. Benefit payments would be charged to an employer’s account.

Amanda Dokter

Amanda Dokter has spent the last 14 years working in human resources in both for-profit and not-for-profit industries.Amanda joined Ketel Thorstenson in March 2014 and oversees the human resources functions for the firm and provides human resources consulting services.
Amanda Dokter

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Reemployment Assistance, South Dakota Department of Labor

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