Reasonable Assurance

“Reasonable Assurance” is an unemployment insurance term that indicates a school employee has a contract (written or implied) that indicates they will likely be employed for the following school year, term, or remainder of a school term.

Federal and State Laws prohibit workers with ‘reasonable assurance’ to use their school wages to establish monetary eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits during school breaks. Such school breaks include holiday periods and summer recess. The law affects all school employees, who work in a professional capacity (such as teachers, research and administrative employees) as well as those in a non‐instructional capacity (cafeteria, custodial staff and bus drivers, etc…). For reasonable assurance to be a factor in unemployment insurance benefits eligibility, the employee must have performed services for a school and his/her wages paid by the school. (This fact is important since some bus drivers, cafeteria, or janitorial staff are employees of private companies – not the school – and are not affected by the reasonable assurance laws).

What does this mean for a school employee?

A school employee who files for Unemployment Insurance benefits will be required to provide information about their recent school employment and their prospects of continued employment with the same, or another school employer in the future. Schools are also contacted to provide information with regard to the employee’s status of employment or continuing employment.

If it is determined:

  1. the employee worked for a school prior to the current academic term, or before a vacation or a holiday and
  2. the school employer, or another school, is providing continuing employment for the next school term, or following a holiday or vacation break then the use of an employee’s school wages are not allowed for use in establishing eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Other wages that are not associated with school employment may be used to establish claimant eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. A person filing for unemployment insurance benefits with both school and non‐school wages – AND who has reasonable assurance of employment for the following school year, term, or remainder of a school term will receive two monetary determinations – one called a ‘high monetary’ (using all wages) and one referred to as a ‘low monetary’ (school wages removed). If the low monetary determination shows that the person filing is monetarily eligible for benefits, the person may draw available unemployment insurance benefits as calculated on their non‐school wages.

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