Section 2000


Index 2000 to 2099


Introduction 2000

Vocational Training, Definition 2010

Training Facility, Acceptability of 2020

Employment 2030

  1. Present Occupation

  1. Future Occupation

Interruption of Training 2040

  1. Trainee's Absences

  1. Vacation Periods

  1. Emergency Closings


Disqualifications 2050

  1. Voluntary Quit to Attend Training

  1. Refusal of Employment

  1. Unavailability


Additional Benefits (Section 599.2) 2060


2000. Introduction

Section 599 of the Unemployment Insurance Law deals with the effect of attendance at a vocational training course on a claimant's right to benefits.

Section 599.1 provides that:

a claimant shall not become ineligible for benefits because of the claimant`s regular attendance in a program of training which the commissioner has approved. The commissioner shall give due consideration to existing and prospective conditions of the labor market in the state, taking into account present and anticipated supply and demand regarding the occupation or skill to which the training relates, and to any other relevant factor. However, in no event shall the commissioner approve such training for a claimant unless:

  1. (1) the training will upgrade the claimant's existing skill or train the claimant for an occupation likely to lead to more regular long term employment; or

    (2) employment opportunities for the claimant are or may be substantially impaired because of:

(i) existing or prospective conditions of the labor market in the locality or in the state or reduced opportunities for employment in the claimant`s occupation or skill; or

(ii) technological change, plant closing or plant removal, discontinuance of specific plant operations, or similar reasons; or

(iii) limited opportunities for employment throughout the year due to the seasonal nature of the industry in which the claimant is customarily employed; or

(iv) the claimant`s personal traits such as physical or mental handicap; and

  1. the training relates to an occupation or skill for which there are, or are expected to be in the immediate future, reasonable employment opportunities in the state; and
  2. the training is offered by a competent and reliable agency and does not require more than twenty-four months to complete; and
  3. the claimant has the required qualifications and aptitudes to complete the training successfully.

If Section 599 cannot be applied because one or more of its conditions is not met, participation in a training course will not render the claimant ineligible if (s)he is ready, willing and able to work; prepared to discontinue the training course if a suitable job opportunity is offered, and is making reasonable efforts to secure employment.

Section 599.2, as amended October 25, 1987, provides a three-year demonstration program in which a claimant attending an approved course or program may receive additional benefits of up to one hundred four effective days following exhaustion of regular, and if in effect, any other extended benefits, provided that entitlement to a new benefit claim cannot be established. Additionally, "Certification of continued satisfactory participation and progress in such training course or program must be submitted to the Commissioner prior to the payment of any such benefit. The duration of such additional benefits shall in no case exceed the number of effective days of regular benefits to which the claimant is entitled at the time the claimant begins such training course or program."

Section 599.3 provides that "a claimant who is in training approved under the federal trade act of nineteen hundred seventy-four shall not be disqualified or become ineligible for benefits because he is in such training or because he left employment which is not suitable employment to enter such training. For purposes hereof, unsuitable employment means work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the claimant's past adversely affected employment and for which the remuneration is not less than eighty percent of the claimant's average wage."

When interviewing claimants regarding the application of the provisions of sub. Sec. 599. claims personnel should consult the appropriate Fact Finding Guidecards for a checklist of questions to be explored. Determinations are to be made in accordance with the principles reported in this section of the Interpretation Service Index and the policies set forth in relevant Special Bulletins (A-710 Series}. Field Memorandum 9-82 should be consulted if sub. Sec. 599.3 is at issue. Field Memorandum 8-87 provides guidance concerning the October 25. 1987 amendments to section 599.

Index 2000

Section 599

2010. Vocational training, definition

  1. A vocational training course generally includes any training given under public or private auspices designed to develop an occupational skill.


  1. Special courses for training in a specific occupation given by colleges and comparable institutions may be considered vocational training approvable under Section 599. For example, an 8 week course at a state university designed to provide the trainee with certain prerequisites which he needed to obtain a teacher's license was approvable under Section 599.


  1. Apprentice training (other than on-the-job) and prospective employer training may be approvable under Section 599 if the other conditions of the statute, relating to employment opportunities, competence of the facility, etc., are met. (Special Bulletin A-710-45)


  1. A program leading to a high school equivalency certificate is not a course in basic education skills within the meaning of Section 599. (A.B. 285,232; A-750-1877)


2020. Training facility, acceptability of

  1. Training may not be approved under Section 599 unless it is offered by a competent and reliable agency, which itself is approved under specific regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Labor. (A.B. 454,240; A-750-2078)


  1. Self-paced, CD based training does not meet the criteria of the Commissioner of Labor's regulations for approval under Section 599, since there is no external control of the hours claimant participates, nor is there an instructor available to answer questions about the material. (A.B. 515,084; A-750-2118)

2030. Employment opportunities

  1. Present occupation (before training)


    1. Domestic responsibilities which affect a claimant's ability to adhere to a particular work schedule are included in the personal factors and circumstances to be taken into account in determining under Section 599 whether employment opportunities for the claimant are impaired. (A.B. 141,616; A-750-1693)


  1. Future occupation (after training)


    1. Where it is determined that a training course related to an occupation for which reasonable employment opportunities generally do not exist in the state, and are not expected to exist in the immediate future, approval under Section 599 is denied despite the fact that the trainee may have a commitment from a prospective employer which indicate that he would be hired upon the completion of the course. (A.B. 107,935)


    1. Approval under Section 599 is not withheld solely because the trainee's intentions are to enter self-employment, provided all the criteria of the statute are met.


    1. DELETED


    1. In order to be approvable under Section 599, claimant's course of study must lead to qualifications or skills for a specific occupation. Attendance at college without a specific occupation in mind does not satisfy this requirement. (A.B. 416,084; A-750-2052)


    1. To determine whether a claimant can complete a program of training within two years, the duration is the time required for the claimant to acquire the skills, certificates, or degrees necessary to achieve claimant's ultimate occupational goal must be considered. (A.B. 417,515; A-750-2053)


2040. Interruption of training

  1. Trainee's absences


    1. Benefits under Section 599 are not affected by absences of up to 5 days for personal reasons if the training facility has excused the absence and certifies to satisfactory attendance and progress. However, if the absence is for a period longer than 5 days and will prolong the period required for satisfactory completion of the course, Section 599 approval is withdrawn during the absence or for a period corresponding to that of the prolongation, whichever is shorter.


    1. Benefits under Section 599 are reduced by one-fourth for each day of unexcused absence from the facility.


    1. Approval under Section 599 is withdrawn during interruption of training for the performance of military duties, such as service in the National Guard, active military reserve training, or emergency military duties.


  1. Vacation periods


    1. Benefits under Section 599 continue to be payable during a scheduled course vacation, provided

a. the vacation does not exceed five weeks, and;

b. the trainee returns to the course upon its resumption, or delays his return only because of his own illness or other justifiable reason, and he is permitted to, and does, resume training.

If the above conditions are not met, approval under Section 599 is withdrawn for the period of the vacation, and the claimant must meet the regular availability requirements.

  1. Emergency closings


    1. Benefits under Section 599 continue to be payable for periods during which training is suspended because of an emergency, such as; weather conditions, fire, illness of instructor, provided

a. the suspension does not exceed two weeks, and;

b. the trainee returns to the course upon its resumption, or delays his return only because of his own illness or other justifiable reason, and he is permitted to, and does, resume training.

If the above conditions are not met, approval under Section 599 is withdrawn during the closing, and the claimant must meet the regular availability requirements.

2050. Disqualifications

  1. Voluntary quit to attend training


    1. Leaving employment to attend vocational training is without good cause. in the absence of special circumstances. (A.B. 165,640; A-750-1743; see Comments after A-750-1842)


    1. When a claimant, after applying to a training facility for admission to vocational training, obtains employment intending to work until the training starts, good cause exists for leaving that employment to commence the course, provided the training meets the conditions for approval set forth in Section 599 of the Law. (A.B. 173,143F; A-750-1750)


  1. Refusal of employment


    1. Refusal of permanent employment because it would interfere, with an approved training course which claimant is waiting to start, is with good cause.


    1. Refusal of interim suitable employment while waiting for the start of an approved training course, is without good cause. Therefore, even if all other conditions are met, approval for benefits under Section 599 cannot be granted, unless and until the outstanding disqualification is terminated by sufficient subsequent employment as required by the statute.


    1. Once approved training has begun, refusal of employment which would conflict with continuation of such training is with good cause.


  1. Unavailability


    1. If, while waiting to begin an approved training course, a claimant indicates he will not accept, and therefore is not seeking, interim employment, he is unavailable and ineligible for benefits. However, if the conditions for approval under Section 599 are met, he becomes eligible for benefits under such Section upon commencement of training. (U.I. Division policy)


    1. Abandonment by a trainee (or termination by the training facility) of a training course (other than on-the-job training) for any reason is not grounds for disqualification for voluntary quit or misconduct since the training was not claimant's last employment. However, in the event of a later claim for benefits, the facts should be examined for evidence bearing on claimant's availability or capability. (U.I. Division policy)


2060. Additional benefits

  1. Claimant's eligibility for additional benefits pursuant to Section 599.2 is measured by the number of effective days of regular benefits claimant has remaining at the time she applies for, is accepted in, or begins approvable training. Regular benefits mean benefits payable under state law, excluding extended benefits, additional benefits, or federally-legislated emergency benefits, (A.B. 421,351; A-750-2054)


  1. Effective October 1, 1991, approvable training must consist of attendance at training for at least twelve hours per week. (A.B. 413,857; A-750-2055)


  1. The calculation date used to determine eligibility for additional benefits cannot be earlier than the first date on which claimant has less than two years remaining in the program of training. (A.B. 435,695; A-750-2069)


  1. A precondition to the receipt of additional benefits under Section 599.2 is approval of claimant's training program. Where claimant fails to request approval until all regular benefits are exhausted, no additional benefits can be paid. (A.B. 456,271; A-750-2079)