50.20.245  <<  50.20.250 >>   End of Chapter

Self-employment assistance programFindingDepartment provides information to eligible individualsRules.

(1) The legislature finds that the establishment of a self-employment assistance program would assist unemployed individuals and create new businesses and job opportunities in Washington state. The department must inform all individuals eligible under the terms of RCW 50.20.010 of the availability of self-employment assistance and entrepreneurial training programs and of the training provisions of RCW 50.20.043 which would allow them to pursue commissioner-approved training. In addition, when individuals are identified as likely to exhaust benefits under RCW 50.20.011, and when individuals are otherwise eligible for commissioner-approved training under RCW 50.20.043, the department must inform such individuals of the opportunity to enroll in commissioner-approved self-employment assistance programs.
(2) An unemployed individual is eligible to participate in a self-employment assistance program if it has been determined that he or she:
(a) Is otherwise eligible for regular benefits as defined in RCW 50.22.010;
(b) Has been identified as likely to exhaust regular unemployment benefits under a profiling system established by the commissioner as defined in P.L. 103-152 or is otherwise eligible for commissioner-approved training under RCW 50.20.043; and
(c) Is enrolled in a self-employment assistance program that is approved by the commissioner, and includes entrepreneurial training, business counseling, technical assistance, and requirements to engage in activities relating to the establishment of a business and becoming self-employed.
(3) Individuals participating in a self-employment assistance program approved by the commissioner are eligible to receive their regular unemployment benefits.
(a) The requirements of RCW 50.20.010 and 50.20.080 relating to availability for work, active search for work, and refusal to accept suitable work are not applicable to an individual in the self-employment assistance program for the first fifty-two weeks of the individual's participation in the program. However, enrollment in a self-employment assistance program does not entitle the enrollee to any benefit payments he or she would not be entitled to had he or she not enrolled in the program.
(b) An individual who meets the requirements of this section is considered to be "unemployed" under RCW 50.04.310 and 50.20.010.
(4) An individual who fails to participate in his or her approved self-employment assistance program as prescribed by the commissioner is disqualified from continuation in the program.
(5) The commissioner must take all steps necessary in carrying out this section to assure collaborative involvement of interested parties in program development, and to ensure that the self-employment assistance programs meet all federal criteria for withdrawal from the unemployment fund. The commissioner may approve, as self-employment assistance programs, existing self-employment training programs available through community colleges, workforce development boards, or other organizations and is not obligated by this section to expend any departmental funds for the operation of self-employment assistance programs, unless specific funding is provided to the department for that purpose through federal or state appropriations.
(6) The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.


Report to legislature2012 c 40; 2007 c 248: "By December 1, 2015, the employment security department must report to relevant legislative committees on the performance of the self-employment assistance program. The report must include an analysis of the following:
(1) Self-employment impacts;
(2) Wage and salary outcomes;
(3) Benefit payment outcomes; and
(4) A cost-benefit analysis." [ 2012 c 40 s 3; 2007 c 248 s 3.]
Effective date2007 c 248: "This act takes effect January 1, 2008." [ 2007 c 248 s 4.]
Implementation2007 c 248: "The commissioner of employment security may take the necessary steps to ensure that this act is implemented on its effective date." [ 2007 c 248 s 5.]
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