Miscellaneous MI 85
California Training Benefits
The purpose of this section is to provide the legal basis for determining eligibility for the California Training Benefits (CTB) program and Training Extension (TE) claims for claimants who are attending school or training and might otherwise be denied Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits due to their unavailability for work.
Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Section 3304(a)(8) – contains federal legal provisions pertaining to UI benefit eligibility while attending approved training.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 604.5(c) – contains federal requirements pertaining to compensation which shall not be denied for any week that a claimant is in approved training but does not meet state legal provisions for availability for work, unless the claimant fails to attend or otherwise participate.
CTB California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC) Sections:
- 1266 – Establishes the California Training Benefits Program.
- 1267 – Establishes the preconditions for CTB eligibility and exempts claimants eligible for CTB from the usual UI requirements of availability for work, active work search, refusal to accept work, and leaving most recent work to continue in CTB approved training if continuing employment would interfere with the training. Defines eligibility during recess periods.
- 1268 – Provides, that as a pre-condition of CTB eligibility, the claimant must be unemployed as provided by Section 1252.
- 1269(a) through (e) – Provides that, if the claimant is attending one of the five specified types of training, the claimant has pre-approved CTB eligibility.
- 1269.1(a) through (h)(1) – Provides, if the claimant is attending training which was self-arranged, all the conditions that must be met for CTB eligibility.
- 1271 – Provides the criteria for approval of TE benefits and the monetary limits.
- 1271.5 – Requires the Department to inform all claimants of potential availability of CTB and TE benefits.
- 1272.5 – Requires that payment of benefits while participating in the CTB program can only be made when a certification from the training provider, verifying enrollment and satisfactory progress in training, has been provided.
California Court Decisions:
- P-B 109 – Declares that all specified CTB eligibility conditions must be met if automatic approval cannot be considered.
- P-B 466 – Defines the 16-week period for TE benefits eligibility.
- P-B 482 – Defines the Department’s obligation to provide distinct notice of TE benefit opportunities.
- P-T 488 – Declares the base period employers’ entitlement to receive timely notice of the maximum amount of potential TE benefits, and the opportunity to protest the CTB eligibility.
III. KEY ELEMENTS
The following conditions must be present before a determination of CTB eligibility can be made under CUIC Sections 1269 or 1269.1:
- The claimant must be “unemployed” within the meaning of 1252 of the CUIC.
- The claimant must be otherwise eligible for UI benefits and in payable status. Therefore, the most recent regular UI claim in effect at the time of the initial CTB eligibility determination must be valid and not:
- Expired at the time training began, unless the claimant is entitled to federal or state extended benefits.
- Exhausted at the time training began, unless the claimant is determined eligible for a TE claim or receiving federal or state extended benefits.
- Under any indefinite disqualification in effect prior to the time of the initial CTB eligibility determination (e.g., Misconduct (MC) disqualification), unless the disqualification would become moot or lifted if CTB is approved (e.g., Able and Available disqualification for school attendance).
- The claimant must have started attending training.
If these conditions are not met, the claimant is disqualified from receiving a CTB determination of eligibility.
The following conditions must be present before initial TE eligibility under CUIC Section 1271 applies:
- The claimant must be eligible for CTB as provided under CUIC Sections 1269 or 1269.1.
- The claimant must be otherwise eligible for UI benefits. Therefore, the regular UI claim on which CTB is being approved must not be expired at the time training began.
If these pre-conditions are not met the claimant is disqualified for a TE.
C. Responsibilities During Training
The following claimant responsibilities must be adhered to while in CTB approved training or a definite or indefinite disqualification under CUIC Section 1267, 1271, or 1272.5 will apply:
- The claimant must maintain satisfactory progress and attendance which is certified to by the training provider on a bi-weekly basis on the continued claim form, as required by Section 1272.
- If the claimant qualifies for a subsequent valid new claim at the end of the benefit year, the claimant must file and collect on that claim even if the award is less.
- The claimant must advise the Department of any changes in the approved CTB training, including:
- Dropping or completing training prior to the established end date of training.
- Changes in the type of training or training provider.
- Requesting additional time to complete training at the end of the approved training period.
- If eligible, requesting to file a TE claim when the regular UI claim is exhausted.
IV. LAW AND POLICY
A. Background: Federal and State Law
Section 3304(a)(8), of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), provides that a claimant in an approved training course be allowed to receive UI benefits and not be denied UI based on the claimant’s availability for work, active search for work, or refusal of work. The intent of the federal statute is to enable claimants to participate in training programs while unemployed so that they may gain new job skills or upgrade existing job skills to be able to return to work quickly following training.
Federal law provides that each state is generally free to determine what training is appropriate and what criteria are established for the approval of training. However, states are required to apply “reasonable criteria” which have been established for the approval of training. Examples of such “reasonable criteria” include:
- The claimant’s skills must be either obsolete or employment opportunities for the claimant in that labor market are minimal and not likely to improve.
- The claimant possesses aptitudes or skills which can be usefully supplemented within a short time by retraining.
- The training must be for an occupation for which there is a substantial and recurring demand.
- The claimant must produce evidence of continued attendance and satisfactory progress.
Furthermore, federal law provides that states may not refuse to approve training solely because the training is conducted in another state. To do so would inhibit a claimant’s mobility because claimants cannot reasonably be expected to commute to training in a state in which they do not reside. To do so would also be inconsistent with the expressed intent of Congress which was to “remove the impediments to training which remain in our unemployment insurance system.”
In accordance with the FUTA requirement, the CTB program was established under Chapter 5, Article 1.5, of the CUIC. Sections 1266 -1274.20 of the CUIC provide the statute and criteria governing the CTB program. The CTB program has existed substantially in its present form since 1984. Since then some minor changes have been made occasionally with more substantial changes enacted by legislation with the passage of Assembly Bill 2058 (amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 591, Sec. 5; effective July 1, 2011). The CTB program was made permanent in California law through the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1251 (Statutes of 2018, Chapter 418). SB 1251 repealed the sunset date provided for in CUIC Section 1274.10 and also eliminated the disqualification for receipt of discretionary training funds provided for in CUIC Section 1273.
B. School Attendance and CTB Statutes
Section 1267 requires that “…with respect to an unemployed individual otherwise eligible for benefits, those benefits shall not be denied to an individual for any week because he or she is in eligible training or retraining…” with the approval of the director. In addition, Section 1268 states that “an unemployed individual who files a claim… may apply to the department for a determination of potential eligibility for benefits during a period of training or retraining.” These two UI Code sections require that the Department conduct a determination of eligibility for benefits when a claimant is attending school or training during a week when benefits are claimed. In effect, these sections prohibit the Department from doing a determination of eligibility prior to the start of school or training attendance.
Section 1267 also provides that claimants determined to be eligible for the CTB program are exempt from the usual requirements of being available for work and actively seeking work while attending CTB approved training. However, claimants who do not meet CTB eligibility conditions may be determined eligible for UI benefits under Sections 1253(c) and 1253.9, as long as they remain attached to a substantial portion of the labor market, remain able and available for work, and actively seek work while in school or training. Claimants who do not meet CTB eligibility conditions may also be determined ineligible under Section 1253(c) if school attendance, which is a non-compelling restriction, substantially reduces their availability for accepting suitable work.
The effective date of a CTB eligible decision is based on the week in which the claimant first reports his/her school attendance, which should be the same week that the claimant began attending school. A claimant who fails, without good cause, to report the start of school in the week it began is subject to an eligibility determination under Sections 1253(c) or 1253.9 and 1257\ for any weeks in school prior to the effective date of CTB approval. Refer to Benefit Determination Guide AA 40 for a discussion of when a claimant, who is not eligible for CTB, restricts his or her availability for work due to school attendance.
Sections 1269 and 1269.1 provide two categories of CTB eligibility, each with specific conditions.
- In the first category, there are five subdivisions of 1269 that provide the conditions for the types of training with pre-approved CTB eligibility if the claimant is otherwise eligible for UI benefits.
Training that is authorized by one of the designated federal and state training programs contained in the following subdivisions:
1269(a) - The federal sponsored Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the state sponsored Employment Training Panel (ETP) programs.
1269(b) - The federal sponsored Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.
1269(c) - The state sponsored California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program.
Training that is verified as being one of the designated self-arranged training types (with the enactment of AB 2058), are contained in the following subdivisions:
1269(d) - A specified training program with the provider must be on the California Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL).
1269(e) - Union approved and industry-related taken by a journey-level union member (JLUM).
Refer to the Overview of Pre-Approved Training Programs for Automatic CTB Eligibility section for the background information of each of the above-mentioned training types and CTB eligibility conditions.
- In the second category, there are eight subdivisions of 1269.1 that provide the conditions for potential CTB eligibility when claimants self-arrange their training. Only when all the conditions are met, may claimants be determined eligible for CTB, if they are otherwise eligible for UI benefits.
1269.1(a) - The individual must be unemployed or partially unemployed for four or more continuous weeks or must be unemployed due to a plant closure, a substantial reduction in workforce, a mental or physical disability preventing the use of existing job skills, or technological changes in his/her occupation.
1269.1(b) - The individual must be unemployed due to a lack of demand for his/her current skills in his/her labor market, or his/her occupation is seasonal and he/she has no other skills in current demand.
1269.1(c) - The training must relate to an occupation or skill which is in demand in California’s labor market. When federal extended benefits are in effect in California, certain pre-requisite or remedial training is included.
1269.1(d) - The training must be taken at an approved training facility AND the training must be completed within a reasonable period of time, not exceeding 24 months (or not exceeding 48 months when federal extended benefits are in effect in California).
1269.1(e) - The training must be full-time (typically not less than 20 hours per week, or 12 semester or quarter units) and intended to provide skills to obtain employment in a demand occupation.
1269.1(f) - The individual must reasonably be expected to complete the training successfully, even if UI benefits are not sufficient to cover the entire period of training.
1269.1 (g) - The beginning date of the new training or retraining must be more than three years from the beginning date of the last CTB Program participation.
1269.1(h) - When federal extended benefits are in effect in California and the claimant does not meet the provisions of 1269.1(c), eligibility is expanded to include pre-requisite or remedial training or skills training that will lead to a certificate or credentials in a demand occupation.
Refer to the Self-Arranged Training Conditions for CTB Eligibility section of this guide for the background information of each of the above 1269.1 subdivisions and how the claimant may meet that condition for CTB eligibility.
V. INITIAL CTB PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
A. CTB Pre-Condition Eligibility – Sections 1267 and 1268
Claim Status – Section 1267
Before a CTB determination of eligibility is conducted, it must be established that the claimant has started attending training and that the claimant has a valid, regular UI claim in payable status. The most recent valid regular claim still in effect (not expired) or on file (in suspended status) is the controlling parent claim for purposes of establishing CTB and TE eligibility and conducting the determination. If the most recent valid, regular claim is expired and the claimant does not qualify for a new subsequent claim, then the claimant must be in receipt of state or federal extended benefits to meet the provisions of Section 1267. In addition, the claimant cannot be under any prior indefinite disqualification, unless that issue would become moot if CTB is approved. If the claimant has no potential to be paid UI benefits if CTB is approved, the claimant is denied a CTB eligibility determination under Section 1267.
Claimants may be scheduled for school attendance determination several times during the benefit year of a regular UI claim and any subsequent federal extended benefit claims in which the claimant is considered for CTB. If the conditions for CTB eligibility are not met and the claimant meets the conditions for being issued a CTB disqualification decision, there is no limit to the number of instances the CTB can be denied. However, the claimant may only be found CTB eligible one-time for self-arranged training during the benefit year of the regular UI parent claim and any subsequent federal extended benefit claims. The only exception is for training that meets the conditions of pre-approved automatic CTB eligibility under Section 1269.
Unemployed - Section 1268
A claimant must be “unemployed” and not ineligible for benefits under Section 1252 before a CTB determination of eligibility can be made. Consideration is based on when the claimant was last fully employed. Therefore, a claimant who continues to work part-time and qualify for UI benefits under Section 1279 can also be considered for CTB. If the claimant is not unemployed at the time of the CTB determination, the claimant is denied a CTB eligibility determination under Section 1268.
B. Pre-Approved Training Types and Conditions with Pre-Approved CTB Eligibility – Section 1269
There are two types of pre-approved training which allows the claimant to have automatic eligibility for CTB as long as the conditions are met and claimant is otherwise eligible for UI benefits.
- The first type of training, as provided by subdivisions 1269(a) through 1296(c), allows a claimant to automatically be considered as CTB eligible when attending training that is authorized by and verified with a program representative of one of the following designated federal and state training programs:
- The federal sponsored Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs.
- The state sponsored Employment Training Panel (ETP) and the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program.
- The second type of training, as provided by subdivisions 1269(d) and 1269(e), allows a claimant to automatically be considered as CTB eligible when attending self-arranged training beginning on or after July 1, 2011, that is verified with the provider as being one of the following designated training types:
- Training in a specified training program with the certified provider on the California Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL).
- Training taken by journey-level union members (JLUMs) that is union approved and industry-related.
C. Overview of Pre-Approved Training Programs
The following information provides a brief description of the purpose, the administration, and eligibility requirements for training services of each of the types of pre-approved training programs, as well as how that type aligns with CTB eligibility.
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) – Section 1269(a)
The Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offers comprehensive activities to promote an increase in the employment, job retention, earnings, and occupational skills improvement by participants.
The Local Workforce Development Areas (Local Areas) in California administer WIOA services as designated by the Governor by factors which include geographic location, population, and commonality of labor market areas. The Chief Elected Official (CEO) of each LWIOA appoints a Local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) with a local membership. The Local WIB develops and submits a local area plan to the Governor, appoints local One-Stop operators, and selects eligible organizations to provide services for youth and adults.
Local WIOA services are offered at three levels through One-Stop Career Centers, providing workforce activities to participants in the communities where they reside. These activities include:
- Universal access to job search and labor market information (Core Services)
- Advice, counseling, and support (Intensive Services)
- Education and skills training (Training Services)
- Individual choice of service
To receive broader WIOA services, eligible adults are generally laid-off from their last employment and are unlikely to return to their previous industry or occupation. Training is available to eligible adults, age 18 or older, who have met certain requirements and have not been able to obtain or keep employment. WIOA requires that participants secure any available funding sources before WIOA funds are used, including federal Pell Grants. In these cases, claimants are still in WIOA authorized training even when the training is not WIOA funded, as long as the training is authorized by a WIOA representative and the claimant is enrolled in the WIOA system.
When WIOA funds are used, Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) are established to finance training based upon the individual’s choice of selected training programs. Training providers who are eligible to receive ITAs are listed on the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). The ITAs may be used for various types of training needs, including:
- Occupational skills training, including training for non-traditional employment
- On-the-job training
- Programs that combine workplace training with related instruction, which may include cooperative education programs
- Training programs operated by the private sector
- Skill upgrading and retraining
- Entrepreneurial training
- Adult education and literacy activities
For CTB eligibility determination purposes, verification of WIOA authorized training is made with the designated WIOA representative provided by the claimant. The WIOA contact is generally a case manager, a career coach, or any One-Stop Center program representative who has first-hand knowledge that the claimant is either:
- Enrolled in WIOA and attending training that is funded through an ITA or a special federal grant program, or
- The claimant is receiving WIOA supportive services (e.g., transportation costs, attendance monitoring, etc.).
Because it is a federal program, claimants with California claims attending WIOA authorized training may be eligible for CTB regardless of where they reside, attend training, or intend to seek work after training is completed.
- Employment Training Panel (ETP) – Section 1269(a)
The Employment Training Panel is a business and labor supported state agency that funds job skills training to maintain high performance workplaces. The program is funded by the Employment Training tax paid by California employers. In turn, ETP provides funds to California businesses to support the following training programs:
- New Hire: Programs to train current UI recipients and/or those who have exhausted benefits within the previous 24 months.
- Retraining: Programs to train current employees of companies facing out-of-state competition or who need training due to changes in technology, job requirements, or other business conditions.
- Special employment training: Programs for frontline workers (production workers who earn at least the state’s average hourly wage), workers in high unemployment areas, small business owners, as well as programs for workers with barriers to full-time employment such as those with physical or mental disabilities, communication barriers, or lack of vocational skills.
The ETP additionally funds training to support workforce development in the state’s emerging green economy.
Referrals to ETP sponsored training are made through unions, Internet, employers, and general advertising. Claimants who enroll with an ETP approved training provider must be “pre-certified” by the ETP as being a UI recipient or exhaustee in order for a training contract to be written and the training contractor to receive reimbursement for the cost of training. The training facility must request and be certified by ETP in order to be an approved training contractor. As a condition of an ETP contract, the participant must be placed in paid, on-the-job training for a minimum of 90 days following the successful completion of classroom training.
For CTB eligibility determination purposes, verification of a claimant’s enrollment in ETP program is provided by the ETP coordinator at the training facility.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) – Section 1269(b)
The TAA program was established under the federal Trade Act of 1974 to help American workers who lose jobs as a result of increased imports or a shift in production to foreign countries. The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) administers TAA in cooperation with state agencies. The USDOL issues a certificate of eligibility to trade affected workers who are eligible to apply for TAA services. An individual may receive TAA services even if no UI claim is filed.
The TAA program assists workers to regain satisfactory employment through the use of a full range of employment services and, if needed, provides classroom and/or on-the-job training, job search, and relocation allowances. Eligible UI claimants may receive weekly trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) when all other UI and extended benefits are exhausted and the claimants are attending TAA approved training or have a waiver from training while trying to find employment. Claimants receiving TRA benefits may also be eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit program.
In California, the TAA program is administered by the Department’s Workforce Services Branch (WSB) and services are provided locally throughout the State by WSB TAA Program Specialists. The TRA claims and payments processing are provided centrally at a designated UI office.
If a trade affected worker chooses to pursue retraining, the worker must:
- Be TAA certified.
- File and be eligible for UI benefits.
- Meet with WSB TAA specialist to develop and sign a training plan, which is based on nine federal criteria.
- Meet all training enrollment deadlines and monetary limits.
- Enroll in approved training.
For CTB eligibility determination purposes, verification of TAA authorized training is provided directly to UI staff at the designated UI office by the TAA specialist. Because it is a federal program, claimants with California claims attending TAA authorized training may be eligible for CTB regardless of where they reside, attend training, or intend to seek work after training is completed.
- California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) – Section 1269(c)
CalWORKs is a state program administered by the Department of Social Services that gives cash aid and services to eligible California families. The program is operated locally by county welfare departments. One of the programs under CalWORKs is the Welfare to Work (WTW) program, which is designed to assist welfare recipients to obtain or prepare for employment. Unless exempt, CalWORKs recipients are required to participate in WTW activities as a condition of receiving aid. The UI claimant who is a participant in the CalWORKs program enters into a contract with the county welfare department to participate in an education or training program.
For CTB eligibility determination purposes, verification of CalWORKs authorized training is made with the CalWORKs eligibility worker or authorized program representative provided by the claimant.
- Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) – Section 1269(d)
The ETPL is a statewide list of certified and approved training programs and providers (that WIOA participants can use to find training that will qualify for an ITA). The list is compiled and maintained under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act by the Department’s WSB. Each training provider and program submits an application to a local Workforce Investment Board for certification, which, if approved, is forwarded to WSB for updating to the ETPL.
When a claimant is attending self-arranged training and it is verified that both the training program and the provider are on the California Eligible Training Provider List at the time of the determination, then the claimant is eligible for CTB.
For the CTB eligibility determination purposes, verification of enrollment in ETPL training is made with the designated training provider on the ETPL. When training cannot be verified as meeting the ETPL condition because the training program and the provider do not match what is on the ETPL, then the CTB eligibility must be determined under the self-arranged conditions of Section 1269.1.
- Journey-Level Union Member (JLUM) – Section 1269(e)
A journey-level union member or master union member is a fully certificated member of a labor union, whereas an apprentice union member is in the process of learning the trade through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. In order to maintain current certification with the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), a journey-level union member must recertify every three years.
A claimant, who is a journey-level union member, and is verified as attending training that is approved by his/her union and is needed due to technical advancement, industry demands, or to become more competitive in obtaining employment, is considered CTB eligible while in training. The claimant must be in good standing with his/her union, which means that union dues are current and the journey-level union member is eligible for union dispatch to available work.
For the CTB eligibility determination purposes, verification of enrollment in union approved training for a journey-level union member is made with an authorized union representative provided by the claimant. However, if the training provider is not affiliated with the union, verification must also be made with a representative of the training facility to confirm the start of training. When training cannot be verified as meeting the JLUM conditions because the training program is not approved by the union, then the CTB eligibility must be determined under the self-arranged conditions of Section 1269.1.
D. Self-Arranged Training Conditions for CTB Eligibility – Section 1269.1
Section 1269.1 of the CUIC provides that if the training is not authorized under Section 1269, a determination of CTB eligibility shall be issued to a claimant if all of the conditions of this section are met.
The subdivisions of 1269.1 provide the specific conditions for potential CTB eligibility of self-arranged training. Only when all of the conditions specified in subdivisions 1269.1(a) through 1269.1(h) of this CUIC category are met and the claimant is otherwise eligible for UI benefits can the claimant be determined eligible for CTB. The following section of this guide provides a discussion of the policies related to each of the eight 1269.1 subdivisions and the conditions that claimants must meet.
Claimants who do not meet all of the CTB eligibility conditions for self-arranged training must be issued a disqualification under each subdivision of 1269.1 using all of the appropriate Reason for Decision(s).
- Length or Reason for Unemployment – Section 1269.1(a)
The claimant must be unemployed or partially unemployed for four or more continuous weeks or must be unemployed due to a plant closure, a substantial reduction in work force, a mental or physical disability preventing the use of existing job skills, or technological changes in their occupation.
When counting four or more continuous weeks, begin with the Sunday following the week in which the claimant last worked full-time (per CUIC Section 1252) to the Sunday of the week in which training began. If the claimant never worked full-time, this condition has been met.
If the claimant has not been unemployed or partially unemployed for four or more continuous weeks, the claimant may still meet the conditions for this subdivision if the following waiver criterion is met and the claimant is unlikely to return to his or her most recent workplace for one of the following reasons:
- Company closure.
- Substantial reduction in employment at that workplace.
- Work opportunities in the claimant’s job classification are impaired because of advancement in technological improvements, or by the effects of automation and relocation on the economy.
- Physical or mental disability that prohibits the claimant from utilizing existing occupational skills.
- Lack of Demand for Existing Skills – Section 1269.1(b)
This subdivision provides that one of the substantial causes of the claimant’s unemployment must be a lack of sufficient current demand in California’s labor market for the occupational skills for which the claimant is fitted by training and experience or current physical or mental capacity, and that the lack of employment opportunities is expected to continue for an extended period of time. If the claimant’s occupation is seasonal and the demand varies in the labor market and the claimant has no other skill for which there is current demand, then the claimant is considered to lack job skills which are in demand during the off-season.
To determine whether or not an occupation is in demand, UI staff should refer to the Department’s Labor Market Information Division’s link, http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov.
Need for Refresher Training: Claimants who attend training to update or refresh their existing skills may be found eligible for CTB when the training for additional or new skills are necessary to compete with other job applicants in the same occupation. Due to continuing technological changes in virtually all occupations, many workers need to update job skills.
If the claimant needs to update job skills in order to compete in the labor market, and there is still a demand for available jobs in the occupational field for which the claimant has experience, the interviewer must look at the claimant’s skills and current labor market conditions when determining if retraining is appropriate. For example, workers in declining industries or those in specialized military or federal occupations may need training to gain more competitive skills in other industries.
The requirement that all of these conditions of self-arranged training must be satisfied was discussed in Precedent Benefit Decision, P-B-109, issued on July 5, 1971. In this case, the claimant last worked as a teletype operator. The company for which she worked went through a reorganization which resulted in the elimination of her job. The claimant believed that her occupation as teletype operator was a vanishing occupation and decided to retrain herself as a computer programmer. She had a secondary skill as a general clerk, but did not like that type of work. In holding the claimant ineligible for retraining benefits, the Board stated:
Before an individual can be found potentially eligible for benefits during a period of retraining, all the conditions imposed by Section 1269 of the code must be satisfied. … It must be shown that reasonable employment opportunities for which the unemployed individual is fitted by training and experience do not exist or have substantially diminished in the labor market in this state in which he is claiming benefits. … The claimant’s occupation as a teletype operator is in balance. There has not been a substantial reduction of jobs in the claimant’s labor market. At the present time the claimant is ineligible for retraining benefits under the provisions of sections 1266 and 1269 of the code.
The Board cited the following Attorney General’s opinion in its decision:
“It should be noted, however, that if reasonable employment opportunities do exist for which an unemployed individual is fitted by training or experience, he would not be eligible for retraining either in a course relating to an entirely new skill or trade or in a course relating to advanced techniques in his present skill or trade. In such a situation, the only purpose for retraining would be to increase the individual’s skills, probably for the purpose of securing better paid employment. This would be beyond the scope and purpose of the statute.”
The Board went on to find the claimant ineligible under Section 1253(c) of the Code because her availability was substantially reduced by her daytime school attendance.
Change of Occupation by Personal Choice: Claimants who have a choice of working or pursuing training to improve their prospects for higher wages or for other non-compelling personal reasons would not be determined eligible unless there is a lack of demand for his or her existing job skills.
- Demand for Training Occupation in California – Section 1269.1(c)
The training or retraining course of instruction must relate to an occupation or skill for which there are, or are expected to be in the immediate future, reasonable employment opportunities in the labor market area in California in which the claimant intends to seek work and there is not a substantial surplus of workers with requisite skills in the occupation in that area.
Reasonable employment opportunities means the existence of an active labor market area for a worker that offers fair wage scales commensurate with a worker’s skill set and experience.
Since the intent of the CTB Program is to enhance training opportunities for workers in the California labor force whose ability to compete for jobs is impaired, the area where the worker intends to seek and accept work after training is a key component of determining eligibility. If the claimant who has a California claim attends training outside of California, CTB eligibility may be considered when all the following apply:
- The claimant maintains residency or intends to return to California.
- The claimant has reasonable employment opportunities in California for the training occupation.
- The claimant credibly intends to return to California to seek work when the training is completed.
In order to determine the claimant’s credibility about his/her willingness to rejoin the California workforce, refer to the Fact-finding Guide at the end of MI 85 for appropriate determination interview questions.
If a request for CTB program approval is received from a claimant who has a UI claim against a state other than California (interstate claimant), refer the claimant to the agent state liable for the regular UI claim.
If a claimant is not found eligible under this subdivision during periods when federal extended benefits are in effect in California, the conditions of eligibility are expanded by subdivision 1269.1(h)(1) to include pre-requisite and remedial training. Refer to the Extended CTB Eligibility During Periods When Federal Extended Benefits Are in Effect in California – Section 1269.1(h)(1) section of this guide for a complete discussion.
- Approvable Training Program and Completed within Timeframes – Section 1269.1(d)
There are two components to this subdivision and both must be met to satisfy the condition of 1269.1(d):
- The training is one approved by the Director, which the Department interprets to mean the training is provided by an accredited or bona fide educational institution, which are discussed in more detail in this section.
- The training can be completed within a reasonable period of time, which the Department interprets to be two years or less when no federal extended benefits are in effect in California. The reasonable period of time to complete training is expanded to be four years or less when federal extended benefits are in effect in California. When federal extended benefits are in effect, the conditions of subdivision 1269.1(h)(1) are triggered, expanding approvable training to include preparatory, certificated, and credentialed programs.
Accredited and Bona Fide Training Institutions and Programs
In order to meet the component of this subdivision for training that is approved by the Director, the training must be with a bona fide training provider, which may be accredited by the State and which offers a program which provides vocational skills or pre-requisite academic or educational skills. Accreditation involves both non-governmental entities as well as state governmental agencies. Accrediting agencies develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency’s evaluation and that meet the agency’s criteria are then “accredited” by the agency.
The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) does not accredit institutions or programs, but it is required to maintain a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the federal government determines to be reliable authorities. USDOE also recognizes State agencies for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education. Its searchable database of postsecondary institutions and programs accredited by various non-governmental accrediting agencies or state approval agencies can be viewed online at http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/.
In addition to accredited institutions, the Department considers the types of facilities or programs in the following list to be approvable by the director:
Approved, bona fide training facilities include:
- All public schools (including community colleges)
- Regional Occupation Programs (ROPs)
- Adult education programs
- Facilities approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). To find if a training institution has BPPE approval, visit https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/.
Approvable training programs may include:
- Employer sponsored industry-oriented training which teaches fundamental skills for a particular occupation basic to all employers in that field, as long as no employer-employee relationship exists. For example, school bus driver training offered by XYZ Unified School District may be approvable since the claimant must first pass a California school bus driving test before being hired in that capacity by any employer. However, even though general cash register skills are common in the retail industry, retail clerk training for Macy’s may not be approvable since the training is specific to that employer.
- WIOA, ETP, CalWORKs, and TAA job search workshops if attendance is part of the training program.
- Courses at private educational facilities which prepare claimants for licensing examinations, such as Real Estate, California Bar, or the State Contractors licenses.
The following types of providers and programs are generally not approvable under subdivision 1269.1(d):
- Community recreation programs.
- Job search workshops not approved and part of WIOA, ETP, CalWORKs, or TAA authorized training.
- Any on-the-job training (OJT) program where an employer-employee relationship exists.
- Full-time Training Program – Section 1269.1(e)
The training or retraining program must be full-time and prescribed for the primary purpose of training the applicant in skills that will allow him or her to obtain employment in a demand occupation.
“Full-time course” is considered 12 semester/quarter units during the regular school year. Most colleges consider six semester/quarter units to be full-time for summer school. For training where the college unit system is not used, twenty hours per week has been established as the minimum number of hours in order to be considered as a “full-time” course. If the training is less than 20 hours per week, but the training provider considers the claimant to be attending “full-time” for purposes of the particular training program, then the training meets the requirements of a “full-time”course.
- Successful Completion of Training – Section 1269.1(f)
The claimant must be reasonably expected to complete the training successfully. The Department interprets this to mean that claimants must have the aptitude to complete the training as well as be able to provide for their continued financial support while in training if UI benefits run out before the end of the approved period of training. With the potential for training to be approved that will not be completed for up to two years during normal economic times and up to four years when extended benefits are in effect, claimants will likely exhaust their benefit entitlement well before the training ends. Claimants must be provided with an estimate of when their UI, TE or extended benefits will run out. If the benefits will not cover the entire period of training then the claimant must provide the Department with a credible statement regarding plans for financial support and successful completion of training to satisfy the conditions of this subdivision. Only if the claimant attests that he or she would need to drop out of the training program before successfully completing the training would the claimant be disqualified.
- Prior CTB Training Three Year Interval Restriction – Section 1269.1(g)
The beginning date of any current self-arranged training must be more than three years after the beginning date of any prior CTB approved training, if any, to satisfy the condition of this subdivision. This restriction applies regardless if the last CTB approved training was WIOA, ETP, TAA, CalWORKs, ETPL, JLUM or self-arranged.
This condition does not apply when the current training meets any of the Section 1269 conditions for automatic CTB approval.
- Expanded CTB Eligibility During Periods When Federal Extended Benefits Are in Effect in California – Section 1269.1(h)(1)
Effective on or after July 1, 2011, the following expanded CTB eligibility conditions for self-arranged training go into effect whenever the claimant cannot meet the conditions of Section 1269.1(c), and federal extended benefits are available in California, regardless of whether the claimant is entitled to receive the extended benefits.
When reasonable employment opportunities in California for the training occupation where the claimant intends to seek work are limited, the claimant must be enrolled in a community college or other accredited postsecondary education program for the purpose of preparing him or her in academic or job skills, including remedial training, that will increase employment opportunities or that will lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate designed for a specific occupation. Refer to the discussion on License/Credential Programs in the Additional Policies Related to Self-Arranged Training section of this guide.
Remedial training is training that is designed to correct deficiencies in a worker’s skill set that have had the effect of reducing the worker’s labor market.
Under this subdivision, the type of approvable training may solely be of a remedial nature (GED, ESL, etc.) as long as the basic education would be preparatory for a vocationally-specific training component. Because of the duration of “reasonable period of time” for approvable training of up to four years (instead of two years) when federal extended benefits are in effect, basic and preparatory education can be completed before beginning vocational training. Typically, a claimant will not have sufficient UI funds to cover training lasting up to four years and, as a result, may not meet the provisions of subdivision 1269.1(f) even if found eligible under this subdivision.
Other accredited postsecondary education program refers to a level of education which is provided at academies, universities, colleges, seminaries, institutes of technology, and certain other collegiate-level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools, and career colleges, that award academic degrees or professional certifications.
For a listing of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs, refer to the USDOE searchable database at https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/.
For an alphabetical listing of all California Community Colleges, refer to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Website at http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/maps/alphaList.asp.
If a claimant is found CTB eligible under this subdivision and federal extended benefits end in California sometime after approval, the claimant remains CTB eligible until the end of the approved period of training as long as the claimant is still attending the same training program and remains otherwise eligible for UI.
E. Additional Policies Related to Self-Arranged Training
- Instructional Delivery Methods
Programs delivered through various distance learning technologies are generally approvable for CTB, provided training verification is obtained directly with the provider.
Distance education means education that uses one or more of the technologies listed below to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor.
- The internet
- One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communication devices
- Audio conferencing
Correspondence education is defined as education through one or more courses by an institution under which the institution provides instructional materials, by mail or electronic transmission, including examinations on the materials, to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and the student is limited, not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student. Correspondence courses are typically self-paced, not considered distance education, and generally are not approvable for CTB.
Workshops or seminars are generally courses of short-term duration which focus on one topic or skill. Workshops or seminars may be offered by bona fide institutions, professional organizations, or non-educational entities. Since these courses are not job-skill oriented, they generally are not approvable under CTB.
- Degree Programs
If the goal of the training is to obtain a degree from a community college or other accredited postsecondary education program, the degree must provide a training occupation. A number of industry-recognized credential or certificate programs are coupled with Associates of Arts or Sciences degrees and may be approvable for CTB purposes.
Claimants with advanced degrees and managerial and technical expertise may require retraining to compete in their prior or a new occupation. Eligibility for CTB must be based on the applicant’s occupational skills and need for training or retraining, not his or her level of academic achievement. Expanded eligibility under subdivision 1269.1(h) must also be considered when federal extended benefits are in effect for degree programs that lead to certificated or credentialed occupations with reasonable employment opportunities.
- License/Credential Programs
Courses in licensed or certificate occupations, such as cosmetology and licensed vocational nursing (LVN), may be approved only if there is not an existing labor market demand for the claimant’s existing occupation and skills, there is a reasonable demand for workers in the licensed or credentialed program, and the course can be completed in less than two years or within four years if federal extended benefits are in effect in California. Training in occupations that are customarily commission or self-employment, such as cosmetology or barbering, does not preclude approval of the training program as long as a demand exists for the occupation and the claimant is willing to seek and accept salaried employment after training is completed.
Teaching and nursing are examples of occupations that require a college degree combined with additional courses for a credential or board approval. Training in these occupations may be approved if:
- The additional training for credential or board certification approval can be completed within the defined reasonable time, based on the availability of federal extended benefits.
- The claimant has no other skills which are currently in demand.
- There are reasonable opportunities in the California labor market where the claimant intends to seek work.
- General Education Development (GED) and English as Second Language (ESL) Classes
If a claimant needs basic education, GED, or ESL training in addition to vocational training, both components may be authorized under CTB. If the applicant is taking only ESL or basic education and federal extended benefits are in effect at the time of determination, the training would meet the CTB approval conditions. Refer to the Expanded CTB Eligibility During Periods When Federal Extended Benefits in Effect in California – Section 1269.1(h)(1) section of this guide.
- Internships, Externships, and On-the-Job Training
There are some training programs, often in health-related professions, where an internship or externship is required to complete the program. When an internship or externship is a required part of the overall training program, the time must be included when determining the beginning and ending dates of training. The provisions of subdivision 1269.1(d) for completing training in the defined reasonable period of time must still be satisfied to meet the condition for CTB eligibility.
Internship or externship by itself may be approved providing an employer-employee relationship does not exist and the claimant is currently, or has recently completed the required classroom training and meets all other CTB eligibility conditions. Some examples include:
- A claimant has completed all required classroom pharmacy technician instruction but must also successfully complete a three month externship in order to obtain a certificate for the training program. As long as the entire pharmacy technician training program can be completed within the designated reasonable period of time, the self-arranged training can be approved for CTB.
- A claimant holds a Bachelor’s degree and requests CTB approval for the additional year required for a California teaching credential, a training program which customarily includes both classroom instruction and student teaching. As long as the credential program can be completed within two years, if there are no federal extended benefits, or within four years, if federal extended benefits are in effect, the claimant may be approved for CTB. The mentoring teacher may certify satisfactory progress on the Continued Claim (DE 4581) form if the claimant is not able to obtain a signature from his own instructor.
On-the-job training (OJT) is generally not approved for CTB because the claimant is usually fully employed within the meaning of Section 1252 of the Code.
- Department of Rehabilitation Referrals
Claimants referred to training by the Department of Rehabilitation must meet all the self-arranged conditions of 1269.1, unless the training is also authorized under WIOA, ETP, TAA, or CalWORKs, or meets the eligibility conditions for ETPL or JLUM.
In addition to determining CTB eligibility under the subdivisions of 1269.1, it may also be necessary to contact the Department of Rehabilitation counselor or case worker to determine:
- If an employer-employee relationship exists, if the training is on employer premises.
- If the claimant is receiving Vocational Rehabilitation Maintenance Allowance (VRMA) from a Workers’ Compensation case.
- The date vocational training actually started.
- The date of training inquiry with the Department of Rehabilitation which may be used as the CTB inquiry date for determining TE eligibility.
The claimant is not eligible for CTB during Department of Rehabilitation’s eligibility evaluation and occupational planning. However, the claimant may be eligible for regular UI benefits if all regular UI eligibility requirements are met. If the claimant is in receipt of VRMA through Workers’ Compensation, it must be determined that deductible income does not disqualify the claimant for UI.
F. Redeterminations and Base Period Employers
Precedent Tax Decision 488 (P-T 488), issued on August 25, 1999, found that base period employers of CTB eligible claimants are entitled to timely notice of the maximum amount of potential benefits charges, including TE benefits. To avoid paying extra benefits charges, base period employers also have the right to protest the claimants’ eligibility for CTB. When the claimant’s first notice of CTB eligibility decision is generated on a claim, a Notice of Training Extension, DE 1545TE, is generated to all base period employers. If any base period employer responds within 15 days of the mail date on the DE 1545TE and questions a claimant’s eligibility for CTB, a reconsidered determination of eligibility of both the CTB and the TE may be conducted.
Only claimants who were found eligible for self-arranged training are subject to a CTB redetermination of eligibility. A claimant attending self-arranged training may have their CTB eligibility reversed if a base period employer provides a timely response with sufficient evidence that shows that claimant does not meet any of the conditions of Section 1269.1. Otherwise, the employer who submitted the timely protest to the DE 1545TE must be issued a decision affirming CTB eligibility.
Before a redetermination is conducted, it must be determined if the Department’s 20-day reconsideration period has lapsed. CUIC Section 1332(2)(b) provides that the Department cannot reverse any determination if the reversal would be unfavorable to the claimant after the 20-day reconsideration period has passed since the initial determination. If the 20-day reconsideration period has passed and the employer’s response to the DE 1545TE is timely, the employer is entitled to a redetermination affirming the claimant’s CTB eligibility. The redetermination should also include the claimant’s original TE eligibility decision.
VI. TRAINING EXTENSION (TE) ELIGIBILITY
A TE is a type of claim which allows payment of benefits beyond the regular claim if a claimant is continuing in CTB approved training and meets the initial TE eligibility conditions. Initial TE eligibility is determined at the same time as the initial CTB eligibility. When the TE eligible claimant exhausts all UI and extended benefit entitlement and requests to file or reopen a TE claim, monetary eligibility must be determined. When federal extended benefits are in effect, TE benefits are replaced by federal extended benefits.
A. Overview of TE Eligibility Statute – Section 1271
CUIC Section 1271 requires the Department to notify every applicant of the opportunity to receive training benefits. This requirement is satisfied by the written material in the UI Handbook provided to all UI claimants and the EDD Web site and publications. Subdivision 1271(a) provides that, as the condition of eligibility for a TE claim, the claimant must inquire about CTB or training or report the start of training no later than receiving the 16th week of regular UI benefits. If the claim duration is less than 16 weeks, the inquiry must be made by the claimant before receiving the last week of benefits. Subdivision 1271(b) provides for a maximum amount of benefits that can be paid on a TE claim and the prior benefit payments and prior claim awards that must be used to reduce the maximum TE award.
There are two pre-eligibility conditions that must be met before determining initial TE eligibility under the timely inquiry provisions of 1271(a):
- The claimant must be eligible for CTB.
- The start date of training must be before the BYE date of the controlling parent claim on which CTB is approved.
If these conditions are not met, the claimant must be TE disqualified regardless if a timely inquiry about CTB or training is made.
B. Initial TE Eligibility Determination – Section 1271(a)
If the TE pre-eligibility conditions are satisfied, then the claimant must meet the initial TE eligibility condition that the claimant must have inquired about CTB or training or started training before the 16th week of UI benefits is received. If the claimant has a UI claim of less than 16 weeks, he or she must apply for CTB before UI benefits are exhausted or the claim is expired.
In determining TE eligibility, the receipt of 16 weeks of paid UI benefits is computed on the most recent valid regular UI claim (including Special Claim types) on which CTB was approved. Unpaid weeks such as waiting period (WP), false statement penalty (FS), excessive earnings (XE), or fixed disqualifications such as suitable work (SW) are not counted toward the 16 week calculation. The paid weeks do not have to be consecutive payment.
Precedent Benefit Decision, P-B-466, issued October 3, 1989, specifically defined the 16-week period. In this case the claimant established a valid claim effective June 5. She did not receive UI benefits during her waiting period week, June 11. She did receive UI benefits for thirteen consecutive weeks, after which she returned to work for seven weeks. She reopened her claim and was paid benefits for one week, the week ending November 5. During the two-week period ending November 26, she again worked. She reopened her claim and was paid benefits for the next sixteen weeks beginning week ending November 26 through March 11.
Although the claimant had received a pamphlet regarding CTB benefits and had been given verbal advice regarding the existence of the CTB program, she did not apply for CTB until February 22. The Department held the claimant ineligible on the basis that she had applied after the 16th week of receiving UI benefits. The Board stated:
The Department would begin counting the 16 weeks from the claim date, including the waiting week, and continue for the next 15 weeks without regard to whether the claimant is receiving benefits. The deadline, as determined by the department, would have been the week ending September 17th.
The administrative law judge, in finding good cause for the claimant’s delay in this case, would in effect find that a sixteen-week period starts with each new or reopened claim. The administrative law judge would have found that the claimant had until the week ending March 11 … to file her TE claim.
The Board did not agree with either position. In its decision the Board held:
“There is no “good cause” provision in the statute at issue. In our opinion, had the legislature intended that consideration be given to a claimant for inability to comply with the sixteen-week deadline, it would have included such language within the statute. In the absence of such language, we cannot presume that such a standard should exist…
We believe the language of the statute is clear. The claimant must apply for TE “no later than the sixteenth week of his or her receiving these benefits” (emphasis added). A recipient would not “receive” benefits during his waiting week. A recipient would not “receive” benefits where he or she was employed and ineligible for benefits… We conclude then, that the sixteen-week period includes only those weeks during which the claimant is actually receiving benefits.
In the instant case, the first week for which the claimant received benefits was the week ending June 18. She received benefits for 13 consecutive weeks through the week ending September 10. The fourteenth week of her receipt of benefits was the week ending November 5. The claimant reopened her claim effective November 20. She received benefits continuously until the date of the hearing. The weeks ending November 26, and December 3, were the 15th and 16th weeks of her receiving benefits. As the claimant did not file her application for TE until February 22, 1989, she is not eligible for extended benefits under Section 1271(a) of the Code.”
Thus, the Board held that (1) the waiting period cannot be considered a week of “receiving” benefits, (2) the sixteen week period need not be consecutive weeks of receiving UI benefits, and (3) there is no good cause provision in the statute for untimely application for TE.
If the claimant fails to make a timely inquiry or report the start date of training with UI, and the claimant is attending WIOA, ETP, TAA, CalWORKs or a Department of Rehabilitation authorized training, the TE eligibility condition can still be met if the claimant made a timely inquiry or application for service with the respective entity. The inquiry application date must be verified with the authorized program representative and have occurred prior to the receipt of the 16th week of UI benefits or before the last payment is received on a claim of less than 16 weeks.
Because CTB and training is discussed at workshops provided by the Workforce Services Branch, claimants who attend one of the following mandatory workshops prior to the receipt of the 16th week of benefits or before the last payment is received on a claim of less than 16 weeks, the TE eligibility condition of 1271(a) is also satisfied:
- Personalized Job Search Assistance (PJSA)
- Initial Assistance Workshop (IAW)
- Re-employment Eligibility Services Assessment (RESEA)
After all attempts have been made to find that the claimant meets the 1271(a) condition, the claimant must be issued a TE disqualification decision using the appropriate Reason for Decision (RD) on the same notice as the CTB eligibility decision.
C. TE Monetary Entitlement – Section 1271(b)
A claimant still attending CTB approved training, who exhausts all other UI or extended benefit entitlement and was originally found potentially TE eligible, may not be monetarily eligible to file a TE claim or continue to receive all of the TE benefits when the maximum TE amount is reached or exceeded. This monetary eligibility limitation exists regardless of the ending date of the approved period of CTB training. Claimants who are not monetarily eligible to receive TE benefits must be issued the DE 1080TE and if a balance remains on the TE claim, the claim must be flagged to prevent further payment.
The TE monetary award defined in subdivision 1271(b) of the UI Code provides that eligible claimants may receive a TE award of up to 52 times the weekly benefit amount (WBA) of the parent UI claim, reduced by the maximum benefit amount (MBA) of the parent regular UI claim and any subsequent regular UI claim, and the actual amounts already paid on the TE claim. In addition, subdivision 1271(d)(3) provides that “benefits payable under any federal unemployment compensation law shall be included as benefits payable under this section”. The Department interprets this to mean that designated amounts of any extended benefits the claimant has received also reduce the maximum TE amount. The designated amount used to reduce the TE is based on whether the extended benefit claim(s) and the TE claim share the same controlling parent claim.
For the purposes of CTB eligibility, the parent claim is the current or most recent valid regular UI claim in existence at the time CTB is approved and the claim on which the CTB determination is entered. The TE claim must be filed against the same parent claim that CTB was approved.
When extended benefit claims are also filed against the same parent claim on which CTB was approved, because extended benefit claims supersede and replace TE benefits, all the amounts paid on the extended benefit claim(s) are used to reduce the TE award. In this scenario, if the claimant has been receiving a combination of regular UI and extended benefits in excess of 52 weeks, the TE award should be zero (0) when the TE is filed.
When extended benefit claims are filed against a parent claim different than the one on which CTB was approved, because extended benefit claims supersede and replace TE benefits, only the actual amounts paid on the extended benefit claim(s) during the period of approved training are used to reduce the TE award. In this scenario, the claimant may be entitled to file a new TE claim, or reopen an existing TE claim, and collect TE benefits until the maximum TE award limit is reached.
VII. CTB ELIGIBILITY WHILE IN TRAINING AND TRAINING BENEFIT ISSUES (TB)
A. Policies for Breaks in Training – Section 1267
Section 1267 of the CUIC provides in part: “The claimant is considered to be in training or retraining during regularly scheduled vacation or recess periods, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays, or semester breaks, but not during a summer vacation period.”
The Code does not define the summer vacation period in terms of months or days. Therefore, the Department has adopted a literal interpretation of what constitutes a “summer vacation period”. Any break exceeding three weeks during the months of June, July, and August may be considered to be a summer vacation period. NOTE: The break must be a “scheduled” break. A claimant who has “dropped out” of training for a period of time would not meet the above criteria.
A claimant who is in a recess break of even five or six weeks (for example, between fall and winter semesters), and who is attending training immediately before and after the dates of the recess break, would still be considered to be “in approved training” for those weeks (provided the recess break is not for the “summer vacation period”). This also applies to recess breaks between sessions of “year-round” schools (provided the recess break is not during the summer vacation period). No school signature is required on the Continued Claim (DE 4581) form for certifications during these recess periods, but the claimant must indicate the dates of the recess break in Section C of the Continued Claim form.
A claimant who is in a scheduled recess break OR a summer vacation period of three weeks or less, and who is attending training immediately before and after the dates of the recess break or summer vacation period, is still considered to be “in approved training” for those weeks. The claimant must indicate the dates of the break in Section C of the Continued Claim form.
During periods in which the claimant is not considered to be “in approved training”, he or she must meet the customary availability, seek work, and suitable work requirements of the UI Code. If the claimant is collecting on TE claim, he or she is not eligible for benefits until the approved training resumes following the summer vacation period. A definite TB disqualification must be issued under 1267 to deny TE benefits during the summer recess. The claimant may reopen the TE claim when training resumes if otherwise eligible for TE.
B. Multiple Training Programs During the Benefit Year
The claimant may be found CTB eligible for multiple and separate periods during the benefit year of the parent claim and any extended benefit claims only if the claimant is eligible for CTB under the conditions of 1269 for the automatic pre-approved training types and is otherwise eligible for UI. However, only one TE claim can be filed on a parent claim.
Claimants who are in self-arranged training are subject to the three year restriction provided by subdivision 1269.1(g), which is discussed in Prior CTB Training Three Year Interval Restriction – Section 1269.1(g) of this guide and CTB would be denied accordingly.
C. Claimant No Longer Attending Training
TE benefits are payable only while the claimant is in CTB training. If the claimant successfully completes training or drops training, no further TE benefits may be paid. This includes situations where the training provider has the participant in a job search program after the classroom or onsite training has been completed.
If the claimant is receiving TE benefits and is no longer in training regardless of the reason, a definite TB disqualification using the appropriate RD under Section 1267 must be issued to prevent any further TE payments. In addition, an overpayment may be establish, if appropriate.
Claimants who complete or drop training while on a regular UI or extended benefit claim must resume an active search for work and meet AA and SW eligibility requirements. It is appropriate to issue an indefinite TB disqualification, under Section 1267, to inform the claimant that his/her CTB approved period of training has ended and that to remain eligible for benefits he/she must meet AA, ESW and SW requirements. In addition, the TB disqualification flag must be inactivated to allow continued benefit payments.
D. Changes in the Provider or Type of Training During the Period of CTB Approved Training
A TB eligibility issue exists when a CTB eligible claimant who is participating in an approved period of training subsequently provides information that the training provider or type of training has changed.
Generally, good cause exists for changes in training providers when the claimant has no alternative. Some examples of compelling reasons for changing a training provider are that the provider cancels or drops the approved training program or the provider goes out of business. Any change in the training provider is allowed when the change is approved by the authorized program representative for claimants attending training under the WIOA, ETP, TAA or CalWORKs programs or by the union in the case of JLUM. A Notice of Redetermination would need to be issued to the claimant with any changes.
Any changes in training made by a claimant originally approved under the ETPL conditions must be considered as a new request for CTB eligibility. If either the new provider or the training program is not on the ETPL, the claimant must meet one of the other conditions for pre-approved CTB eligibility under Section 1269 or all the conditions for self-arranged training under Section 1269.1. A Notice of Determination would need to be issued to the claimant with the appropriate eligibility decision.
If a claimant in CTB approved training make any changes to the training program that effectively changes the training occupation, it must also be considered as a new request for CTB eligibility. The new training program would also be subject to meeting all the CTB eligibility conditions under Section 1269 or Section 1269.1.
E. Training Certifications and Attendance – Section 1272.5
Section 1272.5 requires that any claimant, who is determined eligible for CTB and able to work, submit a certification on the Continued Claim form from a responsible person connected with the training program who can confirm that the claimant made satisfactory progress and had satisfactory attendance during that period. CTB eligible claimants who are in training authorized by WIOA, ETP, TAA or CalWORKs may get the certification from their program representative.
Failure to submit a certification during a period of approved CTB training may result in a definite disqualification under Section 1272.5, unless the training provider or authorized program representative can be contacted to verify the progress and attendance requirement. Claimants in recess or break periods, who cannot obtain a signed certification, must instead provide the dates of the recess or break period in place of the certification.
Absence from training for temporary illness or other reasons customarily excused by the training facility is not disqualifying as long as the absence is approved by the training facility and does not affect the claimant’s progress in the training. If an absence is not approved by the training facility, the claimant would be subject to a TB disqualification benefits for the entire week under Section 1272.5.
Unable to Attend Training Less than Seven Days: If a claimant reports on his/her continued claim form that he/she was unable to work due to sickness or injury during the entire week (seven days) claimed, the claimant is subject to a definite or indefinite Able and Available (AA) disqualification under the provisions of Section 1253(c), whether or not the school has excused the absence. However, a claimant who reports that he or she was too sick or injured to have worked during a week for six days or less is not subject to a benefit reduction (BR) under Section 1253.5. A claimant attending CTB approved training is either eligible for the entire week or disqualified, since the UI Code does not provide for benefit reductions (BR) under the CTB program.
F. Quitting Work with Good Cause – Section 1267
Section 1267 provides that benefits shall not be denied to a claimant for leaving his/her most recent work under Section 1256, if continuing that work would require the claimant to terminate his or her training or retraining course of instruction. This provision applies only after the claimant is attending CTB approved training. If the CTB eligible claimant obtains work during a summer break, and continuing to work when the training resumes would interfere with his or her successful completion of the training program, and all attempts were made to change the working conditions (e.g., days and hours) to continue in training, the voluntary leaving of the job would be with good cause (refer to Benefit Determination Guide, Volume Voluntary Quit, Chapter 40).
For a discussion of a quit to enter training, refer to California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Section 1257-5, and to the Benefit Determination Guide, Voluntary Quit volume.
G. Requests for Extensions of Previously Approved Training
- CTB approved training under Self-Arranged conditions of Section 1269.1:
As provided by subdivision 1269.1(d), CTB approved self-arranged training period must not exceed 24 months from the date the claimant is approved for CTB, including breaks and summer vacation, if federal extended benefits are not in effect in California. If federal extended benefits are in effect, the self-arranged training period must not exceed 48 months. For example, if the CTB approval date is July 1, the training program must end by June 30th, of the year after the following year. The two or four-year limit is computed on a 24 or 48 consecutive month basis including any recess breaks and the summer sessions.
When a claimant requests to extend the end date of the originally approved training program period, it must be determined if the reason the claimant did not complete the training in the approved time constitutes good cause. This would include factors such as illness, personal problems, or other factors affecting the trainee’s progress or attendance.
Generally, if the claimant did not claim benefits during a period of absence and this makes it necessary to extend the training period, the request may be granted providing it does not exceed the two-year limit for self-arranged training when federal extended benefits are not in effect, or the four-year limit for self-arranged training when federal extended benefits are in effect. The following facts should be considered when a claimant requests to extend his or her training:
- What is the claimant’s progress in training? If the claimant is unable to complete the course on schedule, is it due to lack of effort (or other reasons within the claimant’s control)? If so, deny the extension. If not, grant the extension of training needed up to two years from the date of original CTB approval if federal extended benefits are not in effect, or up to four years from the date of original CTB approval is federal extended benefits are in effect.
- Is the claimant still completing coursework requirements (including on-line instruction) or has the training provider placed the claimant in job search? If the claimant is not receiving program-specific training or associated on-site instruction, the request cannot be granted.
If the training extension request is for “good cause” and can be approved, then it is appropriate to issue a Notice of Redetermination, DE 1080, with the revised dates of the entire training program. If it is determined that there is no good cause to extend the training or it exceeds the training time restriction, it is appropriate to issue an indefinite TB disqualification under Section 1267, using the appropriate RD depending on whether the claimant is currently collecting on a regular or extended benefit claim, or on a TE claim.
IMPORTANT: Whenever an extension of the training is approved, the claimant must be advised that although the extension of the training end date has been granted, no additional money has been added to the UI claim and the claimant must still be able to successfully complete the training. Therefore, unless the claimant qualifies for a subsequent claim, UI benefits may not be available to complete the training.
- CTB approved training under pre-approved conditions of Section 1269.
As provided by subdivision 1269, CTB approved training under Section 1269 only has the condition that the training is authorized by a designated federal state program or meets the conditions of ETPL or JLUM. Therefore, there is no restriction to the length of approved training. However, the UI benefit entitlement may end before training is completed.