Rep. Ted Budd Proposes Back to Work Bonus Act

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Back to Work Bonus Act. 

The bill replaces Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits with back to work bonuses to incentivize American workers to return to work and aid in the economic recovery. The cost of the bonuses would be taken from already appropriated FPUC funding, creating a net-cost savings.

The legislation also strengthens work search requirements for remaining federal pandemic unemployment programs to make sure that people who can re-enter the workforce search for work.

The full text of the bill HERE.

Rep. Budd said in a statement:

“Our number one priority should be to get as many Americans back into the workforce as quickly as possible. I’m extremely concerned with the backwards incentive that has been created through enhanced federal unemployment benefits. We have a record number of job openings while the workforce remains small. This tells me that federal policy is incentivizing folks to stay out of the workforce. We should reverse that incentive through a Back to Work bonus. All of the good intentions and government spending in the world cannot replace the productivity and dignity of a job. I will continue to work to recreate the historic economic boom we saw before COVID.” 

Bill background:

The Back to Work Bonus Act would reverse incentives by rewarding Americans who go back to work. Any American who was qualifying for FPUC benefits on the date of the bill’s enactment would be eligible for a Back to Work Bonuses.

  • Upon certification from an individual’s new employer that a worker has been in the job for four weeks, formerly FPUC qualified Americans would receive a one-time $900 payment, which is equal to three weeks of current FPUC benefits. 

  • The Back to Work Bonuses would be available to any qualified American who gets a job before August 14, 2021, and would be retroactively applied to individuals who got jobs four weeks prior to enactment. 

  • The bill ends remaining FPUC payments on the date of enactment. 

  • The Back to Work Bonus program will be a net cost-saver since the one-time lump sum payment will be less expensive than continuing FPUC benefits through September 6, 2021.

The Back to Work Bonus Act would require individuals who want to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to actively search for work unless the person:

  • Has an active infection with COVID-19;
  • Receives an order from a physician to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19; or
  • Is actively caring for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who is either infected or is adhering to a physician ordered quarantine.

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