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Policy Analysis Unemployment Insurance Policy

1565 words - 7 pages

Debbie Nahom
Post University
Policy Analysis- Unemployment Insurance Policy


Historical Background
Unemployment benefits are in place to provide temporary funding to help individuals and families to survive during unemployment. The policy analysis model will be used to review all aspects of the policy, including historical origins, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as how the policy has succeeded or failed in reaching the goals it was created to achieve.
The origins of unemployment benefits date back to the 1700-1800s, when Switzerland and other European countries established voluntary benefits programs to aid those in need. Even the state of ...view middle of the document...

Local agencies were not equipped to handle the volume of need after the depression began (Trattner, 1994, p. 273)
Changes over time with this policy have been in response to changing times, technology, and reactions to those who might have taken advantage of benefits (dol.gov., 2010). For example, originally the timeframe for benefits was 16 weeks, and as of 2010, that had increased to 26 weeks, with provisions made for special circumstances such as economic downturns that might cause longer times of unemployment (dol.gov., 2010). Additionally, stricter rules, such as the number of states that require individuals to obtain new employment in order to re-qualify for benefits went from 12 states to all now all 50 states having this requirement (dol.gov., 2010).
Description of Problem
The Great Depression, caused by the crash of the stock market in 1929 (Trattner, 1994, p. 273) was the main factor in the need for the creation of the current unemployment insurance and benefits policy. The problem affected millions of people all over the United States and had become a problem of epidemic proportions. People lost their homes, their savings, and their jobs. Banks closed down permanently and farmers were forced to leave their lands (Trattner, 1994, p. 273).
Policy Description
The main purpose of the unemployment insurance program is to provide temporary assistance to those who are unemployed through no fault of their own, meaning they cannot be fired for insubordination or poor job performance or quit. Another aspect of unemployment that can disqualify a person is not being employed for a long enough period of time. (Nicholson & Needels, 2006). Benefits are in cash compensation, but some benefits do vary from state to state as well as how much compensation is offered, and for how long. Average benefits, as of 2004, were $262 paid weekly to recipients (Nicholson & Needels, 2006).
Based on personal experience, applying for unemployment is a relatively simple process that can be done electronically in most instances but can take some time to be implemented. Employers pay unemployment insurance and the benefits provided come from the previous employer, therefore employers have the right to contest benefits if the employee does not meet eligibility requirements (Packard, 1972).
At this point the policy should stand to be in existence indefinitely, although over time, based on changes in the economy and the government, changes can and likely will continue to happen to best suit the needs of administrators and recipients. Using the policy analysis model is an excellent way to determine effectiveness of the policy (Karger & Stoesz, 2014, p. 29).
Policy analysis, pros and cons
The goals of the current unemployment insurance policy, which is to provide those who are unemployed due to no fault of their own, with temporary funds to live on, are both legal and just. The policy clearly states the intentions and does not...

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