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Demand that Congress #FIXUI

This pandemic has exposed the failure of our unemployment insurance (UI) system. Benefits are too low for workers and their families to survive. Unemployment agencies operate with different rules in each state. Neglected and underfunded, these state agencies have bungled claims, delaying or denying lifesaving payments to millions of people. Only 28% of unemployed workers receive UI benefits, and Black and brown people are disproportionately excluded. 
Since the pandemic began, the broken UI system has forced millions of people into poverty and homelessness. Meanwhile, billionaires have increased their wealth by 44%.
Sign our petition to demand that Congress build a new unemployment system that supports working families during tough times.


We demand:

Replace the inefficient and unequal system of different rules in each state with one fair federal UI system
  • End racial and geographic inequality by creating one fair formula for benefits and financing UI through a federal tax.
  • Replace our patchwork of UI programs with one modernized national application system that is easily accessible through multiple technologies and languages. 
Give workers a voice in creating a user-friendly UI system that pays claims on time
  • Fix the barriers to timely payment, including employer incentives to fight our claims, inefficient documentation requirements, and error-plagued fraud detection software; and pay claims while appeals are pending.
  • Give workers a voice through a permanent oversight board to advise the Department of Labor, with seats reserved for people who have recently relied on UI benefits.
  • Include unions and worker centers as partners in helping workers apply for UI, find jobs, retrain for new opportunities, and boost benefits.
Pay benefits that working people can survive on
  • Replace 70% of earnings for the average worker and 85% of earnings for low-wage workers, with a minimum national benefit of $250. 
  • Ensure benefits last at least 30 weeks and automatically extend during economic crises, without requiring Congress and the President to act.
  • Increase benefits for workers supporting family members, and during recessions.
  • Don’t punish people for working part-time while job-searching; ensure that part-time wages and benefits combined can reach 110% of pre-layoff wages. 
Make UI available to everyone looking for work
  • 1099 workers
  • Immigrant workers
  • Low-wage workers, part-time workers, seasonal and temporary workers
  • Jobseekers without recent work history because they were full-time students, unpaid caregivers, or incarcerated before looking for work
  • People who quit for good reasons, including standing up for their rights or leaving abusive workplaces
  • People who are forced to leave their jobs to put family first, including caregivers and people who must relocate due to a spouse’s job.