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Impact of the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment Initiative (Poe-Yamagata et al. 2011)

Citation

Poe-Yamagata, E., Benus, J., Bill, N., Carrington, H., Michaelides, M., & Shen, T. (2011). Impact of the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment Initiative. Columbia, MD: IMPAQ International. [Idaho sample]

Highlights

  • This study’s objective was to assess the effectiveness of the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) Initiative in Idaho, a program that provided eligibility and reemployment case management services to Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants, on duration and amount of UI benefits receipt.
  • The study randomly assigned 18,156 eligible claimants to either the treatment group, which was eligible for REA services, or the control group, which was not offered REA services. Within the treatment group, claimants were randomly assigned either to receive a letter requiring them to enter work search activities into an online system, or to receive both the letter and an in-person interview. Data for the analysis comes from UI administrative records.
  • The study found statistically significant reductions in weeks of UI benefits receipt, total amount of UI benefits received, total number of weeks receiving UI benefits, and the probability of benefits exhaustion for the treatment group.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it is based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the REA initiative, and not to other factors.

Intervention Examined

Reemployment Eligibility Assessment

Features of the Intervention

Since its inception in 2005, 40 states have implemented the REA initiative to encourage rapid reemployment of UI claimants through a combination of in-person eligibility reviews and employment-focused case management. As part of the initiative in Idaho, UI claimants were required to submit their job search activities into an online database so program staff could track and monitor these activities. A portion of those offered REA services also participated in an in-person reemployment interview.

To be eligible for REA, claimants had to have received one week of benefits under a new UI claim, have filed for at least four weeks of benefits, not be due to exhaust claim within four weeks, not previously have been selected for REA or participated in other reemployment services, and not be residually attached to an employer.

Features of the Study

From July to December 2009, 18,156 eligible UI claimants were randomly assigned to either a treatment group, which was offered services through the REA initiative, or a control group, which was not offered REA services. Those in the treatment group were required to fill in an online questionnaire. Then, those who completed the questionnaire were randomly assigned to receive either an online letter explaining REA (75 percent) or both the online letter and an in-person REA interview (25 percent). The authors analyzed all treatment group members together, regardless of whether they participated in the REA interview.

The authors analyzed administrative data on UI benefits receipt from enrollment until December 2010 (four quarters of data for each claimant). For UI benefits receipt, the authors examined regular UI and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), which was also in effect during the period of study. The authors used a regression model to estimate the impacts of the REA program on various UI benefits receipt outcomes. The regression models controlled for gender, race, ethnicity, education, age, occupation group, citizenship, veterans’ status, disability status, maximum UI benefits amount, number of weeks eligible for UI, prior wages, the One-Stop Career Center (now American Job Center) in which the claimant filed his or her claim, and the date of the claim.

Findings

Public benefits receipt

  • REA group members had a lower probability of exhausting their regular UI benefits than the control group (3.2 percentage points). This result was statistically significant.
  • REA group members were 3.1 percentage points less likely to receive EUC than the control group. This result was statistically significant.
  • On average, REA group members spent fewer weeks on UI, with an average reduction of 1.14 weeks on any form of UI, than the control group. Treatment group members reduced their time on regular UI by 0.45 weeks and on EUC by 0.7 weeks. This result was statistically significant.
  • On average, REA participants received $262 less in total UI benefits—$97 less in regular UI and $165 less in EUC—than the control group. This result was statistically significant.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

All claimants randomized to the REA group, whether they ultimately received services or not, are considered treated units in all analyses. Thus, the analyses include the 20 percent of those assigned to the treatment group who did not complete the online questionnaire and thus had a stop placed on their UI claims. Of the remaining 80 percent, the analysis included those offered both the REA letter and the REA interview, and those offered only the REA letter.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it is based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the REA initiative, and not to other factors.

Reviewed by CLEAR

November 2014

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