599 is a section of Unemployment Insurance Law that allows unemployment recipients the opportunity to enroll in an approved training course and still receive their unemployment benefit. This section also allows those individuals who are enrolled in an approved training course to not have to actively look for work. When additional money is available, those who are approved under Section 599 may be able to receive extended unemployment benefits (up to a maximum of 26 weeks).
Approved training opportunities must consist of the following:
Meet a minimum of 12 classroom hours or 12 credit hours per week
Able to complete in 2 years (24 months) or less
Be in a field of study where there are (anticipated) openings
Is provided by a proven and reliable training facility
The 599 application is only available through Working Solutions Offices, CNY Works, or CDO Workforce. Supporting documentation of a student’s enrollment in a training program is required by the training provider. The Adult Learner Services Office staff will assist students with this paperwork and provide them with the necessary documentation to process their claim. Once the 599 paperwork has been submitted, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive a decision.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
There are two provisions under the workforce investment act that dislocated workers may fall under. The first is a scholarship fund available to those who are unemployed or underemployed, who are enrolled in a training program, and show financial need. The second provision is for those establishments who apply for Trade Act funding for the workforce they lay off.
This scholarship is provided to dislocated workers or underemployed individuals for the sole purpose of assisting them with obtaining skills necessary for re-entry into the workforce. A person’s training program cannot exceed 24 months and must be in a field of study in which there is a reasonable expectation of obtaining a job upon completion. Individual counties set the maximum award for this scholarship however; a majority of them do not exceed $2,000. Scholarship applications can be obtained at Working Solutions Offices, CNY Works, or CDO Workforce.
Trade Act Adjustment (TAA)
Employees who are laid off due to their employer shipping jobs across the U.S. border and overseas may be entitled to have their training costs completely covered through Trade Act. Employers must apply for trade act funding for their former employees and once approved each person affected by the layoff must apply to use the funds. There are several rules and regulations regarding Trade Act funding and training opportunities. If someone becomes eligible for this funding it is best to discuss their training needs with specialists within the Working Solutions, CNY Works, or CDO Workforce Offices.