If you're currently receiving unemployment benefits in Washington State, and are interested in attending a local community / technical college to update your skills or to retrain for a new occupation, you'll definitely want to get your hands on a Training Benefits application. Why? Because you have to get permission to go to school from the Employment Security Department. Filling out a Training Benefits application is one way of doing just that.
We last discussed Training Benefits in an earlier post, wwwaaaaayyy back in 2010. Since the Employment Security Department recently updated the application, now seems like a great time to review the subject.
First, let's define our terms. When a person fills out a Training Benefits application, (s)he is asking the Employment Security Department for two things: Training Benefits (TB) and Commissioner Approved Training (CAT). This is why the application is sometimes casually referred to as a TB/CAT application.
As defined by the Employment Security Department, Training Benefits are "extra weeks of [unemployment] benefits after regular unemployment benefits and any federally funded programs have run out." More weeks of unemployment, in other words, designed to kick in on the backend, after regular benefits and federal extensions have been exhausted.
Commissioner Approved Training is exactly what it sounds like: Approval for Training, from the Commissioner of the Employment Security Department. Permission to go to school, in other words, as well as permission to suspend the job-search requirement that claimants typically adhere to.
The Training Benefits application, itself, is only nine pages long, but requires some work to complete because it asks for information about: your previous occupation; the degree or certificate program you intend to enroll in; future jobs you will be qualified to fill once you've finished the degree / certificate; as well as information about your current availability for work.
Have specific questions about Training Benefits or Commissioner Approved Training? Go to your local WorkSource employment center or call the Employment Security Department's Training Benefits hotline at 1-877-600-7701.