The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Subchapter 001 : General Benefits(Cite as: 21 V.S.A. § 1340a)
§ 1340a. Self-Employment Assistance Program
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Full-time basis” means that the individual is devoting the necessary time as determined by the Commissioner to establish a business that will serve as a full-time occupation for that individual.
(2) “Regular benefits” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 1421(5) of this title.
(3) “Self-employment assistance activities” means activities approved by the Commissioner in which an individual participates for the purpose of establishing a business and becoming self-employed, including entrepreneurial training, business counseling, and technical assistance.
(4) “Self-employment assistance allowance” means an allowance payable in lieu of regular benefits from the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund to an individual who meets the requirements of this section.
(5) “Self-Employment Assistance Program” means the program under which an individual who meets the requirements of subsection (d) of this section is eligible to receive an allowance in lieu of regular benefits for the purpose of assisting that individual in establishing a business and becoming self-employed.
(b) The weekly amount of the self-employment assistance allowance payable to an individual shall be equal to the weekly benefit amount for regular benefits otherwise payable pursuant to this title.
(c) The maximum amount of the self-employment assistance allowance paid pursuant to this section shall not exceed the maximum amount of benefits established pursuant to section 1340 of this title with respect to any benefit year.
(d)(1) An individual may receive a self-employment assistance allowance if that individual:
(A) is eligible to receive regular benefits or would be eligible to receive regular benefits except for the requirements described in subdivisions (2)(A) and (B) of this subsection (d);
(B) is identified by a worker profiling system as an individual likely to exhaust regular benefits;
(C) has received the approval of the Commissioner to participate in a program providing self-employment assistance activities;
(D) is engaged actively on a full-time basis in activities that may include training related to establishing a business and becoming self-employed; and
(E) has filed a weekly claim for the self-employment assistance allowance and provided the information the Commissioner requires.
(2) A self-employment allowance shall be payable to an individual at the same interval, on the same terms, and subject to the same conditions as regular benefits pursuant to this chapter, except:
(A) the requirements of section 1343 of this title, relating to availability for work, efforts to secure work, and refusal to accept work, are not applicable to the individual; and
(B)(i) the individual is not considered to be self-employed pursuant to subdivision 1301(24) of this title;
(ii) an individual who meets the requirements of this section shall be considered to be unemployed pursuant to section 1338 of this title; and
(iii) an individual who fails to participate in self-employment assistance activities or who fails to engage actively on a full-time basis in activities, including training, relating to the establishment of a business and becoming self-employed shall be disqualified from receiving an allowance for the week in which the failure occurs.
(e) The self-employment assistance allowance may be paid to up to 35 qualified individuals at any time, provided that the number of qualified individuals receiving a self-employment assistance allowance at any time shall not exceed five percent of the total number of individuals receiving regular benefits at that time.
(f)(1) The self-employment assistance allowance shall be charged to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.
(2) In the event that the self-employment assistance allowance cannot be charged to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, the allowance shall be charged in accordance with section 1325 of this title.
(g) The Commissioner may approve a program upon determining that it will provide self-employment assistance activities to qualified individuals.
(h)(1) The Commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this section.
(2) The rules adopted pursuant to this subsection shall include a detailed explanation of how an individual may apply for and establish eligibility for the Self-Employment Assistance Program and any criteria that the Commissioner will consider in determining whether to approve a program.
(i) The Commissioner may suspend the Self-Employment Assistance Program with approval of the Secretary of Administration and notice to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development and the Senate Committee on Finance in the event that the Program presents unintended adverse consequences to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.
(j) The Self-Employment Assistance Program may not result in any cost to the Unemployment Trust Fund in excess of the cost that would be incurred by the State and charged to the Fund if the Program were not in operation. (Added 2019, No. 85 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. Feb. 20, 2020.)