8.2.2 Dislocated Worker Program
Effective date: September 23, 2019
Anyone interested in being considered for the WIOA Title I Dislocated Worker Program must be allowed to apply.1 All applicants must receive an eligibility determination.2 While WIOA is not an entitlement program,3 this only means that funding for WIOA programs is not unlimited. Local WDBs must offer services to all eligible applicants when funding is available.
Individuals are eligible for the WIOA Title I Dislocated Worker Program if they:
- are eligible to work in the United States; 4
- are registered with Selective Service (if applicable);5
- meet the requirements for at least one of the Dislocated Worker Categories outlined below.
Note: Participants who lose their authorization to work in the United States become ineligible for the WIOA Title I Dislocated Worker Program as of the date the authorization was lost.6
Note: If someone is required to register with the Selective Service, but has not, follow the "Failure to Register for Selective Service" procedure.
States and local WDBs may not add eligibility criteria, including, but not limited to, criteria related to income or county or state of residence.7
Any costs associated with providing WIOA Title I services to ineligible individuals may be disallowed.8
Dislocated Worker Categories
Dislocated worker status is fixed at the time of eligibility determination; therefore, individuals remain eligible for the WIOA Title I Dislocated Worker Program even if there are changes in the circumstances that were used as the basis to originally establish the status (e.g., the anticipated layoff or termination does not take place).
Category 1 – Individual or Small Group Layoff 9
The individual meets the following:
- has been terminated or laid off or has received a notice of termination or layoff, because of a layoff of 24 or fewer workers from a physical employment site or from a virtual business;10
- is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation;
- is eligible for or has exhausted unemployment payments stemming from the termination or layoff used for program eligibility (see Note, below);
has been employed long enough to demonstrate attachment to the workforce, but is not eligible for unemployment payments because earnings were not sufficient to qualify or the job the individual was laid off from was not covered under state unemployment compensation law.
- Note: An individual who has received notice of termination or layoff meets the requirement in (c) to be eligible for unemployment payments if s/he has filed an initial claim application and been approved.11 In Wisconsin, workers cannot lose their right to collect unemployment payments,12 via a severance agreement or any other method.
Category 2 – Permanent Closure or Mass Layoff 13
The individual meets one of the following:
- has been terminated or laid off, or has received a notice of termination or layoff, because of a permanent closure of any size or a mass layoff from a physical employment site or from a virtual business; 14
- works at a physical employment site or for a virtual business where the employer has made a general announcement that the employment site will permanently close or the virtual business will end all operations within 180 days;
- works at a physical employment site or for a virtual business where the employer has made a general announcement that the employment site will permanently close or the virtual business will end all operations, either in more than 180 days or with no date given. In this case, the individual may receive only basic career services until s/he receives a specific date of termination from the employer or until the closure is scheduled to occur within 180 days.
Note: If an individual has received written notice from the employer of an anticipated layoff date, even if that date is more than 180 days in the future or is subject to change, s/he is eligible for the full range of WIOA services (i.e., basic and individualized career services, training services, and supportive services). A layoff notice filed with DWD-DET is an acceptable notice of termination as required in (a), if an anticipated layoff date (or dates) is provided.
Category 3 – Separating or Separated Members of the U.S. Armed Forces 15
The individual is separating or has separated from the U.S. Armed Forces with a discharge that is anything other than dishonorable AND has received a DD-214 or other documentation (e.g., separation orders) showing separation or imminent separation.
Note: It is appropriate to provide services to imminently separating service members, if their discharge is expected to be anything other than dishonorable. Separating service members are required to participate in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to ensure they are prepared for civilian employment. During the TAP program, separating service members and their spouses are encouraged to contact job centers. 16
Category 4 – Self-employed 17
The individual was self-employed (includes employment as a farmer, rancher, fisher, or independent contractor or consultant), but has become unemployed because of general economic conditions or because of a natural disaster.
Category 5 – Displaced Homemaker 18
The individual has been doing unpaid work in the home and meets one of the following:
- has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by that income (e.g., because the other family member was laid off, or because of death or divorce)
is unemployed or underemployed and is having trouble either obtaining or upgrading employment;
- is the dependent spouse of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty whose family income has been significantly reduced because of the service member's deployment, call or order to active duty, permanent change of station, or service-connected death or disability
is unemployed or underemployed and is having trouble either obtaining or upgrading employment.
Category 6 – Military Spouse 19
The spouse of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty who meets one of the following:
- has lost employment as the direct result of relocation to accommodate a permanent change in the service member's duty station;
- is unemployed or underemployed and having trouble either obtaining or upgrading employment.
- 1 WIOA Sec. 188(a)(2) and (5); 20 CFR § 680.110(c); 29 CFR part 38
- 2 29 CFR §§ 38.4, 38.5, 38.6(b) and (d), & 38.41 combine to require that applicants must not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, citizenship, or participation in any WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity. An "applicant" is an individual who is interested in being considered for WIOA Title I assistance. To ensure that discrimination does not occur, recipients of WIOA funding must maintain records on the race/ethnicity, sex, age, and disability status of every applicant. See also WIOA Sec. 188(a); 20 CFR § 683.285; and 81 FR 56113.
- 3 WIOA Sec. 194(12); 81 FR 56124
- 4 WIOA Sec. 188(a)(5); TEGL 02-14, p. 2
- 5 WIOA Sec. 189(h); 50 USC App. 453
- 6 WIOA Sec. 188(a)(5); 20 CFR § 683.285(a)(5); TEGL 02-14, p. 2. Career planners must keep expiration dates of work authorization documents in mind when scheduling services. If a participant's authorization to work in the U.S. will expire before the planned close date for a service, the participant should renew his or her work authorization before beginning the service. If that is not possible, services must be scheduled so that they can be completed before the work authorization expires.
- 7 81 FR 56220; Email from DOL to DWD-DET, 4/25/2017
- 8 TEGL 11-11, Change 2, p. 4
- 9 WIOA Sec. 3(15)(A); 20 CFR § 680.130
- 10 See footnote 15.
- 11 Eligibility for unemployment payments is complex and only the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program can determine if someone can receive payments. Dislocated workers may file initial claims even if they are receiving severance pay or believe they are not eligible for unemployment payments. Dislocated workers should keep in mind that the timing of the initial UI claim will determine their base period and could affect the total benefit amount they can receive. The date of the initial UI claim will also affect the start and end dates of the benefit year. Dislocated workers should contact UI for help with any questions. https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/handbook/english/contentspart5.htm#base_period
- 12 Wisconsin Statute § 108.12 (2017)
- 13 WIOA Sec. 3(15)(B); 20 CFR § 680.130
- 14 WIOA Sec. 3(15)(B)(i); 20 CFR § 680.130; 20 CFR § 682.305
- 15 20 CFR § 680.660
- 16 WIOA Final Rule Fact Sheet Veterans and Spouses
- 17 WIOA Sec. 3(15)(C)
- 18 WIOA Sec. 3(15)(D) and 3(16)
- 19 WIOA Sec. 3(15)(E)