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Training/599 Program: Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the 599 Training Program?

The 599 Training Program is a provision in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Law that makes it possible for UI recipients to receive benefits while they attend a training course or program that has been approved by the Department of Labor. Under this provision, UI recipients are excused from the requirement to look for work, and they may be eligible for additional weeks of benefits when funding is available. This program does not provide for payment of tuition or other school-related expenses.

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What are the standards for approving an individual for career and related training?

In order for an individual to be approved under Section 599, the individual must have the required qualifications and aptitudes to complete the course or training successfully. In addition, certain eligibility requirements must be met regarding the course or training. These eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to, the following basic requirements. The training must:

  • Consist of a minimum of either 12 registered credit hours in each semester or at least 12 classroom hours each week;
  • Be completed within 24 months of approval;
  • Meet the minimum or standard education requirements to qualify for work in the specific occupational goal and;
  • Improve one’s ability to obtain more regular, long-term employment in the state or local labor market.

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How do I apply for the 599 Program?

You should submit a 599 application to the Department of Labor as soon as you are accepted into a school or training program. If you indicate at the time you file your claim that you are already enrolled in, or have been accepted into, a course of study or training program, you should submit your training application immediately to the Department of Labor at the address provided on the application. You may request an application or obtain general information by contacting the 599 Central Review Unit at (518) 402-0189.

If you are interested in attending training and have not yet enrolled, you should contact your local New York State Career Center as soon as possible. Trained counselors at the Career Centers will assist you with your training needs and provide information about training programs in your area. To find the nearest Career Center, please view the online Career Center locator.

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What happens when there is a delay in notifying the Department of Labor about training and attendance?

You must apply for training approval within the first 13 weeks of your claim in order to receive the maximum benefits. A delay in notifying the Department of Labor about your training attendance may result in a reduction of any additional benefits that may be available to you. In addition, failure to disclose attendance in training while receiving benefits may result in penalties and forfeiture of future benefits.

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If I am still in training when my regular benefits end, can I receive additional unemployment benefits?

If you are still attending your approved 599 training when you exhaust your UI benefits, you may be eligible to receive up to 26 weeks of additional unemployment benefits under Section 599.2. However, since funding for these additional benefits is not always available, approval of your training does not guarantee that you will receive any additional benefits or that they will continue until your training is completed.

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When do funds become available to pay 599.2 additional benefits?

At the beginning of each program year, on July 1, the Department of Labor establishes the priority for the payment of 599.2 benefits. Such priority is determined based on the date that your training was approved by the Department of Labor. (This is your approval date.) The payment of these additional benefits may begin as of the date funds become available for your approval date and your eligibility for these funds is determined.

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Where do I find my 599 training approval date?

The training approval date is the date your training was approved by the Department of Labor. If you received a notice informing you that you were approved for training under Section 599 of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law, your approval date appears under the heading “Important Information.”

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What is a waiting list for 599.2 funds?

Pursuant to Section 599.2 of the Unemployment Insurance Law, no more than $20 million of benefits per year shall be made available for payments to claimants participating in 599-approved training. Once these funds are exhausted, the Department of Labor establishes a waiting list based on training approval dates. There is currently a waiting list for 599.2 funds.

There is no “waiting list number” to identify your place on the waiting list. Your place on the list depends on several factors. These include your training approval date, the number of UI recipients with the same approval date, and the availability of 599.2 funds. These factors vary and are subject to change.

For example, some claimants who were approved for the 599 program may be terminated for various reasons, such as not attending approved training. The 599.2 benefits that were committed to them may become available to others, which will change the waiting list.

The training approval date is the date your training was approved by the Department of Labor. If you received a notice informing you that you were approved for training under Section 599 of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law, your approval date appears under the heading “Important Information.”

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What is the earliest approval date for which 599.2 funds are currently available?

The earliest approval date for which 599.2 funds are available is 8/6/14.

If your 599 training approval date is later than the approval date for which 599.2 funds are available, this means that 599.2 funds are not currently available for you, and you have been placed on the waiting list for 599.2 funds.

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What should I do when I am on the waiting list for the 599.2 funds?

If you are on a waiting list for 599.2 funds, this means that you have exhausted your unemployment insurance benefits and you are potentially eligible for 599.2 additional benefits. While you are on the waiting list, you will not be able to certify for benefits. When 599.2 funds become available for your approval date, you will be mailed a 599.2 eligibility questionnaire. This questionnaire will be used to determine your eligibility for 599.2 additional benefits. It is important that you provide a complete and timely response. A failure to return the questionnaire in a timely manner will result in a decision being made based only the information available to the Department of Labor at that time, which could adversely impact your eligibility for these benefits. The completed questionnaire must be returned, along with a copy of your transcript, within 14 days of the mail date. If it is determined that you are eligible for these additional benefits, benefits will be paid to you as of the date funds became available. No retroactive payments will be made. If you complete your training before funds become available, you will not be paid any additional benefits.

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