Senator Fought to Make Unemployment Assistance Available to Eligible High School Students, Says Recent Court Ruling is Great News

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/02/20]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) says a recent Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling allowing eligible high school students to receive coronavirus (COVID-19) unemployment assistance is welcome news, and she urges eligible students to apply before December 25.

Earlier this year, Sens. Smith and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced bicameral legislation with U.S. Representatives Angie Craig (MN-2), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Ilhan Omar (MN-5) and Betty McCollum (MN-4) to help high school students in Minnesota who have lost jobs due to the pandemic. 

“Minnesota high schoolers who lost jobs in the pandemic had been denied unemployment benefits they should have been eligible for—benefits I fought for,” said Sen. Smith. “The court ruling yesterday is great news because it fixes that. I commend the students and their advocates who have been persistent in working to get access to the relief Congress intended for them, even though their applications were initially denied. Now, it’s important for eligible Minnesotans to apply for unemployment relief by the December 25 deadline.”

You can access more information about Minnesota youth unemployment resources here

Sen. Smith’s bill, The High School Student Unemployment Eligibility Clarification Act, would clarify language in the next round of COVID-19 relief to overcome conflicts with state laws across the country and help make high school students eligible for unemployment compensation nationally if they meet the other unemployment rules applicable to adults.

The High School Student Unemployment Eligibility Clarification Act is supported by Bridgemakers, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, Center for School Change, Minnesota Alliance With Youth, Centro Tyrone Guzman, Minnesota Parent Union, Change Inc. Minnesota Youth Council, Children's Defense Fund, National Youth Leadership Council, Coalition of Asian American Leaders, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, Community Integration Center (CIC), Pillsbury United Communities, Courageous heARTS, Somali American Social Service Association, Early College Academy Brooklyn Center Community Schools, Sundance Family Foundation, East Side Neighborhood Services, Twin Cities Changemakers, FamilyWise, We IMPACT!, Great Expectations, West Central Initiative, High School for Recording Arts, Women’s March Minnesota, IMPACT LIVING Christian Center, World Savvy, Ka Joog, Youthprise and LISC Twin Cities.

You can access text of the bill here.

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