Press Release: Government Testimony on D.C.’s Unemployment Insurance System Rescheduled

At the request of the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES), the D.C. Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development has agreed to reschedule the government’s appearance to deliver testimony and answer questions on the District’s unemployment insurance programs to Wednesday, September 30 at 3 p.m. Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Director of the Department of Employment Services, had been scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s (Wednesday, September 16) oversight hearing.

Government Testimony on DC’s Unemployment Insurance System Rescheduled for September 30, 2020

D.C. Council’s Labor Committee announces monthly roundtables on unemployment through end of year

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2020 At the request of the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES), the D.C. Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development has agreed to reschedule the government’s appearance to deliver testimony and answer questions on the District’s unemployment insurance programs to Wednesday, September 30 at 3 p.m. Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Director of the Department of Employment Services, had been scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s (Wednesday, September 16) oversight hearing.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                          

CONTACT:
Reana Kovalcik (Council)
(202)727-1135
Rkovalcik@dccouncil.us
  

Government Testimony on DC’s Unemployment Insurance System Rescheduled for September 30, 2020

D.C. Council’s Labor Committee announces monthly roundtables on unemployment through end of year

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2020 At the request of the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES), the D.C. Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development has agreed to reschedule the government’s appearance to deliver testimony and answer questions on the District’s unemployment insurance programs to Wednesday, September 30 at 3 p.m. Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Director of the Department of Employment Services, had been scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s (Wednesday, September 16) oversight hearing.

Morris-Hughes requested the change from tomorrow’s hearing due to extenuating circumstances. The initial hearing date of September 16 had been agreed upon by the agency and scheduled in late July.

Public witness testimony will still take place tomorrow and will be streamed at dccouncil.us/council-videos and shown to D.C. cable subscribers on Channel 13. There are 46 witnesses who have signed up in advance to testify live. Workers, business owners, and other members of the public can submit testimony until September 30, 2020 to labor@dccouncil.us. Claimants and businesses can also fill out this short survey to tell the Committee about their experiences.

The Committee is also announcing the scheduling of monthly roundtables on unemployment assistance in October, November, and December. Those dates will be announced soon.

DOES runs several wage-replacement programs, including D.C.’s unemployment insurance program, federally-funded COVID programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and Shared Work. As of this week, more than 144,000 workers have filed for some type of unemployment assistance.

Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) issued the following statement in light of the rescheduling:

"Director Morris-Hughes made the request to reschedule due to challenging circumstances, and I agreed to find another time so the public can get answers. Many of the 144,000 workers who have filed for unemployment assistance have spent hours on the phone or hung up in frustration trying to figure out why they are not receiving payments. There are many unanswered questions about when retroactive pay will be assessed, when PUA claimants will receive full wage-replacement, and how and when to apply for the 13-week extension of benefits. I plan to use the hearing to get answers, as well as work with the agency to see where we can streamline processes and make unemployment more understandable, accessible, and easy to use.

I am still awaiting answers from questions the Committee submitted by writing to the agency. We need these answers to help educate the public and to improve the system. I look forward to tomorrow’s public witness testimony and plan to incorporate it into questions I will ask Director Morris-Hughes on September 30."

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