Learn About Priority Reemployment Benefits

The Priority Reemployment Planning Program provides extra assistance to select Reemployment Assistance (RA) claimants reentering the workforce.

Those eligible for priority reemployment benefits in are unemployed workers who are likely to have more difficulty getting back to work at their original jobs or related fields.

Priority reemployment programs select unemployment insurance claimants who need additional help finding and maintain jobs due to various reasons.

Select information about priority reemployment assistance programs in is available below:

  • priority reemployment programs
  • Eligibility for priority reemployment benefits
  • What to expect in priority reemployment assistance programs

Priority Reemployment Programs

The establishment of many priority reemployment assistance programs occurred after Congress enacted the Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1993. The Priority Reemployment Planning Program (PREP) is’s answer to that legislation.

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) administers priority reemployment benefits in and set the criteria to determine eligibility to enroll.

PREP is part of the DEO’s mission to reemploy residents collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI).

Any unemployment claimants likely to have extra trouble obtaining employment receive special assistance. These unemployed workers are eligible for priority reemployment benefits.

Eligibility for the Priority Reemployment Planning Program is based on information provided by claimants about how they lost their job, whether or not they expect to be able to return to the same position and what other types of skills they have that might qualify them for other positions.

Priority reemployment programs help to match unemployment claimants with potential employers based on skill and education assessments, as well as other forms of worker profiling.

Learn How to Qualify for Priority Reemployment Benefits

Enrollment in the Priority Reemployment Planning Program in is a requirement for unemployment claimants identified as eligible. Officials of priority reemployment programs notify individuals via mail.

This initial Priority Reemployment Planning Program notice informs recipients of a mandatory appointment at the nearest career center, where they will begin the process of finding a job based on their current skills or learning new skills to help them advance in today’s workforce.

UI beneficiaries who do not attend will lose unemployment compensation.

Priority reemployment assistance programs rely heavily on worker profiling. Worker profiling is a process by which each unemployment claimant fills out information relevant to their ability to work. The information provided categorizes workers according to how likely or unlikely they are to be able to return to their previous position.

For instance, workers experiencing a temporarily lay off may be able to return to work with limited assistance from the DEO, whereas former service members collecting UI benefits after military discharge may be entering the civilian employment field for the first time.

These candidates would benefit from priority reemployment benefits in much more than other unemployment insurance recipients.

There are also many other reasons why certain workers may need to find new jobs, or even enter into entirely new fields of work.

Workers experiencing a reduction in hours due to the Short-time Compensations Program are not usually eligible for the Priority Reemployment Planning Program.

It is up to the DEO to pinpoint those particular unemployment claimants and help them launch new careers.

What to Expect in Priority Reemployment Assistance Programs

At that initial meeting, unemployment insurance claimants learn about priority reemployment assistance programs and what reemployment services are available to them, such as classes, seminars and assistance from individual caseworkers.

While some Priority Reemployment Planning Program services may be option, others are mandatory and unemployment claimants may lose their benefits for lack of participation.

As part of the priority reemployment programs, each unemployment claimant must also fill out a written self-assessment of skills and education, typically directly after the conclusion of the orientation meeting. DEO or local career center staff are always on hand to assist unemployment claimants with filling out the form.

Information required on the assessment form includes such things as previous education and employment as well as vocational skills. All of that information helps Priority Reemployment Planning Program career center staff to help match unemployment claimants with suitable job openings.

Another part of the Priority Reemployment Planning Program assessment form is to point out potential stumbling blocks to the career center staff.

If a claimant is not suitable for types of work based on their assessment form answers, PREP employees can direct the claimant down other employment paths.

Likewise, if a claimant incurred a permanent disability, he or she may be eligible for other government assistance programs.