H.R. 5861 would broaden eligibility for reemployment services and eligibility assessments (RESEAs) that are carried out by the Department of Labor (DOL). Current law requires states to provide services to claimants who are likely to exhaust unemployment compensation, but states have broad flexibility in how they determine whether a claimant is likely to exhaust benefits. Beginning in 2019, annual appropriation acts have allowed states to conduct RESEAs for all unemployment claimants without determining that they are likely to exhaust benefits; H.R. 5861 would permanently allow states this flexibility. In 2023, appropriations for RESEAs totaled $375 million.
CBO expects that under H.R. 5861, states would continue to provide reemployment services to people they believe are likely to exhaust unemployment insurance benefits to meet DOL’s requirements for participant outcomes. Using information from DOL, CBO expects that implementing H.R. 5861 would not significantly change the number of people who receive reemployment services and eligibility assessments or the cost of those services. On that basis, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5861 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2024-2028 period; any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.