Our last entry covered section 682.340 and focused on other allowable Rapid Response activities and community transition teams. We now look at § 682.350 which defines “additional assistance” in the context of Rapid Response.
As always, let’s start with the text from the Regulation.
682.350 What is meant by “provision of additional assistance” in WIOA sec. 134(a)(2)(A)(ii)?
[A] State may reserve up to 25 percent of its allotted dislocated worker funds for rapid response activities. Once the State has reserved adequate funds for rapid response activities, such as those described in §§ 682.310, 682.320, and 682.330, any of the remaining funds reserved may be provided to local areas that experience increases of unemployment due to natural disasters, mass layoffs or other events, for provision of direct career services to participants if there are not adequate local funds available to assist the dislocated workers. States may wish to establish the policies or procedures governing the provision of additional assistance as described in § 682.340.
As noted in our discussion on required Rapid Response activities, while the provision of additional assistance is required under certain circumstances, as described in § 682.330(j) (and pending availability of funds for this purpose), the mechanisms by which such assistance may be provided are left to the discretion of the states. The regulation at § 682.350 does not include much in the way of specific requirements,
One area that the regulation does address, however, is what activities may be carried out with additional assistance funds—“direct career services to participants.” The regulations specifically identify “career services” as the allowable activity for additional assistance funds. This means that training services may not be paid for with additional assistance funds.
However, because supportive services would enable individuals to participate in career services funded with additional assistance, local areas may use additional assistance to provide supportive services, as long as an individual meets the other eligibility requirements for receiving supportive services.
While the types of activities allowable using additional assistance are somewhat limited, we encourage states to establish policies or procedures to address how and when such funds might be provided to local areas. Some states reserve funds at the beginning of each year to award for additional assistance for unforeseen events. Others may provide funds upon request from local areas. There are many approaches that could be possible and meet the needs of the state and local areas.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you developed policies that you would like to share with your peers?