Lost work during quarantine not eligible for Vt. unemployment benefits

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 3:36 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermonters quarantining due to omicron are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Temporary unemployment benefits for those in quarantine ended last year. Some lawmakers are concerned that mass quarantines caused by the variant could place a financial burden on Vermonters who can’t go to work because of the virus.

Vermont Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington says vaccines and new CDC quarantining guidance have changed the labor picture from last year. “I think the question really becomes -- is the UI program or the UI trust fund the appropriate place for that, and I don’t think it is, personally, because it is a health separation and a health reason for not being able to work,” he said.

Harrington says the state is so far not seeing a large influx of claims. The unemployment rate is at pre-pandemic levels of 2.6% percent, but thousands have dropped out of the workforce altogether.

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