Text: H.R.2594 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 104-251 (10/09/1996)

 
[104th Congress Public Law 251]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ251.104]

Public Law 104-251
104th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To amend the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act to reduce the waiting 
       period for benefits payable under that Act, and for other 
            purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 9, 1996 -  [H.R. 2594]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Railroad 
Unemployment Insurance Amendments Act of 1996.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Railroad Unemployment Insurance 
Amendments Act of 1996''. <<NOTE: 45 USC 367 note.>> 

SEC. 2. WAITING PERIOD FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

    Subparagraph (A) of section 2(a)(1) of the Railroad Unemployment 
Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 352(a)(1)(A)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(A) Payment of Unemployment Benefits.--
            ``(i) Generally.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
        subparagraph, benefits shall be payable to any qualified 
        employee for each day of unemployment in excess of 4 during any 
        registration period within a period of continuing unemployment.
            ``(ii) Waiting period for first registration period.-- 
        Benefits shall be payable to any qualified employee for each day 
        of unemployment in excess of 7 during that employee's first 
        registration period in a period of continuing unemployment if 
        such period of continuing unemployment is the employee's initial 
        period of continuing unemployment commencing in the benefit 
        year.
            ``(iii) Strikes.--
                    ``(I) Initial 14-day waiting period.--If the Board 
                finds that a qualified employee has a period of 
                continuing unemployment that includes days of 
                unemployment due to a stoppage of work because of a 
                strike in the establishment, premises, or enterprise at 
                which such employee was last employed, no benefits shall 
                be payable for such 
                employee's first 14 days of unemployment due to such 
                stoppage of work.
                    ``(II) Subsequent days of unemployment.--For 
                subsequent days of unemployment due to the same stoppage 
                of work, benefits shall be payable as provided in clause 
                (i) of this subparagraph.
                    ``(III) Subsequent periods of continuing 
                unemployment.--If such period of continuing unemployment 
                ends by reason of clause (v) but the stoppage of work 
                continues, the waiting period established in clause (ii) 
                shall apply to the employee's first registration period 
                in a new period of continuing unemployment based upon 
                the same stoppage of work.
            ``(iv) Definition of period of continuing unemployment.--
        Except as limited by clause (v), for the purposes of this 
        subparagraph, the term `period of continuing unemployment' 
        means--
                    ``(I) a single registration period that includes 
                more than 4 days of unemployment;
                    ``(II) a series of consecutive registration periods, 

                each of which includes more than 4 days of unemployment; 
                or
                    ``(III) a series of successive registration periods, 
                each of which includes more than 4 days of unemployment, 
                if each succeeding registration period begins within 15 
                days after the last day of the immediately preceding 
                registration period.
            ``(v) Special rule regarding end of period.--For purposes of 
        applying clause (ii), a period of continuing unemployment ends 
        when an employee exhausts rights to unemployment benefits under 
        subsection (c) of this section.
            ``(vi) Limit on amount of benefits.--No benefits shall be 
        payable to an otherwise eligible employee for any day of 
        unemployment in a registration period where the total amount of 
        the remuneration (as defined in section 1(j)) payable or 
        accruing to him for days within such registration period exceeds 
        the amount of the base year monthly compensation base. For 
        purposes of the preceding sentence, an employee's remuneration 
        shall be deemed to include the gross amount of any remuneration 
        that would have become payable to that employee but did not 
        become payable because that employee was not ready or willing to 
        perform suitable work available to that employee on any day 
        within such registration period.''.

SEC. 3. WAITING PERIOD FOR SICKNESS BENEFITS.

    Subparagraph (B) of section 2(a)(1) of the Railroad Unemployment 
Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 352(a)(1)(B)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(B) Payment of Sickness Benefits.--
            ``(i) Generally.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
        subparagraph, benefits shall be payable to any qualified 
        employee for each day of sickness after the 4th consecutive day 
        of sickness in a period of continuing sickness but excluding 4 
        days of sickness in any registration period in such period of 
        continuing sickness.
            ``(ii) Waiting period for first registration period.--
        Benefits shall be payable to any qualified employee for each day 
        of sickness in excess of 7 during that employee's first 
        registration period in a period of continuing sickness if such 
        period of continuing sickness is the employee's initial period 
        of continuing sickness commencing in the benefit year. For the 
        purposes of this clause, the first registration period in a 
        period of continuing sickness is that registration period that 
        first begins with 4 consecutive days of sickness and includes 
        more than 4 days of sickness.
            ``(iii) Definition of period of continuing sickness.--For 
        the purposes of this subparagraph, a period of continuing 
        sickness means--
                    ``(I) a period of consecutive days of sickness, 
                whether from 1 or more causes; or
                    ``(II) a period of successive days of sickness due 
                to a single cause without interruption of more than 90 
                consecutive days which are not days of sickness.
            ``(iv) Special rule regarding end of period.--For purposes 
        of applying clause (ii), a period of continuing sickness ends 
        when an employee exhausts rights to sickness benefits under 
        subsection (c) of this section.''.

SEC. 4. MAXIMUM DAILY BENEFIT RATE.

    Paragraph (3) of section 2(a) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance 
Act (45 U.S.C. 352(a)(3)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(3) The maximum daily benefit rate computed by the Board under 
section 12(r)(2) shall be the product of the monthly compensation base, 
as computed under section 1(i)(2) for the base year immediately 
preceding the beginning of the benefit year, multiplied by 5 percent. If 
the maximum daily benefit rate so computed is not a multiple of $1, it 
shall be rounded down to the nearest multiple of $1.''.

SEC. 5. MAXIMUM NUMBER OF DAYS FOR BENEFITS.

    (a) In General.--Subsection (c) of section 2 of the Railroad 
Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 352(c)) is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(c) Maximum Number of Days for Benefits.--
            ``(1) Normal benefits.--
                    ``(A) Generally.--The maximum number of days of 
                unemployment within a benefit year for which benefits 
                may be paid to an employee shall be 130, and the maximum 
                number of days of sickness within a benefit year for 
                which benefits may be paid to an employee shall be 130.
                    ``(B) Limitation.--The total amount of benefits that 
                may be paid to an employee for days of unemployment 
                within a benefit year shall in no case exceed the 
                employee's compensation in the base year; and the total 
                amount of benefits that may be paid to an employee for 
                days of sickness within a benefit year shall in no case 
                exceed the employee's compensation in the base year, 
                except that notwithstanding section 1(i), in determining 
                the employee's compensation in the base year for the 
                purpose of this sentence, any money remuneration paid to 
                the employee for services rendered as an employee shall 
                be taken into account that is not in excess of an amount 
                that bears the same ratio to $775 as the monthly 
                compensation base for that year as computed under 
                section 1(i) bears to $600.
            ``(2) Extended benefits.--
                    ``(A) Generally.--With respect to an employee who 
                has 10 or more years of service as defined in section 
                1(f) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974, who did not 
                voluntarily retire and (in a case involving exhaustion 
                of rights to normal benefits for days of unemployment) 
                did not 
                voluntarily leave work without good cause, and who had 
                current rights to normal benefits for days of 
                unemployment or days of sickness in a benefit year but 
                has exhausted such rights, the benefit year in which 
                such rights are exhausted shall be deemed not to be 
                ended until the last day of the extended benefit period 
                determined under this paragraph, and extended 
                unemployment benefits or extended sickness benefits 
                (depending on the type of normal benefit rights 
                exhausted) may be paid for not more than 65 days of 
                unemployment or 65 days of sickness within such extended 
                benefit period.
                    ``(B) Beginning date.--An employee's extended 
                benefit period shall begin on the employee's first day 
                of unemployment or first day of sickness, as the case 
                may be, following the day on which the employee exhausts 
                the employee's then current rights to normal benefits 
                for days of unemployment or days of sickness and shall 
                continue for 7 consecutive 14-day periods, each of which 
                shall constitute a registration period, but no such 
                extended benefit period shall extend beyond the 
                beginning of the first registration period in a benefit 
                year in which the employee is again qualified for 
                benefits in accordance with section 3 on the basis of 
                compensation earned after the first of such consecutive 
                14-day periods has begun.
                    ``(C) Termination when employee reaches age of 65.--
                Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, 
                an extended benefit period for sickness benefits shall 
                terminate on the day next preceding the date on which 
                the employee attains age 65, except that it may continue 
                for the purpose of paying benefits for days of 
                unemployment.
            ``(3) Accelerated benefits.--
                    ``(A) General rule.--With respect to an employee who 
                has 10 or more years of service as defined in section 
                1(f) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974, who did not 
                voluntarily retire, and (in a case involving 
                unemployment benefits) did not voluntarily leave work 
                without good cause, who has 14 or more consecutive days 
                of unemployment, or 14 or more consecutive days of 
                sickness, and who is not a qualified employee with 
                respect to the general benefit year current when such 
                unemployment or sickness commences but is or becomes a 
                qualified employee for the next succeeding general 
                benefit year, such succeeding general benefit year 
                shall, in that employee's case, begin on the first day 
                of the month in which such unemployment or sickness 
                commences.
                    ``(B) Exception.--In the case of a succeeding 
                benefit year beginning in accordance with subparagraph 
                (A) by reason of sickness, such sentence shall not 
                operate to 
                permit the payment of benefits in the period provided 
                for in such sentence for any day of sickness beginning 
                with the date on which the employee attains age 65, and 
                continuing through the day preceding the first day of 
                the next succeeding general benefit year.
                    ``(C) Determination of age.--For the purposes of 
                this subsection, the Board may rely on evidence of age 
                available in its records and files at the time 
                determinations of age are made.''.

    (b) Repeal of Deadwood Provision.--Section 2(h) of the Railroad 
Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 352(h)) is repealed.
    (c) Repeal of Expired Provision.--Section 17 of the Railroad 
Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 368), relating to payment of 
supplemental unemployment benefits, is repealed.

SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 45 USC 352 note.>>  EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

    Approved October 9, 1996.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2594:
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HOUSE REPORTS: No. 104-525 (Comm. on Transportation and Infrastructure).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 142 (1996):
            Sept. 18, considered and passed House.
            Sept. 25, considered and passed Senate.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 32 (1996):
            Oct. 9, Presidential statement.

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