Evaluations of State Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Programs

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The Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program is designed to help unemployment insurance (UI) claimants return to work more quickly by requiring them to attend a meeting and providing them with supportive reemployment services.

RESEA was permanently authorized as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 amendments to the Social Security Act, which set expectations for the use of RESEA interventions and service delivery strategies that are evidence-based. The amendments require that state RESEA programs use strategies that have been shown to reduce UI benefits duration and to improve employment outcomes.

Although there is strong evidence that RESEA works, there is less evidence on the effectiveness of specific RESEA models. To meet the statutory requirements for RESEA, states are evaluating their RESEA programs and service delivery strategies.

AIR, as a subcontractor to Actus Policy Research, is working with two states—North Carolina and Wisconsin—to design and execute rigorous evaluations of their RESEA programs.

North Carolina’s RESEA evaluation consists of an experimental impact evaluation and implementation evaluation. The impact evaluation uses a random assignment evaluation design to measure the effects of North Carolina’s RESEA program on employment, earnings, and receipt of UI benefits, with results expected starting in 2024. The implementation evaluation aims to develop an in-depth understanding of how the program is delivered to support examination of areas for improvement and potential replication.

Wisconsin’s RESEA evaluation is also comprised of an experimental impact evaluation and implementation evaluation. Using a random assignment evaluation design, the study team will examine the program’s effects on key outcomes, including employment, earnings, and receipt of UI benefits, with preliminary results in 2023. The Wisconsin design will also measure the impacts of requiring claimants to attend a second RESEA meeting, compared to requiring claimants to attend only a single meeting. The implementation evaluation focuses on understanding the delivery of the program to inform future decision-making and potential replication.

The results of both states’ evaluations will help program administrators in North Carolina and Wisconsin better understand the effectiveness of their RESEA programs. Additionally, the findings will help to expand the evidence base for RESEA.

Image of Scott Davis
Principal Economist