BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Governor Brad Little announced more than 10,000 Idaho Return to Work bonuses were sought for employees by nearly 2,000 Idaho businesses Monday.
“The incredibly strong response from employers in our Return to Work Bonuses indicates businesses absolutely need this incentive in order to get their employees back to work,” Governor Little said. “There’s a reason President Trump and Congressional Republicans are looking to Idaho – hard-hit businesses need all the help they can get now that our economy is open and jobs are coming back.”
Monday was the first day the application window was open.
The Return to Work bonuses are Idaho’s approach to counteracting enhanced federal benefits that discourage workers returning to jobs.
More than 60% of Americans who are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic earn more with enhanced unemployment benefits than their normal wages.
“The Return to Work bonuses are based on a fundamental conservative principle – we do not want people on unemployment. We want people working. We’re responding to the needs of businesses, strengthening our workforce and economic rebound, and saving taxpayer dollars in the long run,” Governor Little said.
Idaho set aside $100 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to cover the bonuses. One-time cash bonuses of up to $1,500 for full-time work and up to $750 for part-time work and will be provided to the worker after return to the workplace. The funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis (based on date of return to work) for qualified applicants.
“A strong economic rebound cannot occur without workers returning to a job, and the Return to Work cash bonuses counteract the federal payouts and incentivize our workforce to get back to work safely,” Governor Little said.
Employers apply for the bonuses on behalf of their employees. Eligibility requirements and information on how to apply are available HERE.