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Mitch Strege, Published January 18 2011

Benefits should not be denied

I think Job Service of North Dakota should take a look at changing some of the requirements to qualify for benefits. My son and I run a small construction company, which as you know, here in North Dakota is seasonal. When our season ends, the crew goes on unemployment unless they are fortunate enough to find other work.

My son was hired at a local manufacturing company in late November. Due to a previous injury, he was scheduled for knee surgery in mid- December. His current employer agreed to hold his position until he was cleared by his surgeon to go back to work. During his recovery, he filed for unemployment, and was denied because he is unable to work. This injury was not work-related, so there is no worker’s comp being collected.

As his employer, I am required to pay premiums to Job Service. The money I pay in is for my employees whom I will rehire in the spring. My son could have been dishonest and said he was able to work, and received income from Job Service. All he wanted was a few weeks of these benefits before he returned to work. He could have not taken a job and received benefits all winter, but he chose to work.

As his employer, I am outraged. With the amount of money I pay in, my son should have received benefits.