Nebraska advances unemployment benefit for family caregivers

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FILE – In this May 7, 2020, file photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. Unemployment fraud in the U.S. has reached dramatic levels during the pandemic: more than $63 billion has been paid out improperly through fraud or errors since March 2020. Criminals are seizing on the opportunity created by the pandemic and are making false claims using stolen information. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska residents who stop working temporarily to care for a family member with a serious health condition could claim unemployment benefits under a bill advanced by lawmakers.

Lawmakers gave the measure first-round approval with a 27-11 vote.

The proposal by Sen. Megan Hunt, of Omaha, would allow workers to collect benefits if they left a job due to family caregiving needs but are planning to return to work.

Hunt says the bill will help caregivers who might otherwise struggle financially while caring for a loved one and will help the state avoid costly long-term care services in cases where no one else is available to take care of the person with a health condition.

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