If you have any questions regarding the Back to Work Incentive Program, please review the frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Back-to-Work Incentive Application


The Back to Work Incentive Program provides a one-time payment of $1,500 to eligible applicants who re-enter the workforce between June 24, 2021 and July 30, 2021, and have an active (non-fraud) unemployment claim and has requested weekly payments as of June 23, 2021. This program is not a guaranteed program, and is subject to the terms and conditions specified herein. The program will be administered by the Public Protection Cabinet.

An applicant for the Back to Work Incentive Program may submit an application through the online program portal, available at teamkybacktowork.ky.gov. Applicants may be either an employer or an employee. The program portal will be open for submissions beginning August 2, 2021 at 8:00am, EDT. The portal will remain open until October 1, 2021 at 4:30 PM, EDT. Application processing will begin October 4, 2021.


“Applicant” means a Kentucky resident who starts new employment with an employer, or an employer who submits an application on behalf of an employee.

“Valid Unemployment Claim” means a claim for unemployment benefits. An employee is able to apply for this program if their unemployment claim is NOT job-connected.

“New Employment” means beginning regular (W-2) employment with an employer. Contract employees or employees who will receive a 1099 statement are not eligible for this program.

“Self Employment” means working for a proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that is at least twenty-five percent (25%) owned, directly or indirectly, by the applicant, or any member of applicant’s household.

“Contractor” means an individual who receives a 1099 statement as opposed to a W-2 statement.

“Employee” means a Kentuckian who has accepted new employment with an employer.

“Employer” means a business that has hired an employee.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. An employee must be eighteen (18) years of age on or before June 23, 2021.
  2. An employee must have had a valid and active unemployment claim as of June 23, 2021.
  3. New employment must be accepted June 24 – July 30, 2021. Individuals who are self-employed and/or who serve as a contractor are not eligible for this program.
  4. An employee must not have exhausted all of their Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits as of the date they accepted the new employment.
  5. An employee’s UI claim must not be job connected.
  6. An employee must work at least one-hundred and twenty (120) hours over a consecutive five (5) week period after being hired.
  7. An employee or his/her employer must supply all information required by the application.
  8. Applications must be submitted through the online application portal.


Program Operations and Guidelines

  1. The online application portal will be available to the public by accessing the program website, teamkyreturntowork.ky.gov.
  2. The program portal will be open for submissions beginning August 2, 2021 at 8:00am, EDT. The portal will remain open until October 1, 2021 at 4:30pm, EDT.
  3. Each applicant will need to create a user name and password in order to initiate an application. An applicant may be the employee or his/her employer.
  4. The employee or employer will provide general information about the employee, including name, address, phone number, email address, social security number, and date of birth.
  5. The employee or employer will also need to provide information regarding the employer, including the employer name, mailing address, phone number, manager/supervisor name, and Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  6. The employee or employer will need to upload a copy of the employee’s identification and proof of residential address (i.e. a copy of the employee’s driver’s license).
  7. The employee and employer will need to jointly complete a Verification Document form, which verifies that the employee has accepted an eligible position and worked the requisite number of hours. The employee or employer will upload this document as part of the application.
  8. Applications will only be deemed accepted once all required information is provided.
  9. Applications will be evaluated beginning on October 4, 2021. Awards will be made in order of hire date (i.e., those accepting employment first will be awarded first).
  10. All determinations regarding program eligibility are not subject to appeal.