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Unemployment Extension Update - January 7th, 2012

Unemployment Extension Update – January 7th, 2012

A quick update about the recent Federal unemployment extension legislation that just passed:

Key points:

  • Congress voted to extend Federally funded unemployment benefits through February 2012.

  • This extension does not provide additional weeks. Rather, it allows Americans receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) to continue receiving these benefits through the end of February.
  • 99 weeks continues to be the maximimum number of weeks available (depending on your state).

 

Legislation Background and Details

The recent bill that passed in Congress just before the end of 2011 provides for an extension of the payroll tax holiday, prevents a decrease in physician reimbursement related to Medicare, and allows for the continued extension of Federal unemployment benefits, as described above.

With disagreement between Democrats and Republicans about how to fund these measures, this bill was debated at length. Members of Congress were aiming for a one-year extension of these provisions. A two-month compromise was reached, leading to the Feburary deadline that is now in place.

You can expect to hear more about these programs as Congress votes again in coming weeks.

Extended Benefits Reminder

You may be eligible for Extended Benefits if you have already received the maximium number of state benefits (26 weeks) and EUC benefits (up to 53 weeks, depending on your state).

In order to receive Extended Benefits (which provide an additional 13 to 20 weeks of unemployment compensation), the average “unemployment rate” in your state over the last three months must remain higher than the same figure over the last few years.

Currently, 33 states qualify for Extended Benefits.

 

We wish you prosperity in 2012, and will keep you informed as soon as additional legislation information becomes available.

 


What do YOU think Congress should do about the unemployment situation? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

 

Unemployment Extensions – How Many Weeks of Benefits?

You will often hear in the news about the 99 weeks of unemployment extension benefits. While this is indeed the case in “most” states, some states offer fewer weeks of benefits.

The number of weeks available in your state depends on the jobless rate in your state. In addition, not all states offer Extended Benefits (“EB”), which kick in after your regular benefits, and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (“EUC”) expire.

Take a look at the chart below to find the number of weeks available in your state. (Data from Labor Department)

Do you think it’s fair that some states receive more weeks than others?

Feel free to share your thoughts on unemployment extensions below…

Extended Benefits 071510

Extended Benefits – July 15, 2010

  • Currently, if you are receiving a one of the tiers of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), you will be able to receive these payments until your current tier expires.
  • Once your current tier of EUC is finished, or if you have already received all of the benefits possible under EUC, you may be eligible for joint state / federal Extended Benefits (EB).
  • There are currently 12 states offering Extended Benefits:
  • Alaska – 20 weeks
  • Connecticut – 20 weeks
  • Kansas – 13 weeks
  • Minnesota – 13 weeks
  • New Hampshire – 13 weeks
  • New Jersey – 20 weeks
  • New Mexico – 20 weeks
  • North Carolina – 20 weeks
  • Oregon – 20 weeks
  • Puerto Rico – 13 weeks
  • Rhode Island – 20 weeks
  • Washington – 20 weeks

These figures for Extended Benefits are updated weekly, and are based on state-specific criteria, including the unemployment rate in your state.