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Unemployment Extension Update - November 14th

Unemployment Extension Update – November 14, 2011

There are two separate unemployment extensions being discussed in Congress at the moment:

  • HR 3346 – The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2011
  • HR 589 – The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act of 2011

While they have similar names, the two pieces of legislation are quite different. We highlight the details, and how they might impact you, below.

 

HR 3346 – The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2011

Federal unemployment benefits — the unemplyoment benefits you receive after the 26 weeks of Regular Benefits are exhausted — are set to expire on December 31, 2011. If this happens, as many as 2 million unemployed Americans will lose benefits in January 2012.

Last week, legislation was introduced that would extend these benefits through the end of 2012. As a reminder, these federally-funded unemployment benefits provide anywhere from 34 to 73 weeks of additional unemployment insurance after state-funded regular benefits run out.

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The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act has support in Congress, and will definitely receive more attention in the coming weeks. If history is a guide, given the extensions that passed in the last two years, it seems likely that this bill will pass, even if it happens after the December 31st deadline.

 

HR 589 – The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act of 2011

As mentioned, the Federal unemployment benefits provide extensions resulting in a total of up to 99 weeks of unemployment insurance. That said, millions of American workers have exhausted the total number of available weeks.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act, sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee, would
add an additional 14 weeks of benefits for those who have already received the maximum number of weeks of Federal unemployment benefits.

Also referred to as “Tier 5″, this expansion of benefits has been discussed over the last several months, but has yet to gain the necessary support in Congress. The most recent efforts made by Representative Barbara Lee and her co-sponsors have attempted to incorporate this legislation into the President’s jobs bill.

 

We will continue to keep you updated on both pieces of legislation, as well as The American Jobs Act.

Tier 5: Extension Update - August 23rd, 2010

As unemployment benefits expire, many people are aksing about a “Tier 5″ extension.

Background

If implemented, a Tier 5 would add additional weeks of unemployment benefits. To date, the previous extensions passed by Congress this year have only extended eligibility for existing tiers, enabling you to receive up to a maximum of 99 weeks in most states. The 2010 extensions have not added any additional weeks to the total available.

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Many people have already exhausted their 99 weeks (or their state maximium), but are in need of further assistance.

Tier 5 Extension – New Proposal Introduced

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced new legislation during the first week of August that formally brings the Tier 5 discussion in front of Congress. Here are the highlights of the propsal:

  • The bill would add an additional 20 weeks of benefits for people who have had their benefits expire.
  • The proposal would require that the unemployment rate in your state must at least 7.5% in order to qualify.
  • Also included in the proposal are tax breaks for business owners who hire
  • The new legislation has not yet been voted upon.

What’s Next?

  • Members of Congress are on recess through September 12th.
  • The Senate will next address the proposal upon their return in September.

Answers About the New Unemployment Extension

There have been a number of questions regarding the new unemployment extension. The New York Times ran a recent story with some good Q&A regarding the recent legislation. Here are a few highlights:

Eligibility:  Anyone who has exhausted their unemployment benefits (including extensions) this year.  This applies across all 50 states.

Length of Extension:  14 weeks.  If the state you live in has an unemployment rate above 8.5%, there will be an additional 6 weeks of benefits.

Timing:  Similar to regular unemployment benefits, the extension payments are not retroactive.

Lost Job in 2009:  If you lost your job during 2009 and are currently receiving regular benefits, EUC, or EB, you will most likely not receive payments from the current extension.  With the current national unemployment above 10% however, Congress will likely pass a further extension in 2010, enabling those out of work in 2009 to continue receiving benefits.

To see the full article from the NY Times, click here.

Also, if you are looking for some guidance regarding your job search, be sure to check our Career Resources page.