Dec 22 2011
Unemployment extension news and updates, information on federal unemployment extensions, extended unemployment benefit guidelines, and information on how to collect extended unemployment benefits.
Unemployment Extension Update: 12/22/11: It appears that legislation to continue federal extended unemployment benefits programs through February 2012 will be passed by the House tonight.
Important: Check with your State Unemployment Office web site for details on your extended benefits eligibility. Most states have detailed information on eligibility for extended unemployment benefits and will update the website when there is news to report.
Unemployment Benefits for 2012
Here’s more information on unemployment benefits that are currently in place for 2012.
Current Unemployment Extensions
Extended unemployment insurance benefits are in place through 2011. This means that federal extended unemployment benefits (up to 99 weeks in states with high unemployment) will continue through 2011. The following are the current unemployment benefits, but this will change at the end of the year unless new legislation is passed that includes a federal extended benefits program.
Under this unemployment extension legislation, unemployed workers collecting one of four tiers of benefits (ranging from 34 to 53 weeks) under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) will be able to move to the next tier. Workers collecting benefits under the Extended Benefits (EB) program which provides 13 to 20 weeks of additional benefits to workers living in high unemployment states will also continue to receive benefits.
In addition, unemployed workers who who are currently collecting up tp 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits will be able to move into the federal unemployment compensation program once they have exhausted state benefits.
The agreement does not include a tier 5 of unemployment for workers (99ers) who have exhausted all state and federal unemployment benefits.
State Extended Benefits
Extended Unemployment Benefits are available to workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment. There are triggers (calculations based on the state unemployment rate) that determine when a State will extend benefits.
The basic Extended Benefits program provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits when a State is experiencing high unemployment. Some States have also enacted a voluntary program to pay up to 7 additional weeks (20 weeks maximum) of Extended Benefits during periods of extremely high unemployment.
Federal Extended Benefits
In addition to state extended unemployment compensation, there may be additional benefits funding by the Federal government, including Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits.
Extended Unemployment Benefit Tiers
The extended benefits you are eligible for depend on the state you live in and the date you became unemployed.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation Tiers
Tier 1 – 20 weeks
Tier 2 – 14 weeks
Tier 3 – 13 additional weeks of benefits in states where the total unemployment rate 6% or higher.
Tier 4 – 6 additional weeks of benefits in states where the total unemployment rate is 8.5% or higher.
Extended Benefits (EB) Program
The Extended Benefits (EB) program provides an additional 13 to 20 weeks of benefits to workers receiving unemployment insurance in states have a specific unemployment rate.
As an example, depending on the unemployment rate and the extended benefit programs in place, in New York unemployed workers may be eligible for 26 weeks of state unemployment compensation and additional weeks of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) emergency benefits and Extended Benefits (EB) extended benefits.
Amount of Benefits
The weekly benefit amount of Extended Benefits is the same as the individual received for regular unemployment compensation. The total amount of Extended Benefits that an individual could receive de may be fewer than 13 weeks or fewer than 20 weeks, depending on the state unemployment rate.
How to Collect Extended Benefits
When a State begins an Extended Benefit period, it notifies those who have received all of their regular benefits that they may be eligible for Extended Benefits. You may contact the State Unemployment Insurance agency to ask whether Extended Benefits are available.