Federal Unemployment Benefit Extended

December 18, 2010

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New Developments on Federal Unemployment Extensions
(Updated December 17, 2010)

12/17/10 4:00 p.m.

The U.S. Congress has approved, and President Obama has signed, a sweeping tax package that includes a reauthorization of federal unemployment extension benefits for another 13 months. While the legislation does not add anything further to the current maximum of up to 99 weeks of benefits available, it does add more time for eligible unemployed workers to be able to collect those maximum benefits while trying to secure a new job.

In anticipation of Congressional action, the Employment Development Department (EDD) was already taking steps to ensure we are ready to file and pay extended benefits to eligible claimants who were in danger of interruptions in their unemployment checks. A total of more than 250,000 customers who would have normally expected a check during the week of December 20th were in danger of missing that payment unless Congress acted by December 18th.

Approximately 23,000 of those customers had recently run out of their current level of unemployment benefits and were prevented from moving into any further extension claim. The EDD has already filed their next extension claim and sent out claim forms. Now that extensions are reauthorized, these customers should complete their claim forms and return them to EDD as they normally would per the date noted on their form. Once received, it takes EDD a day or so to process the forms and issue payments to eligible customers.

The remaining 235,000 people of the total customers impacted are those with a payable balance remaining on the separate extension known as the FED-ED here in California. Without further Congressional action, the week ending December 11th was the last payable week of FED-ED benefits. The Department has continued to send claim forms to these customers in anticipation of the program being reauthorized. Customers should now complete those claim forms as they normally would and return them according to the date noted on the form. Payments can then be issued for eligible claimants without interruption.

NEW FILING DEADLINES FOR FEDERAL EXTENSION BENEFITS

For more than two years, an unprecedented offering of federal unemployment extension benefits has provided additional financial support to unemployed workers hit hard in this long, harsh recession. In addition to the up to 26 weeks of regular UI benefits offered any time an eligible worker becomes unemployed, up to 73 weeks of additional benefits have been available through four different tiers of extension benefits and a separate extension of benefits known as the FED-ED extension. All together, up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits have been available to help support unemployed workers, their families, and their communities.

Here is a breakdown of the new filing deadlines for federal extension benefits now that the program has been extended for another 13 months:

CURRENT UI EXTENDED BENEFIT DURATION & CLAIM DEADLINES

UI Benefits Provided During This Recession
UI Claims Maximum Weeks of Benefits Provided Deadline for Starting This Type of UI Claim
Regular UI Claim Up to 26 weeks of benefits Once someone becomes unemployed
1st Tier of Federal Extension Up to 20 weeks of benefits December 25, 2011
2nd Tier of Federal Extension Up to 14 weeks of benefits January 1, 2012
3rd Tier of Federal Extension Up to 13 weeks of benefits January 1, 2012
4th Tier of Federal Extension Up to 6 weeks of benefits January 1, 2012
Separate FED-ED Extension Up to 20 weeks of benefits January 8, 2012
POTENTIAL TOTAL MAXIMUM BENEFITS Up to 99 weeks of benefits

NO IMPACT FOR CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE RUN OUT OF MAXIMUM BENEFITS

The federal legislation enacted on December 17, 2010, does not include any additional weeks of extended benefits, so the maximum total remains up to 99 weeks of benefits. As of December 13, 2010, there have been more than 264,000 unemployed workers in California who have run out of all available benefits, up to the 99 week maximum.

Unemployed individuals may be eligible for assistance to meet basic needs as well as other services such as health care, counseling, employment and training assistance. For more information, read the Assistance for Unemployed California Residents flyer and the Job Dislocation Brochure: English | Spanish.

IMPACT ON FEDERAL STIMULUS PAYMENTS

If you are a claimant who qualified for the $25 stimulus payments, current federal law states the last week these stimulus payments can be made is the week ending December 11, 2010. Claimants who filed a new regular UI claim effective May 30, 2010 or after do not qualify for the $25 stimulus payments.

For any further developments in the Unemployment Insurance program, as well as all other EDD programs and services, we encourage our customers watch for updates on our Web site and on our EDD Twitter and Facebook pages.

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