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New Developments on Federal Unemployment Extensions (Updated 12/02/2010)

12/2/10 5:00 p.m.

Out-of-work Californians relying on unemployment benefits are now encountering filing deadlines for federal extension benefits.  Those deadlines mean the Employment Development Department (EDD) is no longer able to file any new claims for those federal extensions and many customers will start experiencing an end to available benefits sooner than they had probably anticipated.  There have been several bills introduced in the U.S. Congress to extend the filing deadlines.  However, no action has been taken yet on any of those measures. 

EDD will continue to monitor developments and provide updates on our Web site and to those following EDD on Twitter. Customers will also receive notification when they approach the end of their current level of benefits.  In the event legislation is enacted to extend the filing deadlines, EDD will notify affected customers.  There is no need to contact the department at this time.  In the meantime, here is some information about federal extensions and how the upcoming deadlines impact our UI customers.

For more than two years, an unprecedented offering of federal unemployment extension benefits have 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 in California 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.

It is now possible that the maximum amount of benefits available will be pared back to the regular 26 weeks of UI benefits offered by each state. This is due to the filing deadlines on federal extensions, unless Congress acts to push back those deadlines identified in the following chart:

CURRENT UI EXTENDED BENEFIT DURATION & CLAIM DEADLINES

UI Benefits Provided During This Recession
UI ClaimsMaximum Weeks of Benefits ProvidedDeadline 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 November 21, 2010
2nd Tier of Federal Extension Up to 14 weeks of benefits November 28, 2010
3rd Tier of Federal Extension Up to 13 weeks of benefits November 28, 2010
4th Tier of Federal Extension Up to 6 weeks of benefits November 28, 2010
Separate FED-ED Extension Up to 20 weeks of benefits December 5, 2010*
POTENTIAL TOTAL MAXIMUM BENEFITS Up to 99 weeks of benefits  

*It’s possible that California will no longer be eligible for the FED-ED extension program after December 5, 2010.  That would make the week ending December 11, 2010 the last payable week of FED-ED benefits unless Congress takes further action.

Impacts on Unemployed Workers Currently Receiving Unemployment Benefits

  • If you are currently collecting on a regular UI claim that provides up to 26 weeks of benefits, and you run out of those benefits anytime after the week ending November 20, 2010, you will not be eligible for a first tier of federal extension benefits or any other extension benefits unless Congress takes further action.  
  • If you are currently collecting on a first, second, or third tier of federal extension benefits and you run out of those benefits anytime after the week ending November 27, 2010, you will not be eligible to move into the next tier of extension benefits unless Congress takes further action.
  • If you are currently collecting on a fourth tier of federal extension benefits and you run out of those benefits anytime after the week ending December 4, 2010, you potentially will not be eligible to move into the separate FED-ED extension of benefits unless Congress takes further action.
    • If you are currently collecting on the separate FED-ED extension of benefits, eligibility will cease after December 5, 2010 with the end of 100% federal financing. Original rules governing FED-ED will once again be in place and California does not currently qualify for the FED-ED extension program under those rules. Unless Congress takes further action, the week of December 5 – 11 becomes the last payable week of FED-ED benefits, regardless of whether the claimant remains unemployed and still has a remaining balance on the FED-ED claim.

      Because these claimants face a possible abrupt halt to their benefits, EDD is preparing to send them notices advising them of the situation unless there is any further Congressional action on the federal extension issue


Without further Congressional action, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates about two million people across the country will experience a decreased total of available benefits by the end of this year. Of this total, 454,000 are here in California.

 

No Impact for Customers who have Run Out of Maximum Benefits

Whether or not Congress decides to extend filing deadlines on federal extension benefits will not impact an estimated 254,000 unemployed workers in California who have already run out of all available benefits as of November 29, 2010. That maximum remains up to 99 weeks of benefits. Two bills were introduced in Congress that would add an additional tier of extension benefits to the maximum of 99 weeks. But there are no reports of any significant movement on the measures. EDD will be closely monitoring any developments on this issue.

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.

Impacts 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.

EDD is closely monitoring developments regarding the federal extension of unemployment benefits. We strongly encourage our customers to monitor the EDD Web site for updates, or sign up for our Twitter messages that advise you when new information is posted.

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