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.
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:
*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.
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.
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.