As more Americans face weeks and sometimes months of unemployment, the loss of benefits stretches them to the limit and curtails even further their chances of looking for work - an incredibly hard slog during tough economic times.
Last week, Congress announced another 13 week extension of benefits to primarily help the hundreds of thousands in 27 states where unemployment has reached 8.5 percent or threatens to go even higher by year's end.
In addition, other states like Iowa and Pennsylvania with Insured Unemployment Rates (IUR) over 6% will also be eligible.
The bill is basically an extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation provided in the stimulus bill adopted at the beginning of the year.
States that qualify
The official announcement tags the following states where unemployment is unusually high and therefore eligible for the extra 13 weeks. They include:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Some States have also enacted a voluntary program to pay up to 7 additional weeks (20 weeks maximum) of extended benefits. Check out unemployment benefits by state to see if you may be eligible for extended benefits, as well.
Do I have to apply for the extended unemployment benefit?
Filling out another application is not necessary. Your state agency which handles unemployment benefits will be sending out notifications shortly announcing the extension.
The weekly benefit amount of extended benefits will be the same as the individual received for regular unemployment compensation.
In addition, those who are eligible must continue filing their weekly employment reports (in states where that applies) to tap the new extension.
More about the unemployment insurance extension around the Web:
also see in Legal Bytes: