US has seen a steady downfall in unemployment rates during the year 2014. As we prepare to press this article into publication, we hear some great news from the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor. “Employment Situation”, the monthly news release added icing on the cake with revelation of unemployment rate for Feb 2015, which stood at 5.5 %, the lowest in years.
So what really triggered such a massive downfall? A combination of stimulants actually. Factors such as strong economic growth & even job creations across sectors and industries are the “key” contributors. However, a recent study sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research has thrown light on some startling facts by giving credit to “Cutting Unemployment Benefits”.
The study concluded that withdrawal of federal sponsored unemployment benefits extension in Dec 2013 resulted in 1.8 Million jobs being added in 2014.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation
The E.U.C as its popularly known, was a life saver program sponsored by the federal set up in 2008 during peak of recession when thousands of jobs were lost. It provided additional weeks of unemployment compensation to those jobless claimants who had exhausted the regular state provided benefits.
This program expired in Dec 2013, with no signs of renewal by the Congress which was of the opinion that the economy and jobless situation was stable and there was no need to burden the exchequer by reviving the E.U.C. It created an air of panic amongst the unemployed class, who were dependent on the monetary compensation to manage the basic expenses while they looked for jobs.
Led by Kurt Mitman, a group of fellows at National Bureau of Economic Research, carried out exhaustive study during this restless period starting early 2014 & released the papers in January this year.
The researchers used Local Area Unemployment Statistics dataset that reports county level data. They compared and analysed similar economic areas which had a variation in the unemployment compensation disbursed. Remember, during the study phase, there was a variation in the benefits offered in different states. The study points out that the average compensation weeks tumbled from 53 weeks to 25 weeks after the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program expired.
The study concluded that cutting the federal sponsored benefits had resulted increase in employment across the country. The monthly data from the BLS further strengthens this finding. More people applied for jobs since the cut that led to decrease in jobless workers across sectors.
Present Day Situation
The unemployment rates have surged in a phased manner, improving month on month, beating post recession blues. About 295,000 jobless were added in the month of February 2015 & the unemployment rate stood strong at 5.5%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from January 2015.
If you were laid off recently and scouting for jobs, apply for unemployment insurance that provides you weeks of monetary compensation to to help you manage day to day expenses.
Congress voted to extend the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program through 2013 on tuesday (1-1-2013). This means, unemployed workers who are currently collecting federal jobless benefits can continue to receive unemployment compensation. Unemployed workers who run out of state benefits during 2013 are now eligible for benefit extensions.
With the extension of EUC, more than 2 million Americans have been saved from hitting poverty.
EUC is a 100% federally funded program that provides extension of unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular state benefits. The EUC program was created in the year 2008 to combat high unemployment rates and has been amended several times.
Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 which includes the extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program and temporary extension of Extended Benefit Provisions. The President is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as today, January 3, 2013.
The legislation has not changed the number of weeks of benefits available under the EUC program, but has allowed the program to continue the same as before.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the two federal unemployment programs, (EUC and State Extended Benefits (SEB)) could have costed about $30 billion for a year long extension. The extension in EUC benefits is said to create 300,000 jobs and boost economic growth by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
If you are currently receiving EUC benefits, please continue claiming benefits weekly to ensure timely payment.
Eligibility for EUC benefits depends on the date of your claim, your state and the state unemployment rate.
Keep checking state websites for updates on benefit extension and further instructions.
If you have exhausted your unemployment benefits and still meet the eligibility conditions to receive compensation in Texas, you will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits either by State or Federal Unemployment extension programs of Texas.
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
Texas Unemployment Benefit is the pay of fixed amount on monthly or weekly basis given to unemployed workers who meet certain employment criteria. Every UI claimant is expected to enroll themselves with the Texas Workforce Commission once they are laid off from their jobs. Every State of United States expects its UI claimants to continuously search and accept new jobs. This may include submitting regular work logs each time a benefit claim is filed and accepting any work that pays at least minimum wage and a gross weekly pay that exceeds the weekly claim amount received.
Extended UI Benefits
In case you have proved that you are continuously trying for the new jobs yet is still facing trouble in finding a suitable job while your sponsorship benefit period is ending, then you may be able to get an extension on your existing benefits.
The total amount paid to the eligible claimant will usually be equal to what they are entitled under the regular unemployment, but note that the collection time will be extended.
Eligibility Requirement for Extended Benefits
There are some eligibility requirements to be fulfilled in order to enjoy extended benefit period.
- Base period wages must be equal or 40 times more of your weekly benefit amount. (If your regular claim pays 26 weeks of benefits, then you meet this qualification.)
- You should have exhausted all your regular benefits on your most recent claim, or the claim year must be expired.
- You must also not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in any other state.
Types of Extended Benefit
Basically there are two types of extended unemployment benefits under Texas Workforce Commission. These programs make it possible for the long-term unemployed to continue receiving monthly assistance while searching for work.
- Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC); and
- Extended Benefits (EB).
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC):
Emergency Unemployment Compensation offers an additional number of weeks. Texas currently pays EUC Tiers 1, 2, and 3.
For the Regular UI claim you will be able to get the benefit up to 26 weeks.
Tiers of Extended Unemployment Benefits
There are four tiers of unemployment benefits at present. A tier of unemployment is an extension of a definite amount of weeks of jobless benefits. Each tier offers extra weeks of unemployment in addition to basic state unemployment benefits.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tiers through September 2012:
- Tier 1: 20 weeks or 80% of your regular claim, whichever is less
- Tier 2: 14 weeks or 54% of your regular claim, whichever is less
- Tier 3: 13 weeks or 50% of your regular claim, whichever is less
You must exhaust each level (Tier) of benefits before applying for an extension.
Tier 1: If you run out of regular benefits by the deadline, TWC mails you a EUC application that you complete and return to TWC. If you are eligible for EUC, TWC mails you a letter showing the amount you are eligible for on your EUC claim.
Tier 2 & 3: If you run out of your prior EUC tier by the deadline, TWC automatically adds the next tier to your claim.
Extended Benefit (EB)
Under Extended Benefits, the additional extension of benefits is offered once EUC is exhausted.
Unemployment Extended Benefits program for Texas provides up to 20 weeks of additional compensation after all federal unemployment extension payments have been received. Eligible workers can receive either 20 weeks of benefits or 80 percent of an initial unemployment claim, whichever amounts to less.
Along with the state unemployment extension, the federal government may add to the available benefits by enacting an extended benefits program of its own.
***The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them***
Those who are obtaining unemployment benefits are also entitled to apply for additional extended benefits under various state and federal schemes. Customary unemployment insurance lasts for up to 12 weeks (2016) in Florida. When there are elevated levels of unemployment in your state, you will receive an extension of benefits. A soaring level of unemployment is described as a rate above 6%. Your state will inform you about the unemployment extension when your traditional benefits are about to run out.
Want to know how long does this extension provide benefits in your State?
Benefits Extension by State – Available Weeks
The following table shows number of weeks of extension allowed in each state. Everyone will be eligible for UI benefits. EUC and EB benefits are determined based on the current unemployment rate in the State and subject to availability.
|Dist of Columbia||26||0||0||26|
UI: Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs offer the basic unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become jobless through no fault of their own, and meet specific other eligibility requirements.
Note: Emergency Unemployment Compensation(E.U.C) remains expired and is not available in any of the states or D.C. Extended Benefits(EB) are only activated during high unemployment period and is state specific.
EUC: This is a 100% federally funded program that offers benefits to those who have exhausted regular state benefits. There are presently four Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits extensions available. Each Tier provides additional weeks of unemployment other than the basic state unemployment benefits.
EB: Extended Benefits (EB) are available to workers who have exhausted usual unemployment insurance benefits all through periods of high unemployment.
Unemployment Extension Tiers
As already mentioned, in the United States, there is a usual of up to 12 weeks of unemployment benefits, known as “regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits”. There are two programs for extending UI benefits.
- Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)
- Extended Benefits (EB)
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)
Important Note: EUC benefits remain expired as of December 28,2013 awaiting an extension that is being debated to be approved by the Congress. These are not available currently.We suggest that you keep a track of national news in this regard for updates.
A Tier of unemployment is an addition of a certain amount of weeks of unemployment benefits. There are presently four Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits extensions available. Each Tier provides additional weeks of unemployment other than the basic state unemployment benefits.
- EUC Tier 1 offer up to 20 weeks or 80% of an individual’s maximum benefit amount from their original unemployment insurance claim, whichever amount is less.
- EUC Tier 2 gives up to 14 weeks of 54% of an individual’s highest benefit amount from their original unemployment insurance claim, whichever amount is less. An individual must tire out EUC Tier 1 benefits so as to obtain EUC Tier 2 benefits.
- EUC Tier 3 provide up to 13 weeks or 50% of an individual’s maximum benefit amount from their actual unemployment insurance claim, whichever amount is less. An individual must run out EUC Tier 2 benefits in order to receive EUC Tier 3 benefits.
- EUC Tier 4 offer up to 6 weeks or 24% of an individual’s maximum benefit from their original UI claim, whichever amount is less. An individual must exhaust their EUC Tier 3 claim by benefit.
Extended Benefits (EB)
Extended Benefits are obtainable to workers who have tired usual unemployment insurance benefits all through periods of high unemployment. The basic Extended Benefits program offers up to 13 extra weeks of benefits when a State is undergoing high unemployment.
EB is activated only during high unemployment period in the State.
How to File for Unemployment Benefits Extension
- Check your state’s unemployment extension qualification criteria. The rules for unemployment and unemployment extension are dissimilar in each state. Start exploring the unemployment extension eligibility criteria particular to your state. There are often two different unemployment extensions, one in state funded while the other funded by the government.
- Gather all personal information necessary; and reapply. Collect all of your information you needed upon primarily filing unemployment; your work histories, your reason of unemployment, and your social security number. In order to obtain an unemployment extension, go to your state’s unemployment website, or call the employment security department. Apply for your unemployment extension.
- Wait for the mail; the paperwork comes in the mail and your checks must keep coming. Once you have applied for your unemployment benefits, wait for the paperwork and the payments that will follow. Bear in mind that you can be inspected on your job search at any time; keep through job search records with reliable contacts to confirm receiving your application.
Update: As of January 2014, Federal EUC benefits have expired and the Congress has not approved the extension of these benefits yet.
You have lost your job that provided all the financial support. Now what? Obviously this is not the time to doubt in your abilities and feel depressed. Take a step back and use job search links to look for a stable income. But the first thing you need to do is to file for unemployment insurance benefits.
The initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits just aren’t enough. An extension of unemployment compensation will let the benefits flowing to millions of unemployed workers in the country. This means that the jobless workers should be able to move to the next tier of benefits if they are eligible for extended benefits. So all hope is not lost. You can still keep a roof over your head and food on your table by doing several things.
An extension of benefits allows a continuation of unemployment compensation payments beyond the standard 26 week period. Moreover, it would also help the people who are out of work and finding it difficult to find a new job in an economy in recession.
There are two types of extended unemployment benefits:
• Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC): Emergency Unemployment Compensation offers an additional number of weeks that depends on the unemployment level in your state.
• Extended Benefits (EB): Under Extended Benefits, the additional extension of benefits is offered once EUC is exhausted and the time taken to receive the additional benefits depends on the level of unemployment in your state.
Your state should report you about applying for an extension just when your benefits are about to expire. However, it is safe to contact your unemployment office to know about an extension a few weeks before your period of regular benefits is complete. You will be asked to meet the same eligibility standards required for regular benefits in order to qualify for an extension.
Congress voted April 15 2010, the last day for jobless workers to claim for extended unemployment benefits till in June 2 2010, President Barack Obama signed a law. This law restored the federal unemployment benefits to over millions of jobless Americans.
Benefits are divided into tiers and the claimants should file for these benefits whenever they move into a new tier. In total, getting an extension for unemployment benefits makes it possible to receive up to 79 weeks of benefits (26 weeks of traditional benefits + 33 weeks of EUC + 20 weeks of EB) if you live in a state with a high rate of unemployment.
Congress has decided to go on with the federal extended unemployment benefits programs which were set to expire on December 31, 2011 through February 2012. In every tiers of Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), the legislation has extended the availability of benefits for two months.
Your State Unemployment Office website has every detail of when and how benefits will be paid as well as who qualifies for these extended benefits. The only way to avoid unemployment scams is to claim for extended benefits through your state employment office as you are not allowed to apply on third party websites, even if they say they will file for you. Typical unemployment scams include websites that offer to file for extended unemployment benefits or unemployment benefits for you. It’s important to know that you are the only person who can apply online for benefits.