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Unemployment Extension

March 10 Update: The Senate has passed unemployment extension legislation which would extend federal extended benefits including EUC (Extended Unemployment Compensation) program, full federal funding of extended benefits, the $25 extra in UI benefits each week, and the COBRA subsidy through 2010. Hopefully, this will be passed by the House of Representatives soon and signed into law by the President. 

This extension does not include additional weeks of unemployment (i.e. a  new tier 5 of extended unemployment compensation) for those who are running out of all extended benefits.  The best course of action to help get a long term extension passed is to contact your elected officials and ask them to support a long term extension of unemployment benefits:

If you’re out of work, please add your story to our collection:

March 2 Update:  A 30 day extension of unemployment benefits and a extension of COBRA health insurance subsidies has been approved.  The legislation will extend the federal extended benefits which expired on February 28 for a month.  The benefits each person will get, depends on the tier they are on now. Check with your state unemployment office for details, most have explanations of who is eligible for the extension.

February 26 Update: The Senate  failed to pass unemployment extension legislation this week.  However, a more extensive unemployment extension package, with Democrats seeking a year long extension of benefits, is on the agenda for Monday. If you are collecting unemployment continue to file for benefits, because extensions have typically been retroactive (the current extended unemployment benefits program expires on February 28) once passed.

In addition, contact your representives urging passing of an extension as soon as possible. The National Employment Law Project has a form you can use to email your representatives.

February 25 Update: The House has voted to extend unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidies for 30 days. The bill passed on a voice vote today and was sent to the Senate, The extension was not approved in the Senate.   Republican Senator Jim Bunning, Kentucky blocked the extension saying  that the $10 billion bill would add to the budget deficit.   If a vote is needed to override his objections that probably will not happen until next week.  The current extended unemployment benefits program will expire on February 28 if not approved before then.

February 12 Update:  Unless Congress passes another unemployment extension, the  extended unemployment benefits program will expire on February 28. Unemployed workers will start receiving notices from their state unemployment offices letting them know their benefits will end. This will happen, even though benefits may be extended when Congress returns from recess on February 22, because states are required by law to inform unemployed workers of the status of their benefits.

February 11 Update:  The latest version of the bipartisan Senate Jobs bill includes a three month unemployment extension.  The legislation, if passed, would extend the federal Extended Benefits Program, the Federal Additional Compensation (extra $25 per week) benefits, and the 65% Cobra health insurance subsidy through May 31. However, a vote on the legislation is not expected until the week of February 22 at the earliest and the current extension expires on February 28.

February 1 Update:  The current unemployment extensions are set to expire on February 28. The Senate and House Jobs Bills may include an extension, but they have not been finalized.  It’s important to let your Senator know that continued extensions are critical. Here’s how to contact the Senate (from the National Employment Law Project):

January 20 Update:  The National Employment Law Project is urging Congress to continue the extended unemployment benefits program, including full federal funding of Extended Benefits, the $25 per week in Federal Additional Compensation, and the 65% 15-month COBRA subsidy through the end of 2010. 

December 22 Update:  President Obama has signed legislation extending unemployment benefits, including extended unemployment benefits and the COBRA subsidy, that were set to expire at the end of the year through February.

Eligiblity depends your tier of benefits plus state guidelines, so when the legislation is passed, check with your State Unemployment Office website for details on who qualifies and when and how benefits will be paid.

December 19 Update:  The Senate has passed a two-month extension of unemployment benefits  through February 28, 2010. The legislation, already approved by the House. continues the Extended Benefits Program, the Federal Additional Compensation (extra $25 per week) and the COBRA subsidy. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.  

December 18 Update:  The House has passed a two-month extension of unemployment benefits  through February 28, 2010. The legislation continues the Extended Benefits Program, the Federal Additional Compensation (extra $25 per week) and the COBRA subsidy.

November 18 Update: There a lot of confusion surrounding the latest unemployment extension, which provides for additional weeks of benefits for workers who run out of unemployment by the end of the year. Part of the reason is that the new legislation changed the exisiting tiers of benefits. The other is that the only eligible workers are those that run out of benefits by the end of the year.

Related:  Unemployment Benefits | Unemployment Extension | How to File for Unemployment | Unemployment Question / Answers

Unemployment Extension originally appeared on About.com Job Searching on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 10:00:22.

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