Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"How to know when your unemployment benefits will run out "

From the Los Angeles Times' Money & Co. blog:

Congress failed to extend employment benefits by Nov. 30, meaning millions of Americans will stop receiving checks from the government. That could have very real consequences for the economy, a story in Wednesday's Times says.  But unemployment benefits aren't immediately stopping for everyone who receives them -- it's more of a slow fade-out. So how do you know when you're going to lose your benefits?

In good economic times, qualified unemployed receive 26 weeks of benefits. But a series of federal extensions has upped that number to 99 weeks in states such as California. That includes four separate tiers, or extensions, of benefits, and a fifth tier called FED-ED, which is only available in some states with high unemployment rates, including California.

Since Congress did not authorize further extensions, unemployed people will not be able to move from one series of benefits to the next. Here's what that means if you're unemployed:

-- If you have been out of work for a few weeks and are on the first tier of regular unemployment benefits, you will stop receiving a check after your 26 weeks of benefits are up. If your first tier expired or will expire after Nov. 20, 2010, you will not be able to move onto the next tier.

-- If you have been out of work more than 26 weeks and are on your first, second or third tier of benefits, and they expire after Nov. 28, 2010, you will not be able to move onto the next tier. Your checks will stop coming when you reach the end of your tier....MORE