So here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Unemployment extension:
Q. Who’s eligible for extended unemployment benefits?
A. Unemployment benefits will be extended by 14 weeks to all people in all 50 states without a job. Benefits will be extended for an additional six weeks to those in about 26 states where the unemployment rate exceeds 8.5 percent.
Q. Who will be helped by the unemployment extensions?
A. The extensions are aimed at people who have been out of work for a long time, or about a year to a year and a half, according to Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project.
“This was really a stopgap measure to address the fact that a large number of people were running out of the extensions before Dec. 31,” Mr. Stettner said. “People who have been out of work since July of this year are not going to get any extensions. People who were laid off since Jan. 1 will get some extensions, but they won’t get full extensions.”
Basically, your benefits need to run out by the end of this year to qualify for the latest extension, he added, though he said it’s likely that Congress will pass another one later this year, given the unemployment rate. “I don’t think the administration is talking about limiting or phasing out extended benefits just yet,” Mr. Stettner said.
Q. Is the unemployment extension retroactive?
A. No. If your unemployment checks have stopped for, say, a month, you will not get a check for the past four weeks. Your new benefits will start after you apply for the extension.
Q. Will I be eligible for the extensions if I was recently laid off?
A. No. The recent round of extensions will only apply to people who have been laid off for a long time and whose benefits have been exhausted this year. So if you recently lost your job, your benefits are likely to last a maximum of 26 weeks (and up to an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits in certain states) unless Congress passes new legislation.
Q. Where can I get more information?
A. You should contact your state’s labor department. You can find your state’s unemployment insurance program in the directory on CareerOneStop.org , a Web site that is run by the Department of Labor. You can also call 1-877-US2-JOBS to learn more about unemployment benefits.
Do you have any questions about your unemployment benefits or eligibility? Please drop them in the comment section below and we’ll try to round up some answers.
You can also find out more in this article “What happens when the Unemployment Check runs out?”
(source of this article: New York Times)
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