The President left people with the impression last night that the deal included an extension of unemployment benefits for another 13 months. A caller on our show, Paul, called late to say that that was incorrect but couldn’t source the material for us … so what’s a person to do? Well the labor department has been working overtime to correct misconceptions, which I unfortunately contributed to. And, unbelievably, it is not really that complicated, leading me to believe the WH was perfectly happy leaving folks fuzzy on details.
Here’s the bottom line from Forex. The site has some easy to read charts on how unemployment is calculated too.
Just to be clear, the “extension of the unemployment benefits” is an extension of the qualifying dates for the various tiers of benefits, and not additional weeks of benefits. There is no additional help for the so-called “99ers”.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) comes in four tiers:
Tier I is for 20 additional weeks;
Tier II is for up to 14 weeks;
Tier III is for up to 13 weeks;
Tier IV is for up to 6 weeks.
As an example, if a worker was receiving Tier I benefits, they will be able to move to Tier II benefits with this proposed extension. Without the extension of the qualifying dates, workers would not be able to move to the next tier.
The only complication to this is how the emergency benefit extension is calculated, which is based on state unemployment and the state itself. For instance, with unemployment at 9.1%, Connecticut has three extensions of unemployment compensation available under the Federal EUC. After that Connecticut offers 20 weeks of extended benefits. Your state may be different.
The bottom line here is the money goes just to keep this program in business, but not extend more weeks to the unemployed, so Paul was right, it just took a bit for me to source the material. But honestly, I might have this wrong too. So comments below are welcome.