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Extended unemployment benefits

This page is about the rules governing extended unemployment benefits.

Summary

11 Jan 2009.

Extended benefits, also called Emergency Unemployment Compensation, extend the period of unemployment benefits, typically from 26 to 39 weeks, but sometimes longer, during times of particular economic duress. Extended benefits were first introduced in 1958; congress tends to adjust the law several times during each recession, so that the law has changed many times. The insured unemployment rate, both at the national and at state levels, plays a role in deciding when to trigger extended benefits. Not surprisingly, then, insured unemployment does not include those on extended benefits.

Highlights

Entries below covered through 16 Dec 2008.

  • Changes in the law (11 Jan 2009) Generally Congress adjusts the law at least once, and usually several times, during each recession. Thus the law has changed on the order of 30 times since extended benefits were first introduced in 1958. See 30 Oct 2008 entry for some excerpts from an 80 page summary on pertinent law.
  • Definition of extended benefits (11 Jan 2009) Extended benefits, also called Emergency Unemployment Compensation, extend the period of unemployment benefits, typically from 26 to 39 weeks, but sometimes longer, during times of particular economic duress.
  • Definition of insured unemployment (9 Jan 2009) The insured unemployment rate, both at the national and at state levels, plays a role in deciding when to trigger extended benefits. Not surprisingly, then, insured unemployment does not include those on extended benefits.

Sources

See also

The basics on extended benefits

Undated. Employee Issues.

http://employeeissues.com/extended_benefits.htm

“Extended Unemployment Benefits”

“Extended unemployment benefits typically become available through a state unemployment office, when an unusually large number of employees are experiencing job loss for longer than average. Extended unemployment benefits are also referred to as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC).

Extended unemployment benefits are typically authorized in 13-week increments, which are then added to 26 weeks of standard state unemployment benefits. In times of severe unemployment, extended benefits might be authorized more than once or for more than 13 weeks, or both.

President Bush authorized a second round of extended unemployment benefits (Emergency Unemployment Compensation), from November 21, 2008 to August 27, 2009. …

Although extended unemployment benefits are also referred to as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), the program is not the same as Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is a special Federal program that provides unemployment benefits when disasters occur. Both employees and self-employed individuals might be eligible for DUA.

Extended unemployment benefits are authorized by the Extended Benefits Program, nicknamed FED-ED. As indicated, program activation is triggered by unusually high unemployment numbers in one or more states. It was launched under the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970.

States may voluntarily launch their own extended unemployment benefits programs. (For example, California has and refers to its program as CAL-ED, short for California Extended Duration Benefits.) If a state has its own program, then extended benefits might last longer than the typical 13 weeks under FED-ED, such as up to 20.”

History of extended benefits law

31 Oct 2008. DOL ETA chronological summary of relevant law.

http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/pdf/chronfedlaws.pdf

“CHRONOLOGY OF FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAWS”

[Note: not all relevant law changes summarized here. This is just to give some idea of how much the law varied.]

”[1958, 13 additional weeks, for those whose benefits ran out over a period of 21 months]

P.L. 85-441, approved June 4, 1958 (HR 12065). Temporary Unemployment Compensation Act of 1958 (TUC). Permits any State that signed an agreement with the U.S. Secretary of Labor to pay extended benefits of half the regular duration to individuals, who have exhausted benefits after June 30, 1957, and before April 1, 1959 (up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to such workers). The Federal Government finances the program through loans to participating States … The TUC program begins on June 23, 1958, and ends on April 10, 1959, or, for Federal employees and veterans, on June 30, 1958. This is the first of many temporary emergency programs to deal with recessions. …

[1961, 13 additional weeks, for those whose benefits ran out over a period of 21 months]

P.L. 87-6, approved March 24, 1961 (HR 4806). Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1961 (TEUC). Provides for federally financed extended benefits of one-half the regular benefit entitlement up to a maximum of 13 weeks, and a combined maximum of 39 weeks, to workers, including Federal civilian employees and ex-servicemen, who exhausted regular benefits after June 30, 1960, and before April 1, 1962. (TEUC is the second temporary emergency program to respond to recession.) Reimburses States paying either regular benefits or State additional benefits beyond 26 weeks that count toward the 13 weeks Federal benefit maximum. The program, which expires June 30, 1962, is financed by a temporary additional Federal unemployment tax of 0.4 percent for 1962 and 0.25 percent for 1963. …

[1970, general rules for extended benefits during recessions. Normally 13 extra weeks. Duration depends on conditions in the state.]

P.L. 91-373, approved August 10, 1970 (HR 14705). Employment Security Amendments of 1970 … Creates the Extended Unemployment Compensation Program, a permanent program to extend duration of benefits during recessions. The national program triggers on after January 1, 1972, whenever the seasonally adjusted insured employment rate for the nation is 4.5 percent or more for 3 consecutive months.

  • Permits a State to institute such a program on or after October 10, 1970, to become operative whenever its insured unemployment rate averages 4 percent or more for 13 consecutive weeks and is at least 20 percent higher than the average of such rates for the corresponding 13-week periods in the 2 preceding years.
  • Provides that an extended benefit period ends when the specified unemployment conditions nationally and within the State no longer exist, but is required to remain in effect at least 13 weeks in any State. Claimants who exhaust regular benefit rights during an extended benefit period are eligible for up to 13 additional weeks of benefits or the equivalent of half of the maximum weeks of regular benefits in the State, if that is less, with a 39-week ceiling in total benefits (regular plus extended). …

[1971. 13 additional weeks. In effect for 15 months (with extension). Eases requirements of 1970 law under certain conditions.]

P.L. 92-224, approved December 29, 1971 (HR 6065). Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1971. Creates a new temporary compensation (TC) program providing additional extended benefits, effective January 30, 1972, and ending September 30, 1972. Financed entirely by the Federal Government. Triggers on for a State when its insured unemployment rate, plus an adjustment rate for exhaustees, is 6.5 percent or more, provided the trigger for payment of benefits under the Federal State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 is in effected or terminated solely because the State no longer met the requirement of an insured unemployment rate of at least 120 percent of the average of the rates for the corresponding periods of the two preceding years. During this emergency benefit period a claimant is eligible for either up to 13 more weeks of benefits or half of the State's maximum of regular benefits, whichever is less. …

P.L. 92-329, approved June 30, 1972 (HR 15587). (No title) Extends the Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1971 to March 31, 1973. …

[1972-76. Several modifications of trigger conditions.]

Between October 1972 and the end of 1976, Congress enacts 7 bills suspending, temporarily, the 120 percent requirement of the permanent extended benefit program provided in Public Law 91-373. P.L. 93-572, approved December 31, 1974 (Federal Supplemental Benefits), waived the 120 percent before December 31, 1976, and beginning after December 31, 1974) and changed the national “off” and “on” triggers specified in the State laws from 4.5 percent to 4.0 percent for the same period. The last such bill, P.L. 94-566, approved October 20, 1976, permits States permanently to waive the 120 percent factor when the State insured unemployment rate reaches 5 percent. The provision applied to weeks beginning after March 30, 1977. …

[1981. No national trigger now; only state triggers. Gives new definition of triggering rate.]

P.L. 97-35, approved August 13, 1981 (HR 3982). Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981. Amends the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970:

  • Eliminates national trigger so that extended benefits are hereafter payable only in States with insured unemployment rates as provided in Federal law. …
  • Excludes EB claims from calculation of the insured unemployment rate (IUR) for EB trigger purposes. Only claims for regular State unemployment compensation are included in calculating the extended benefit trigger rates. …
  • Modifies State EB State triggers, as indicated below, and effective for weeks of

unemployment beginning after September 25, 1982: Makes extended benefits payable in any State in which IUR is at least 5 percent and is 20 percent higher than the average of the-same 13 week period in the 2 previous years. When the “20 percent factor” is not met, a State, at its option may pay EB when the State IUR reaches 6 percent, regardless of the IUR in previous years. …

[1982. Additional benefits beyond the normal extended benefits. For employees whose benefits ended in a 21 month period (as extended). Up to 14 additional weeks of benefits.]

P.L. 97-248, approved September 3, 1982 (HR 4961). Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. Establishes the Federal Supplemental Compensation (FSC) program to provide additional weeks of benefits in all States, beginning with later of September 12, 1982, or date of execution by State of agreement with the Secretary of Labor. Effective from above indicated effective date through March 31, 1983. Benefits under FSC are payable as follows: up to 10 weeks for unemployed workers in a State that was in EB status at some time on or after June 1, 1982; up to 8 weeks in State with EB trigger rate (IUR) at or above 3.5 percent; up to 6 weeks in all other States. FSC is payable to unemployed worker whose entitlement to UI or EB ended on or after June 1, 1982 …

P.L. 98-21, approved April 20, 1983 (HR 1900). Social Security Amendments of 1983 … Extends the FSC program from March 31, 1983, through September 30, 1983. Effective April 1, 1983 FSC benefits became payable as follows: Basic FSC Benefits. Individuals who began receiving FSC on or after April 1, 1983 can receive up to a maximum of: 14 weeks in States with average IUR 6.0 percent and above; 12 weeks in States with average IUR 5.0 to 5.9 percent; 10 weeks in States with average IUR 4.0 to 4.9 percent; 8 weeks in all other States. The maximum number of weeks payable in a State after April 1, 1983 can be no more than 4 weeks less than the maximum number of weeks payable under the FSC law in effect as of March 27, 1983. …

P.L. 98-135, approved October 24, 1983 (HR 3929). Federal Supplemental Compensation Amendments of 1983. Amends the Federal Supplemental Compensation program as follows: Extends provisions of the Act to March 31, 1985. Eliminates any phase-out payments after March 31, 1985, expiration date. Amends FSC benefit provisions: Basic FSC benefits (Effective from October 23, 1983): 14 weeks—State IUR of 6 percent or more OR long-term IUR of 5.5 percent or more; 12 weeks –State IUR of 5-5.9 percent OR long-term IUR of 4.5-5.4 percent; 10 weeks –State IUR between 4 and 4.9 percent weeks; 8 weeks –State IUR of less than 4 percent. …

[1991. 27 months duration (as extended). Up to 26 weeks of benefits on top of regular and extended. Defines three new unemmployment rates and tweaks conditions.]

P.L. 102-164, approved November 15, 1991 (HR 3575). Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1991. Establishes the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program which provides benefits to individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular benefits under State law and have no rights to regular or extended compensation; effective November 17, 1991 through July 4, 1992. Provides the lesser of duration under regular State compensation or: Up to 20 weeks of benefits if the State average insured unemployment rate (AIUR) is 5.0 percent or greater or the 6-month total unemployment rate (TUR) is 9.0 percent or greater. Up to 13 weeks of benefits if the State AIUR is at least 4.0 percent or the AIUR is 2.5 percent and the exhaustion rate (ER) is at least 29 percent. 6 weeks of benefits (with a reachback) if the State AIUR is at least 3.0 percent. … Definitions: AIUR: Insured unemployment rate with the addition of workers who exhausted regular benefits in the last 3 months in the numerator. ER: Average monthly number of workers exhausting regular benefits during the last 12 months divided by the average monthly number of individuals receiving first payments of regular benefits during the last 12 months. TUR: Ratio of all unemployed workers to all workers in the labor force in the state during the last 6 months for which data are available. … [modified slightly over the next few months]

P.L. 102-318, approved July 3, 1992 (HR 5260). Emergency Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1992. Extends EUC program to March 6, 1993, and provides that no compensation is payable for any week beginning after June 19, 1993. Changes the number of additional benefit weeks payable to a minimum of 7 weeks or a maximum of 26 weeks. Provides up to 26 weeks of EUC benefits in States where AIUR equals or exceeds 5.0 percent (or where the 6 month TUR equals or exceeds 9.0 percent – high unemployment States) and up to 20 weeks in all other States until National TUR averages 7.0 percent or less for two consecutive months at which point: 15 weeks, high unemployment States 10 weeks, all other States …

P.L. 103-6, approved March 4, 1993 (HR 920). Emergency Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1993. Extends the EUC program through October 2, 1993. No new claims for EUC for weeks of unemployment beginning after October 2, 1993. …

P.L. 103-152, approved November 24, 1993 (HR 3167). Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1993. Extends the EUC program through February 5, 1994. No new claims for EUC for weeks of unemployment beginning after February 5, 1994. No payment of EUC benefits to any individual for weeks of unemployment beginning after April 30, 1994. Reduces duration to 13 weeks in high unemployment States and 7 weeks in all other States. …

[2002. 21 months duration. Up to 13 weeks. As usual, tweaks conditions.]

P.L. 107-147, approved March 9, 2002 (HR 3090). Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002. … Provides for payment of Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) to eligible individuals under agreements between states and the Secretary of Labor. TEUC is in effect for weeks of unemployment beginning after the date agreement entered into and ending before January 1, 2003. …

P.L. 108-1, approved January 8, 2003 (S 23). (No title) Extends expiration of the TEUC program from January 1, 2003 to May 31, 2003. …

P.L. 108-26, approved May 28, 2003 (HR 2185). Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 2003. Extends the expiration of the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program from May 31, 2003, to December 31, 2003. …

[2008. Duration 9 months. EUC beyond EB up to 13 weeks.]

P.L. 110-252, approved July 1, 2008 (HR 2642). Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 … Provides for payment of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC 08) to eligible individuals under agreements between States and the Secretary of Labor. EUC 08 is in effect for weeks of unemployment beginning after the date agreement entered into and ending on or before March 31, 2009.”

And just for amusement

31 Oct 2008. DOL ETA chronological summary of relevant law.

http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/pdf/chronfedlaws.pdf

“CHRONOLOGY OF FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAWS”

“Requires State UI laws to prohibit payment of benefits: To a professional athlete between successive seasons who had “reasonable assurance” of reemployment. … To a claimant based on services performed for educational institutions in instructional, research, or principal administrative capacities during periods between academic years or terms if an individual has either a contract or reasonable assurance of employment for both the prior and forthcoming academic terms.”

[One wonders for how long athletes and teachers were getting benefits during normal time off!]

Congress regularly extends jobless benefits at times of stress

20 Nov 2008. AP on Yahoo.com.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Congress-extends-jobless-apf-13636546.html

“Congress rushes to extend jobless benefits. Jim Abrams”

“The legislation as approved would provide seven additional weeks of payments to people who have exhausted their benefits. Those in states where the unemployment rate is above 6 percent would be entitled to an additional 13 weeks above the 26 weeks of regular benefits. … The benefits provided would be in addition to 13 weeks of federally funded extended benefits approved by Congress last June. … Congress has enacted federally funded extensions seven times in the past 50 years during economic slumps – in 1958, 1961, 1972, 1975, 1982, 1991 and 2002. … The bill is H.R. 6867.”

A summary of the Nov 2008 change

21 Nov 2008. Employee Issues.

http://employeeissues.com/blog/extended-unemployment-benefits-1108/

“Extended Unemployment Benefits Approved”

“President Bush approved extended unemployment benefits today, by signing the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008. … The new Act authorizes Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) for a second time during the rapidly declining economy. In this round, all states may further extend the first round of extended unemployment benefits by 7 weeks for a total of 20 weeks, while states with high unemployment rates may extend benefits for an additional 13 weeks. Extended unemployment benefits will be available until August 27, 2009.”

Clarification on continuing claims

15 Dec 2008. Telephone conversation with Tom Stengel at DOL ETA, 202 693 2991.

Mr. Stengel said that the Insured Unemployment number in the weekly release includes just those on regular benefits, not extended or emergency. This is so as to have a series that is consistently defined despite temporary changes in the law.

Another clarification

16 Dec 2008. Telephone conversation with Scott Gibbons at DOL ETA, 202 693 3008.

Mr Gibbons confirmed that “UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DATA FOR REGULAR STATE PROGRAMS” does not include extended or emergency. Those numbers are given a little further down in the press release: Under the main heading “PERSONS CLAIMING UI BENEFITS IN FEDERAL PROGRAMS (UNADJUSTED)”, see the lines “Extended Benefits” and “EUC 2008”.

I also asked about normalizing the data. He said this is not a straightforward issue, but the reason they normalize by the number of people qualified for unemployment benefits (“covered employment”), to give the “insured unemployment rate”, is that the population of those covered has grown more slowly than the workforce over time.

Expected effects of Nov 2008 extension

Undated. Nancy Pelosi's web page.

http://www.speaker.gov/legislation?id=0265

“Unemployment Compensation Extension Act”

  • Nearly 800,000 workers are projected to exhaust their current extended unemployment benefits in October unless Congress acts.
  • Earlier this year, Congress helped 3.5 million Americans looking for jobs – providing up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits in every state to workers exhausting the 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits.

Under the measure, workers in high unemployment states are eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits (33 total weeks).

  • Extending these benefits is one of the most cost-effective and fast-acting ways to stimulate the economy because the money is spent quickly, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Every $1 spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.64 in new economic demand. [Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Economy.com, 1/22/08]
  • The $6 billion in benefits will be paid from the Federal unemployment trust fund, which has more than enough reserves to cover the cost.