Update on Expiration of Federally-funded Unemployment Extensions Bookmark and Share

November 16, 2010

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On November 15, 2010, Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman updated members of the Maine Legislature Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations on the impact of the possible expiration of Federally-funded Unemployment Extensions. The following is a summary of her presentation.

Background

State unemployment insurance provides up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. In 2008, recognizing the fact that the high unemployment rate and recession was making it more difficult for workers to find new jobs, Congress authorized two additional unemployment insurance programs, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC,) and Extended Benefits (EB.) These Federally-funded programs were intended to provide extra weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who had run out of regular state unemployment before finding a new job.

Possible Expiration of Programs

The EUC and EB programs will start phasing-out if Congress does not take action to extend the programs by November 30, 2010. If the programs do expire, approximately 21,500 Maine workers will lose unemployment benefits over the next five months. Unemployed workers will be impacted differently, depending on what benefits they have already received or have left.

If a claimant exhausts:

  • Regular unemployment on or before November 20, 2010, they may be able to collect up to 20 weeks in Tier 1.
  • Tier 1 on or before November 27, 2010, they will move into Tier 2 for an additional 14 weeks.
  • Tier 2 on or before November 27, 2010, they will move into Tier 3 for an additional 13 weeks.
  • Regular benefits (26 weeks) on November 27, they will not be eligible for any EUC tiers. The claimant may collect a maximum of 2 weeks of Extended Benefits (EB) for total of 28 weeks.
  • Regular benefits on December 4, 2010, they may be eligible for 1 week of Extended Benefits (EB).

Extended Benefits (EB) will expire December 11, 2010.

If a claimant filed for regular benefits and began collecting benefits in early June, they will likely receive no more than 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits.

Summary of Benefits Paid for Week of October 24 – 30, 2010
Program Number of Recipients Benefits Paid Average Weekly Benefit Amount
Regular10,785$2,815,001$261.01
Trade Readjustment Allowance57$17,455$306.23
Dislocated Worker Benefits251$70,384$280.41
EUC08 Tier 15,379$1,454,821$270.46
EUC08 Tier 22,902$769,518$265.17
EUC08 Tier 32,533$685,784$270.74
Extended Benefits2,420$675,779$279.25
Federal Additional Compensation15,965*$426,275$25.00
Grand Total 24,327 $6,915,017$266.73

* The 15,965 payments are a subset of the 24,327 recipients for the week of October 30. Claimants establishing a Regular benefit claim after May 29, 2010 are not eligible for Federal Additional Compensation and claimants collecting Dislocated Worker Benefits are also not eligible. All Federal Additional Compensation ends December 11, 2010.

Summary of Unemployment Insurance Programs Available to Maine Workers

Regular Unemployment Insurance: Provides up to 26 weeks of benefits Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC):

Tier 1: Provides up to 20 weeks of benefits – available to individuals who exhaust regular unemployment with the week ending 11/20/2010 or earlier. The last week for which benefits are payable is the week ending 4/30/2011

Tier 2: Provides up to 14 weeks of benefits - available to individuals who exhaust EUC Tier 1 unemployment with the week ending 11/27/2010 or earlier. The last week for which benefits are payable is the week ending 4/30/2011

Tier 3: Provides up to 13 weeks of benefits - available to individuals who exhaust EUC Tier 2 unemployment with the week ending 11/27/2010 or earlier. The last week for which benefits are payable is the week ending 4/30/2011

Extended Benefits (EB) Provides up to 13 weeks of benefits – available to individuals who exhaust EUC Tier 3 with the week ending 12/4/2010 or earlier. The last week for which benefits are payable is the week ending 12/11/2010.

High Unemployment Extended Benefits (HEB) Provides up to 7 weeks of benefits (program ends 11/13/2010) – available to individuals who exhaust EB with the week ending 11/6/ 2010 or earlier. The last week for which benefits are payable is the week ending 11/13/2010.

In addition: the Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) program, which provides $25/week to anyone collecting on the programs above, ends in December. The last week of benefits for which FAC can be paid is 12/11/2010. However, FAC began phasing out in June 2010. Anyone who initially filed a claim for unemployment benefits after June 5, 2010 has been unable to receive the $25/week.

Projected Exhaustees by Program as of Oct 25, 2010

Current Program

Last Payable Week

Regular

EUC08 Tier 1

EUC08 Tier 2

EUC08 Tier 3

EB

Grand Total

Dec-11-2010

2,259

930

1,246

2,061

271

6,767

Dec-18-2010

489

379

370

204

 

1,442

Dec-25-2010

496

364

248

133

 

1,241

Jan-01-2011

598

364

206

121

 

1,289

Jan-08-2011

500

419

248

46

 

1,213

Jan-15-2011

500

519

220

5

 

1,244

Jan-22-2011

600

568

197

 

 

1,365

Jan-29-2011

450

505

190

 

 

1,145

Feb-05-2011

450

457

132

 

 

1,039

Feb-12-2011

400

427

120

 

 

947

Feb-19-2011

400

425

8

 

 

833

Feb-26-2011

400

278

13

 

 

691

Mar-05-2011

375

16

14

 

 

405

Mar-12-2011

375

10

 

 

 

385

Mar-19-2011

350

29

 

 

 

379

Mar-26-2011

300

 

 

 

 

300

Apr-02-2011

200

 

 

 

 

200

Apr-09-2011

600

 

 

 

 

600

Grand Total

9,742

5,690

3,212

2,570

271

21,485

10/27/2010

How CareerCenters are Helping

  • MDOL operates in a network of 12 CareerCenters across the State providing services to job seekers and employers
  • Employment Service staff work closely with Unemployment staff to identify claimants at critical points in their UI process to provide focused Re-employment Services
    • Rapid Response sessions for recently laid off people
    • Outreach to Claimants
    • General Services for Claimants designed for rapid re-employment
    • Additional Services being added to assist with Exhaustee Crisis