Unemployment extension occurs when regular unemployment benefits are exhausted and extended for additional weeks. Unemployment extensions are created by passing new legislation at the federal level, often referred to as an "unemployment extension bill." This new legislation is introduced and passed during times of high or above average unemployment rates. Unemployment extensions are set during a date range in order to estimate their federal cost. After expiration, the unemployment data is re-evaluated, and new legislation may be proposed and passed to further extend them.
In the United States, there is a standard of 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, known as "regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits." There are two programs for extending unemployment insurance (UI) benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB).
The unemployment insurance program is a great benefit for workers whom have lost their job. The maximum duration of benefits has increased from 26 to 99 weeks in some states. Unemployment extensions across the United States are a concern due to the lack of motivation in obtaining a job due to health issues. A solution to the problem would be to implement frequent processes to ensure the individual continues to stay actively applying as well as proper health routines are done. The benefits given are too long causing a lack in motivation to find a job and health issues that arise as a result of being laid off. Health issues include: anxiety, depression, joint problems, and low self-esteem. A solution to the problem would be to require routine health checkups to individuals receiving the unemployment benefits. Another solution would be to provide seminars that help motivate individuals and keep them prepared when actively applying for jobs to avoid the benefits extension that would lead to underlying health issues. Providing unemployed individuals with the proper tools and resources will help with the unemployment rate and the need for extending unemployment benefits in the United States.
EUC is a 100% federally funded program that provides benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular state benefits. The EUC program was created on June 30, 2008, and has been modified several times. Most recently, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-240) extended the expiration date of the EUC program to January 1, 2014. To date, Congress has not passed any further extensions.
EUC has four levels: Tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4.
EUC08, or Emergency Unemployment Compensation 2008, is an extension of unemployment benefits authorized under Federal law. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (enacted on Feb 22, 2012) modified EUC08.
Claimants who filed an initial claim effective on or after May 7, 2006 are potentially eligible for EUC08. Individuals who are monetarily ineligible when a new benefit year is filed may qualify for EUC08 on the basis of a previous claim.
Extended Benefits are available to workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment. The basic Extended Benefits program provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits when a State is experiencing high unemployment. Some States have also enacted a voluntary program to pay up to 7 additional weeks (20 weeks maximum) of Extended Benefits during periods of extremely high unemployment.
In addition to individuals who exhausted all rights to benefits after the original date of enactment, the EUC law includes what is commonly referred to as a reachback provision. A reachback provision makes eligible those individuals who exhausted all rights to benefits prior to the original date of enactment (back to a specified date). The EUC law makes eligible all individuals whose benefit year ending date is on or after May 1, 2007. Practically speaking, this means some individuals receiving EUC may have become unemployed as early as May 2006.