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Alison Doyle

Unemployment Extension Passed

By February 17, 2012

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Congress has passed legislation extending federal unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed through the end of 2012. The unemployment extensions currently in place will remain until May.

Then federal extended benefits for long-term unemployed workers will be gradually reduced to 73 weeks in the states with the highest rates of unemployment and 63 weeks elsewhere.  There will be changes in the number of weeks included in each tier, starting in September.  Plus, the state unemployment rate must be at a certain level for the tiers to kick in, starting in June.

In addition, the legislation would permit states to require drug tests for unemployment recipients who who lost their jobs due to drug use or whose new jobs would require drug testing.   Unemployed workers will be required to job search, which is currently the case in many locations.

Here's a summary of the changes:  

For updates on your eligibility for extended benefits, check with your state unemployment website.

Read More: Unemployment Benefits | Unemployment Extension 2012 | How to File for Unemployment |  Unemployment Tiers | Extended Unemployment Benefits

February 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm
(1) Steven says:

Thanks for helping break down this complex news. What I’m still unable to ascertain by reading through various articles is whethef or not the deadline to exhaist your normal (state) inemployment insurance has changed. For instance, I claim in NY state. Currently, you need to exhaust your 26 weeks of benefits before March 4 in order to even qualify for federal extension. Has that date been moved back?

February 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm
(2) Alison Doyle, Job Search Guide says:

If you run out of state unemployment benefits between now and the end of the year, you’ll be eligible for extended benefits.

NYS is good about updating the website, so they should have information next week (after the holiday). There’s a calculator where you can plug in your info to check on your benefits:


February 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm
(3) Stacey says:

I am in NY, and I have been on unemployment for 51 weeks. I am so confuesed with this new extension. If this changes in May I will have passed 63 weeks this so does that mean my unemployment will end.

February 18, 2012 at 9:13 am
(4) Alison Doyle, Job Search Guide says:

NYS has an unemployment calculator you can use to check how much unemployment you are eligible for. It should be updated next week (after the holiday) and you can enter your information to find out how much unemployment you’ll be able to receive:

February 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm
(5) Lori says:

Question: How will the new extension affect Alabama’s unemployed, specifically Tier 4?

Thank you,


February 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm
(6) sonia says:

Would you have the identification of the Bill passed through relating to the extension bill? Thank you for your time. I believe it should be posted on the Library of Congress website?

July 16, 2012 at 9:49 am
(7) Jessica says:

Are the extension benefits equal to the same weekly pay you were receiving before the extension?

Also does anyone know anything about the supposed change to Tier 1 & Tier 3 coming in Sept 2012?

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