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Alison Doyle

Cuts in Unemployment Benefits Due to Sequester Budget Cuts

By July 2, 2013

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The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has released a state-by-state analysis of the effects of the federal "sequester" budget cuts on unemployment insurance payments to the long-term unemployed. Overall, the average unemployment payment of $289 was cut by $43 per week or 15%. Workers who receive the maximum benefit amount in their state suffered a cut of $62 a week as a result of the sequester.

In the states with the most severe cuts in unemployment:

North Carolina ended all federal EUC benefits on July 1st, cutting off EUC payments to an estimated 70,000 North Carolinians in the state with the fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation.

Maine eliminated the last eight weeks of benefits available to EUC recipients, rather than reducing benefits by a set percentage each week.

Florida eliminated the last four weeks of EUC.

The states with the highest percentage reductions for all weekly EUC benefits are Maryland (22.2%), New Jersey (22.2%), Montana (19.6%), Connecticut (19.2%), Arizona (16.8%) and Illinois (16.8%).

Ten states opted to implement benefit reductions for new EUC claims only, or for new Tier 1 and those moving to next-Tier claims only, which produced more severe cuts to somewhat smaller groups of workers (CA 17.7%, CO 18.2%, NH 16.7%, NM 25%, ND 18%, UT 17%, NE 19.4%, OH 16.4%, WA 21.1%, WY 23.1%).

In California about around 120,000 workers had their EUC benefits reduced by 17.7% in May alone, according to state officials. An estimated 429,000 will experience benefit reductions through September 30th, and 531,000 will do so by year-end, should sequestration continue.

NELP Report: State Implementation of the Sequester Cuts to Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program

More Information: Unemployment Extension 2013

Related Articles: Unemployment BenefitsHow to File for Unemployment | Extended Unemployment Benefits | Where to Get Help When Unemployment Runs Out

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