1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email

Unemployment Extension

Renewal of Federal Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC)


Unemployment Extension Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images

Update April 18, 2014: Congress returns from recess on April 28. Hopefully, there will be action to renew Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits which expired last December when they return.

Update April 14, 2014: The Senate has passed HR 3979, the vehicle for renewing legislation that provides for a 5 month retroactive extension of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired on December 28, 2013.

The next step is for the legislation be approved in the House. In addition, Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) introduced the House companion bill (H.R.4415) which is identical to the Senate legislation in the hopes of expediting a vote.

If passed, the legislation extends the federal EUC benefits that were in place last year through May 31, 2014. Unemployed workers who were collecting EUC and whose benefits were cut off on December 28 and those who have run out of state unemployment benefits since then would be eligible. It does not provide any extra tiers of benefits or provide benefits for those had already run out of unemployment prior to December 28, 2013.

Check back frequently for updates. I will post as soon as there is news.

Companies Hiring Unemployed Workers
President Obama has announced an initiative to encourage hiring of the long term jobless. Here's a list of companies that have pledged to encourage the hiring of unemployed workers.

Where to Get Help
Also, here's a list of where to get help if you're out, or about to run out, of unemployment benefits.

Important: Some states have advised claimants to continue filing, others say they will file for you if EUC is extended, and others won't let you file. Your state unemployment office may provide notification saying no further extension benefits can be paid. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a chance of benefits being continued for 2014. Check your State Unemployment Office for details.

More News & Information: I will post updates as soon as there is news on what will be happening with unemployment. Also, follow me on Twitter, add me to your Google+ Circles and like About Job Search on Facebook for more news and information.

More Information

Update March 29, 2014: The Senate voted on Thursday (65 - 34) to move legislation restoring federal jobless benefits forward. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said that this is a step forward in restoring unemployment benefits for the over 2 million people whose benefits have run out.

The more than 2 million unemployed workers who have lost benefits would be eligible for retroactive payments.

The next step is another vote in the Senate to move the legislation forward, which is scheduled for on Monday.

Update March 16, 2014: Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) have announced a bipartisan compromise agreement (Reed-Heller Agreement to Restore Emergency Unemployment Insurance) to restore federal jobless benefits which expired on December 28, 2013.

The legislation (The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014, Reed-Heller and others, S.2149) is on the Senate calendar for discussion next week. It would then need to be passed by the House. Both the House and the Senate are recessed until March 24th so there will be no action until some time that week.

The proposal is fully paid for. In addition to extending unemployment benefits, the legislation strengthens reemployment and eligibility assessment programs. It would provide personalized assessments and referrals to employment services at the beginning of UI Tier 1 (week 27) and at the 55th week of UI (Tier III).

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mark Kirk (R-IL). 

Update March 12, 2014: Democrats have filed a discharge petition in an attempt to force a vote on legislation to renew unemployment benefits in the House of Representatives. The House would be required to consider the legislation if a majority of Members sign the petition. However, Republican support would be necessary for petition to succeed.

There are two bills pending in the Senate to continue extended unemployment insurance benefits for the over 2 million workers who have run out of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired in December.

S. 2097 (Republican sponsored legislation) would extend federal unemployment insurance benefits for five months, allowing for retroactive benefits.

S. 2077 (Democratic legislation) which would provide for a 6 month extension, also providing retroactive benefits.

To date, votes have not been scheduled on either bill.

Update March 7, 2014: Republican Senators have introduced legislation (S.2097) that would extend unemployment insurance benefits for the more than 2 million workers who have run out of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired in December. If passed, the legislation would extends federal unemployment insurance benefits for five months, allowing for retroactive benefits.

There is also Democratic legislation (S. 2077) pending which would provide for a 6 month extension.

Update March 4, 2014: Senator Harry Reid filed legislation today to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired in December. The bill is S.2077, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014. This proposed legislation includes a 6 month retroactive extension. News reports indicate that there may be a vote next week.

Update February 27, 2014: Reports indicate that the Senate is working on legislation that would renew Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) for 6 months. If passed, benefits would be retroactive. Hopefully, this will be bipartisan legislation that can be agreed on and voted on soon.

Updated February 12, 2014: Legislation which would extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits was voted down in the Senate last week. It was short one vote needed to pass.  A date has not yet been set for another vote, however Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that it will be voted on again - "When the Senate returns, we will revisit the issue of extending unemployment insurance benefits.  I want to be absolutely clear: This issue is not going away. We are one Republican vote away from restoring this lifeline."

Update January 29, 2014: President Obama spoke about the need to renew expired Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits during the State of the Union address saying "I’m also convinced we can help Americans return to the workforce faster by reforming unemployment insurance so that it’s more effective in today’s economy. But first, this Congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people."

Update January 23, 2014: Legislation to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired at the end of December 2013 has been voted down in the Senate. However, a motion to reconsider has been approved. Senator Harry Reid has indicated that the legislation to restore extended unemployment benefits will be voted on after the Senate recess next week. The earliest date would be January 27th.

Update January 14, 2014. An unemployment extension has been, unfortunately, voted down in the Senate. However, there is a motion pending to reconsider. Democratic lawmakers have said they will be moving as quickly as possible to move the legislation forward.

Update January 13, 2014. A Senate vote on extending unemployment benefits has been postponed until Tuesday, January 14 while negotiations over proposed legislation continue.

From a news release from Senator Dean Heller: "We continue to negotiate in good faith, and we are all encouraged that we are making progress on a package that could pass with bipartisan support.  The proposal includes (1) a three-month extension of the temporary federal long-term unemployment insurance program; (2) a repeal of the recent cuts in the military retiree cost-of-living adjustment included in December's budget agreement; and (3) offsets to pay for the unemployment extension and restoring military retiree benefits within the budget window."

Update January 10, 2014: A Senate vote on extending expired unemployment benefits has been postponed until Monday, January 13.

News reports indicate that the legislation could contain a 9 month extension of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) through November 15, 2014. However, what is included in the  could change depending on negotiations to find a bipartisan approach that can pass both the Senate

Update January 7, 2014: The Senate voted 60 - 37 to move forward on legislation that would provide for a three-month extension of benefits. There should be a vote on the bill later this week. If passed in the Senate, it will then go to the House. This is very good news and a step forward for those supporting the renewal of expired unemployment benefits.

Update January 6, 2014: The vote in the Senate to continue expired unemployment benefits for 3 months has been postponed until tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 10 am EST. This will allow the Democrats more time to try to get the 60 votes needed to approve the legislation. If the legislation is passed in the Senate, it would then go to the House to be voted on.

Update January 2, 2014: A bipartisan bill will be introduced by Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on January 6th which would provide for a 3 month unemployment insurance benefits (Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired on December 28th. A vote is expected early next week. The legislation would then need to be passed in the House to be approved.

Update December 12, 2013:  A budget agreement has been reached in Congress. However, it does not include an extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program which expires on December 28, 2013. Congressional Democrats and the White House are continuing efforts to pass an extension in separate legislation.

Update November 16, 2013: Extended unemployment benefits will not be available in 2014 unless Congress passes legislation renewing the federal legislation that extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) reports that if Congress does not reauthorize the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, more than 2 million unemployed workers will lose federal unemployment benefits by the end of March 2014.

In the week between Christmas and New Year's, the 1.3 million workers currently receiving federal EUC will be abruptly cut off from benefits.  Another 850,000 workers will not be eligible for EUC when their state employment benefits run out early next year.

In addition, the Obama administration is asking Congress to extend emergency jobless benefits for long-term unemployed workers into 2014. According to news reports, Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council, speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum said "With an unemployment rate of 7.3% we need to raise the emergency unemployment insurance and push for extensions to 2014."

Extended Unemployment Benefits for 2013

Here's information on unemployment benefits for 2013, including regular (state) unemployment insurance (UI), extended unemployment compensation (EUC) and extended benefits (EB) that will be continued under the same program that was in place in 2012.

Here's an overview of the tiers of extended unemployment benefits, qualifying factors for tiers to be available, and the maximum number of weeks of unemployment that is available for unemployed workers.

Important: Check your State Unemployment Office website for details on who qualifies for extended benefits and when and how benefits will be paid or check this list of state unemployment extension websites to go directly to the information for your location.

Qualifying for Extended Benefits

Unemployment extension benefits vary based on the state unemployment rate and your claim date. Check your state unemployment office website for details on who qualifies for extended benefits in your state, how many weeks you are eligible for, and when and how benefits will be paid. Check the "Extended Benefits" section for information.

Federal Extended Benefits

In addition to state unemployment compensation, there may be additional benefits funding by the Federal government, including Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits.

All federally funded unemployment benefits are paid through the state unemployment offices.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tiers

Unemployed workers are eligible for additional weeks of unemployment benefits provided by federal government. There are currently four tiers of unemployment which provide additional weeks of unemployment compensation for eligible workers.

Here's information on tiers of extended unemployment benefits, the weeks included in Tiers 1 - 4, qualifying factors for tiers to be available, and the number of weeks of unemployment benefits that are available for unemployed workers.

Eligibility is based upon federal guidelines and the unemployment rate in your state, as well as the date you became unemployed. Check your state unemployment website for details on what benefits you may be eligible for.

State Extended Benefits

Extended Unemployment Benefits are available to workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment. There are triggers (calculations based on the state unemployment rate) that determine when a State will extend benefits.

The basic Extended Benefits (EB) 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.

How to Collect Extended Benefits

When a State begins an Extended Benefit period, it notifies those who have received all of their regular benefits that they may be eligible for Extended Benefits. You may contact the State Unemployment Insurance agency to ask whether Extended Benefits are available.

Read More: Unemployment Compensation | Unemployment Extension | How to Calculate Your Unemployment Benefits

The private web sites, and the information linked to both on and from this site, are opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only.

Related Video
10 Things to Do After a Layoff
Preparing for a Job Interview

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.