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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Temporary Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08)

Julie M. Whittaker
Specialist in Income Security

Alison M. Shelton
Analyst in Income Security

In July 2008, a new temporary unemployment benefit, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, began. The EUC08 program was created by P.L. 110-252, and it has been amended by P.L. 110-449, P.L. 111-5, P.L. 111-92, P.L. 111-118 and, P.L. 111-144.This temporary unemployment insurance program provides up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to certain workers who have exhausted their rights to regular unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. A second tier of benefits provides up to an additional 14 weeks of benefits (for a total of 34 weeks of EUC08 benefits for all unemployed workers). A third tier is available in states with a total unemployment rate of at least 6% and provides up to an additional 13 weeks of EUC08 benefits (for a total of 47 weeks of EUC08 benefits in certain states). A fourth tier is available in states with a total unemployment rate of at least 8.5 % and provides up to an additional six weeks of EUC08 benefits (for a total of 53 weeks of EUC08 benefits in certain states). There are no proposals that would create a Tier V of benefits. 

All tiers of EUC08 benefits are temporary and expired on April 5, 2010, although Congress is currently considering legislation to retroactively extend the program. Those beneficiaries receiving tier I, II, III, or IV EUC08 benefits before April 3, 2010 (April 4, 2010, in New York) are "grandfathered" for their remaining weeks of eligibility for that particular tier only. There will be no new entrants into any tier of the EUC08 program after April 3, 2010. If an individual is eligible to continue to receive his or her remaining EUC08 tier benefit after April 3, 2010, that individual would not be entitled to tier II benefits once those tier I benefits were exhausted. No EUC08 benefits—regardless of tier—are payable for any week after September 4, 2010. 

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, P.L. 111-92, expanded benefits available in the EUC08 program. It created two new tiers of benefits, bringing total benefit tiers to four and adding 20 weeks to the number of weeks of EUC08 benefits available to individuals, for a total of up to 53 benefit weeks. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010, P.L. 111-118, was signed by the President on December 19, 2009, and extended the EUC08 program, the 100% federal financing of the Extended Benefits (EB) program, and the $25 supplemental weekly benefit through February 28, 2010. 

P.L. 111-144 extends EUC08, the $25 supplemental weekly benefit, and 100% federal EB financing until April 5, 2010. 

On March 10, 2010, the Senate passed H.R. 4213, the Tax Extenders Act of 2010. H.R. 4213 would extend the availability of EUC08, 100% federal financing of EB, and the $25 Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) benefits, through the end of December 2010. Because the original bill was amended by the Senate in the nature of a substitute (S.Amdt. 3336), the Senatepassed version must now go back to the House for consideration. 

On March 17, 2010, the House passed H.R. 4851, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010. H.R. 4851 would extend the availability of EUC08, 100% federal financing of EB, and the $25 FAC benefits, until the week ending on or before May 5, 2010.

Date of Report: April 6, 2010
Number of Pages: 16
Order Number: RS22915
Price: $29.95

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