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Friday, June 4, 2010

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

Katelin P. Isaacs
Analyst in Income Security

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, P.L. 111-144, and P.L. 111-157. Although the most recent legislation, P.L. 111-157, extended the authorization of the EUC program, it did not change the structure of the program or augment benefits. 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 will expire on June 2, 2010. Those beneficiaries receiving tier I, II, III, or IV EUC08 benefits before May 29, 2010 (May 30, 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 May 30, 2010. If an individual is eligible to continue to receive his or her remaining EUC08 tier I benefit after May 30, 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 November 6, 2010.

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 extended EUC08, the $25 supplemental weekly benefit, and 100% federal EB financing until April 5, 2010.

On April 15, 2010, the President signed P.L. 111-157, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010, into law. P.L. 111-157 extends the availability of EUC08, 100% federal financing of EB, and the $25 FAC benefit, until the week ending on or before June 2, 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 FAC benefit, through the end of December 2010. This version went back to the House where it was amended to extend these three unemployment compensation provisions through the end of November 2010. The House passed this latest version of H.R. 4213 on May 28, 2010. This legislation must now go back to the Senate for consideration.

Date of Report: May 28, 2010
Number of Pages: 17
Order Number: RS22915
Price: $29.95

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