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Wednesday, November 24, 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, P.L. 111-157, and P.L. 111-205. The most recent legislation, P.L. 111-205, extended the authorization of the EUC08 program, but 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 up to 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 up to 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 up to 53 weeks of EUC08 benefits in certain states).

All tiers of EUC08 benefits are temporary and expire on the week ending on or before November 30, 2010. Those beneficiaries receiving tier I, II, III, or IV of EUC08 benefits before November 27, 2010 (November 28, 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 November 27, 2010. If an individual is eligible to continue to receive his or her remaining EUC08 benefit tier after November 27, 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 April 30, 2011.

P.L. 111-92 expanded benefits available in the EUC08 program, creating two new tiers of benefits (bringing total benefit tiers to four) and adding 20 weeks of EUC08 benefits (for a total of up to 53 benefit weeks). P.L. 111-118 extended the EUC08 program, the 100% federal financing of the Extended Benefit (EB) program, and the $25 Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) weekly benefit through February 28, 2010. P.L. 111-144 and P.L. 111-157 extended these same three measures until April 5, 2010, and June 2, 2010, respectively.

On July 22, 2010, the President signed P.L. 111-205, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010, into law. P.L. 111-205 extends the availability of EUC08 and 100% federal financing of EB until November 30, 2010. P.L. 111-205 did not, however, extend the authorization for the $25 FAC benefit, which expired on May 29, 2010 (May 30, 2010 for New York).

H.R. 6419 was introduced in the House on November 17, 2010. This proposed legislation would extend the authorization for the EUC08 program and the 100% federal financing of EB through February 2011 as well as allow states to make some technical changes to their EB program triggers.
This report will be updated to reflect current congressional action or programmatic changes. Individuals should contact their state’s unemployment agency to obtain information on how to apply for and receive EUC08 benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor maintains a website with links to each state’s agency at

Date of Report: November 18, 2010
Number of Pages: 18
Order Number: RS22915
Price: $29.95

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