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Friday, January 6, 2012

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

Katelin P. Isaacs
Analyst in Income Security

Julie M. Whittaker
Specialist in Income Security

In July 2008, a new temporary unemployment benefit, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, began. The program’s authorization expires the week ending on or before March 6, 2012. EUC08 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, P.L. 111-205, P.L. 111-312, and P.L. 112-78. Most recently, P.L. 112-78 extends the authorization of the EUC08 program, but does 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 the week ending on or before March 6, 2012. Those beneficiaries receiving tier I, II, III, or IV of EUC08 benefits before March 3, 2012 (March 4, 2012, in New York state) 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 March 3, 2012. If an individual is eligible to continue to receive his or her remaining EUC08 benefit tier after March 3, 2012, 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 August 15, 2012.

On December 23, 2011, the President signed P.L. 112-78, the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011. P.L. 112-78 extends the authorization for the EUC08 program until the week ending on or before March 6, 2012, and the 100% federal financing of the Extended Benefit (EB) program through March 7, 2012.

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: December 2
9, 2011
Number of Pages:
Order Number: RS22
Price: $29.95

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