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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits*

Katelin P. Isaacs
Analyst in Income Security

Julie M. Whittaker
Specialist in Income Security
Various benefits may be available to unemployed workers to provide income support. When eligible workers lose their jobs, the Unemployment Compensation (UC) program may provide up to 26 weeks of income support through the payment of regular UC benefits. Unemployment benefits may be extended for up to 47 weeks by the temporarily authorized Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program. Unemployment benefits may be extended for up to a further 13 or 20 weeks by the permanent Extended Benefit (EB) program under certain state economic conditions.

Certain groups of workers who lose their jobs because of international competition may qualify for income support through Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) programs. Unemployed workers may be eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits if they are not eligible for regular UC and if their unemployment may be directly attributed to a declared major disaster. Former U.S. military servicemembers may be eligible for unemployment benefits through the unemployment compensation for ex-servicemembers (UCX) program. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-164) provides that ex-servicemembers be treated the same as other unemployed workers with respect to benefit levels, the waiting period for benefits, and benefit duration.

On January 2, 2013, the President signed P.L. 112-240, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. P.L. 112-240 extends the authorization for the EUC08 program through the week ending on or before January 1, 2014, as well as alters the structure and availability of EUC08 benefits in states. P.L. 112-240 also extends the temporary 100% federal financing of EB and the option to allow states to use three-year lookback calculations in their EB triggers through December 31, 2013.

For an overview of expiring UI provisions and their consequences for UI benefit availability and financing, see CRS Report R41508, Temporary Unemployment Insurance Provisions, by Katelin P. Isaacs.

For an explanation of the impact of sequestration on unemployment insurance benefits, see CRS Report R43133, The Impact of Sequestration on Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions, by Katelin P. Isaacs and Julie M. Whittaker. 

Date of Report: September 17, 2013
Number of Pages: 32
Order Number: RL33362
Price: $29.95

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