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Extended Unemployment Benefits

Extended Unemployment Benefits

In times of economic uncertainty, it is important to know the unemployment benefits that one can avail of. The government has various schemes and benefits for its citizens.
Tulika Nair
As a part of social security scheme, many countries have benefits for people who are unemployed. They are made available with the help of insurance systems that may be semi-governmental in execution. The amounts that are handed out as unemployment benefits differ depending on the laws of the country and the funds allocated towards the scheme. In the United States, it is given to a person who is unemployed because of reasons that he or she has no control over, or has not contributed to in any manner. It is categorized as a benefit under the social welfare scheme of the country and is state run in nature, therefore these benefits in Texas may differ from those provided in California. There are almost 50 such programs that are running in the United States. Due to repercussions of the economic recession that are still being felt, the US government announced benefits for those people who have already used up the insurance benefits available to them.


They are generally available to a person for a fixed period, until the person is able to find employment elsewhere. They generally last for 26 weeks. This may differ depending on the number of weeks you has worked for, in the year you are making claims for. These monetary payments made to the worker are in order to help him sustain himself when he has no means of income. They are a way of ensuring that in times of economic turmoil, the person who has been given the pink slip has assistance for some more time.

A person is deemed ineligible for benefits, if he or she has quit without a valid reason, has been fired from his place of work for misconduct of any sorts, resigned from his previous job due to health reasons (in such a case he or she is eligible for disability insurance), resigns to get married, is self-employed, is involved in any kind of dispute with labor unions or, quit for further education. In any such scenario, a person will not receive any benefits. In case you have been asked to resign from your job, then filing for unemployment should be a priority as it takes time for the checks to start reaching you. If you want to know how to collect unemployment, you will need to file a claim for which you will need your social security number (in case of non-citizens, alien registration card), your mailing address, your phone number, and the details of your employers for the past two years.

The Programs

Started under the Federal State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970, these benefits are also under the Extended Benefits program which is also known as FED-ED. They are generally provided to those workers, who have used up the insurance available to them due to extended unemployment resulting from economic troubles in the country. These programs being state run can extend benefits as and when they deem fit according to problems highlighted by economic indicators.

Most programs last for 13 or more weeks and are started when the state is seeing high unemployment rates. In several states, in case of high levels of unemployment, they have programs that provide benefits for seven more weeks. Some states provide it for 13 - 20 weeks. This amount that the individual receives is the same as the amount received as regular unemployment compensation. In case a state decides to start an extended benefits program, all beneficiaries receive an update informing them of their eligibility for the same. One can also contact the state unemployment insurance agency for information.

As mentioned earlier, these benefits depend on your state or residence, and there are different tiers for which these benefits are valid. Tier 1 lasts for 20 weeks, tier 2 for 14 weeks, tier 3 for 13 additional weeks (this is applicable for states in which the unemployment is 6% or higher), and tier 4 means up to 6 more weeks of benefits (unemployment rate higher than 8.5%). In July 2010, President Barack Obama signed a law that restored denied unemployment benefits after having been cut off leaving almost 2.5 million Americans without any benefits of any kind. According to the bill, benefits are now applicable through November extensible to 99 weeks.

In a period of economic uncertainty, such programs ensure several out-of-work people of some form of sustenance in order to support their families and themselves. On April 7, 2014, the Senate again restored the benefits that were lapsed recently. With 2.8 million people still unemployed and experts predicting the positive change in the situation in a few years, these benefits are the only source of income for many families.