In a move that will result in about 2 million people losing any additional unemployment checks in December, it appears that another extension of the Federal Unemployment Benefits will not take place prior to the current legislation expiring today. A bill has been introduced in the United States Senate that would extend benefits through all of 2011, but at a cost of $56.4 billion. Given the shift in power that will take place in January, it is not likely that such a bill will be passed at this point in time. Under the current law, regular state unemployment benefits are paid for the first 26 weeks, followed by four tiers of emergency unemployment compensation, which last between 6 and 20 weeks, followed by up to five additional months of extended benefits. For someone who is unemployed the lack of additional funding means that they can complete the funding tier that they are currently in, but then cannot move on to the next tier of benefits, and if they are currently in the extended benefits stage, those benefits will cease altogether on December 12, regardless of where a person might be in that category.
For persons in Indiana, there are currently six unemployment tiers:
Regular State Unemployment (UI) provides up to 26 weeks of benefits;
Federal Extensiopn Tier #1 (EEUC) provides up to 20 weeks of benefits;
Federal Extension Tier #2 (EEUC) provides up to 14 weeks of benefits;
Federal Extension Tier #3 (EEUC) provides up to 13 weeks of benefits;
Federal Extension Tier #4 (EEUC) provides up to 6 weeks of benefits;
Extended Benefits (EB) provides up to 20 weeks in benefits.
Thus, it was possible up to this point to receive a total of 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.
All extended benefits payments will end on Sunday, December 12, 2010, as there will be no funding for those benefits, but if a person has just started on Tier #3 as an example, he or she will be entitled to complete that tier, at which point their benefits will run out. If a person is in the last week of Tier #3, however, those benefits will run out when that last week is completed.