Emergency unemployment benefits restored/nr 07/28/2010
TOPEKA – After delays lasting more than a month, Congress has acted to extend the deadline to apply for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), restoring benefits for thousands of unemployed Kansans. The legislation, which extends the deadline to apply for EUC benefits to Nov. 30, 2010, was signed by the President July 22 and took effect immediately.
“Keeping these benefits available is extremely important for thousands of Kansans who continue to be unemployed through no fault of their own,” said Kansas Labor Secretary Jim Garner. “While we are beginning to see some job growth in our state, it is not yet at a level that will accommodate all those who continue to look for work. We must retain the ability to assist those individuals until we begin to see strong recovery in the labor market.”
When the previous EUC deadline expired June 2, 2010, the Kansas Department of Labor put on hold new applications for EUC benefits, anticipating quick action by Congress to extend the deadline. When it became clear action to extend the deadline would be delayed, the agency began to move individuals who were waiting on EUC benefits to the State Extended Benefit program. More than 9,000 unemployed Kansans received applications for the State Extended Benefit program, which provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits.
With the new legislation now in effect, the department will continue to move individuals with pending EUC claims to the State Extended Benefits until programming can be completed to reinstate the EUC program. That is expected to take three to four weeks. If individuals who had pending EUC claims begin receiving State Extended Benefits before programming changes to reinstate EUC can be completed, they will not receive EUC benefits until all of their State Extended Benefits have been exhausted. The State Extended Benefits program provides a maximum of 13 weeks of benefits.
In Kansas, three tiers of EUC benefits are available, providing up to an additional 47 weeks of benefits for the unemployed. The legislation passed last week did not create a new benefit tier, it only extended the deadline by which individuals can apply for the existing extended benefits. New benefits are not available to individuals who have already exhausted benefits from all three tiers of the EUC program and the State Extended Benefits program.