New Unemployment Benefits Law

A reader writes…

Anita, will you please provide some information regarding the new unemployment benefits law? Any restrictions or rules we should be aware of?

Dear “Unemployed,”

On December 17, 2010, Congress passed a Federal law that extends unemployment benefits for another 13 months!

What does this mean to those of you who are unemployed?
Eligible unemployed workers will have MORE TIME to collect maximum benefits while continuing to search for a new job.

Below is some information that I pulled from the EDD website. Though the EDD (Employment Development Department) is a California state agency, they include some helpful information regarding the recent federal legislation.  Take a peek…


For more than two years, an unprecedented offering of federal unemployment extension benefits has provided additional financial support to unemployed workers hit hard in this long, harsh recession. In addition to the up to 26 weeks of regular UI benefits offered any time an eligible worker becomes unemployed, up to 73 weeks of additional benefits have been available through four different tiers of extension benefits and a separate extension of benefits known as the FED-ED extension. All together, up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits have been available to help support unemployed workers, their families, and their communities.

Here is a breakdown of the new filing deadlines for federal extension benefits now that the program has been extended for another 13 months:


UI Benefits Provided During This Recession
UI Claims Maximum Weeks of Benefits Provided Deadline for Starting This Type of UI Claim
Regular UI Claim Up to 26 weeks of benefits Once someone becomes unemployed
1st Tier of Federal Extension Up to 20 weeks of benefits December 25, 2011
2nd Tier of Federal Extension Up to 14 weeks of benefits January 1, 2012
3rd Tier of Federal Extension Up to 13 weeks of benefits January 1, 2012
4th Tier of Federal Extension Up to 6 weeks of benefits January 1, 2012
Separate FED-ED Extension Up to 20 weeks of benefits January 8, 2012
POTENTIAL TOTAL MAXIMUM BENEFITS Up to 99 weeks of benefits  

No impact for customers who have run out of maximum benefits

The federal legislation enacted on December 17, 2010 does not include any additional weeks of extended benefits, so the maximum total remains up to 99 weeks of benefits.

Unemployed individuals may be eligible for assistance to meet basic needs as well as other services such as health care, counseling, employment, and training assistance.

Impact on Federal Stimulus Payments

If you are a claimant who qualified for the $25 stimulus payments, current federal law states the last week these stimulus payments can be made is the week ending December 11, 2010. Claimants who filed a new regular UI claim effective May 30, 2010 or after do not qualify for the $25 stimulus payments.

Who qualifies for unemployment?
Click:  United States Department of Labor  for specific details regarding eligibility, how to file a claim, what disqualifies a person, benefits, and more.

Hope you find this information helpful!


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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