New Developments on Federal Unemployment Extensions and Benefits
(Updated December 3, 2013)
December 3, 2013 4:30 p.m.
Updated: The number of individuals who have run out of benefits is now over 1,238,700.
- Upcoming End to Federal Extension Benefits
- Sequestration Cuts
- End of Tier 4 Federal Extensions
- Potential Maximum Weeks of Benefits Provided
- Work Search Requirements for Eligibility of Extensions Benefits
- Current Benefits Status
- Customers Who Have Run Out of Maximum Benefits
Upcoming End to Federal Extension Benefits
The EDD is notifying unemployment claimants that federal extension benefits are set to expire at the end of 2013. Unless the U.S. Congress and the President take any further action, California and all other states can no longer pay these federal extension benefits for weeks ending after December 28, 2013.
That means no further weeks of extension benefits can be paid after the end of the year, even if someone remains unemployed and still has a remaining balance on his or her extension.
The EDD estimates more than 222,000 Californians are currently certifying for federal extension benefits and will be immediately impacted by the scheduled upcoming cut-off of these benefits. Federal extension benefits are only available once someone runs out of their up to 26 weeks of regular state-provided unemployment benefits. Those initial state benefits will continue to be available.
- Those customers on extensions make up about one-third of the more than 617,000 people in California currently certifying for unemployment benefits.
- The total number of claimants has gone down since the early September estimate of 770,000 mostly due to the end of Tier 4 extension benefits (refer to the End of Tier 4 Federal Extension section on this page.)
Notices are being sent to those certifying for extension benefits advising them of the scheduled cut-off so they can plan their personal finances accordingly. The notices also encourage customers to closely monitor this website page for any developments on federal extensions between now and the end of the year. In addition, information about local additional resources is also being provided in case claimants and their families may be in need of other assistance.
Extension Impact in California
- During the past 5 ½ years of high unemployment, a total of $44.6 billion in extension benefits have been paid to the long-term unemployed in California, which includes the federal extension tiers along with the separate extended benefits known in California as FED-ED that ended in May 2012.
- At the peak of the recession, the federal government provided up to 73 weeks of extended unemployment benefits in addition to the regular 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits.
- Late last year (2012), the fate of the extensions was in doubt until the President and Congress reached a last-minute agreement on legislation renewing the added benefits until the end of 2013. That legislation continued the four tiers of extensions, which were enacted over the years in response to massive job losses spawned by the great recession.
- But, as the economy improved, legislation eventually reduced the maximum federal benefits currently available here in California to 37 weeks and extended the benefits only until the end of this year.
The U.S. Department of Labor has advised the EDD of changes to the sequestration cuts. In California and a few other states, we have been phasing out these cuts for individuals ending their current tier and starting a new tier with an effective date of September 29, 2013, or after. In California, this means there will not be a 17.69% sequestration cut on any NEW federal extension tier filed with an effective date of September 29, 2013, or after.
For individuals currently collecting federal extension benefits on an existing tier with effective dates April 28, 2013, through September 22, 2013, the weekly and maximum benefit amounts will continue to reflect a 17.69% cut until that current tier ends and the next extension tier is filed with an effective date of September 29, 2013, or after.
After each federal extension is filed, an eligibility notice is mailed providing the effective date of the extension, the weekly benefit amount, and the maximum benefit amount available.
- For federal extension tiers with effective dates of April 28, 2013 through September 22, 2013, the notice will reflect a 17.69% cut in the weekly and maximum benefit amounts.
- For federal extension tiers with effective dates of September 29, 2013, and after, the notice will not reflect a 17.69% cut in the weekly and maximum benefit amounts. The notice will reflect the full benefit amounts without any cuts taken.
Below is a breakdown of the benefits that will be impacted by the sequestration cuts in California.
before Apr 28, 2013
Apr 28, 2013 – Sep 22, 2013
Sep 29, 2013 – Dec 22, 2013
|Regular Claim||Benefits are not impacted||Benefits are not impacted||Benefits are not impacted|
|Tier 1||Benefits are not impacted||Benefits will be cut by 17.69%.||Benefits are not impacted|
|Tier 2||Benefits are not impacted||Benefits will be cut by 17.69%.||Benefits are not impacted|
|Tier 3||Benefits are not impacted||Benefits will be cut by 17.69%.||Benefits are not impacted|
|Tier 4||Benefits are not impacted||Benefits will be cut by 17.69%.||N/A|
If your benefits will be impacted by the sequestration cuts in California (based on the chart above), please visit our Sequestration Reduction Calculator to estimate what your weekly benefit amount will be after the 17.69% sequestration cut. For more information on the sequestration cut, please visit our frequently asked questions on the FAQ – Extended Unemployment Benefits page.
End of Tier 4 Federal Extensions
Beginning in August 2013, California no longer meets the minimum criteria to file Tier 4 extensions because the state’s three-month average unemployment rate has dropped below 9%. This means up to ten weeks of additional unemployment benefits normally available once someone runs out of regular state-provided benefits and Tier 1, 2 and 3 extension benefits, will no longer be available for individuals who finish their Tier 3 extension benefits after August 11, 2013.
The EDD cannot start Tier 4 federal extensions with a beginning date of August 18, 2013, and after. Individuals who begin receiving Tier 4 federal extension benefits on an extension with a beginning date of August 11th or before will continue to receive these benefits until they are exhausted or until December 28, 2013, whichever comes first. Refer to the Potential Maximum Weeks of Benefits Provided chart for the filing deadlines for all federal extension benefits available in California.
- If the balance on your Tier 3 federal extension is zero ($0) for a week ending date prior to August 11, 2013, the EDD will automatically file the Tier 4 federal extension with an effective date of August 11, 2013, or before. You will be mailed an eligibility notice and the next continued claim form.
- If the balance on your Tier 3 federal extension is zero ($0) for a week ending date after August 11, 2013, you will not qualify for the Tier 4 federal extension. You will be mailed a notice that you have exhausted all available unemployment benefits.
Tier 4 benefits have been payable in California since February 2010 when unemployed individuals ran out of their regular state-provided benefits and Tiers 1, 2 and 3 of federal extension benefits. The loss of Tier 4 extension benefits means the new maximum potential benefit amount is up to 63 weeks, including up to 26 weeks of state-provided regular benefits and up to 37 additional weeks of federal extension benefits. (See chart below.)
In addition, Californians collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits should be aware that all tiers of federal extension benefits are set to expire at the end of 2013. Unless the U.S. Congress takes any further action, the maximum amount of unemployment benefits available to Californians will return to the up to 26 weeks of benefits available under a regular UI claim. At the peak of the recession, up to 99 weeks of benefits were available through a combination of state and federal extension benefits.
Potential Maximum Weeks of Benefits Provided
Federal extensions of unemployment benefits first became available in California in June 2008 and since then a total of more than $41 billion in extension benefits have been paid in the state. Once offering up to 73 additional weeks of unemployment after someone ran out of their regular up to 26 weeks of state-provide benefits, federal extensions will now provide up to 37 additional weeks of benefits.
The following chart is a breakdown of the federal extension benefits and the total maximum weeks of unemployment benefits available in California. The total number of potential maximum weeks of benefits available depends on when your regular UI claim and extensions are filed.
Note: The sequestration cuts do not change the potential maximum number of weeks available but will reduce the weekly and maximum dollar amounts potentially payable by 17.69% for extensions with effective dates of April 28, 2013 through September 22, 2013. For example, individuals whose federal EUC extension tier began September 15, 2013, and whose weekly benefit amount is $450 and maximum benefit amount is $6,300 will have a reduced weekly benefit amount of $371 and maximum benefit amount of $5,186 after the sequestration cut. The amount of weeks available within each extension tier remains the same; only the overall benefit amount available is cut.
|Feb 19, 2012 –
May 6, 2012
|May 13, 2012 –
May 20, 2012
|May 27, 2012 –
Aug 26, 2012
|Sep 2, 2012 –
Aug 11, 2013
|Aug 18, 2013 –
Dec 22, 2013
|Claim/Extension Filing Deadline Date||Last Payable Week Ending Date|
|Up to 26 weeks||Up to 26 weeks||Up to 26 weeks||Up to 26 weeks||Up to 26 weeks||Once someone becomes unemployed||Once someone collects all available benefits or the claim ends, whichever occurs first|
|Tier I||Up to 20 weeks||Up to 20 weeks||Up to 20 weeks||Up to 14 weeks||Up to 14 weeks||December 22, 2013||December 28, 2013*|
|Tier 2||Up to 14 weeks||Up to 14 weeks||Up to 14 weeks||Up to 14 weeks||Up to 14 weeks||December 22, 2013||December 28, 2013*|
|Tier 3||Up to 13 weeks||Up to 13 weeks||Up to 13 weeks||Up to 9 weeks||Up to 9 weeks||December 22,
|December 28, 2013*|
|Tier 4||Up to 6 weeks||Up to 16 weeks||Up to 6 weeks||Up to 10 weeks||0 weeks||August 11, 2013||December 28, 2013*|
|Up to 20 weeks||0 weeks||0 weeks||0 weeks||0 weeks||May 6, 2012||May 12, 2012|
|TOTAL||Up to 99 weeks||Up to 89 weeks||Up to 79 weeks||Up to 73 weeks||Up to 63 weeks|
*There are special claims that have a week ending date other than Saturday. In those cases, benefits may be payable for the week ending January 1, 2014.
Work Search Requirements for Eligibility of Extensions Benefits
Federal legislation on extension benefits requires individuals to meet specific work search requirements to be paid benefits on their federal extensions. Those collecting federal extensions could lose their benefits if they fail to comply with the work search requirements of the federal law. Individuals collecting regular UI benefits and federal extension benefits have always been required to look for work. However, this legislation requires individuals collecting federal extension benefits (Tiers 1-4) to also meet the following work search requirements, in addition to meeting all other UI eligibility requirements:
- Document their work search efforts, which now must include contacts with at least three different employers each week; and
- Provide their work search documentation upon request to the EDD; and
- Ensure they are registered in EDD’s CalJOBSSM, California’s online job listing and resume service, by entering or updating their résumé in the system.
In addition, those individuals collecting benefits on the first or second Tier of federal extension benefits must appear at a local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM (formerly known as One-Stop Career Centers) to learn about employment services offered by the EDD and local partners, and to verify that they are complying with UI eligibility requirements. Individuals who must complete these mandatory Reemployment and Eligibility Assessments (REA) appointments will receive notices on appointment details. They could lose their benefits if they fail to appear for that appointment and/or fail to comply with other requirements of the law. For more information on the REA appointments, please visit the Reemployment Eligibility Assessment page.
For more information on the work search requirements, please visit our frequently asked questions on the FAQ – Extended Unemployment Benefits page.
Current Benefits Status
Currently, there are more than 617,000 people certifying for benefits in California. About one-third of these customers are collecting on a federal extension claim while the remainder are somewhere in the midst of a regular unemployment claim.
Between regular and federal extension benefits, the EDD has paid a total of $17.1 billion in benefits for calendar year 2011, $13.8 billion for calendar year 2012, and about $10 billion through October 2013. These benefits provide critical sustenance to unemployed workers and their families, in addition to local businesses where much of the benefits are spent on basic needs.
Customers Who Have Run Out of Maximum Benefits
As of December 2, 2013, there have been close to 1,238,700 unemployed workers in California who have run out of all available 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. For more information, read the Assistance for Unemployed California Residents flyer and the Job Dislocation Brochure: English | Spanish.
For any further developments in the Unemployment Insurance program, as well as all other EDD programs and services, we encourage our customers to watch for updates on our website and on our EDD Twitter and Facebook pages.
- Apply for UI or Reopen a UI Claim
- Certify for UI Benefits
- Access UI Payment Information
- Forms and Publications
- More Help for the Unemployed
Top Links This Month
- EDD Web-CertSM
- Ways to File
- UI Telephone Numbers
- Where is My Payment
- Managing Your UI Benefits
- Benefit Determination Guide