Possible Interruption in Unemployment Benefits (Updated August 2, 2011)
8/2/2011 12:30 p.m.
President Obama has signed a new agreement reached by the United States Congress to increase the federal debt limit. For the time being, that means a shortage of federal funding should be avoided and the payment of unemployment benefits across the country should be able to continue uninterrupted. Congressional members now will direct their attention to identifying sources of funding to cut by more than $2 trillion over the next ten years.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) will be monitoring developments in Washington for any potential future impact on unemployment benefits, as well as on job search assistance and training services available throughout the state that are also paid for by federal funding.
Current Benefits Status
Currently, there are more than 1.1 million people certifying for benefits in California. The majority of these customers are collecting on a federal extension claim while the remainder are somewhere in the midst of a regular unemployment claim. A regular claim provides up to 26 weeks of benefits and federal extension benefits provide up to another 73 weeks of benefits, provided by the federal government due to the length and severity of the economic recession. Between regular and federal extension benefits, the EDD has paid a total of $10.5 billion in benefits so far this year (as of July 28, 2011), and is currently paying about $350 million a week. 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.
For now, the deadline for starting any new federal extension claim is coming up at the end of 2011.
We encourage our customers to watch for any updates here on our EDD Web site and sign up for updates via Twitter and Facebook.
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