CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
JUNE 24, 2010
for thousands of
Unemployment benefits ended
two weeks ago for more than 4,000 jobless
Benefit eligibility was curtailed with the expiration of the February 2009 federal stimulus law. Those provisions - expanded by the Congress several times in the following months - provided unemployed workers who exhausted regular state unemployment benefits of 10 to 26 weeks with another 28 to 73 weeks. The provisions also added an extra $25 to the weekly benefit of every claimant regardless of the basic benefit amount.
Unemployment benefits ended with last week’s checks for all workers in the final phase of the extended benefit program, and the $25 supplemental payment will not be provided to any unemployed workers filing their initial benefit claims after May 29.
Claimants receiving benefits under one of the four phases of the federal extended benefit program will receive weekly checks until that phase is completed. Claimants in the federal-state extended benefit program have had their benefits stopped.
Those claimants will not qualify for new phases of extended benefits or see their checks restored under the federal-state extended benefit program unless Congress votes to extend the programs.
About 22,000 people have been receiving extended federal benefits. The other 19,000 are still receiving regular state benefits. Initial claims totaled just over 2,900 two weeks ago. None of them, nor any initial claims filed since will receive the $25 supplement without congressional action.
Instead of calling local offices, claimants with questions are encouraged to visit the Idaho Department of Labor Web site at labor.idaho.gov for the latest information regarding extended unemployment insurance benefits.
"If Congress reaches an agreement and resumes the extended benefit programs, we'll notify all the people who will be affected," said Josh McKenna, acting benefits bureau chief. "Unfortunately we won't know anything more until Congress takes action."
The $25 federal supplement
was injecting more than $1 million a week into the
Last week unemployment benefits totaled more than $11 million – $4.7 million in regular benefits and $5.9 million in federal extended benefits. Another $1 million was disbursed in the $25 supplemental payment.
While employers appeared to
be returning to normal hiring patterns this spring after nearly two years of
cutbacks, the statewide unemployment rate was still 9 percent, and the
Conference Board’s job listing index had only two jobs listed in April for every
The total number of