Federal emergency unemployment to end
12/18/2013, 10:20 p.m.
Federal jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed end December 28 with final payments to be made in early January, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said.
Unless Congress extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, approximately 80,000 Illinois workers will receive their last payment when they certify for benefits in the first or second week of January. Although EUC lasts 47 weeks, the program’s expiration means everyone will stop receiving benefits regardless of how long they have been collecting EUC.
The 109,000 additional workers collecting under the state’s 26-week regular unemployment insurance program will not be immediately impacted by EUC’s expiration. However, 36,000 of those individuals would have qualified for EUC in the first quarter of 2014.
“While today’s job growth allows most newly unemployed individuals to find work after a several weeks, the long-term unemployed face additional hurdles,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Ending this modest program based on a calendar date rather than economic principles and job skills could slow economic growth.”
The average weekly benefit payment is $320. The maximum weekly family payment is $562. EUC benefits to the 80,000 individuals represent $25.6 million in purchasing power each week.
Unemployment insurance is a temporary program that supports families during jobless periods through no fault of their own. The program also supports local businesses because benefit dollars are spent at local grocers, gas stations and clothing stores. Economic analysis show each $1 in unemployment insurance generates between $1.63 and $2 in economic activity.
President George W. Bush signed into law the initial EUC in 2008. Several extensions have been authorized since. President Barack Obama has urged Congress to extend EUC through 2014.
State agencies are working together to deliver services to unemployed Illinois workers. Access to services for basic needs such as job training, food, clothing and shelter are located at www.ides.illinois.gov/assistance.