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Estimated 400,000 Californians will see termination of federal extensions for unemployment benefits at the end of the year

Impacted individuals are advised on additional services

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By: California Employment Development Department (EDD)

SACRAMENTO, Dec. 18, 2012 - Unless the U.S. Congress and the President take action, federal extensions of unemployment benefits will come to an abrupt end for an estimated 400,000 Californians in two weeks. The week ending December 29, 2012 will be the last week any federal extension benefits can be paid, even if someone has a remaining balance on their extension claim. Over the last four-and-a-half years, a total of $40 billion in extension benefits have been paid to the long-term unemployed in California.

"Federally extended benefits have served as an economic lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Californians who lost their jobs as a result of the Great Recession," said Pam Harris, Director, California Employment Development Department (EDD). "Now we are facing an end to the extensions in two weeks unless Congress takes further action. Our role here at EDD is to make sure those affected by the end of their benefits know of the approaching deadline, and they're aware of programs available that might help them with their job searches and other needs."

EDD administers the regular state Unemployment Insurance (UI) program in California, along with the federal extension program known as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). The department has sent letters notifying the nearly 400,000 impacted unemployed Californians about the scheduled upcoming end to the federal extension program. (County breakdown of individuals who received notices in November is included below.)

The notices also offer guidance to a wide range of alternative forms of assistance including:

· A comprehensive range of no-fee employment and training services, including résumé and job search assistance, available to everyone at One-Stop Career Centers throughout the state. A listing of local offices is available online at www.edd.ca.gov/Office_Locator/, and by phone at 1-866-333-4606. Many offices also offer Experience Unlimited networking and training groups. They have helped many unemployment individuals find their next job opportunity. Check out further information on EDD's YouTube channel or website.

· The California Department of Social Services administers and oversees programs that provide cash aid and employment services through the California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program; food assistance through the CalFresh Program (formerly known as Food Stamps); child care, residential and in-home care, and services for disabled individuals (at www.benefitscal.org).

· 211 Directory – Connect With Your County, connects people with important community services in most counties. Available online at www.211us.org and by phone at 211.

· WE Connect, a national program that connects families to valuable programs and services. For more information go to www.weconnect.net or call 211.

EDD's website also provides further information and links to these and other helpful programs, such as "Keep Your Home California," a federally funded foreclosure prevention program for those unemployed and collecting EDD benefits. To see if they may qualify for this mortgage assistance, the unemployed can call Keep Your Home California toll free at (888) 954-KEEP (5337), or visit their website at www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/.

Further information on these and other assistance services is available on the "Additional Resources" page on EDD's website at: www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/Additional_Resources.htm.

If Congress and the President do not renew the extended benefits, the EDD will not be able to pay any further federal extension benefits after the week ending December 29. The end of the federal program will NOT affect people who are receiving regular state-funded unemployment benefits. They will continue to be eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits.

The first tier of federally funded extension benefits became available in California in July 2008 when the recession was taking hold. At one time, up to 73 weeks of federal extensions combined with regular state benefits provided a maximum of up to 99 weeks of benefits. In September, the maximum total was reduced to 73 weeks of benefits. Over the last few years, more than 900,000 unemployed workers in California have run out of all available benefits.

The EDD will be monitoring any developments on federal extensions very closely. Recipients of extended benefits are encouraged to monitor the EDD website at www.edd.ca.gov for more information, to sign up for EDD Twitter messages that alert them when new information is posted to the website, and to visit EDD's Facebook page for the latest EDD news and updates.

 

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