By: California Employment Development Department (EDD)
SACRAMENTO January 3, 2013 – The U.S. Congress and President Obama have reauthorized federal extensions of unemployment benefits, sparing an estimated 400,000 Californians from an abrupt cut-off in the New Year.
Since the decision to reauthorize the federal extension program came fairly quickly after the expiration of such benefits last weekend, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) expects to be able to implement the necessary programming and restart extension payments without interruption to all those customers who were claiming such benefits at the end of December. These customers will merely pick up where they left off in the midst of their federal extension claim as long as they remain otherwise eligible.
"2013 just got off to a better start for 400,000 fellow Californians and their families," said Pam Harris, Director of the California Employment Development Department (EDD). "This legislation from Washington means struggling long-term unemployed individuals and their families will continue to receive extended benefits while they pursue employment in the New Year."
Out of more than 820,000 people currently certifying for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in California, about half of them had run out of their up to 26 weeks of regular state-provided unemployment benefits and were certifying for federal extension benefits at the end of December. The EDD will be able to automatically reopen their claims and send them the necessary claim forms over the next several days to complete and return to EDD. There will be NO NEED for these individuals to contact the department.
For those who were not certifying for federal extension benefits at the end of 2012 due to going back to work, school or other situation but still had a remaining balance left on a federal extension claim, they WILL have to contact the EDD as usual to reopen their claim if they happen to become unemployed again and in need of extension benefits.
This latest federal legislation does not include any additional weeks of benefits. It simply extends the filing deadlines for starting any new tier of the four tiers of federal extension benefits available until the end of 2013. (See the EDD website for details on these extension tiers and their new deadline dates.)
The legislation does include the same work search requirements as the past legislation, including requiring individuals to document their work search efforts, provide their documentation to the EDD upon request, and ensure they are registered in the EDD's CalJOBS, the state's online labor exchange system. Additionally, unemployed workers collecting extension benefits on a first or second tier of federal extensions will be required to appear at a local One-Stop Career Center for employment services. (See the EDD website for specific requirements on work search for federal extension benefits.)
The maximum weeks of benefits claimants may qualify for remains up to 73 weeks. The first 26 weeks of that are regular state-provided benefits and the remaining up to 47 weeks are what's potentially available in federal extension benefits.
As of December 31, 2012, more than 933,000 unemployed Californians had exhausted all available UI benefits, including regular UI and federal extension benefits. These individuals may be eligible for assistance to meet basic needs, as well as other services such as health care, counseling, and employment and training assistance. For more information, read the Assistance for Unemployed California Residents flyer and the Job Dislocation Brochure on EDD's website.
EDD is continuing to follow the federal extension issue closely and is committed to ensuring our UI customers are aware of any further developments related to these federal benefits. For more information on federal extension and regular state unemployment benefits, along with other EDD programs and services, we encourage our customers to check for updates on our website at www.edd.ca.gov and on our EDD Facebook and Twitter pages.
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