Additional Extended UI Benefits Imminent
On September 22, 2009, the House passed the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009 (H.R. 3548). The bill would extend emergency unemployment compensation by an additional 13 weeks for laid-off workers in states with high unemployment. This extension, which is funded entirely by the federal government, would bring the total eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to 72 weeks in states with high unemployment. Workers in states that do not have high unemployment are currently eligible for up to 46 weeks of benefits. The bill would also increase the standard used to define high unemployment to 8.5% three-month average unemployment.