Up to 60,000 to lose unemployment benefits at end of year
OLYMPIA, Wash., – Up to 60,000 people in Washington will be shut off of unemployment benefits when the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ends on December 29th.
According to the state's Employment Security Department, since July 2008 the program has paid more than $5.6 billion in federally funded unemployment benefits to more than 407,000 jobless workers in this state.
During much of the recession, most unemployed workers could qualify for up to 99 weeks of benefits, including 26 weeks of regular benefits, 53 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) and 20 weeks of extended benefits – paid in that order.
Due to the state's improved unemployment rate, extended benefits shut off last April, and congressional action has reduced EUC benefits to a maximum of 37 weeks.
After Dec. 29, only regular benefits will be available for most Washington workers.
Although Congress has extended the EUC program 10 times in the past four years, there's currently no indication it will be re-authorized again.