Monday, November 9, 2009

Californians May Not Get 20-Weeks Full Extension of Unemployment Benefits

Because of the delay in the passage of bill that would extend unemployment benefits, very few (if any at all) would qualify for the full-20-week extension.

Although the bill aims to provide a 20-week extension for states that has a high unemployment rate and 14-weeks for the others, it seems that none of the states may get the full extension.

In California, who has a 12.2% unemployment rate, jobless workers should get 20 full weeks.

But they won’t.

This is because Congress failed to change a sunset provision on the bill.

A sunset provision terminates or repeals portions of the law after a specific date.

It is a complicated matter.

The congress, instead of attaching the additional weeks in one new extension, the bill set up a plan that adds two new extensions to the previous ones before the last extension takes effect.

This is referred to as FedEd.

Congress extended FedEd from 13 to 20 weeks with a sunset provision that takes effect at the end of the year.

After January 1, the FedEd will revert back to 13 weeks.

Confused?? So am I.

Anyway, what it generally means is that even if you could start collecting on the latest extension today, time will run out before you can complete 20 weeks of benefits.

So what should jobless Californians do?

Well, nothing really.

Although a lot of people were expecting 20 weeks, a 14 week extension should be better than nothing.

The other option would be to implore Congress to change the sunset provision, which would probably mean more delays on the benefit.

Since most people have exhausted their unemployment benefits, most will take what they can from this extension.