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Old 01-02-2012, 08:08 PM
Location: Wisconsin
25,426 posts, read 55,681,983 times
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Here is a start on the FAQs that should help users of this Forum, I hope. Let me know via DM what needs to be added/corrected/clarified.

1. Can I still collect federal benefits under this latest federal legislation?

If you exhaust your state benefits not later than February 25, 2012, or EUC Tier benefits not later than March 3, you are eligible to move to the next tier and/or EB. Once transitioned to a tier, that tier's benefits can be exhausted in its entirety past the expiration date of March 6, but not later than August 15, 2012. EB payments end as per below:

Relevant Federal Eligibility Dates:

February 25, 2012 - Exhaust state benefits to transition to Tier 1
March 3, 2012 - Exhaust one Tier to transition to next Tier or EB
March 6, 2012 - Expiration date of Legislation
March 10-March 31, 2012
- EB Payments cease, depending on state, regardless of balance remaining.
August 15, 2012 - Last date Tier benefits can be paid

2. How does the unemployment benefit program work? I don’t understand it.

The state and federal unemployment compensation benefit program, at present, provides up to 99 weeks benefits, comprised of up to 26 weeks state benefits and up to 73 weeks federal benefits.

More detail here:

States currently offering less than 26 weeks – Effective 1/1/2012
Florida – 12-23 weeks, depending on unemployment rate, reduces by one week for every .5% reduction in UE rate, starting at 10.5%. Current 10% rate means 22 weeks, not 23.
Michigan – 20 weeks
Illinois – 25 weeks
Missouri – 20 weeks
South Carolina – 20 weeks

Federal Benefits: Maximum 73 weeks (varies by UE rate/trigger/state laws) a/k/a
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC);
Extended Benefits/High Extended benefits a/k/a EB and HUP, as follows:

20 weeks – EUC Tier 1 (two parts EUC08 13 wks; EUCX 7 wks, often credited and paid separately in NY and some other states)
14 weeks – EUC Tier 2 (two parts 13 wks + 1 wk, 14th week often paid at end of Tier 3)
13 weeks – EUC Tier 3 (trigger 6%)
06 weeks – EUC Tier 4 (trigger 8.5%)
13 weeks – EB (trigger 6%)
07 weeks – EB (trigger 8%)

General Tier/EB Facts:

If tier benefits are paid on a claim before its bye, under present legislation, those tiers can be resumed under a subsequent period of unemployment, provided legislation is still in place.

Each Tier and/or EB level must be exhausted before benefits from next Tier/EB begin. This often results in an odd/smaller payment the final week before advancing to the next level (Tier/EB).

In the event of multiple claims, EB is payable only on the last claim.

Triggers are based on the rolling 3-month average unemployment rate, recalculated monthly, per figures reported by the BLS the third Friday of every month. Eligibility to advance to the next Tier and EB payments (depending on state) can end within three weeks of the BLS report.

BLS Trigger Report links here (EUC/EB):

Office of Unemployment Insurance, Employment & Training Administration (ETA) - U.S. Department of Labor

BLS Current State Unemployment rates:

Unemployment Rates for States

3. Can I collect more than one set of tiers?

Yes, under certain circumstances. Generally, in the case of multiple claims, the third claim will void any rights to tiers/EB from the second claim – unless tier benefits from that claim were begun before establishment of the third claim. EB, however, is only payable on the last claim, if that claim is eligible.

4. Why has my state put me back on tiers from my old claim, rather than paying benefits from the current claim?

Unexhausted EUC benefits must be paid before current EUC benefits. Not all states have adhered to this order of payment, but most do. Multiple claims are usually paid as follows:

Claim 1 - State benefits
Claim 1 - EUC Tier benefits until subsequent claim established
Claim 2 – State benefits
Claim 1 – EUC Tier benefits until exhausted
Claim 2 – EUC Tier benefits until exhausted
Claim 2 – EB/HUP (if eligible)

5. How do I know if my claim qualifies for the federal extensions (EUC/EB Earnings Eligibility):

You must have base year earnings equal to 40x weekly benefit or 1.5x highest quarter earnings and (in some states) at least 20 weeks of eligible earnings. Your state website may list its guidelines.

6. What Is Status Of EB/HUP?

Under current legislation (12/23/11), EB/HUP (a/k/a Fed-Ed in CA) payments end – REGARDLESS OF REMAINING BALANCE – anywhere between March 10-31, depending on state.

Without further state action to correct their lookbacks, EB payments end 1/28/2012 in DC, FL, GA, NC, NJ, NM, OH, and PA:

Per BLS 12/27/2012:
Federal law currently provides for 100% Federal sharing for benefit costs under the Federal-State EB program for weeks of unemployment beginning before March 7, 2012. States that have linked the expiration of their EB TUR trigger to the termination of 100% Federal sharing for EB will continue to be in a payable period until the trigger in their law expires or the state triggers "off".

The Federal authorization to have a three year look-back expires on February 29, 2012. States that have tied their three year look-back to the period for 100% Federal sharing for EB will continue to have a three year look-back. However, states that used a hard end date in state law for the three year look-back provision will not have that provision extended by the recent Federal enactments. Absent additional state enactments, the following states will fail to meet the look-back criteria for the TUR trigger and cease to be triggered "on" to EB with the week ending January 7, 2012 and have their EB period conclude January 28, 2012: (DC, FL, GA, NC, NJ, NM, OH, and PA).

New Jersey currently has legislation underway to correct the lookback. It has not been signed as yet.

N.J. legislative Democrats say they will approve extended unemployment benefits by Jan. 9 | State | -- Your State. Your News.

7. I don't understand the lookback. What is it?

Current unemployment rate needs to be 110%/120% (state specific) higher than a period of one, two, or three years prior, determined by federal regs and compliance in state statutes.

An entire thread on the subject here:

Confused about states ending EB based on falling below 110%...

BLS trigger report gives a percentage comparison and lists individual state lookbacks

Trigger Notice Report

8. I've been collecting for a year and am on Tier 2. My claim expires next week. What happens now?

Some states automatically perform the recertification process as long as you continue to file weekly or biweekly claims. In most states, you will need to telephone your state to RECERTIFY your claim. Your state will do a monetary reevaluation for a new claim. If you have not had eligible earnings during your past benefit year, your "application for a new claim" will be denied, your old claim reopened and you continue to receive benefits on that claim. You may receive confusing correspondence at this time, especially in Illinois. Be sure to telephone your state if this happens - and keep claiming if the system allows.

9. I want to move to another state. Can I still collect benefits?

Yes. Your benefits are not affected by resident state triggers if you move, only those applicable to your claiming state. You cannot, however, collect EB if your new resident state is not also paying EB. Both resident state and claiming state must be paying EB. If your resident state is not paying EB, your state will pay you two weeks EB and then cease.

Notify your state of your new address BEFORE you move. NYS, in particular, gets very upset if they are not notified. Also, unemployment mail is NOT forwarded. If you move without notifying your UE office, any correspondence sent will be returned to them. In addition, they may suspend your benefits.

10. Can I claim if I am out of the country?

Check your state website, or call them. NYS has guidelines for out-of-country claims, and will pay internet and phone claims from certain US Territories and Canada. It will not allow or pay claims from Europe and other areas, if detected. In addition it may suspend and ask for repayment of benefits. NYS has protocols in place to identify out-of-country claimants.

11. Why is my last payment so small?

State benefits must be exhausted completely before federal benefits begin. Same applies to Tiers and EB. One tier must be completely exhausted before beginning payments on the next tier/EB. This often results in an odd payment before full benefit payments resume, especially if you’ve been working and have been receiving partial benefits.

12. Why did my last biweekly claim only provide for one claim week?

Transition from state benefits to tier benefits and/or EB. In the event of biweekly claims, claimant might experience one week without benefits before federal benefits begin.

13. Will I get that money on my next claim?
No. You will receive all your benefits, but that skipped week is not paid retroactively. It just extends the time over which benefits are paid.

Last edited by JMT; 02-29-2012 at 01:49 PM.. Reason: Added "paid" per OP's request.

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