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2015 Federal Unemployment Extended Benefits May Not Occur
Federal Unemployment Extension in 2015 Looks Rare
Federal unemployment compensation benefits were approved by legislation to continue through the end of 2013. Towards the end of 2012, federal unemployment benefits were not set to be extended. No compensation was to be paid for any time periods following the week ending December 28, 2012.
A federal unemployment continuation was approved for 2013. Those who did not get the full length of EUC unemployment compensation in 2012 had the opportunity to continue to file during 2013. Also, those who exhausted their state UC benefits were permitted to file for EUC extended benefits in 2013.
In 2014, federal unemployment extension benefits were stalled, since no approval was granted by Congress. Benefit payments stopped on December 31, 2013. In April of 2014, Congress voted to not extend the benefits for 2014. Now we are in 2015 and there is no sign of any desire by Congress to approve extension filing and payment benefits.
Unemployment Extensions Continued?
Federal EUC extended unemployment benefits were valid through Jan 1, 2014. For a continuation of unemployment benefits after that date, legislation needed to pass a continuance for 2014 but didn't. At the current time of writing, there is less chance that congress will approve long-term, extended benefits in 2015 due to the reduced rate of unemployment. But only time will tell.
Keep Good State Unemployment Job Search Records
Regardless of whether extended unemployment benefits will happen in 2015, you still need to keep good records if receiving unemployment benefits. Federal guidelines require each state to conduct random audits on unemployment job searches, so it is highly recommended that proper records are kept on job searches. If an audit finds inaccurate information or unapproved claims, repayment may be required and benefits may stop.
Federal Unemployment Benefits Update
Federal unemployment compensation consists of several tiers. An approved federal unemployment extension simply continues the same benefits that were provided in the previous year. Currently, nothing has changed for EUC benefits. However, 2015 unemployment may not get them.
EUC benefits consist of four tiers, but the number of tiers which can be utilized depends on the state’s unemployment rate. Each tier has different conditions and each has a certain amount of time before moving to the next tier.
From State Unemployment Benefits to Federal
Once the state benefits have been exhausted, Federal EUC Unemployment Benefits can be applied for through the state unemployment division. If the state has a lower unemployment rate, fewer tiers will be available for federal unemployment compensation. This is perhaps why it looks pretty bleak that 2015 will allow extended benefits.
To put this another way, each state has their own unemployment benefits, followed by federal unemployment benefits once the state benefits have been exhausted. The federal benefits can provide up to 4 tiers, depending on the state’s current unemployment rate. Congress has to approve extensions every year.
For more information, your local unemployment offices and area websites will provide more details and updates. Visit the United States Department of Labor website for state specific information on unemployment benefits.