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The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Catch-22

Updated on September 11, 2009

Public Law 110-252

 Many reading this may be getting unemployment from job loss. In most states, including California, there is the EUC, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which extends your claim filed. Most claims filed expire within a six month period, the maximum rate one can receive in California is $950 every two weeks. Claimants elgible for this can receive this for about five months.

After your intitial claim ends, the EDD will automatically file for a federal extension for another 20 or weeks, once that expires, one can get a second federal extension based upon the original rates.

Public Law 110-552 which deals with the extensions for many is a false promise and false security for many, key provisions in it intentionally favor those that are in professions that earn more than $40-45 hr, not those earning even $35 hr or less.

According to the EUC, it is a Catch-22 law, for the last date that a first extension can be begin was March 22, 2009. The last date a second extension can begin is Dec. 27, 2009.

What this means is that if you did not file for unemployment until March 23 or later, you can be denied your first extension after your claim comes to and end 5-6 months from that filing. So, for many who applied for unemployment in late March or after, their claims are just now ending in September and they think they will get the first extension. Well, it is already too late to qualify!

The law also can deny you benefits due to various amendments. On Nov. 21, 2008, the law was altered so that a wage earner would have to have earnings in excess of 40 times a weekly benefit amount OR 1.5 times in the highest quarter in their base period in which the claim is based upon.

What does it mean?

It is the Catch-22. Even if your income during employment was great enough and in excess of 40 times a weekly benefit amount or 1.5 times the highest quarter in the base period, your first extension can be denied because the LAST DATE the extension could have begun was way back on March 22, 2009. A date, that for many, had yet to file for unemployment benefits!

So, if you are one of the millions feeling secure about your first extension, you might think again, as you may not get it-many have not got it. The extensions are really for those who did earn a considerable amount of money, their taxed income was high. Those who worked and earned less $20,000 in a quarter are likely not to get it.

Like I said, even if you do qualify, the March 22 date could stop it. 

If you are one of them, the Appeals Board is at:

San Bernadino Adjudication

POB 641

San Bernadino, CA 92402

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