Resources For Workers

Extended UI Benefits

Currently, there are two programs that allow workers to receive extended benefit payments after running out of their regular state benefits. Both of these programs are, at this time, 100% funded with federal money. These programs are Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB).

FAQ on interstate claims under the EUC and EB federal extensions. Click here. 

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is a temporary program that was initiated in mid-2008 and extended by the Recovery Act in February 2009. EUC paid for an additional 20 weeks of benefits for workers in all states (known as Tier I benefits), and for workers in “high unemployment states,” paid an additional 13 weeks (Tier II).

In November 2009, the EUC program was expanded through The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (Worker Assistance Act). Under this extension, the EUC program pays for an additional 14 weeks of benefits for workers in all states, and for workers in "high unemployment states," pays an additional 6 weeks on top of this initial 14 weeks (bringing the total to 20 weeks for workers in these states). The Worker Assistance Act expands EUC08 in the following ways. As of December 19, 2009, the entire EUC program was extended until February 28, 2010.

• Tier I

o 20 weeks of benefits available to all workers

o The same as the previous Tier I (prior to the November extension)

• Tier II

o 14 weeks of benefits available to all workers

o Increases the weeks in the previous Tier II from 13 to 14 weeks of benefits in all states and is no longer tied to the state reaching a specified level of unemployment

• Tier III

o 13 additional weeks of benefits in states with an insured unemployment rate of at least 4 percent or a total unemployment rate of at least 6 percent

o This is the previous Tier II (prior to the November extension)

• Tier IV

o 6 additional weeks of benefits in states with an insured unemployment rate of at least 6 percent or a total unemployment rate of at least 8.5 percent

States on Tier I and Tier II

Low unemployment states previously paying only 20 weeks of Tier I EUC will now also pay Tier II benefits and furnish up to 14 additional weeks of EUC to those who have already exhausted Tier I and those exhausting Tier I in the future. Only 3 states (NE, ND, and SD) will fall into this low unemployment category at current unemployment levels.

States qualifying for Tier III (as of March 26, 2010)

In states with high unemployment (defined as 6.0 percent average 3-month total unemployment or higher), unemployed workers can become eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits known as EUC Tier III.  Currently, there are 47 states (all except NE, ND, and SD), as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, in which unemployed workers can qualify for EUC Tier III.

States qualifying for Tier IV (as of March 26, 2010)

Thirty-nine states with three-month average total unemployment rates currently at or above 8.5 percent will pay Tiers I, II, III and IV EUC under the new extensions. Currently, they are AL, AK, AZ, CA, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MI, MS, MO, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, TN, WA, and WV.  Wisconsin is currently paying Tier IV, but will end after January 9, 2010.

Note if unemployment rates rise or fall different EUC tiers will become available in states.

The Department of Labor regularly updates the TUR indicators of each state. It can be found by selecting "Emergency Unemployment Compensation Trigger Notice" here.
The Department of Labor regularly updates the Tier I and Tier II status of states. It can be found by selecting "Emergency Unemployment Compensation Trigger Notice" here.

For more information:

Extended Benefits

The Extended Benefits (EB) program provides an additional 13 to 20 weeks of benefits to workers receiving unemployment insurance in states that meet certain thresholds in terms of their unemployment rates. The Recovery Act recently made these benefits completely federally funded for 2009 (usually, the cost is split 50-50 between states and the federal government), and changed EB eligibility rules so that states can now pay EB benefits to workers who don't find jobs before the end of their EUC benefits.

Any state can "trigger on" to Extended Benefits when the level of unemployed workers covered by unemployment insurance reaches a certain level (those receiving UI must equal 5 percent or higher of all those employed). However, this is a high threshold that many states don't meet. Alternatively, a state may trigger on by its regular unemployment rates: it can provide 13 weeks of Extended Benefits when the average unemployment rate over the past three months is 6.5 percent or higher, and 20 weeks when the average unemployment rate is 8.0 percent or higher. Many states currently meet one of these two optional thresholds, but a state must have it written into their law that they will pay Extended Benefits based on its unemployment rate (known as the Total Unemployment Rate, or TUR). Unfortunately, many states do not have this law in place, yet require only a small, temporary change in order to provide Extended Benefits. To see if your state needs to make these changes, or if it already provides Extended Benefits, please see below:

States that Provide Extended Benefits

As of March 26, 2010

Workers in seven states and Puerto Rico currently can receive 13 weeks of Extended Benefits. These states are: Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire,  Puerto Rico, Vermont, and Virginia.

Workers in 31 states and the District of Columbia can receive 20 weeks of Extended Benefits. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Workers in the following states could receive an additional 13-20 weeks of benefits if their states enacted the optional TUR trigger: Arkansas (13 weeks), Hawaii (13 weeks), Iowa (13 weeks), Louisiana (13 weeks), Maryland (13 weeks), Mississippi (20 weeks), Oklahoma (13 weeks), Utah (13 weeks), Virgin Islands (13 weeks), and Wyoming (13 weeks). Additionally, workers in Puerto Rico, who are currently receiving 13 weeks of Extended Benefits, could receive an additional 7 weeks (for 20 weeks total) with the enactment of a TUR trigger..

The Department of Labor regularly updates the Extended Benefits status of states, which can be found by selecting "Extended Benefits Trigger Notice" here.

For more information on Extended Benefits, see click here for our EB Q&A. Our ARRA Guide for Jobless Workers also has more information on EB; please click here for the guide. Click here to take action on Extended Benefits in your state.