The Agency for Workforce Innovation has notified the more than 106,000 Floridians currently receiving unemployment benefits of the impending deadlines that will impact claims for those currently enrolled in Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits and Federal Additional Compensation programs, which will be concluding over the next several weeks.

Congressional action in next week’s lame-duck session could extend the programs that were created during the recession to further compensate those out of work beyond the standard 26 weeks of state coverage, but it remains to be seen if newly empowered Republican lawmakers will once again hold up action on an issue President Obama and his party have been vocal about in recent weeks. Reports continue to show a steady increase in claims:

Claims increased by 20,000 to 457,000 from last week’s revised number of 437,000 for the week that ended Oct. 30, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The news came as President Obama reiterated that extending federal benefits to the jobless while the unemployment rate remains near 10 percent should be part of the nation’s economic recovery plan.

“I think it makes sense for us to extend unemployment insurance because there are still a lot of folks out there hurting,” Obama said.

The debate over extending federal benefits beyond the 26 weeks offered by states will be a hot topic when lawmakers return Nov. 15 and face the question of whether to provide another extension, for how long and how to pay for it. Emergency unemployment insurance provides up to 99 weeks of benefits in the states with the highest unemployment rates.

By Dec. 4, 106,000 individuals in Florida will run out of benefits, with another 41,000 adding to the ranks of the ineligible each subsequent week. A report by the National Employment Law Project estimates that 800,000 nationwide are slated to lose benefits immediately, with that number soaring to 2 million by the end of the year.

“The current expiration date will cause a cascade of unemployed workers to fall off the unemployment rolls, prematurely cutting benefits for some and making any form of an extension completely unavailable for others,” the report noted.

Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation has outlined important dates for unemployment compensation beneficiaries:

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)

  • Nov. 20, 2010 Under current federal law, customers receiving regular state unemployment benefits must exhaust those benefits by the week ending Nov. 20, 2010 to be eligible for additional federal EUC benefits.
  • Nov. 27, 2010Under current federal law, customers already receiving federal EUC benefits may be eligible for the next tier (EUC Tiers II, III, or IV) provided their previous tier is exhausted by the week ending Nov. 27, 2010.
  • Nov. 28, 2010Under current federal law, whichever tier EUC customers are in as of Nov. 28, 2010 will be the final tier for which they will qualify. While EUC customers will be allowed to complete their current tier, they will not be able to advance to the next tier.
  • April 30, 2011 – Under current federal law, EUC benefits will not be paid after the week ending April 30, 2011.
  • At this time, no additional EUC benefits have been enacted by Congress.  Only the federal government can extend the EUC program.
  • The Agency for Workforce Innovation will notify customers by mail when they receive their final EUC payments.

Extended Benefits (EB)

  • Nov. 27, 2010 – Under current law, customers who exhaust all entitlement to regular state benefits and EUC by the week ending Nov. 27, 2010 can establish eligibility for EB.
  • Dec. 4, 2010 – Due to federal funding limitations, Extended Benefits (EB) will no longer be paid after the week ending Dec. 4, 2010.  Amounts remaining on customers’ EB accounts beyond the week ending Dec. 4 will no longer be payable.
  • The Agency for Workforce Innovation will notify customers by mail when they receive their final EB payments.

Federal Additional Compensation (FAC)

  • Dec. 11, 2010 – Under current federal law, FAC (the additional $25 weekly benefits) will not be paid after the week ending Dec. 11, 2010.
  • The Agency for Workforce Innovation will notify customers by mail when they receive their final FAC payments.
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