President Extends Unemployment Insurance Deadline

Thursday, March 04, 2010 | 01:41 pm
Claimants Get More Time to Transition into Existing Benefit Extensions
NASHVILLE – An emergency act signed into law Tuesday night by President Obama will allow many of Tennessee's unemployed more time to receive unemployment benefits. The measure extends the eligibility period from February 28 to March 30 to transition into existing extended benefit programs. The new law; however, does not add additional weeks of benefits to any of the existing federal extensions of unemployment insurance. 
Beyond the first 26 weeks of Tennessee Unemployment Compensation, a claimant must complete each tier of extended benefits before moving on to the next. There were five extensions of benefits, and the deadline to transition into any new tier expired at the end of February. If the deadline delay had not been approved, approximately 14,000 claimants would have only been able to complete their current tier of benefits. All Federal extensions, including Emergency Unemployment Compensation (Tier 1-4) and the state Extended Benefits Program are paid by the U.S. Department of Labor.
"This is very good news for a great number of claimants who were approaching the end of their benefit period,” said Labor Commissioner James Neeley. “These individuals should know they’ll continue to receive their weekly checks without a break, and they won’t have to apply for anything to continue receiving benefits. The bottom line is this gives Tennesseans more time to ramp up their job search.”
Claimants drawing unemployment will continue to certify to the Tennessee Department of Labor and will receive a letter when their benefits are transitioning from one tier to the next. Claimants exhausting their benefits before March 30 will automatically transition and will not need to contact the Tennessee Department of Labor to apply for new tiers of unemployment benefits.
In addition to extending the transition deadline for all tiers of benefits, the deadline to apply for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Federal Additional Compensation program (FAC) was also extended to March 30. This program adds $25 per week to all unemployment benefits. Beneficiaries who enroll prior to March 30 will continue to receive the FAC payments until October 9, 2010.
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