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2009 Unemployment Extension?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2009.12  

Asked at 2009.12.18 23:47:32
The new stimulus bill 2009 is vague, and I was wondering if anyone can help answer this question that is if you exhaust Bush's unemployment extension in April of 2009, will you be eligible for 13 more weeks of unemployment benefits with a provision in Obama's new stimulus? Some sources say yes and some say no. That's why I'm asking again. Also, they said that the first 2400 dollars in unemployment insurance of 2009 will not be subject to tax and I have been taxed, so will I probably get that money back for 09 taxes?
answer L J B  Answered at 2009.12.18 23:47:32
Yes! There is an extension of an additional 33 weeks over and above all previous extensions. See articles:
February 22, 2009: The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has a Q&A (PDF) that details the new options available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which allows high unemployment states to provide up to 13 to 20 weeks of additional extended benefits to workers who run out of federal funded unemployment benefits. Currently, there are 20 to 33 weeks of benefits for workers who run out of their state unemployment, so this plan, if adopted by the states, would provide additional weeks of federally funded benefits. States need to qualify for the funding, based on the level of unemployment. The Department of Labor has a weekly trigger notice with an update of which states have reached the unemployment level to qualify for the extended benefits funding.

Additional information on the extension will be available on state unemployment office web sites.

February 19, 2009: The National Employment Law Project reports that the economic stimulus plan (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) will continue the temporary emergency federal benefits program through the end of December, enabling more than 3.1 million additional jobless workers to receive extended benefits.

The National Employment Law Project also notes that "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) also ensures that workers exhausting EUC benefits this year will have access to an additional 13 - 20 weeks of extended benefits under the permanent Extended Benefits (EB) program if they live in a state that meets certain definitions of high unemployment."

This Fact Sheet provides estimates of the number of jobless workers who will receive extended benefits.

February 14, 2009: Congress approved the economic stimulus plan which includes $27 billion towards the extension of unemployment benefits. The bill continues the extended unemployment benefits program, which was scheduled to phase out at the end of March. The program provides up to 33 weeks of extended benefits to workers who exhaust their regular 26 weeks of benefits.

Payments will increase by about $25 a month.

Extended benefits are In addition, the first $2400 of unemployment benefits received in 2009 will not be subject to federal taxes. Also, the number of workers eligible for unemployment benefits has been expanded.

There is also help with health insurance in the legislation. The government will pay for 65% of COBRA health insurance premiums for covered unemployed workers for up to nine months. Workers laid off between September 1, 2008 - December 31, 2009 are eligible.
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