Who Is Eligible for the Unemployment Extension Update?

An unemployment extension covers high unemployment states.
An unemployment extension covers high unemployment states. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

In June 2011, President Obama reauthorized the unemployment-extension legislation to continue until December 2012. The updated benefit effects the claimants unemployed in states that continued to experience high unemployment due to the recession of 2007 to 2011. The unemployment extension update arrived right on time for some claimants whose benefits were about to expire. Eligibility for the extension benefit depends on several factors, such as the state, previous benefits and current benefit status. As several states continue to experience high unemployment, residing in one of these states leads to eligibility for the benefit.

Unemployment Extension

The unemployment-extension benefit provided out-of-work unemployment claimants with an additional 13 to 20 weeks of continuing monetary benefits. These claimants exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, then their first extension. The first extension, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation legislation, provided additional tiers of benefits for workers. The additional benefits increased the benefit up to 73 weeks after the initial round of unemployment benefits was received. The unemployment extension benefit is for workers who reside in high-unemployment states, such as California or Connecticut. There is a current maximum of 99 weeks of benefits.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for the new federal unemployment extension benefit the claimant must be totally or partially unemployed, must have exhausted all emergency employment compensation, must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits from any state and must meet all the eligibility requirements, Basically, if a claimant has an ongoing valid claim and has been receiving benefits under the previous extension, and the benefits are about to expire, then the claimant is eligible for this benefit if he resides in a specified high-unemployment state.


Most claimants are not required to reapply for the extension, as many states are handling the process within the unemployment office. As claimants reach the end of their benefits, the unemployment office is automatically transferring claimants to the new extension benefit and including a letter to that effect with the new benefit. If there is a problem with the transfer, the unemployment office will notify the claimant by mail. If benefits are due to expire or expire without a transfer, a request for the federal extension can be filed in the unemployment office.

Benefit and Continuing Requirements

The benefit amount has not changed; it will remain the same amount that the claimant is currently receiving. The reporting requirement remains in effect. All claimants are to look for employment each day, be available to work daily, accept work when offered and record all periods of employment on their claim form. Some claimants can be required to list job contacts as well. The claim form is to be returned to the unemployment office before the next check will be sent.

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