Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Dec. 23 -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security issued the following news release:
Unemployment insurance benefits will continue. Congress passed, and the President signed into law, legislation that temporarily extends the benefits through the end of February. The action was part of the two-month renewal of the payroll tax cut.
The decision means that individuals who have collected unemployment insurance benefits from Illinois for fewer than 99 weeks will continue to do so. The decision does not add additional weeks to programs.
Under current law, the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available to an Illinois claimant will generally range from a minimum of 25 to a maximum of 99; however, not everyone will be entitled to the maximum number of weeks. The number of payable weeks of emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) and extended benefits (EB) depends on whether an individual meets the EB and EUC eligibility criteria, when an individual's claim was initially filed and the federal phase out rules.
The maximum 99 weeks of benefits include
* 26 weeks of regular state benefits,
* 53 weeks of EUC, in four separate tiers of 20, 14, 13 and 6 weeks,
* 20 weeks of EB.
The legislation has established the following cutoff dates for the EUC and EB programs;
EUC - Must have exhausted regular benefits by 2/25/12 to be placed on EUC.
EUC - Must have exhausted an EUC tier by 3/3/12 to move to the next tier of EUC benefits.
EB will terminate in Illinois 3/10/12. No payments on EB will be made for weeks ending after this date.
Also, for new claims filed after January 2012, regular state benefits lasts 25 weeks, not 26.
This information is based on the Illinois Department of Employment Security's interpretation of the law. Official confirmation is pending from the U.S. Department of Labor. Check here for further updates.
TNS PA-PA 111224-3728661 61PoojaAnand