The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that beginning April 21, 2013, weekly benefits for the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program will be reduced by 12.2 percent, due to federal sequestration. Because unemployment insurance claimants receive benefits one week after they are accrued, these reductions will not be reflected in benefit payments until the week of April 28.
The EUC program is a federally funded extended benefit program that allows long-term unemployed job seekers up to 47 additional weeks of unemployment insurance beyond the 26-week maximum offered through regular unemployment insurance.
The department estimates that up to 8,000 RI unemployment insurance claimants may be impacted by these benefit cuts. The average weekly EUC benefit is $377; therefore, the average reduction will be $46 each week. This represents an estimated loss of $1.5 million in total benefits each month.
Triggered in January 2013 when Congress failed to reach consensus on deficit reduction, federal sequestration requires automatic, across-the-board cuts to all federal spending, including unemployment insurance benefits.
This week, the department will be notifying EUC claimants of the upcoming reductions by mail. It also plans to broadcast an automated telephone message to EUC claimants during the week of April 21st.
This reduction does not impact those who receive regular unemployment insurance benefits, which are funded on a state level.