The RI Department of Labor and Training confirms that extended unemployment insurance benefits, known as Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), are scheduled to end on December 28, 2013. Since 2008, the EUC program has provided federally funded unemployment insurance benefits to claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits. In Rhode Island, the program currently offers four tiers of benefits totaling a maximum of 47 weeks of payments.
After December 28, eligible job seekers may only collect regular unemployment insurance, which offers a maximum of 26 weeks of full-time benefits to those who are able and available to work and are actively seeking employment in Rhode Island.
The department urges those job seekers no longer eligible for unemployment insurance benefits to utilize the free job search services of the state's netWORKri one-stop career centers. These are located in Providence, Wakefield, West Warwick and Woonsocket, and offer a variety of self-service job search technologies as well as staff-assisted workshops and career advising. For more information, visit www.networkri.org.
This week, the department is notifying all 6,000 current EUC claimants of the program's end. It cautions that even those who have not received their maximum benefits available under EUC will no longer be able to collect after December 28. The mailing also includes information on valuable support services, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and United Way 2-1-1.
Because the issue of extending the EUC program is currently being discussed by members of Congress, the RI Department of Labor and Training is advising current EUC recipients to continue to certify for payments after the program ends and into January. The department will keep these certifications on file, so that staff may begin to pay benefits quickly if the program is extended at the last minute. The EUC program was originally slated to end in December 2012, but was renewed by Congress at the year's close.
Each week, Rhode Island distributes an average of $1.5 million in federal EUC benefits.