Effective Sunday, September 2, the maximum number of weeks an unemployment insurance claimant can collect Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) will change from 53 weeks to 47 weeks. This is part of a nationally legislated phase-out of the EUC program.
It is important to note that regular Unemployment Insurance, which offers up to 26 weeks of benefits, is not affected by changes to the federal program. Therefore, the total of number of weeks a claimant can collect benefits between the two programs is now 73 weeks.
The federal EUC program provides benefits to eligible claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits and is comprised of four separate tiers. Effective September 2, Tier One will provide a maximum of 14 weeks; Tier Two is unchanged at a maximum of 14 weeks; Tier Three has been reduced to a maximum of nine weeks; and Tier Four has increased to a maximum of 10 weeks.
The average weekly payment for Rhode Islanders collecting EUC is $371. Since it's inception in July 2008, the federal government has paid out approximately $993.7 million in federal extended benefit monies to Rhode Island claimants. Approximately 21,000 individuals are currently collecting Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance benefits: 12,000 of which are regular Unemployment Insurance claims and 9,000 of which fall under the federal extension. Both state and federal benefits are financed by employer contributions.
The EUC program is scheduled to conclude at the end of this year. This means that claimants will no longer be able to receive weekly benefit payments under Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation, even if they have not received the full amount of benefits previously allowed under the program.
ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov.