Starting this week, workers in 24 states who exhaust their regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits before they find a job will have fewer weeks of additional federal assistance available through the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. This cut in EUC benefits resulted from the legislation enacted in February that continued EUC payments through the end of the year but changed the formula for determining the number of weeks of benefits. As a result:
(Just to be clear, there aren’t any changes for workers receiving UI in states with unemployment rates above 7 percent but below 8.5 percent, or above 9 percent.) These changes come on top of the phasing out of the Extended Benefits (EB) program, which provided either 13 or 20 weeks of additional benefits to workers who exhausted their EUC benefits before finding a job. As I explained previously, nearly half a million people lost benefits this year when EB payments ended in 28 states (payments will end in three of the four states still eligible for EB after the first week of July). The maps below show the drop in the number of weeks of UI available to unemployed workers in most states since the beginning of the year. (See this brief paper from our Policy Basics series for a weekly update of the number of weeks of UI available to workers in each state.) Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll discuss these changes — and those to come later in the year — in greater detail.