Wyoming and the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program
During the Great Recession, many individuals asked: “What can I do to extend unemployment in Wyoming?” Congress answered by creating the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which allowed out-of-work individuals to claim benefits past their cutoff date. If a worker was already receiving unemployment benefits from the state, the federal government instantly provided them with an unemployment compensation extension in WY, so there was no need to complete a separate enrollment process. Originally, the federal government put over $8 billion towards the program but as the economy recovered, Congress voted to end EUC in 2013.
Under most circumstances, states are responsible for monitoring and administering their own unemployment programs, but during times of rampant unemployment, the federal government will step in to prevent further damage to the economy. These steps to provide workers with an unemployment extension are taken for two reasons. As workers exhaust their funds, they will undoubtedly encounter financial difficulties later on. Providing these workers with an unemployment benefits extension allows them to maintain their current standard of living until they can find full-time employment. Secondly, providing workers with additional funds enables them to support the economy. If they cannot contribute to the local and national economies, more jobs will be lost, and the economy will continue to deteriorate.
An unemployment compensation extension in Wyoming is only available to workers if the state meets certain standards set by the federal government. States are classified according to unemployment rates, and workers will fall into one of the four tiers below based on unemployment levels in their home states.
• Tier One: Workers in all 50 states are eligible to receive an unemployment extension of 14 additional weeks.
• Tier Two: If a state has an unemployment rate of six percent or higher, its workers will receive an extension of up to 14 weeks.
• Tier Three: Workers in states with an unemployment rate of at least seven percent will receive up to nine additional weeks of benefits.
• Tier Four: Former employees will receive a federal unemployment extension if they reside in a state with an unemployment rate of at least nine percent.
How Long Can You Claim Benefits in Wyoming?
Since you cannot apply for an unemployment extension in Wyoming, you will only be able to claim benefits for a limited amount of time. The state uses a 52-week benefit year that ends a year from the date your initial unemployment claim becomes active. However, you are only allowed to claim benefits for up to 26 weeks, and if you exhaust your benefits before then, you will have to wait to the following benefit year to file another claim. The actual number of weeks you can file will be based on your individual base period, and you will need to check the maximum benefit amount (the maximum amount of financial compensation you can receive) before filing your first claim.
Additional Unemployment Resources in Wyoming
Workers cannot file for an unemployment benefits extension in Wyoming, and if they exhaust their benefits, they will be forced to use their own funds. This prospect can be scary to some, but there are some actions you can take if you cannot apply for a federal unemployment extension.
• You may need to consider accepting a job that does not pay as much or one that does not utilize your exact skill set. This can be upsetting at first, but finding temporary full-time employment can help you maintain financial stability until you find the right job.
• If you are having extreme difficulty finding employment, you may want to visit your local Wyoming Workforce Center for assistance. Representatives at these centers can help you find unlisted job opportunities and distribute your resume to employers.
• An unemployment extension in WY may not be available to you, but you may qualify for government assistance if you are facing tough economic times. You will need to meet certain qualifications to receive this assistance, but if you do, you may be able to get help paying for food, housing, or utilities.