Massachusetts Unemployment Compensation Extension Federal Guidelines
During times when the unemployment rate remains high throughout the U.S., the United States Congress can vote to extend unemployment benefits for an additional period of time. Unemployment benefits extension programs are available through both the state and federal governments during periods of high unemployment, providing a higher level of economic security to individuals who are out of work. Extended benefits can be obtained by workers who have run through their regular unemployment insurance benefits. The basic extended benefits program allows for 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits if a state is experiencing a period of high unemployment. Some states have also initiated a voluntary program to pay an additional seven weeks of extended benefits totaling a maximum of 20 weeks.
Not everyone who qualifies for regular unemployment benefits qualifies for extended benefits. The weekly payment amount of extended benefits is the same as the amount the recipient receives for regular unemployment compensation.
It is critical to note that you cannot just apply for extended benefits on any given day. An unemployment benefits extension only applies when the state of Massachusetts is experiencing very high rates of unemployment. It is only during these times that the state and federal government will activate extended benefit programs, and will mail out notifications to candidates who are eligible to receive extended benefits.
If you are unsure about whether you might be eligible for an unemployment compensation extension, you can always contact your unemployment counselor to check on whether extended benefits are available to you.
Federal unemployment extension programs in Massachusetts
There was a federal unemployment extension program that was formerly active called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08). However, this program expired in 2013, and it is not presently known if EUC08 will become active again. If you want to learn more about this program, you can contact the Massachusetts labor authorities or follow developments through the national news.
For purposes of information, the EUC08 program included four stages as follows:
Stage 1 EUC08: 20-week maximum unemployment extension
Stage 2 EUC08: 14-week maximum unemployment extension
Stage 3 EUC08: 13-week maximum unemployment extension
Stage 4 EUC08: 6-week maximum unemployment extension
In general, unemployment beneficiaries who consume all of their regular unemployment benefits, do not usually have to apply for an unemployment benefits extension because the system automatically applies for them, if the beneficiary is applicable for extension. If you are approaching the end of your benefits period, contact your employment counselor to see if you are eligible to receive an unemployment extension.
Another unemployment extension program is the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED), also called Extended Benefits (EB). Unemployment beneficiaries can only qualify for EB unemployment benefits extension if they have exhausted all of their regular unemployment benefits and also used up all of their EUC08 unemployment extension. If you qualify for an EB unemployment extension, you will receive additional benefits for an extra 20 weeks, or 80 percent of the maximum benefit amount declared on the original unemployment claim, whichever amount is less.
Remember, these programs are only available during high unemployment periods and you cannot apply for an unemployment benefits extension in Massachusetts otherwise. If you are eligible for an unemployment extension, the government will notify you by mail.