Governor M. Jodi
Rell announced today that the federal government has notified Connecticut
that it meets the criteria for an Extended Benefits (EB) program that will
provide 13 additional weeks of unemployment compensation to those who are
out of work. This will increase the maximum benefit entitlement to 72 weeks
for many claimants.
According to the
Governor, the 13 weeks are in addition to the 26 weeks of state benefits and
the 33 weeks of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC-08)
currently being provided to the state’s jobless residents.
now at 7.3 percent, this 13 week extension is a welcome relief to those who
have been unable to find jobs in an economy that has not yet turned around,”
Governor Rell said.
A state “triggers”
onto Extended Benefits as a result of high unemployment rates.
Traditionally, when this occurs, 50 percent of EB is paid out through the
state’s Trust Fund, which is funded by employer contributions, and the
federal government pays the other 50 percent. However, as a result of the
stimulus bill, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the Extended
Benefits for 2009, saving the State of Connecticut nearly $100 million over
the next year.
Under federal law, EB claims based on wages
paid by the state, municipalities or Indian tribes will be charged to those
employers since they are self-funded.
“Each week, the
extra $25 now being added to every unemployment check as part of the
stimulus bill provides our residents with another $3 million – money that is
going toward paying the bills and supporting our families,” Governor Rell
said. “An extended benefits program translates to an estimated $200 million
that will be provided to Connecticut’s families –one more rung on the ladder
we must build to help us climb out of this recession.”
The first week that
claimants receiving EUC-08 will exhaust their 33 weeks of emergency benefits
will be April 11, 2009. As a result, the first payable week of the
federally-funded Extended Benefits will be the week ending April 18, 2009.
Eligible claimants will automatically receive the additional 13 weeks of
“Over the past year,
our state has lost more than 38,000 jobs and during that same time,
Connecticut’s unemployment rate has jumped from 5 percent to 7.3 percent,”
Governor Rell said. “Initial unemployment claims have risen more than 20
percent since last year, and many factors indicate that the nation, as well
as Connecticut, will lose more jobs before the economy begins to grow again.
While I am optimistic that Connecticut can work its way out of this
recession, this newest extension of benefits will help us to keep our heads
above water as we rebuild our state.”