Nearly 25,000 Nevadans were notified this week that their unemployment insurance benefits will end after this week if Congress does not vote by Tuesday to continue the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, said Renee Olson, administrator Employment Security Division of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Division.
On Tuesday, the EUC program will expire, unless Congress votes to extend the federal benefits as it has done in the past. As a result, about 25,000 Nevadans currently receiving EUC will be abruptly cut off and each week another 1,000 claimants who are receiving regular unemployment, (which allows for a maximum of 26 weeks), will exhaust their benefits and not be able to move to the EUC program. However, claimants should continue to file their weekly claims so that benefits can be paid as quickly as possible if Congress does vote in favor of extending the EUC program, Olson said. There are nearly 38,000 people on the regular unemployment benefits program.
"This is the last payable week for EUC claims, which means recipients will no longer receive benefits even if they still have funds available, however, we need them to continue to file, so that there is minimal delay if Congress does act to continue the EUC program," Olson said.
Congress first enacted the federal benefits package in June 2008 in response to record high unemployment. Claimants currently qualify for a maximum of 73 weeks. In July of this year, the State Extended Benefits program ended, dropping the number of weeks from 99 to 79, then in September, six more weeks were cut, dropping the maximum weeks from 79 to 73.
DETR Director Frank R. Woodbeck said the department is preparing for whatever decision Congress makes to minimize the impact to claimants.
"There is no ideal time for recipients to lose their benefits, but we understand it is more difficult during the holidays to lose this much needed financial support," Woodbeck said. "Our office is standing by ready to reinstate these benefits if Congress does act to continue the EUC program. Nevertheless, whatever the outcome, we are here to help jobseekers with their goals of finding gainful employment. We encourage jobseekers to visit their nearest Nevada JobConnect location to work with counselors to discuss training and job placement options."
Additional information on services for job seekers may be found online at www.nevadajobconnect.com and www.jobcentral.com/nv. Information on local support services may be obtained by calling 211; this is a centralized number for social support service directories.
Claimants are encouraged to visit www.nvdetr.org for updates on the status of the EUC program, as representatives in Telephone Claims Centers won't be able to answer questions or provide any further information, Olson said.