Extended Unemployment Benefits Set To End This Week
A program to extend unemployment benefits for workers who have used up other forms of benefits is ending this week, although data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows around 3,000 Hoosiers are currently using the program.
Although it varies slightly by state, in Indiana, unemployed workers can currently get half a year of unemployment benefits, plus an additional 13 weeks of benefits, under Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – a temporary federal program. If workers have exhausted both of those options, an extended benefit program adds yet another 13 weeks of unemployment eligibility.
But due to state and federal rules, as Indiana’s unemployment rate drops, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development will be turning off the extended benefits program this week.
In an email, DWD Chief of Staff Josh Richardson noted that the move is "entirely driven by state statute, and federal data. There is no administrative decision to be made here. We just follow the statute."
Richardson said the threshold to turn Extended Benefits is reached when the insured unemployment rate – which is different from the unemployment rate usually presented, called the "total unemployment rate" – falls below 5 percent.
He wrote that those who exhaust the standard 26 weeks of unemployment insurance will automatically receive a link to apply for PUA. Then, DWD can determine if they are eligible for additional benefits.
Other programs that extended the length of unemployment benefits and allowed self-employed workers to access benefits for the first time will continue until Dec. 26. However, that could change if Congress passes new legislation before then.
This story has been updated.
CORRECTION: A previous version of the chart depicted in this article stated that Extended Benefits (EB) do not count towards a 39-week maximum of unemployment benefits. That is incorrect. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program does not count towards the 39-week maximum. The chart has been updated to reflect this.