If you ask ten different people the question, “How many weeks can someone draw unemployment?” You will most likely get ten different answers. The standard 26 weeks has not been the end of a claim since the Emergency Unemployment Benefit Act went into effect in 2008. The most recent changes started on February 22, 2012 when the President signed the Middle Class Tax Relief Act. This legislation gradually reduces the amount of weeks that can be collected and will make the cut-off for filing any extensions the end of year 2012.
A basic, “normal” unemployment claim is 26 weeks. This is still the case. The extensions added four Federally funded tiers (up to 53 weeks) and one tier of State funded benefits (20 weeks). Each Tier must be exhausted before the next Tier can be started. Below is a table outlining the number of weeks per Tier and deadlines for filing:
|TIER||Weeks of EUC available through 04/07/12||Weeks of EUC available between 04/07 – August 2012||Weeks of EUC available between August 2012- December 2012|
|EUC Tier 1||20||20||14|
|EUC Tier 2||14||14||14|
|EUC Tier 3||13||13||9|
|EUC Tier 4||6||0||0|
**Table information from ODJFS handout regarding extensions, available on their website.
Because Ohio’s unemployment rate has dipped back below the threshold to trigger the State funded extensions, Ohio claimant’s are no longer eligible to start a claim for State funded extensions as of April 7, 2012. Any claimant that had already been collecting on the extension will be permitted to collect (assuming all other qualifications are met) but no new extensions will be available.
For additional info you can check the ODJFS website at unemployment.ohio.gov.
How do you feel about these extensions? Have they helped or hurt our economy?