For instance, dear ones, last week, when your MatchGirl logged onto the system to file her claim, she saw that her remaining balance was one week's worth of pay! Now, that couldn't be true. No matter how the math could be added, she simply hadn't exhausted the emergency benefits. She'd barely entered them. And, today when she logged on, it told her that the amount left worked out to about six weeks - and, no matter the math - calculators and calendars out, could she figure out where this monetary amount came from.
So, I looked, for about the millionth time, at the New York State Department of Labor Website and read, for about the millionth time, the details about extended and emergency benefits. And I took out my calculator and my calendar again. And it still doesn't make sense. Not according to any math that I know how to do. Not according to the amount of time for which I have been collecting unemployment and not according to any of my own math.
For those of you who would like to read it for the zillionth time (cos you know you all check in on it to see if it makes more or less sense on a regular basis) here's what the NYSDoL has to say:
Important Notice About
Unemployment Benefit Extensions
On September 22, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to extend Unemployment Insurance benefits for an additional 13 weeks for states, like New York, with consistently high unemployment rates. However, legislation to extend benefits must still pass the Senate and be signed into law. Therefore, this proposed extension is NOT in effect at this time. Please continue to claim weekly benefits in the usual manner. It is not necessary to file a new claim unless you are advised to do so. Please continue to check this web site for updates.
Currently, New York State provides 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits.
An additional 53 weeks of unemployment benefits have been approved for claimants who meet certain criteria.
The first 33 weeks fall under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program, and are known as Emergency Benefits; the last 20 weeks fall under a different program titled the Extended Benefits (EB) Program, and are known as Extended Benefits. Per current Federal legislation, specific deadlines apply to the different extensions, and as a result, not all claimants are eligible for the full 53 additional weeks of benefits.
The extensions are broken down as follows:
Emergency Benefits include two tiers:
* Tier 1 (20 weeks) – to be eligible for any additional benefits under Tier 1, the individual must exhaust regular benefits on or before the week ending December 20, 2009, and start claiming Emergency Benefits on or before week ending December 27, 2009. Note: This means the individual must have filed their initial claim for regular unemployment benefits effective on or before Monday, June 15, 2009.
* Tier 2 (13 weeks) – to be eligible for any additional benefits under Tier 2, the individual must exhaust all 20 weeks of Tier 1 on or before the week ending December 27, 2009. Note: This means that the individual must have filed their initial claim for regular unemployment benefits effective on or before Monday, February 2, 2009.
The last payable week of both Tier 1 and Tier 2 is the week ending June 6, 2010.
Extended Benefits (20 weeks: (13 initial plus the seven (7) added eff. July, 17 2009)) are available to individuals who exhaust all 33 weeks of Emergency Benefits. However, the last payable week of Extended Benefits is the week ending December 27, 2009. Note: This means the individual must have filed their initial claim for regular unemployment benefits effective on or before Monday, October 27, 2008.
Individuals who have a claim with New York State, but live in another state that is not in an extended benefit period, will be eligible for only 2 weeks of extended benefits (for extended benefits status of other states, see Frequently Asked Questions below).
Work search requirements are more stringent for individuals claiming Extended Benefits (see Frequently Asked Questions below). However, individuals in training approved by the New York State Department of Labor, are not required to look for work while claiming benefits.
And, dear readers, please don't write in and tell me I should just call. You know it's impossible to get anyone on the phone. While unemployeds do have some extra time on our hands, this is one girl who has been quite busy in her unemployment.
Anyway, the DoL site was down most of the week, but it's up and running now. Don't forget to log on and claim your weekly benefits!