For Immediate Release - December 17, 2010

Federal Unemployment Insurance Benefits Expiration Dates Extended

Boston, MA - Friday, December 17, 2010 - The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) today announced that the Middleclass Tax Relief Act of 2010, today signed into law by President Obama, extends the expiration dates of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and federal-state Extended Benefits (EB) programs.

The legislation extends the deadlines by which claimants can apply for EUC and EB benefits through January 3, 2012 but does not add any new weeks of benefits. The extensions had terminated on November 30 th.

EOLWD's Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been working to ensure a smooth transition in benefit payments. Claimants have been urged to continue to file weekly claims and check the DUA website for updates at www.mass.gov/dua.

"As a result of this legislation, over 60,000 people who would have exhausted benefits on December 25, 2010, may now be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefit extensions," said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein. "We are now working to ensure there is little or no interruption in benefit payments for this group of eligible individuals who have been hoping for this welcome news."

The Massachusetts economy has been steadily improving and the 3-month average unemployment rate has dropped significantly below the national rate. Massachusetts will therefore no longer be eligible for the final EUC Tier 4. This means that the maximum potential weeks of benefits will drop from 99 to 93 weeks. Claimants exhausting Tier 3 of EUC after the week ending December 18, 2010 will not be eligible for Tier 4 benefits but can apply for the Extended Benefits (EB) program.

Claimants who have exhausted all of their unemployment insurance benefits might be eligible for assistance from other organizations and nonprofits operating across the state. For information on programs including food stamps, child care, home energy and heating assistance, visit the "For Residents" tab at www.mass.gov or visit Mass211 pdf format of ma_assistance_programs.pdf .

Please continue to utilize the state's resources for job seekers. Visit JobQuest or stop by one of the state's 37 One Stop Career Centers.