Federal Extension Benefits Update (10/04/13)
- Starting the week ending October 5, 2013, all claimants on Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) extensions will have their benefits reduced by 7.2%. This reduction is required by a federal law commonly known as Sequestration. The reduction will be effective until December 28, 2013, the last payable week for EUC benefits.
- Starting the week ending May 4, 2013, all claimants on Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) extensions had their benefits reduced by 12.8%. This reduction is required by a federal law commonly known as Sequestration. The reduction was effective until September 29, 2013.
- On January 2, 2013 Congress passed the Tax Relief Extension Act. This law will extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits until the end of 2013. If you are currently receiving EUC benefits, please continue claiming benefits weekly to ensure timely payment. Please note that this Act does not provide additional weeks to claimants who have already claimed all of their EUC benefits.
- Claimants who begin an EUC Tier I claim on or after September 2, 2012 are now eligible for a maximum of 14 weeks of benefits on Tier I. These claimants will continue to be eligible for EUC Tier I benefits until their eligibility is either exhausted or until the final payable week of December 28, 2013, whichever occurs first.
- Claimants who begin an EUC Tier III claim on or after October 6, 2013 will be eligible for up to 9 weeks of benefits on Tier III. These claimants will continue to be eligible for EUC Tier III benefits until those benefits are exhausted or until the final payable week of December 28, 2013, whichever occurs first.
Please review the chart below for program specifics.
Number of Weeks
Program End Date/Application Deadline
Last Payable Week
|Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier I||Up to 14 weeks||Claimants must exhaust Regular UI on or before 12/21/13.|
|Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier II||Up to 14 weeks||Claimants must exhaust Tier I on or before the week ending 12/21/13.|
|Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier III||Up to 9 weeks - Effective week beginning October 6, 2013||Claimants must exhaust Tier II on or before the week ending 12/21/13.||12/28/2013|
Requirements For Maintaining EUC Benefits
There are new requirements for maintaining Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits under the provisions of the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” (P.L. 112-96).
If you are eligible to receive EUC benefits, you may be selected to participate in the EUC Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (EUC REA) program, which is funded by the federal government to help claimants get back to work as quickly as possible. If selected, you will receive a letter asking you to attend an EUC Orientation at a One-Stop Career Center within 3 weeks of the receipt of the EUC REA notification. You must also attend an in-person Reemployment Eligibility Assessment (REA) with a career counselor that will be scheduled when you attend the EUC Orientation.
To maintain your eligibility for EUC benefits, you must:
- Call the number provided to schedule a mandatory two-hour EUC Orientation session at a One-Stop Career Center by the date specified in the letter. If you do not participate in this EUC Orientation, you will lose one week of benefits.
- Register with JobQuest (www.mass.gov/jobquest) prior to attending the EUC Orientation. JobQuest is a free Online Job Bank that will direct you to open jobs for which you may be qualified.
At the Orientation, you will:
- Develop a Career Action Plan to assist you in your job search.
- Review your weekly Work Search Log (www.mass.gov/dua/worksearch). This should include all of the details (outlined on the back of the page) of your efforts to find work. Remember to bring your Work Search Log, résumé, and a copy of your DD214 (veterans only) to your orientation.
- Set up a separate in-person appointment, called a Reemployment Eligibility Assessment (REA), during which you will meet with a Career Counselor at the Career Center. Again, bring your Work Search Log, résumé, and anything else that demonstrates that you have fulfilled your Career Action Plan. The REA must be completed by the date specified in the letter.
Failure to take these steps without documented good cause will result in the loss of all of your unemployment benefits until you comply with all requirements.
Additional Information Regarding Your EUC Benefits
Work Search Requirements
Keep a copy of all your work search contacts and activities for each week that you claim EUC benefits. Include the employer’s name, date of contact, how you applied, the kind of work applied for, and the results of your contact or activity. You will be required to submit your Work Search Log on a regular basis. You may download a copy of the Work Search Log at www.mass.gov/dua/worksearch or obtain the Work Search Log at your local Career Center.
EUC Random Work Search Audit
Federal law requires the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to review the work search records for any given week of a randomly selected group of claimants receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) unemployment benefits to make sure that claimants receiving EUC unemployment benefits are meeting Massachusetts’s work search requirements. If you are selected for review, DUA will audit your records of weekly work search activities and will attempt to verify at least one work search activity or contact that is listed on your Work Search Activity Log.
DUA may use a number of different methods may be used to verify your work search activity. For example, if you state on your Work Search Activity Log that you sent a resume to an employer by e-mail:
- DUA may verify that the resume was sent by requesting that you provide a snapshot of your “Sent Items” e-mail log. This will contain information such as the recipient, subject of the document, the date and time the document was sent by you to the intended recipient, etc.
- Verification can also be made by you providing documentation that shows the employer’s acknowledgement of the application and/or resume.
- DUA may also contact the employer by telephone.
If you state on your Work Search Activity Log that you have searched for work by searching the “Help Wanted” section of a newspaper (either paper or the internet), or that you searched for work by visiting job or employer websites, DUA may ask you to provide a dated copy of the newspaper’s “Help Wanted” page or a dated copy of the job listings page from the website that you visited.
It is important that you keep copies of all of your e-mail exchanges and/or other electronic and paper evidence as part of your work search records in case you are randomly selected for a review of those records. If you cannot provide DUA with a copy of your Work Search Activity Log and supporting documentation, or if DUA is unable to verify one of the work search activities listed on your Work Search Activity Log, you may be determined as ineligible for the unemployment benefits you received for that week.
If you have any questions regarding the EUC Random Work Search Audit, please call the DUA UI Program Integrity department’s EUC Work Search Audit Division at 617-626-6380.
Penalties for Failure to Participate
Failure to attend the Orientation, participate in Reemployment Services, or complete a Reemployment Eligibility Assessment Review (REA) will cause a loss of your EUC benefits. Under the provisions of “the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” (P.L. 112-96), the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) will impose a one-week disqualification from benefits if you fail to schedule and attend an EUC Orientation within the next 3 weeks. Failure to attend your scheduled REA and complete the required job search activities provided at the orientation within the next 6 weeks will result in an additional disqualification until these requirements are met, unless you provide documented good cause.
Returning to Work?
If you have returned to full-time work, you may be exempt from the EUC REA requirements. In this case, please call your local Career Center (reference EUC) to notify us of your new employment status.
Definitions of EUC and EB
The Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program offers separate benefit tiers to claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits.
Extended Benefits - A supplemental program that pays extended compensation, during a period of specified high unemployment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When will the federal extension of benefits end?
Please note that the last payable week for all federal extensions is December 28, 2013. This means that even if you have a balance on any Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier, these benefits cannot be paid after this date.
2. I received a monetary determination for EUC Tier I. Will I be able to receive Tier II and Tier III once Tier I is exhausted?
You may be eligible for EUC Tier II and Tier III if you exhaust Tier I on or before the week ending December 21, 2013. However, the last payable week for EUC benefits is December 28, 2013.
3. Is the federal-state Extended Benefits (EB) still available in Massachusetts?
The last effective date to file for EB was April 1, 2012 and the last payment date was April 7, 2012.
4. I have exhausted all tiers of EUC – what other benefits or options are available to me?
Unfortunately, there are no additional benefits available to claimants who have exhausted all EUC Tiers. The Tax Relief Extension Act did not provide additional weeks of benefits, only an extension of the EUC application deadlines.
Please be aware that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and partner organizations offer a wide variety of services – from basic needs, health care, counseling, employment and training assistance and more – to assist individuals who have exhausted or will soon exhaust their unemployment insurance claim. Please contact Mass 211 (2-1-1) or visit www.mass211help.org or any one of the agencies listed in the attached flyer.
Assistance for Job Search – You are eligible for assistance with your job search and retraining needs at any of the One-Stop Career Centers located across the Commonwealth. To find the Career Center near you, visit www.mass.gov/careercenters or call 877-672-5627.