CINCINNATI - Are you jobless in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana? The three states are providing information and help.
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CINCINNATI - The federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program expires Saturday, ending benefits for more than one milliion Americans immediately, including beneficiaries in the Tri-State.
Since the program was expanded in 2008, EUC has paid jobless benefits to 24 million Americans at a cost of more than $250 billion.
What will actually change?
Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio have been offering EUC benefits for up to 63 weeks. Starting Dec. 28, the maximum length of time the three states can offer jobless benefits will be 26 weeks.
As the Washington Post explains, "Starting at the end of the year, some 1.3 million people who have been out of work and receiving benefits for longer than 26 weeks will lose those benefits immediately. Then, over the course of (2014), other unemployed workers will fall out of the program once they hit 26 weeks...."
State unemployment benefits offices around the country are providing information about how the demise of the EUC will affect beneficiaries.
The Ohio Office of Unemployment Compensation website posted this information:
In addition, the website states:
"We do not know whether Congress will vote to extend the program again. At this time, we encourage you to continue to file for weekly benefits, either online or by calling 1-866-962-4064, toll-free, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). In that event, if the program is extended, we can distribute benefits more quickly."
With Dec. 28 looming, an extension does not look likely, although the Washington Post reports, "Senate Democrats have said they'll come back in early January and try to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program for another year."
The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training website has this message:
"Without further Congressional action, the week ending December 28, 2013, will be the last week for which an EUC payment will be made. If you currently have a pending appeal or if you are awaiting a decision about weeks of unemployment insurance prior to the end of the EUC program, Kentucky will continue to process and resolve those weeks as usual."
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development website provides similar information and urges, "It is important for you to visit your local WorkOne as soon as possible to get help with your job search."
Ohio and Kentucky are also urging jobless residents to take advantage of state employment resource centers to find work.
If you have questions at the EUC program:
Do you expect to be affected by the changes to the EUC program? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.