Unemployed claimants reaching the end of their claim may be wondering, How can I extend unemployment benefits? as standard payments end after a maximum of 26 weeks. Unemployment extensions in New York are only available during certain times and under specific circumstances. Federal unemployment extensions provide additional periods of benefits payments during times of unusually high unemployment.
Claimants who depleted their unemployment benefits have conditions they must meet before establishing a new claim. They must gain new employment (and be laid off through no fault of their own), earn 10 times the benefit rate, and they can only file a new claim once the benefit year in which they collected has ended. The same provisions are required for those denied eligibility due to resignation, termination or refusal of new work opportunities.
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Following the subprime mortgage crisis and collapse of the housing bubble in the United States, the unemployment rate peaked in October 2009 to 10 percent nationwide. To combat the effects of unemployment, the federal government established the temporary federal unemployment extension known as Emergency Unemployment Compensation 2008 (EUC08). EUC08 provided 100-percent federally funded unemployment extensions to qualified claimants. The four-tier system added additional weeks of benefits for a total of up to 53 weeks.
The tiers specified the total unemployment rate (TUR) required for qualified claimants to receive the federal unemployment extension. The number of unemployed persons divided by the total labor force calculates the TUR. The TUR of a given state affected qualifications as follows:
Tier 1 of the federal unemployment extensions was available in every state and extended benefits up to 20 weeks, regardless of current or past TUR.
Tier 2 extended benefits up to 14 weeks in states with a TUR of at least six percent in the most recent three consecutive months.
Tier 3 extended benefits up to nine weeks in states with a TUR of at least seven percent in the most recent three consecutive months.
Tier 4 extended benefits up to 10 weeks in states with a TUR of at least nine percent in the most recent three consecutive months.
The federal unemployment extension EUC08 ended abruptly without a phase-out period when national unemployment rates reduced to 6.7 percent. The last payable week for New York claimants was the last full week of December 2013. There is currently no active federal unemployment extension in New York.