An unemployment extension refers to two types of Federal unemployment extension, called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) policy, and the Extended Benefit program. The EUC was a temporary program that was authorized by Congress when individuals had exhausted Utah’s state unemployment benefits. The program was created in response to the recession in 2008 when Congress wanted to reverse negative impacts on individuals and families. This program was extended until 2013, but was not intended to address chronic unemployment. The Extended Benefits program (EB), however, is activated when Utah’s unemployment reaches 6 percent or above for three months or more. It is activated by the federal government and is half-funded by the state.
Learn more about extending unemployment insurance benefits with the following topics:
Utah has specific regulations regarding the unemployment benefits extension program. There is no set way regarding how to get an unemployment extension in UT. If the state is in a period of dispersing extended benefits, individuals must meet additional requirements in order to qualify. First, applicants will be required to loosen their standards on the type of work they are willing to accept, and may be required accept other forms of work than those performed previously. Candidates must also accept a reduced wage compared to the previous unemployment insurance benefit, as well as demonstrate an increased number of work searches per week. There is an exception that lets petitioners stay with the standard number of four contacts, as long as they have approval from Workforce Services to attend school or training.
There are four tiers of federal unemployment compensation extension enacted through EUC legislation for times of high unemployment rates in the country. The first tier is a 14 week period in which benefits are provided to those receiving unemployment insurance whose coverage is running out. If tier two is active, that means that Utah’s unemployment rate has risen to 6 percent. This tier provides an additional 14 weeks of unemployment benefits. The third tier covers another 13 weeks and is only activated if the 6 percent mark is reached. A fourth tier was later created to provide an additional 6 weeks of unemployment benefits. If applicants are not receiving notices of these extensions, contact the local Claims Office and continue sending in a weekly claim.
The Extended Benefits program has brought confusion not only because it is similarly titled to the temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) policy, but also because of the number of times the EUC was reinstated and withdrawn. It turned out that the EUC was enormously helpful during the Recession, and that a permanent solution (the EB program) was necessary.
Federal unemployment extension benefits can be denied if Workforce Services determines that the claimant did not accept work offered, or in some other way refused to search for suitable work. However, if the work was not offered to the applicant in writing, or was not listed with the Department of Workforce Services, unemployment extension benefits cannot be denied on the basis of not accepting work. All extended benefits are separate from Trade Readjustment Allowances and Disaster Unemployment Assistance, but receiving these allowances may make some individuals ineligible for extended benefits.
If an applicant is asking “What can I do to extend unemployment?” he or she should check the Department of Labor’s statistics on Utah unemployment rates. Determining unemployment insurance eligibility is out of state and individual control since it is automatically activated once the state reaches 6 percent unemployment. Workforce Services will attempt to determine whether you have any assurance of full-time, suitable work in your previous occupation, and will deny extended benefits if it finds that you have not demonstrated sustained pursuit of work. In order to qualify as pursuing a “systematic and sustained” search for work, you must contact at least four prospective employers every week, and not all on the same day. Each of these employers must not have been contacted previously in the last 90 days. Failure to do so results in the denial of benefits unless there is some extenuating circumstance, such as jury duty or illness.
If the petitioner was denied extended unemployment insurance coverage despite the activation of the Federal Extended benefits program, it is possible to regain eligibility for extended benefits you obtain work for any four weeks totaling earnings of six times the benefits that you would normally receive weekly and then reapplying.
When extended benefits are activated in Utah, you recipients will receive a notice stating the date to file, the qualification criteria, and instructions on how to proceed. If unsure, applicants can always check with the Department of Workforce Services or Claims Center. It is also possible to know by checking the current unemployment rate to see if it is at or below 6 percent. If it is below this percentage, then the Utah unemployment extension is unavailable.