Jobless benefits are extended


First Posted: 2/8/2009

Area residents who are out of work are still struggling with a jobless rate that has soared near double-digits, but some of those without jobs will benefit from a recent extension of unemployment benefits.
Typically, those who lose a job can file for jobless benefits, with the weekly pay out dependent upon how much their employer has paid into the system, how much the individual made while working, and other factors, according to Andy James, the Press Information Office director for the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.
The length of time a person can draw those benefits also varies, he said, with a maximum of 26 weeks.
As part of a federal program to extend those benefits, jobless workers in North Carolina will now be able to collect unemployment money for a longer period of time. For those who have already exhausted their benefits, new money may be available, James said Friday.
The additional money is the second part of an extension approved by Congress last year. James explained that program extended benefits by 50 percent. That means if someone was eligible for 20 weeks of unemployment, they were able to receive an additional 10 weeks.
This second federal extension, he said, will add another 30 percent onto that time. If a person were eligible for 20 weeks, he said, they could then get the additional 10 weeks, and now would be eligible for another six weeks of unemployment benefits.
Those who have been filing weekly certifications and are still out of work should continue to file, a written statement released by the ESC said. James added that anyone who has already exhausted those benefits should refile.
Were asking them to try to file a new claim, and the computer program will determine if they are eligible, he said.
Such filing can be done in person at any ESC office, by telephone, or online at www.ncesc.com.
Contact John Peters at [email protected] or 719-1931.

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