Congress Renews Extended Benefits Program

As part of the agreement to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff”, the U.S. Congress has approved legislation to continue Emergency Unemployment Compensation through the end of 2013. President Obama has said he will sign the bill.

Congress activated the program in 2008 in response to the recession. The program was expanded and extended several times over the next few years. In 2012, Congress began reducing the total weeks of EUC benefits and set Dec. 29, 2012, as the end date for the program. In April of last year, Washington State stopped extended benefits due to the improved statewide unemployment rate.

The legislation authorizes up to 37 weeks of extended benefits for individuals who have exhausted their regular benefits, which last up to 26 weeks.

If you had not received all of your EUC benefits before Dec. 29, 2012, then you may continue to claim EUC until you run out.

If you ran out of regular benefits after Dec. 29, 2012, and you still meet eligibility requirements, you may apply for and claim EUC benefits. The Washington Employment Security Department will automatically send you an application form in the mail if we have your correct address.

If you have already received all of the EUC benefits for which you were eligible, the new legislation does not grant you additional weeks of benefits.

If you have any questions, contact the claims center at 877-558-8509.




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