U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri (NY-24) voted today to extend critical unemployment insurance benefits to millions of Americans still struggling to find work and overcome the lingering effects of the recession. The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213), which had been blocked by Senate Republicans for nearly two months, will extend benefits that began expiring at the end of May through November 30, 2010.
"For the past six months, we have seen promising signs that our economy is beginning to recover but there are still many Upstate New Yorkers who remain unemployed and without help, they are in danger of financial ruin," said Arcuri. "By extending critical unemployment insurance benefits we ensure millions of Americans who want to work but just cannot find a job, remain afloat after their regular benefits have run out. Additionally, this legislation extends the lifeline to nearly 200,000 New Yorkers whose benefits began expiring as early as the end of May."
H.R. 4213 will extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits programs through November 30, 2010. This would retroactively restore benefits to the more than 2.7 million Americans (199,600 in New York State) who started losing their benefits as early as May 30, 2010 when the last extension expired. For claimants to receive retroactive benefits they would have had to continue certifying their unemployment each week through the certification systems process.
As a result of this legislation, individuals who exhausted regular unemployment benefits or a tier of EUC on or before the week ending November 28, 2010, will be able to move to the next tier. New York State provides up to 67 additional weeks of unemployment benefits divided into three tiers (Tier 1-20 weeks, Tier 2-14 weeks, Tier 3-13 weeks), as well as the usual 26 weeks of regular benefits.
Claimants with questions regarding their unemployment benefits should contact Arcuri's Utica District Office at 315-793-8146 or contact the New York State Department of Labor at 1-888-209-8124.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has found extending unemployment benefits to be one of the most cost-effective and fast-acting ways to stimulate the economy, creating up to $1.90 in economic activity for every dollar in unemployment benefits. [CBO, 1/14/10]
The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213), passed in the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 272-152 and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.