Extended Unemployment Benefits May Be Cut By Months End

HARRISONBURG, Va. If Congress does not act, more than one million people will see their extended unemployment benefits cut immediately, at the end of the month.

William Walton, the Unemployment Insurance Director for the Virginia Employment Commission, said nothing will change with the regular unemployment plan. But, the emergency federal benefit program, which started during the recession to help those who have exhausted their regular benefits, will expire at the end of December.

This means, unemployment benefits may only be available to people for six months.

Walton said, six hundred to eight hundred additional claims are made for these extended benefits, every week in Virginia.

"The trend over the past year has been that tier one applications this week, compared to this week last year, are fewer. I know there have been reports that legislation has been proposed. But, whether or not it passes, is anybody's guess," said Walton.

Walton said, it is possible that after the benefits expire, legislation could be passed that authorizes payment retroactively. If that happens, information will be posted at www.vec.virginia.gov.

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