|Friday, March 22, 2002 |
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Contact: Debbie Monterrey-Millett (608) 266-9806
GOVERNOR ISSUES ANNOUNCEMENT ON
EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Madison – Gov. Scott McCallum announced that the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) would begin notifying an additional pool of potentially eligible displaced workers of extended unemployment benefits available under federal law.
Wisconsin passed an eight-week extension of benefits that went into effect March 11. The bill passed by Congress replaces those benefits with 13 weeks of benefits to be paid by the federal government. When Wisconsin passed its extension, the state notified all potentially eligible individuals. The federal law reaches back one year further than Wisconsin did, meaning more people became eligible. The state is now starting the process of notifying those individuals.
The department has already notified approximately 28,000 workers who have exhausted benefit claims begun after March 11, 2001, of benefits available under Wisconsin’s Temporary Supplemental Benefit plan. On Monday, March 25, DWD will begin sending notices to an additional 36,000 workers who have exhausted benefit claims begun between March 19, 2000, and March 10, 2001, of potential eligibility for benefits under the federal extended benefit program.
"We want Wisconsin workers who lost their jobs and filed for unemployment during this time period to be aware that they could be eligible for federal extended unemployment benefits," Gov. McCallum said.
On March 9, 2002, Governor McCallum signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor giving Wisconsin access to additional federal unemployment benefits for claimants who have exhausted regular benefits. Under the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) Act of 2002, additional benefits are first payable for the week ending March 16, 2002. The last week for which TEUC benefits are payable is the week ending December 28, 2002.
To qualify for TEUC, the claimants:
- Established an unemployment benefit year March 19, 2000, or later;
- Have base period wages for that benefit year totaling at least 40 times their weekly benefit rate;
- Exhausted their regular unemployment benefits or have come to the end of their benefit year; and,
- Are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits in any state or under any other federal program.
Although the department is waiting for final policies and procedures regarding the TEUC program from the federal government, staff has started the programming that will allow the state to process and pay additional claims accurately and efficiently.
The governor said that eligible claimants currently receiving state extended benefits would automatically be transferred to federal benefits. The current plan will allow the state to begin paying TEUC benefits by April 6. Those who are not yet receiving benefits are encouraged to wait to file their claims until they receive a written notice to do so.
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