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April 17, 2010 06:06 PM EDT
by Mike Rheaume
Under the current federally-subsidized unemployment benefits extension program as mandated by last year's American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - the "stimulus" - unemployed citizens can receive up to a maximum of 99 weeks of benefits. However, this differs from state to state because there are four tiers of extensions. The fourth tier (6 weeks) is only available to states that meet the average unemployment rate criteria and "trigger" the extra tier.
Via Michael Thornton over at The Examiner* I found this helpful link at the US Dept. of Labor Office of Workplace Services where you can see what tier your state is currently eligible for, and whether you can claim to collect benefits for that tier if you have exhausted your current tier. The list tracks the "trigger" in place for Tier IV of benefits.
Here is the latest version effective April 18, 2010. Most states are eligible. Is yours?
When or if there will be a Tier V or a similar version of actual extended benefits is up for debate and speculation right now. We will have to see what sort of bills start materializing in Congress next week.