Washington to regain 9 weeks of long-term unemployment benefits

 
“It’s ironic that the federal shutdown contributed to the rise in our unemployment rate and caused these benefits to be reactivated,” said Employment Security Commissioner Dale Peinecke.
 
Unemployed workers who used up their EUC tier 2 benefits after Aug. 10 may become eligible for tier 3 benefits beginning the week of Dec. 8-14.
 
However, everyone who is claiming unemployment benefits should be aware that the entire Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ends on Dec. 28, unless Congress votes to extend it.
 
The Employment Security Department is using a combination of email, robocalls and letters to alert potentially eligible customers about the change in benefits. Information also has been posted on the department’s website: esd.wa.gov.
 
About 24,000 people in Washington currently are in EUC tier 1 or 2. Nearly 11,000 individuals may be eligible to claim tier 3 benefits.
 
Since the program was activated in July 2008, nearly $6.3 billion in emergency unemployment compensation has been paid to about 451,000 jobless workers in Washington state.