Unemployment Benefits Extended, But Not COBRA Subsidy

Last Updated: October 1, 2010


On July 22, 2010, President Obama signed the
Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010, that provides
additional federal unemployment benefits of 13 to 20 weeks, retroactive
to June 2, 2010, through November 30, 2010. This legislation restores
unemployment benefits to about 2.3 million Americans who had exhausted
their basic unemployment benefits through their respective states of up to
26 weeks. However, this legislation does not lengthen the current maximum
of up to 99 weeks for unemployment benefits.

This legislation affords about 510,000 Californians
who had experienced a disruption in unemployment extension benefits
with additional benefits for up to a total of 99 weeks. This legislation
extended the deadlines for filing for the federal extension from June 2, 2010
to November 30, 2010 for HI employees, but did not lengthen the maximum duration
of unemployment benefits from 47 weeks.

However, Congress has not expanded the COBRA subsidy which
affords Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) the opportunity to pay only 35%
of their COBRA premiums for up to 15 months. While not impacting individuals
already receiving the subsidy, as things stand now, no one can become eligible
for the subsidy after May 31, 2010.

As you may know from our earlier emails,
this subsidy applied to employees and dependents whose COBRA
qualifying event was either the employee’s involuntary termination
that occurred between September 1, 2008 and May 31, 2010; or was the
employee’s reduction in hours between September 1, 2008 that was followed
by the employee’s involuntary termination between March 2, 2010 and May 31, 2010.
For additional information about the subsidy, please see our prior articles
COBRA
Subsidy Ends as of May 31, 2010
and
COBRA Subsidy and Unemployment Benefits Extended
by the CEA.

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