Extended unemployment benefits possible

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By The Staff

More than $44 million in extended unemployment insurance benefits have been paid to 20,581 Kentuckians since the program began in July 2008 and more benefits will continue to be paid out, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The extended 13 weeks of benefits are being paid to Kentuckians who exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits and are currently unemployed.

“This extension has helped many people who have lost a job through no fault of their own to carry on until they find employment,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “In addition, it is 100 percent federally funded so it does not impact Kentucky employers or the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.”

Kentuckians who may be eligible for the additional jobless benefits are being notified by mail when they exhaust regular UI benefits, said Division of Unemployment Insurance Director Tony DeName. The weekly benefit amount for extended benefits will be the same as the person received for regular unemployment compensation during the original 26-week period. The maximum amount of benefits is $415 a week and depends on the person’s prior earnings. The extension will be available through March 22, 2009.

DeName said that people who may be eligible can still file a claim for extension benefits at www.kewes.ky.gov. For more information about the extended unemployment insurance benefits, call the UI office at (502) 564-2900, or visit the Office of Employment and Training Web site at http://www.oet.ky.gov/des/ui/ui.htm.