Claimants who have been unemployed the longest are the ones affected by this change, said Commissioner Karla Davis. As Tennessees employment opportunities improve, other federal benefits could be reduced as well.
Approximately 10,000 Claimants will receive notifications of the program expiration in the coming days. These claimants will not be eligible for additional benefits again until they earn qualifying wages.
In December of 2010, the United States Department of Labor informed Tennessee that it was in danger of triggering off the Extended Benefits program unless Tennessees General Assembly passed legislation to extend the EB look-back provision from two years to three years.The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation, and Gov. Haslam signed into law this three year look-back provision to allow Tennessee to remain triggered on to EB until Tennessees total unemployment rate improved enough to trigger off of the program.
In February 2012, federal legislation was enacted that changed the structure of the remaining federal benefits. It reduces the number of benefit weeks available from a maximum of 99 to 73 weeks in September 2012 and places unemployment rate triggers on the total weeks available. All federal unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of 2012.