May 31, 2012
Federal legislation passed in February 2012 under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act changed the requirements for states to pay the different EUC Tiers. Effective June 1, 2012 to be eligible for EUC Tier II, the state must have a Total Unemployment Rate (TUR) of 6 percent or higher for a three month period.
Since Virginia’s TUR is below 6 percent, this means that EUC Tier II will no longer be available to those Virginia claimants who exhaust EUC Tier I with the week ending June 30, 2012 or after. The last effective date EUC Tier II can be established is June 24, 2012. Those individuals who are eligible for EUC Tier II effective June 24, 2012 or before will be able to receive their EUC Tier II balance or until the week ending December 29, 2012, whichever comes first. If one exhausts EUC Tier I on or after week ending June 30, 2012, you will not be eligible to apply for EUC Tier II.
With the ending of EUC Tier II, this means that Virginia’s UI and EUC combined entitlement will be reduced from a maximum of 60 weeks to a maximum of 46 weeks.
Under current federal law, there would be no more benefits paid under any Tier of EUC after the week ending December 29, 2012. After that date, Virginia would only be able to provide benefits under the regular UI program (up to 26 weeks).
The next scheduled changes to the EUC program covered by the recent Federal legislative enactment are set to take place in September, 2012. These changes will decrease the maximum duration of Tier I entitlement payable by states from 20 weeks to 14 weeks. More information regarding the effect of these changes on Virginia claimants will be forthcoming in August, 2012.