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Federal unemployment cuts will soon hurt Vermont claimants

— About 1,400 people in Vermont will lose unemployment benefits when the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program ends on Dec. 29th. The Vermont Department of Labor will have no funding or authority to continue to pay EUC benefits for any weeks after the week of Dec. 29.

Since being initiated in July 2008, the federal program has paid more than $246 million in federally funded unemployment benefits to nearly 30,000 jobless workers in Vermont.

At the peak of the economic downturn, Vermont workers potentially qualified for up to 47 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation after exhausting their regular 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Due to Vermont’s improved unemployment numbers, the maximum EUC weeks dropped to 26 weeks in June. Congressional action further reduced the maximum weeks to 14 weeks in September of this year.

Although Congress has extended the program ten times in the past four years, there is no indication at this time that the EUC program will be reauthorized. The Vermont Department of Labor has begun notifying UI claimants through mail, online filing notifications and press releases that the EUC program is ending.

Individuals who need help finding a job can receive assistance from the Vermont Department of Labor. VDOL offers help with resume writing, interview skills, identifying job openings, and job placement. The Department’s regional Career Resource Centers provide Vermonters with free, professional assistance, matching job seekers with job openings.

For a list of Vermont's Career Resource Centers and other information, please visit our website at www.labor.vermont.gov. If you need help with housing, food, medical care or other essentials, you can dial 211 or visit www.Vermont211.org.

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