Federal Unemployment Benefit Extension Re-triggered in Utah

(KCPW News) Unemployed Utah workers who have exhausted their 14 weeks of federal benefits can now apply for another 14 weeks as a result of the state’s average unemployment rate being at least 6 percent for three months. As Bill Starks, Unemployment Insurance Director with the Utah Department of Workforce Services explains, those additional benefits were suspended back in June when the unemployment rate dropped, but now they’ve been re-triggered.

“What we’re finding is there is about 200 individuals in Utah that are exhausting their benefits every week, so what this will do is approximately 200 people per week that normally would have exhausted their benefits would now be eligible for up to an additional 14 weeks of benefits,” he explains.

There is a catch, however. Starks says these additional federal benefits will expire at the end of the year without an act of Congress.

“Under the current regulations, the program ends at the end of the year, so there is no phase-out. So even if you just triggered on to a tier of benefits, without an act of Congress, they all end at the end of the year,” he says.

Utah offers 26 weeks of state unemployment insurance benefits, which take effect before federal benefits.