Illinois Unemployment Benefits Extension – Bill H3548 Gives 20 More Weeks

Long term unemployment is not something that anyone should have to deal with.  Unfortunately in today’s economy there are more and more unemployed people everyday.  The economic slowdown has been going on for a couple of years with mounting job losses to show for it.  One of the tragic byproducts of an increasing unemployment rate is the large number of people who have been unemployed long enough to run out of the available benefits.

In Illinois the damage to the economy has been significant over the last year or two and this is seen by the unemployment rate which currently sits at 11.0% in October which is up a full half percentage point from 10.5% in September.  The increasing unemployment rate is an indicator that there are less and less jobs which makes it harder for people who were laid of quite a while ago.  The other problem is that long-term unemployed are competing against other workers who haven’t been off as long and might be more attractive to employers.

The good news is that there have been several unemployment extensions and the latest via Bill H3548 is probably not going to be the last.  These extensions are part of the stimulus package for 2009 funded by the federal government.  As many as 40,000 Illinois unemployed would have lost their benefits by the end of the year without Bill H3548.  This bill adds 14 weeks for all states and 20 weeks for states with an unemployment rate higher than 8.5%.

Currently in Illinois the following benefits are offered:

  • EUC Tier 1 – 20 weeks  (7 weeks plus 13 weeks)
  • EUC tier 2 – 14 weeks (used to be 13)
  • EB  – 20 weeks
  • EUC tier 3 (new with bill H3548) 13 weeks or 19 weeks (if > 8.5%)

This adds up to a total of 99 weeks.

For information on how to extend your benefits then please visite your state unemployment website or office.  To be eligible you need to exhaust your benefits by the end of the year (2009).  Because the latest bill has increased tier 2 by 1 week this could affect your eligibility for the extension.  According to NELP (National Employment Law Project) there would have been around 1 million Americans who run out of benefits in January of 2010 and 3 million by March 2010.  Current benefits are in Illinois are a maximum of $559 per week for someone who is married with kids.  Someone single would be eligible for a maximum of $410 per week.

Rep. Debbie Halvorson (IL-11) who voted to pass bill H3548 otherwise known as the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act had this to say:

”All across our district our friends and neighbors are in danger of losing their unemployment benefits, and our economy is struggling to recover, this bill is a big step in turning that around,” said Halvorson. “By extending these benefits we are helping our communities today so they can be stronger and more prosperous tomorrow.”

40 replies on “Illinois Unemployment Benefits Extension – Bill H3548 Gives 20 More Weeks”

I have been told that my unemployment will run out the first week of March. I called the Ottawa Illinois office and she told me that I cannot get an extension. I have applied for job after job. Will I be able to get the emergency unemployment? I have 2 boys and cannot go without no money coming in. I was told the extension ends 2/28/2010

my unemployment started august 1, 2009 – i was one of the last to lose their jobs where i worked. however my unemployment runs out this month feb.2010. i was just told by the champaign ides office that the 20 week extension is being cancelled by the end of february and that i will only be able to get a couple weeks of it. & that the 13 week additional extension after that one i will be able to get but it will also be cancelled by june 2010. i was told to be very worried and suggested to relocate or move somewhere else to find work! unbelievable. i suppose then everyone should move out of the state of illinois then? the man whom i spoke too was a jerk…and said he has to ‘tell the truth’ whether people want to hear it or not. i called my congressmans office to complain and it was explained to me that there are some bills being worked on to correct the expiration dates….

must see Congress picture…
Should we buy them larger screen computers – or – a ticket home, permanently?

This is one of their THREE DAY WORK WEEKS that we all pay for. I am ready to start from the beginning by voting out all elected officials and not letting any of them stay in office for more than two terms. No more lifelong healthcare, retirement, voting in their own pay raises, taking perks on our taxes, etc.

House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. , R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a new budget. (AP)

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two…. he’s on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores.

These are the folks that couldn’t get the budget out by Oct. 1, and are about to control your health care, cap and trade, and the list goes on….

EVERYONE Go to VOTE on how long unemployment benefits should be extended. This is on MSNBC?s website which is good that we are getting the attention but so far there?s 7000 voters and so far Indefinitely is leading by a few % pts so lets show MSNBC there?s THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS of us.

Phone Campaign to Begin on Monday 3/15? PLEASE JOIN US!!!

Senator Harry Reid: Phone= (202) 224-3542
Senator Jean Shaheen: Phone= (202) 224-2841

Senator Richard Durbin: Phone= (202) 224-2152
Senator Max Baucus: Phone= (202) 224-2651

Senator Debbie Stabenow: Phone= (202) 224-4822
Senator Sherrod Brown: Phone= (202) 224-2315

Senator Robert Casey: Phone= (202) 224-6324
Senator Chris Dodd: Phone= (202) 224-2823

Senator Al Franken: Phone= (202) 224-5641
Senator Arlen Specter: Phone= (202) 224-4254

Tier 5 to Survive :THE MOVIE made it to at least 2 websites. There is a stationary link to the YouTube video on the Unemployed – Friends website and also the following web page:

In 24 hours it has over 800 views but that will not get us the media attention or Washington action we desperately need! HELP IT GO VIRAL – PLEASE!
Shotgun to all your contacts. Use it in all your emails/fax to Washington and the media and TWEET it to EVERYONE. We will be heard. This is our battle cry!!!!!

House in Session today let?s make them calls to amend, hr

4213 for tier V.And send them faxes all weekend.

So 877-762-8762 is the toll-free number at the Capitol Hill

Switchboard, 202-224-3121

The 99ers need a Tier V added to Unemployment Benefits
The President of the United States, The U.S. Senate, The U.S. House,

The U.S. Senate, The U.S. House, Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ), Sen.

Dick Durbin (IL), Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY), Sen. Harry

Reid (NV), Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), Rep. Nancy Pelosi

(CA-08), Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD-05) and Rep. Jim

McDermott (WA-07)

Senators and Representatives:

Good Morning,

I normally post on the Tennessee forum but have the same problems as other long term unemployed in the nation. Exhaustion of Tier 4 benefits. I really believe it is important to get our message out to the media in an effort for us to receive assistance during this period. Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, is going to have a segment tonight regarding unemployment. More importantly she has a blog from which input to the segment is retrieved. We really need our issue to come to light. You may or may not like MSNBC… that is your choice. However our problem extends beyond party or ideological barriers. We need to take care of our families.

Can someone please tell me if Congress did or did not pass additional weekly payments for those at the 99week level. I’m getting conflicting info.

Good Morning All! The petition is scheduled to be delivered to Congress next Tues, May 18. Per Issa’s request, I’m helping spread the word. World News Vine has offered their assistance in delivering the petition & covering the story. Sen. Reid’s office told Issa that he was looking at adding weeks to tier 4. We need this amendment to be added to HR 4213. This may be our only chance at more weeks. If you can donate $1 or $2 to help fund the printing of the petition, etc, please do so. See Issa’s letter below:

Great news!
WorldNewsVine has come to our rescue! But we have to help. I was encountering a lot of unexpected obstacles trying to organize getting the petition to Congress, and I began to think it wasn’t going to come together. People in Washington were saying they’d ‘get back to me,’ but even if they did, we just didn’t have time for that. Next week is when the ‘unemployment extension of filing deadlines’ is expected to be raised in Congress, and we hope to get weeks added to Tier 4 at that time. Then Congress leaves again the next week. There’s little hope of getting another bill other than that one because they are discussing such big issues before they leave.

WorldNewsVine has offered to run a short campaign to raise some money to send a person on our behalf. This person is known to them, has press credentials and is familiar with the Senate. He will bring the printed petition with 900 pages of signatures. The Senate requires 6 copies which is one of the obstacles I encountered.

Our emissary knows the ins and outs of the Senate and can arrange appointments with key senators. In addition, because he already has clearance, he can enter the Capital and question staffers in other offices, too. In addition to delivering the petition copies, he intends to ask questions on our behalf both in the Capital and in the ‘haunts’ he knows where staffers go after hours. Like I said, he’s familiar with the scene! He has a vested interest in this just like we do as he has also joined the ranks of the unemployed. What he finds out will be written in the WorldNewsVine, and all together, we’ll get a lot of publicity from this!

Now our part. We have to finance his trip. Many of our signers are already familiar with this online news source as they have been the single largest source of signers for us. They have written many articles about the petition and our numbers have taken a big jump every time they have done so. You’ll notice that I’ve given links to many of their articles in the letters I’ve sent out.

Obviously, they know we don’t have much money so they’re only asking for $1, $2, or $5 donations to cover the printing and travel expenses. The drive for him will be about 600 miles each way. He’s not being paid anything for this. I spent a long time on the phone with him today, and I’m more than impressed with his knowledge and commitment, but we couldn’t expect him to fund this himself.

Below is the site that has today’s article and the donate button. The button will be removed as soon as the goal is reached so if it’s still up there please give something. They have set a goal of Monday night, but sometimes you don’t get this letter until Tuesday. So, if the button is still up, they need more donations! If he doesn’t use the whole amount for his expenses, the rest will be donated to the Humane Society which is a special charity of WNV. I believe that for now, this is the best shot we have at getting additional benefits. Together, with our small donations, we’ll raise the amount needed!

The Senate is doing a test vote on the tax cut/proposal at 3pm EST Monday. The Democrats are pushing for a better deal that will help ALL UNEMPLOYED and get better tax provisions. WE MUST CALL and voice our opinion on the current deal, and be able to have amendments added to the bill which will help us even more! We want benefits for ALL unemployed, and a REAL jobs bill added to ANY deal! CALL your Senators ALL DAY Monday, EARLIER the better!!! Toll free lines to DC are 1-888-340-6522 and the Capitol Switchboard is 1-888-245-0215. If the number is busy, KEEP TRYING! The GOP wants their tax cut deal in the worst way, they WILL give in and give more! WE MUST demand more!! The deal MUST be fair for ALL, or NO DEAL! Tell ALL your friends to call these numbers as well, we need all the calls possible!

08 FEB 2011
To: All Illinois workers , friends and relatives of yours
who live in Illinois AND Unemployed Illinois people
Subj: Social security Repeal Vote this Week ( House Bill 96)

The state of Illinois currently penalizes anyone drawing Social Security by reducing your
Illinois unemployment benefits. In my case it is $120 per week! We need to call Speaker Madigan (217) 782-5350 and ask him to allow a vote on this bill. It is best to call thisThursday Morning! If you don’t reach him or his aid, then call his distict number in Chicago which is:
773 581-8000. Folks, I can’t express how very important this call is-Be sure to call in and ask for the vote. Speaker Madigan’s FAX number is: 217 524-1794 Springfield/773 581-9414 Chicago.
Illinois and Lousiana are the only 2 states left that are not allowing the full UI payments . This is unfair! It has been a huge burden to me; I don’t wish it to happen to YOU or your friends.
If you have any questions,need more info you may email a friend of mine: Nancy Solomon… Her number is: 773 262-8070
Best wishes to all of you. Make that call or fax. thank-you.

27 mar 2011 at: 5:59 PM CST

Everyone: be sure to contact your U S Senator and Rep tomorrow by phone and /or Fax. Ask them to pass HR 589 for 14 weeks extention for the 99,ers! And make an entry in the Illinois page here.
I Can’t believe the last entry before this one was……………ME!
ALSO, please type date and time for your entries since the site doesn’t do it for you anymore…. It helps. thanks and best wishes to all


03 may 2011
1:36PM CST

Anyone use this site anymore? any news on any extention??? Best wishes
PS: I made an entry in the Florida site;requesting info on extention etc.

to anybody:

11 may 2011 ,time: 1211 pm cst

Moderator just as well delete this Illinois page-noone interested in current events? Surely, something is on their mind? unemployment news/questions,etc…………

12 May 2011
time: 1024 am,Cst
testing——-anything new on UI extentions?


16 may 11
test…….anyone out there with any new unemployment extention info?

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