Kentucky Unemployment Benefits Extension – 20 More Weeks With H3548

Like most states, Kentucky has been hit hard by the financial meltdown of 2008 and subsequent economic slowdown and recession.  Many jobs have been lost and for some unlucky people – it will be a long road back to employment.  The national unemployment rate has been rising steadily over the last few years and has recently broken the 10% barrier and sites at 10.2%.

Kentucky, the “Bluegrass State” hasn’t been spared from the economic damage.  The most recent unemployment rate in Kentucky was 11.2% in October which was up 0.3% from 10.9% in September.  Among those unemployed are significant numbers of people who have been unemployed long enough to either exhaust their unemployment benefits or come close to exhausting them.

To counter the problem of long-term unemployed running out of benefits the federal government has funded several benefit extensions.  These are mainly funded as part of the economic stimulus package for 2009.

Bill H3548 has been passed and put into law – this will allow all states an extra 13 weeks of employment benefits as well as another 6 weeks if the unemployment rate is higher than 8.5%.  It also increases the Tier 2 EUC benefits from 13 weeks to 14 weeks.  In total – this bill will add 20 weeks of unemployent benefits for long-term unemployed people in Kentucky.

Here is the current benefits available in Kentucky:

  • 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 Kentucky are $440 per week.

Kentuckians and Hoosiers who have exhausted all 79 weeks of unemployment benefits or will do so by the end of the year are eligible for up to 20 more weeks.
The extended benefits pay 54 percent of the person’s original unemployment compensation for the first week, 50 percent for the next 13 weeks and 24 percent for the final six weeks.
Unless Congress acts, the federal extensions will phase out at the end of the year. Residents will continue receiving benefits for their current tier in 2010, but will not be able to move the next tier. There are four federal tiers, each lasting from six weeks to 20 weeks.

What to do – Kentucky
Those who may be eligible for the 20-week extension will receive letters from the state Office of Employment and Training with instructions on claiming the benefits. Residents will be able to file a claim in about two weeks, according to state officials, and claiming early will not result in receiving checks sooner.

129 replies on “Kentucky Unemployment Benefits Extension – 20 More Weeks With H3548”

I am new to the entire unemployment process – I was terminated from my job on 11/16/09 and did not realize initially that since i lived in Ohio that I still had to file in KY since that is where I worked. I did so and received a letter last week telling me how much I would be receiving. I was told when I opened my claim that I could call on 12/10/09 to request my benefit check – once I do that how long does it generally take before I receive the check? I can’t seem to get any information from anyone. I am so frustrated! Thanks all!

Robin, you will normally receive your checks 3-4 days after requesting them. You will receive one check for the amount indicated in the letter, plus another check for $50 (usually a day later).

Why is Kentucky only getting 50% of your benefit amount on this extension? It’s nice to know that no other state is doing this! This is not what was told to us originally and I feel we are getting screwed! And right around the holidays! Don’t know what I’m going to do now.

I live in KY where Unemployment is +10%. I became unemployed in April 2009 and began drawing unemployment shortly thereafter. When I exhausted my benefits in November I had to file for an extension and as I understand it they will carry me through February. However, before they would grant me my extension in November my account had to completely zero out and I then had to wait another two weeks before I could even apply for my extension and another two weeks before I started filing for my extension checks. In essence what this meant for me was that for my last check I got $9.00 to last me for a month. So, be aware if you are about to file for an extension your account has to completely zero out before you can begin getting your extension and they do not go back and pick up the weeks you missed out on.

If you were laid off in April 09, you should have been able to collect unemployment without interruption in the weeks paid up to and including right now. The only possible bumps should have been the rules that pertain to going off the state program to the federal extension, and maybe from tier to tier of the extension. If for whatever reason you wound up with an amount of only $9 left in your state account money, then that is all you would get for the final week you drew from the state program. Most of the time your funds divide exactly into numbers of weeks, but sometimes not, especially if you have had deductions from weekly benefits due to temporary or part-time jobs. The federal extension should begin the next week after the last week paid with state funds and return to the same normal weekly rate as the state claim. The same situation also becomes possible in going from one federal extension tier to another, but you should not have had entire weeks of receiving nothing unless there was some other issue you did not mention. Sometimes getting the proper weeks to be paid requires a manual intervention for various reasons related to the computer programming that had to be hurried into place in all the states and the odd numbers of weeks in the tiers.

Why did Kentucky only get 13 weeks? The unemployment rate was well above 8.5% since the summer 2009. Just called Louisville; they said what I have left in my balance is it. I am at week ten, my balance reflects three more weeks…

KY did get 20, but in 2 separate tiers, tier 4 money will not get added until the tier 3 amount is at zero.

I have same problem David, I am on my last week of tier 2 this week and do not claim another check til the 14th of Feb. So this last check will be for only one week i assume and then go on tier 3 on the 14 th Feb. I hear they add it to the end of tier 3 too. I just wonder if they add tier 3 weeks in the middle of your paying cycle if not one week check.

I’m so confused by all this! I’ve been off since Feb ’09. I’ve had no problem collecting since then. I have half of a check left to claim on the 14th, and then my balance will be at 0. I’m not sure what tier I’m on or anything. Any idea if this will be it for me or do I need to get in another claim before the 28th of Feb? Do I have to go into the office or can I do anything online?

Silver it matters how long you been drawing unemployment and if you have worked any during that time such as temp jobs etc. I do know that when you get to the end of tier 2 in ky and you are on the last 2 weeks before you claim your next check it will show only one week left. How i know i am there. Feb 14 i start tier 3. My balance is 1 week and claim it on 14th of Feb. How i understand it is whatever tier you are on as of the 28th , you will finsih that tier, unless another extension is passed.They did pass a additional week on tier 2 making it 14 but i do not know how ky is handling the extra week.

I’ve been drawing since Feb 20, ’09. No temp jobs, no nothing. My check does show only one week left, but I still dont know if that means I’m on tier 2 or tier 3. I’m assuming the best thing to do is just to open a new claim? Do I do that as soon as I call in for the last check, or do I have to wait 2 weeks from then? I just dont want to wait until after the 28th and end up missing out on benefits.

Silver, it sounds like you are going from tier 1 to tier 2 and it should automatically be added to your account when balance is zero. I suggest contacting your local career services center to see were you stand on tiers. The deadline for switching to another tier as of right now is Feb 27 saturday. If you hit a balance of zero on that day on a tier i understand that you will automatically go to next tier. Wish you best of luck.

I don’t have a local career center, I always go to Louisville for the 6-week check-up. Their regular line seems to be always out the door and around the building 🙁
Can I still be on Tier 1 a year later? I know I already ran my balance to $0 once in Sept, they had me open up a new claim. This is the end of that claim that I opened up. I guess I just assumed this was the end of 2nd claim, so that meant the end of Tier 2.
Basically, I just don’t know what to do after I call in my next half-check. I’m not sure if I should try to open up a new claim through the website or if I should go into the office and talk to them. I’d rather not have to go in, I’d be waiting from 7am to 4pm just to ask a simple question. But it’s worth the extension if I have to…

Career services should send you a letter when your balance is zero about your next tier. I will be at zero balance sunday too so i will keep you updated about what happens to me.

Reaching zero balance prior to the end of February is (right now at least) the only way to advance to the next tier. Reaching zero after the end of February means that unless Congress extends the cutoff dates, you will only finish your current tier and not advance to the next. At this point no one should have been able to run out of tier 3 and 4 (20 weeks benefits effective November because from then through the end of February equals only 17 weeks).

You are supposed to be able to advance to the next tier automatically without restarting the claim again (if the computer programming works correctly that is).

Thanks 67and68. So let me see if I am understanding you. I ended my first tier in November 09. At that point I was given an extension of which is about to expire. (tier 2) If I understand you correctly I should be able to go to tier 3 without any problem because I started tier 2 before the end of February 2010? And does each tier give you 20 weeks? And how many tiers are there? Geeze could they have made it a little simpler? Hopefully, I will have a job before too much longer . The news says the jobless rate is now 9.7 overall, but I think in KY it may be higher. Another question. Does the Kentucky legislature have to pass anything regarding unemployment or does the Federal Govt. have the say? Sorry for the questions but I’ve got to be prepared. I cannot stand too many more surprises. Thanks to all for this area of info. It has been very helpful.

In going from tier to tier, it depends (as of right now) when you run out of funds not when you started. If you have zeroed the tier before the end of February, you get money for the next tier added automatically.

The tiers are: 1 is 20 weeks, 2 is 14 weeks, 3 is 13 weeks, and 4 is 6 weeks. Tier 2 was originally 13, but was increased when 3 and 4 were added. There was also a short-lived state extension thrown into the mix which ended at the end of November 2009.

If you add the tiers you get 53, plus the state 26, and the state extension of 20, that gives the number 99 that is often thrown around.

The state controls the original 26 weeks, the federal government controls the extensions. Unfortunately, the separate rules cause the 2 programs to sometimes conflict with devastating results on folks.

Thanks so much 67!

By this justification, I will be finishing the 26 original weeks and the 20 weeks of state extension on Feb 14th. My balance will be at $0 after I call in my check on the 14th (which is only half a check…). So the way I understand it, I will get 20 more weeks (tier 1), correct? Will this automatically get added to my balance, or do I have to do something to get it started since its the beginning of the tiers?

The state extension has ended and the last week that was paid from that was the last week of November 2009 so no one can still be drawing from the state extension. That means that there are only 2 ways someone would be receiving payments currently, the original state program of 26 weeks, or one of the federal tiers. If you are on the state program and run out of funds in February, then you must file again to qualify for the federal extension (separate funds source, separate filing although it will appear the same on-line). If you are on the federal extension already, filing again is not necessary, new funds for the next tier will flow into your available funds to draw from as soon as the current fund level hits zero.

Is there a way to tell if I’m on the state program or the federal program? I filed in Feb ’09, then had to open a new claim in Sept ’09 because they told me to ( i was out of funds). Now I’m coming to the end of that claim I guess. They make this so confusing! Bottom line, I will be at $0 balance after I claim my next check on the 14th. The next time for me to claim would be on the 28th. So if I dont do anything and wait and see if they reapply money to my balance, I’ll be past the 28th cut-off date and potentially done with unemployment.

On a side note, this last check will only be a half-check for me. Does that mean I only have to wait 1 week to call in my check instead of the normal 2 weeks? Is there anything I can do to get a full check? My balance only shows enough available for half of what I normally get every 2 weeks.

Thanks for all the help!

You can count the number of weeks you have been paid already and unless you have had wages which reduced the amount of some of the check(s), if the count is more than 26 and you are still drawing, then you are definitely on the federal extension.

If you claim after 2 weeks but only have enough money left to pay one, then the system should advance the tier and cut a check for 2 with money from the next tier. If that does happen (depends on how well the computers are operating however) you will know you advanced to the next. If not, it may require a manual intervention, at this point no one should have been able to run entirely out of both tier 3 and 4 yet.

It is extremely confusing and also thrown into this quagmire is the original claim expiration date from the first time you filed, after that date has passed the system will try to determine if you are eligible for a new state claim. If the automated systems say you are, then expect trouble.

Does anyone know when the 6 weeks will be added? Do we need to have a zero balance before the extra weeks will be added on?

You will advance to the next tier if your fund balance for the tier you are on hits zero prior to the end of February. If your claim reaches zero after paying the week ending 02/27/10 or any prior week you will get additional funds. However, If you still have funds remaining to pay any week(s) in March, then new funds will not be added when you do hit zero.

That is how the extension works right now, it is subject to change by the federal government at any time even possibly after the end of the month.

I have one week left on my claim, will it automatically add the others on if I don’t have a zero balance? Or will I have to claim the one week to get a zero balance and then it will be added on?

Thanks for the response……………….

I am currently drawing regular unemployment insurance and i have about already file for the last two weeks on Feb 14th but i have about $400 left on my account which is one more week to file. Can i go ahead a file for that week on Feb 21st, 2010 or do i have to wait until the feb. 28th 2010. Will i be able to get for the next level of benefits? I am so confused please help me

Also i am aware time is running out and i need to know if i will be able to make it before feb 28th 2010. also if do make it in time which one do i file the emergency benefits or extended benefits

I call in my last check on the 28th. I wonder if I’ll get the 6 weeks. Although, theye moved my review from Feb. 2 to March 2. So I/we may get the 6 weeks. Any thoughts?

If you are running out of state program funds, you must file for the extension before the end of February. If you claim your final check on February 28, after doing that immediately file again for the federal extension. The system may actually prompt you to do so. There is only the federal extension now, the state extension is no longer in effect.

If you are on the federal extension, you will advance to the next tier automatically if your fund balance for the current tier hits zero prior to the end of February. If your claim reaches zero after paying the week ending 02/27/10 or any prior week you will get additional funds. However, If you still have funds remaining to pay any week(s) in March, then no new funds will be added barring additional congressional action.

At this point no one should have been able to run entirely out of both tier 3 and 4 as yet.

Here’s what happened to me. I called in my last check on the 14th, which I only had enough balance to pay for half of a check. They paid me through Feb 6th and only half a check. The system now says my balance is enough for 6.5 weeks. So it auto-updated my balance, but only for 6 weeks.

1. Do I have to wait until 2 weeks from Feb 14th to get the other half of my most recent check?
2. Why only 6 weeks? Does this tell me what Tier I’m on?
3. Anyone heard anything about Congress passing another extension, or should I pretty much count on these being my last 6 weeks?

Most likely if you are only paid one week out of the 2 claimed, and your funds updated, you can still use the automated systems by waiting only one additional week and claiming again, which will still give you 2 weeks, the prior week 2 that was not paid before and the new most recent week just passed. The 2nd week can also (and may have to) be paid manually by a local office.

The tiers are: 1 – 20 weeks, 2 – 14 weeks, 3 – 13 weeks, and 4 – 6 weeks. Tier 2 was originally 13, but was increased when 3 and 4 were added.

There are at least 2 issues Congress may act on that affects unemployment. The cutoff date for starting any tier of the federal extensions is currently the end of February. Unless that is extended, you can finish the tier you are on, but cannot advance to the next. If you are already on the last tier, extending that date will not help you. They could add a 5th tier or add weeks to previous tiers. There are other options possible also. They will probably do whatever is the most complicated.

First of, thank you SO much 67, you have been such a great help in understanding this!
I got a letter from the UI division today. It said I’m eligible for X amount per week for a total payable of Y. When I divide the total (Y) by X, it equals 33 weeks exactly.
The system, when I call in, says my balance is 6 weeks when I do this math.
So, am I getting 6 more weeks or 33?

It seems most likely you have just advanced from tier 1 to tier 2 of the federal extension which means you probably have not 6 weeks remaining but 6 checks plus one single week (the 13 weeks of the original tier 2). If you add all the full weeks you have been paid for it probably now equals 46, including both state and federal. The letter states a grand total of your full entitlement under the federal extension only, what it does not say is that a lot of it has already been paid out. Very confusing. The 33 should work out to be 20 already paid and 13 more you currently qualify for.

I have kept every check stub I’ve received. I counted them, and sure enough, I have 25 check stubs. Two of those are for half-weeks, so that adds up to 23 full checks, which is 46 weeks.
I’m not sure which is state and which is federal, but it all matches what you say.
Therefore, I’m expecting 13 weeks of checks and then that will be the end, unless Congress passes another extension.

That sound right?

The only confusing part now for me is that they have my balance at 6.5 weeks of pay instead of 13 weeks of pay remaining in the system. Will it automatically add more to the claim when it goes to 0 in 6.5 weeks?

Thank you so very much!

So i just did the math again, I have 13 weeks of pay on my balance 🙂
You are correct in my 6.5 CHECKS left, which is every TWO weeks! Thanks again!!!

I was laid off on August 21 2009 I am calling in my last check for my first stint of unemployment on Feburary 22, 2010 am I gong to make the cut off for the extenstion? and How do I file for the extension on line or do I have to go into the office

If you run entirely out of the regular state unemployment in February, as soon as your last check is on it?s way, then you must file again for the federal extension. You can do this on-line, exactly the same way as filing for unemployment initially. It may be important to re-file before the end of the month if Congress does not act on the end date for signing up, which now stands at 02/28/10. That will be tier 1, which is 20 weeks.

67and68 Thank you very much for the information I am going to try and file on line today I appreciate your help.

I just filed on my last regular ui benefits today (2/28/10) and tried to file for the EUI online and couldnt file . What do i need to do? please help!

Just got back from the UE office. Kentucky only got 13 weeks on the last extension with no hope of the 6 weeks from the rate <8.5. I and 5 Million people are BONED. I hope something happens for us…

The deadline to file for the federal extension has been advanced another month, so if you have expired the normal state unemployment with the last week paid in February, you can now file for the first federal tier of 20 weeks. You do that the same way as filing the regular state program.

Kentucky is getting the full 20 federal weeks approved as tier 3 and 4.

I had to open a new claim to file for the additional 6 weeks on Sunday, Marth 7th. It is crazy because the funds are in my account to be withdrawn but when I opened my new claim yesterday, it says I cannot request a check until the 21st. I was to claim on Sunday and now I have to wait until March 21st. that makes no sense to me. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Okay 67 you seem to know more about this…..I saw on the unemployment site about the extensions but I’m on EB Extended Benefits not EUC emergency unemployment compensation and thats all it talks about is the euc so do the EB people get an extension too…I just claimed my last check yesterday for EB…..

I had the same problem, it was very weird. I have a balance that will last me through May. I went to file for my check on the 7th and it let me do the first week, then it made me open a new claim. I’m assuming I’ll get a half-check this time, then on the 21st when I can file again it’ll let me have 2 weeks. So I guess I’m gonna miss a week’s check in March. Any way to get that week back without going in to the over-crowded office?

There is no way to get the retro payment unless you enter the office and complete a pay order card for that particular week. Keep in mind that because of Bunning, there are issues with everyone getting back on pace anyway! The benefits were officially canceled, then reactivated within the same week. So be patient as they work to correct everything that got &^%# up in the process! If you have a balance when the bills expire, you lose that remaining balance and are forced into the next available benefit. That is why you had to reopen your claim in the middle of a request for your check. Had Bunning just went with the flow, you would not have had to open a new claim. You would have ordered until the end of this month when they are reassigned to expire. What ever you would have left by the end of this month will be gone! We will then be waiting for an extension of benefits, rather than an extension of time to apply for benefits. I know, its very confusing, but everyone needs to be aware that all (emergency – not regular) EUC and EB WILL expire and we WILL lose any remaining balances. I will share this bit of info with everyone tho; you can go to any “Bluegrass” office, not just the Lexington office. You can find all of the area offices by visiting the OET website. I know that Winchester has an office, but I am not sure about other surrounding counties.

OK, a couple of things. First, according to 67:
“The cutoff date for starting any tier of the federal extensions is currently the end of February. Unless that is extended, you can finish the tier you are on, but cannot advance to the next.

So, that contradicts what LUCY is saying that we lose our remaining balance. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, I’m just saying this is two contradicting viewpoints. Which is correct?

SECONDLY, and perhaps most importantly, at least personally. I filed for my checks on Sunday. As I mentioned, my first week seemed like it went through, then I had to open a new claim. Well, I called the 866 number just to see when my check was mailed. The automated response was basically this “You’re claim for weeks ending Feb 28 and March 7th were filed and accepted, however no check was mailed. Would you like this information repeated?”

Um, that SUCKS! Anyone have any insight on what the hell happened? Did opening a new claim just screw me for the past two weeks?

The exact automated response:

“You have been given credit for claiming the weeks ending Feb 28th 2010 and March 7th 2010, however no check was issued for those weeks. ”

This really frustrates me….

The deadline to file for the federal extension or advance to the next tier of that extension has been advanced another month, so any previous statements about the end of February deadline are as of now invalid.

The system may force you to start a new claim for several reasons. If you reach the anniversary date of the original state claim, what is referred to as the BYE, Benefit Year End, you may be forced to do that.

The system could also be malfunctioning.

If you are getting that ?given credit? message under normal circumstances there will have to be a manual intervention to force the payment to be issued and waiting will not help. That message usually indicates a question was answered wrong when certifying, but with the potential of a computer malfunction it could be a system problem and may be rectified soon. If a computer problem does exist it will affect many folks the same way, and an earlier post also indicates a similar problem. I would call and check the status again tomorrow before going anywhere.

The post by lucylouky seems to have the most correct recent information, except that the end of March will not zero your balance. If you started tier 3 as soon as it was enacted, the end of March will happen to coincide with the end of the additional 20 weeks added in November of 2009 as tier 3 and 4. If you are in the middle of any tier at the end of March you will still be able to complete that tier.

The state extension, EB as it is called by most, ended in November 2009, it may possibly reappear, but as of now no one in KY should be on it.

I had to file a new claim on Sunday, even though my account had a balance when I called. So, I filed the claim and said to file for check on March 21st. However, I called that same day and was able to request my check. Then, I got a letter in the mail saying my claim was denied, but I still have a balance when I call. Anyone else have this problem? I got my check in the mail on Monday.

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