Unemployment Benefits Extended In 2009 Economic Stimulus Package

The recent 2009 economic stimulus bill was recently passed and it features a number of changes to unemployment benefits.  Unemployment benefits are being extended which should come in handy given the large number of layoffs in recent months.

Unemployment benefits extended in the 2009 economic stimulus plan

Previously, unemployed workers were eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment benefits.  As as result of this bill, unemployment benefits will be extended by 20 weeks regardless of which state they live in.  In some higher-unemployment states such as California, there will be another 13 weeks of unemployment benefits available as well.

Total weeks of unemployment available:

  • Low-unemployment state – eligible for 46 weeks of benefits.
  • High-unemployment state – eligible for 59 weeks of benefits.

Increased unemployment benefits by $25 per week.

Although it varies from from state to state, the average unemployment benefit payout will be increased by $25 to about $325 per week.

Increased coverage to part-time workers

This stimulus package will also provide money to encourage the states to give employment benefits to part-time workers and more low-wage workers.

Tax change for unemployment benefits

Another change was that the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits will be tax-free which was not the case before.

26 replies on “Unemployment Benefits Extended In 2009 Economic Stimulus Package”

If you go into the EDD and use their phones, they will do the application on the phone for you. You will be okay. I wish the best for you!!! Keep smiling it’s got to get better:)

Happy Holidays to everyone! Just wanted to let you all know I finally got a JOB!!!! I start on Monday and I am nervous and excited! I was let go back in May of 2006 and haven’t worked since. I exhausted all benefits back in April and it has been a long hard road. This new job is making about $10,000 less than my last one but I’ll take it and not complain one bit!!! I will keep praying that everyone on this board finds work and I will continue to fight for the unemployed!!!

Thanks Walt!!!! Like I said…I will continue to fax, call, email all my representatives on behalf of the unemployed….I will fight for a tier V. Best wishes to all!

Issa November 30th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

This is going to be long but I’m going to post it because I’m excited. We have a chance of getting Credo on our side. They are one of the biggest non-profits. I wrote them that I was disappointed when signing their petition for the unemployed and got a great response. I hope everyone sends them a pleading email. They are ‘affiliated’ with other non-profits and have an unbelievable mailing list. I’m posting both their email and mine., Nov 30 17:09 (PST):

Dear Arleen,

Thanks for taking the time to email us. Our campaign managers are always looking for important issues and ways CREDO Action can engage our members in action, especially when the issues have such a personal impact on the folks in the CREDO community. I have forwarded your suggestion to the CREDO campaign managers for consideration as an extension to our unemployment work.

We appreciate your commitment to activism. Thanks for taking action. Your pressure works!


Nov 29 22:18 (PST):

I’m signing your letter for extended unemployment benefits, but I’m disappointed that it does not include an extension for the 99ers. Nationwide, millions of us have exhausted the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits,starting last March, and we are desperate. We have no source of income. We’re increasing the ranks of the homeless, and suicides are also on the increase.

We try to keep organized, but we don’t go to centers for our checks where we would be seen. Everything is online now or by telephone so we are invisible except to each other. We’re constantly losing contact with people as they become homeless and/or lose their internet connection. We have no contact with those of us who are not internet savvy. We meet each other as we desperately search online sites for signs of hope.

Congress has given up on even the idea of help for us, and they only send us placating emails in response to our pleas for help. They hide that we exist by referring to those receiving unemployment for more than 25 weeks as the ‘long-term unemployed.’ The public believes that we are included in the extensions like the one you are now promoting.

I started a petition at that has nearly 44,000 signatures which has been sent to Congress nearly 44,000 times…but, still no help.

Credo, please help us.

Issa Decker

Anything being discussed for 99’ers in the negotiations about tax cuts and unemployment?
Seems that an extension of benefits is likely once democrats cave to republican demands on tax cuts for the rich.
No mention of 99’ers in anything I’ve read but maybe there’s hope.

To Devon and everyone else,

Unfortunately NO, the new agreement reached tonight (12/06/2010) does not include the 99’ers, no 5th tier, no extra weeks add to the tier four. Just extending the filling deadline till end of next year (2011).

I stayed as optimistic for as long as I can, but I do not believe there will be any more discussions about extra weeks or additional tiers. This is YET for us whom already exhaust all their 99 weeks of benefits and we are on our own.

I have exactly 43 more days to go, till I would be on the streets, I know I am not built for it, so this is yet for me in more ways than one.


“…Officials said that under the plan, unemployment benefits would remain in effect through the end of next year for workers who have been laid off for more than 26 weeks and less than 99 weeks. Without an extension, two million individuals would have lost their benefits over the holidays, the White House said, and seven million would have done so by the end of next year….”

Thanks Peter for the update.
No further help for 99’ers is now assured.
Many now, like me, are without much hope for our futures.

I’m having trouble posting on this site. Seems the administrator thinks I’m a spambot. Stay int touch with worldnewsvine. They are up to date on the UI

Here’s an interesting email I received from a reporter for the Orange Co. Register. It’s the 3rd largest newspaper in California. She’s a big supporter of ours. I think it would be interesting to hear from some of us. We each have such a unique story.


Thanks for your involvement with my series “Work” this year.

I’m now trying to create more of a conversation about jobs, unemployment and how the Great Recession has affected our work by building a Facebook page. I hope that people will go there to comment on our profiles, or connect or simply start a conversation. Please feel free to make suggestions or drop me a private line about it. I’m open to whatever it will become (she said, sounding like a true, open-minded Californian). J
Just go to!/pages/Work/167601269945408
Peggy Lowe

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!

Hi I need help with this question. I was laid off from a temp job after 7 full weeks and made about $3500 this quarter but have not worked in 4 years so can i get unemployment?? This is what i got off of the unemployment site but do not understand it How is that determined?
Your weekly benefit amount is determined by the total wages paid to you by each of your employers during your “base” period. Your base period consists of the first four of the last five quarters (three-month periods) where you earned wages, going back from the time of your initial claim for benefits.
To be monetarily eligible for benefits, you must have been paid wages of at least $1,600 for insured work during your base period. Of this amount, at least $440 must have been paid to you outside of the base period quarter in which your wages were the highest. Effective for benefit years beginning on or after January 1, 2008, if you have not earned sufficient wages during the base period described above, we will try to establish your eligibility using a base period consisting of the last four completed quarters

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