Now that the New Year is here, changes made to the state’s unemployment compensation benefits are now taking effect. Based on the state’s unemployment rate, unemployment benefits have been cut from a maximum of 26 weeks to a variable rate of between 14 and 20 weeks. According to WEIS Radio, if the state’s annually adjusted rate is 6.5% or lower, filers are eligible for 14 weeks. One week of benefits will be added for every .5% increase with a 20 week cap if average unemployment rate equals or exceeds 9.5%.
However, with the state’s last recorded unemployment rate of 2.7, unemployment benefits will be capped at 14 weeks. Although the number of weeks for benefits has decreased, the maximum amount for benefits is increasing from $265 a week to $275. Filers can also get a five week extension if they enroll in a training program approved by the state Department of Labor including any GED training program. These changes will not apply to anyone who began receiving or applied for benefits prior to January 1st.