Wednesday, December 26, 2012
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Help for those losing EUC unemployment insurance

Federal program ends Dec. 29; regular unemployment continues

IDES faces 20 percent federal budget cut

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[December 26, 2012]  CHICAGO -- A list of public and private programs to assist individuals losing unemployment insurance because the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ends Dec. 29 is available at the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The compiled data at offers guidance for citizens who might need assistance with food, clothing or shelter. Special assistance for veterans is included. The list represents often-used programs and is not meant to be exhaustive. Also at the website are tips for those considering starting their own business.

An estimated 90,000 people who worked in Illinois are eligible for the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which represents weeks 26-53 of the unemployment insurance safety net. The EUC program ends Dec. 29. The state regular unemployment insurance program continues. The state program represents the first 25 weeks of unemployment insurance. After Dec. 29, approximately 2,800 people each week will complete their eligibility for the state's regular program and will not have access to the federal EUC.

IDES is federally funded, and funding is partly tied to the number of people collecting unemployment. That number will fall because federal EUC ends ($16M cut) and there are fewer people collecting the state's regular unemployment ($11M cut). When combined with potential cuts from the fiscal cliff ($17M cut), the IDES budget could be cut $44 million annually, or about 20 percent. These cuts come at a time when the numbers of claims remain 38 percent higher than prior to the recession. The cuts represent operational costs, not benefits.

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To live within its budget, IDES already has non-scheduled 216 intermittent employees, consolidated eight offices and vacated 10 outpost locations shared with partners. The federal cuts might necessitate further service reductions, including additional office consolidations.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. Individuals who exhaust their benefits, or are ineligible, will still be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Unemployment insurance is a temporary program designed to help individuals and businesses during economic downturns. Every $1 in unemployment insurance generates $1.63 in economic activity because the dollars are quickly spent at neighborhood businesses such as groceries, gas stations and clothing stores.

[Text from Illinois Department of Employment Security file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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