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Unemployment Benefits End For Thousands of Californians

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Regular state unemployment benefits last 26 weeks.  But during the economic downturn, the federal government stepped in and paid for a series of extensions - up to as long as 99 weeks.  Loree Levy is with the Employment Development Department.  She says now that California's economy is starting to recover, the state is ineligible for one of the extensions - known as the "Fed-Ed."  

Levy: "Over the last three years - since March 2009 -  more than 912,000 people have been able to collect Fed-Ed extension benefits and that has infused an additional 5 billion dollars into the state's economy from these federally-paid benefits."

Levy says benefits will now top out at 79 weeks.  She says about 93,000 Californians will be affected by the change.  Levy says almost half of the unemployed in California have been without a job for six months or longer.  
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