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Californians Brace For Federal Unemployment Cuts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 22, 2013

Federal budget cuts resulting from sequestration will soon start hitting some Californians in the wallet. The California Employment Development Department manages the administration of state and federal unemployment benefits. The department's Loree Levy says, beginning next week, people receiving extended federal unemployment benefits will see a nearly 18 percent cut to what they get.

"An average benefit right now is about $298 a week. There is going to be a reduction of about $52 a week on that claim."

Levy says more than 400,000 people will initially be affected. But she says that number could rise sharply by the end of the year.

The department itself will also take a $30 million budget hit because of federal cuts. Levy says that will make it more difficult to ensure benefits get distributed on schedule.

"Certainly if we remain on the funding path we're on now later benefits are a strong possibility," she says. "We're going to have to start doing some other things about looking at the way we provide services. Maybe we can't answer phones as often."

People receiving state unemployment benefits will not be affected.

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