PROVIDENCE – Due to the effects of federal sequestration, weekly benefits for the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will be reduced by 12.2 percent starting April 21, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training announced Tuesday.
Because unemployment insurance claimants receive benefits one week after they are accrued, the 12.2 percent reduction will not be reflected in benefit payments until the week of April 28.
The EUC program is a federally funded extended benefit program, which allows long-term unemployment job seekers up to 47 additional weeks of unemployment insurance beyond the 26-week maximum offered through regular unemployment insurance.
The DLT said it estimated that up to 8,000 Rhode Island claimants may be impacted by these benefits cuts. The average EUC benefit is $377 and the average reduction will be $46 a week. According to the DLT, this represents an estimated loss of $1.5 million in total benefits each month.
“Triggered in January 2013 when Congress failed to reach consensus on deficit reduction, federal sequestration requires automatic, across-the-board cuts to all federal spending, including unemployment insurance benefits,” said the DLT release.
This week, the DLT will be notifying EUC claimants of the upcoming reductions by mail. It also plans to broadcast the automated telephone messages to claimants during the week of April 21.
The department is reminding Rhode Islanders that this reduction does not impact those who receive regular unemployment insurance benefits, which are funded at a state level.