This weekend about 11,000 people received their final unemployment checks. That’s because Connecticut is no longer considered a “high unemployment state.”
This week Connecticut joins seven other states in seeing its extended benefits from the federal government come to an end.
Since 2009 there have been 99 weeks of benefits: 26 weeks of state, 53 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation, and 20 weeks of extended benefits.
In February, the number of eligible weeks dropped from 99 to 93, then in March it went down to 86 weeks after Connecticut lost seven weeks of extended benefits as a result of improving unemployment rates.
As of April Connecticut’s unemployment rate was 7.7 percent, down from a high of 9.3 percent in January 2011.
In April Connecticut’s Department of Labor received notice it would lose the remaining 13 weeks of extended benefits on May 12 as a result of the improving unemployment rates. Reducing the weeks of unemployment to 73 weeks.
In September that number is expected to drop off to 63 weeks and by December, unless Congress takes action to reinstate some of the benefits, the state will be back to the regular 26 weeks of unemployment benefits.
The Department of Labor estimates that by the end of 2012, there will be 75,000 long-term unemployment insurance claimants that have exhausted all benefits and have not found work. By the end of 2012, about 17,500 unemployed people will no longer receive extended benefits.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he’s working with Department of Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall and the Department of Social Services to develop a plan to assist individuals who will no longer be receiving unemployment.
Malloy has suggested food stamps and Medicaid services may be programs the unemployed can apply for if they qualify.