Dept. of Labor ends extended unemployment benefit program for Vermont

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NEWPORT — The Vermont Department of Labor has been informed by the U.S. Department of Labor that Vermont has officially ‘triggered off’ of the federally-funded unemployment insurance program known as ‘Extended Benefits’.

The Department received notification on Friday evening, December 11, 2020, from the U.S. Department of Labor that, based on the household survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, Vermont’s official unemployed population has dropped below the threshold for the Extended Benefits program.

According to the notification from the U.S. Department of Labor, the final benefit week of the program will be the week ending Saturday, December 19, 2020.

Vermont becomes one of more than two dozen states that have seen Extended Benefits end in the past few months.

Based on the Department’s most recent report, there were 885 individuals who filed in the Extended Benefits program for the week ending December 5, 2020.

As a result of the Extended Benefits ending, the maximum number of benefit weeks available to claimants has decreased from 52 to 39 weeks, further impacting claimants moving through the system.

“We are extremely disappointed that the federal government has refused to recognize the real and distinct humanitarian crisis that this pandemic has created and instead is choosing to use outdated methodology resulting in benefits being cut for struggling Vermonters,” said Commissioner Michael Harrington. “Thousands of families are relying on these benefits to simply survive and the Scott Administration has been calling for the federal government and Congress to act to prevent this inevitability for weeks. We will continue to push for federal action and flexibility so states can continue providing the necessary support for families.”

The Department of Labor’s Workforce Development team says they have local job center specialists across the State ready to provide career counseling to all Vermonters.