Unemployment Insurance: Consequences of Changes in State Unemployment Compensation Laws [July 18, 2011] [open pdf - 202KB]
"This report analyzes several types of recent changes to state Unemployment Compensation (UC) programs. Three categories of UC state law issues are considered: (1) changes in the duration of state UC unemployment benefits; (2) changes in the maximum UC weekly benefit amount; and (3) the enactment into state law of two trigger options for the Extended Benefit (EB) program. In 2011, several states enacted legislation to decrease the maximum number of weeks of regular state UC benefits. Until recently, all states paid at least up to 26 weeks of UC benefits to eligible, unemployed individuals. In 2011, however, six states passed legislation to decrease their maximum UC benefit durations. Arkansas, Missouri, and South Carolina have made state UC law changes that are already in effect. Michigan, Illinois, and Florida legislated state law changes that will be effective in January 2012. […] Thirty-two states have adopted a three-year lookback for this optional TUR trigger (temporarily authorized under P.L. 111-312) to continue to meet the trigger criteria and continue to pay EB benefits. In general, only states who have enacted at least one of these EB trigger options (i.e., the TUR trigger or the three-year lookback) are currently able to pay EB benefits. Overall, these three changes to state UC laws and programs have consequences for the availability, duration, and amount of unemployment benefits. This report describes these changes and analyzes their consequences for UC, EUC08, and EB benefits. It will be updated, as needed, to reflect any additional state UC changes."
CRS Report for Congress, R41859