Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
Unemployment Benefit Extension Programming Underway

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 17, 2009  
Contact Information:  Lanny Brannock, 502-782-3117

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Unemployed Kentuckians who are receiving or may have already exhausted extended unemployment insurance benefits are potentially eligible for up to 20 additional weeks of benefits. Governor Steve Beshear pushed Congress for this relief earlier this year, and President Barack Obama signed the latest Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) extension into law Nov. 6.

Officials with the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (OET) say Kentuckians who have received or are receiving extended benefits will receive a letter in the mail explaining when benefits will be paid and what they need to do to apply for the additional EUC benefits.

OET is working to program the latest extension into its system so claims can be filed and checks can be issued for the EUC extension. OET is encouraging those who are receiving EUC or Extended Benefits, as well as those who have exhausted all benefits, to wait until they receive their letter and instructions before trying to file a claim through the Unemployment Insurance system. Claiming too early will not result in receiving benefits sooner.

OET is working to first serve those claimants who have exhausted all 79 weeks of benefits available. Those claimants could expect to file claims in as little as two to three weeks, according to OET Acting Executive Director Jennifer Hicks.

“Our number one priority is to get the programming finished so we can issue benefit checks as soon as possible,” said Hicks. “We are working as quickly as possible to get the extension programmed and benefit checks in the mail.”

Letters will be mailed to the address of record with the OET office. If a claimant has moved since last receiving a benefit check, he/she should call or visit the nearest Employment and Training office to update address information.

Nearly 10,000 Kentuckians have exhausted all 79 weeks of UI benefits.