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  • Are you going through a difficult time of unemployment maybe due to the worldwide financial situation? If so getting up to date information on the new laws and measures that have been taken to help unemployed people might be of practical use for you. These new laws reduce unemployment tax rates and make extended benefits available for those who remain unemployed over a longer period of time. Also unemployment benefits for those claiming new benefits between March and November has been increased by $25 a week.

    The reduction in tax rates helps employers who because of layoffs had to share the social costs of the insurance system. Federal funds totaling $320 million extends benefits this year for nearly 70,000 workers who otherwise would have used up all their available benefits by Spring 2011. The money is from federal funds s state law has been amended in order to authorize states to compare unemployment rates with those of 3 years ago rather than the 2 years which previously decided whether or not extended benefits could be applied. Accessibility to Training Benefits has been improved which qualifies Washington State for $98million from federal government funds.

    The Training Benefit program has been adjusted to be easier to access and more flexible so that workers who need it can take full advantage. There are earning incentives for all and employers will notice modifications in how they are charged for benefits. This means that this underused program will help more jobless workers to receive further weeks of benefits while training to get ahead in their careers. Those who qualify as dislocated workers are those who having been laid off are not likely to find the same kind of work again and therefore need training to re-enter the job market. Changes to the Training Benefit Program include the removal of deadlines and acceptance of part-time training. There is now no $20 million a year limit on funding nor are applicants limited to only once in 5 years as previously was the case. Dislocated workers have been redefined and are paid training benefits after they have used the extended benefits due them.

    Additionally those receiving training will he able to keep more of their benefit than previously was possible if they work as they train. The cost of the person´s unemployment benefits which are state-funded are to be spread across all employers when the training program is approved. About 19,000 more will probably enter the program when these changes take effect as of July 1 2012. There is a Temporary benefit increase effective for those filing claims between March 6 and November 5 2011. The amount of the increase is $25 and is paid out of the $98 million that Washington receives from federal funds for modernizing the Training Benefits Program. Because it will take some time to program the computer system the extra $25 won´t be in the weekly unemployment checks until July but it will be retroactive so they will in fact receive all of the increase. Approximately

    140,000 people will be eligible for the temporary benefit increase. Maybe you are among those 140,000 and will also be able to benefit from these new measures during 2012 too.

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