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The remaining duration of your unemployment benefits in Indiana depends on two key factors -- how long you have received them already and whether your benefits claim takes place when extensions are available from the federal government. The extensions make a major difference in the length of your benefits eligibility, possibly almost quadrupling the normal time span for receiving benefits.
You can receive regular benefits from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development for 26 weeks in a 52-week period. The total amount of your benefits depends on your earnings from recent employment, so some low-wage earners might not be able to receive benefits for the full 26 weeks. Your local unemployment agency will inform you of how long you can receive benefits at the time of your initial claim.
The federal government has funded extensions of unemployment insurance programs in all states beginning in 2008 and going at least through 2011. The length of this extension varies according to state unemployment numbers. Indiana is among a group of 24 states with the highest unemployment rates, allowing you to claim 73 weeks of extensions after your initial 26 weeks of benefits have expired. The total duration of benefits will remain at 99 weeks as long as Indiana's unemployment rate is 8.5 percent or higher. If it falls below 8.5 percent but remains above 8 percent, you can receive benefits for 93 weeks with extensions totaling 67 weeks.
The funding for federal benefits runs out at the end of 2011 unless Congress chooses to grant another extension. When funding ends, you can receive benefits only until reaching the end of your benefits tier at that time. If you are still on your 26-week period of regular benefits, you cannot receive additional benefits. The first 53 weeks of the extension, known as Emergency Unemployment Compensation, are divided into four tiers: 20 weeks, 14 weeks, 13 weeks and six weeks. Whichever tier you are on when the extension expires will be your final tier. If you are in the final 20 weeks of the extension, known as Extended Benefits, you will stop receiving benefits immediately when the funding ends.
The latest federal extension of unemployment benefits, in December 2010, ensured the 73-week extension of unemployment benefits would continue in states such as Indiana for all of 2011. It did not add on to the length of the extension. As the Indiana Department of Workforce Development notes, after you exhaust all tiers of Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits, you are ineligible to receive further benefits under your current claim.
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- Indiana Department of Workforce Development; Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook; January 2011
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Policy Basics: How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?
- U.S. Department of Labor: Employment and Training Administration: Extension of Temporary Provisions
- Indiana Department of Workforce Development: December 17, 2010 Federal Extensions Frequently Asked Questions
Jeffrey Nichols has been writing and editing since 1997. His work has appeared in the "Manassas (Va.) Journal Messenger" as well as daily publications in Pennsylvania and Illinois, covering sports, recreation, health and fitness, along with business and finance. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree and enjoys writing everything from practical articles to fiction.