March 18, 2002 – Jobless workers who filed unemployment claims a year ago may be eligible for additional benefits under new federal legislation.
The Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act signed by President Bush earlier this month provides for the extension. As a result, Labor Commissioner Cecil Benjamin is asking claimants who filed in the last year to report to their unemployment offices to verify their status.
According to a Labor Department release, claimants who initially filed for benefits on March 15, 2001, could receive an additional 13 weeks of compensation. And new applicants whose benefits became payable as of March 10, 2002, have an extension until Dec. 28.
In the release, circulated on Friday, Benjamin also noted changes in the territory's minimum and new business unemployment tax rates for employers. Under the new schedule, delinquent payment fees are being eliminated but interest rates on unpaid balances will remain. (See earlier Source story, "New jobless tax rates not computed yet".)
Benjamin said employers will get details about the changes to their unemployment insurance taxes in the mail.
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