California (Jonathan Horn-UT San Diego) – About 400,000 Californians could stop receiving their weekly unemployment checks as of Dec. 29, no matter how much time they have left on their federal extensions.
Come January, it’s back to a standard 26 weeks for the jobless benefit. That’s well below the once-attainable 99 weeks of additional assistance.
The federal government will stop honoring the unemployment insurance extensions at the end of the year unless Congress and the president act. The extensions date to 2008, but are expiring as part of the fiscal cliff, the automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to begin in 2013.
The checks range from $40 to $450 per week.
The state Employment Development Department — which handles unemployment checks — says about 400,000 Californians are currently on the extensions.