Virginians who were relying on extended unemployment benefits have a tough road ahead, as the federal government will cut off those benefits at the end of this week.
Thirteen weeks of extended benefits had been available for people who had exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of pandemic emergency unemployment.
But due to Virginia’s improving employment landscape, the U.S. Department of Labor decided to switch of the 13 weeks of extended benefits.
“As of this Saturday, there will be no more benefits paid out from the extended benefits pot,” said Joyce Fogg, a spokeswoman with the Virginia Employment Commission.
“That money is totally federally funded.”
The extended benefits program remains intact in Maryland and D.C.
The federal government switched Virginia’s program off after the state’s 13-week insured unemployment rate dropped to 4.66%.
“If the rate goes back up, it can come back, but for right now it’s been ended,” said Fogg.
That rate in Maryland is 5.96%; it is 9.53% in the District.
It is not clear how many Virginians were relying on that extended benefits program, but Fogg says her agency is investigating that and will issue a report in the coming days.