AP: Unemployment Benefits Will Drop From 99 Weeks to 39 Weeks

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The Idaho Department of Labor says because the state's unemployment rate is improving and a new federal law is phasing out extended emergency assistance to the jobless, long-term benefits in Idaho will become a thing of the past come Dec. 31 - and some may see their benefits cut off even sooner depending when they first started accessing the federal aid.

The Associated Press reports this morning that long-term benefits - which usually kick in after traditional unemployment aid expires at 26 weeks - are funded by the U.S. government and are "triggered on and off by Idaho's unemployment rate."

Labor Department spokesman Bob Fick told the AP that emergency unemployment compensation is expected to shrink from 53 weeks down to 13 weeks. A supplementary program, known as extended benefits, currently pays up to 20 additional weeks, but is expected to be eliminated.

"In total, the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits will drop from 99 weeks to 39 weeks in Idaho," said Fick.