WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following President Obama’s State of the Union call to extend unemployment insurance, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged Congress to come together to pass the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. Brown’s legislation would extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits for more than 128,000 Ohioans who will be affected by the end of the year without a renewal. Brown also released county-by-county data on the number of Ohioans who immediately lost their benefits after 2013.
“Congress must come together to strengthen the middle class and ensure that every Ohioan has the opportunity to be a part of it,” Brown said. “We can help achieve this by fighting for those who are still struggling after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. At a time when our economy is still recovering, extending emergency unemployment insurance would help 128,000 hardworking Ohioans pay the bills, heat their homes, and put food on the table while they search for new jobs.”
In total, more than 52,000 Ohioans were immediately stripped of their Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits as a result of an extension not passing or their 63 weeks of eligibility for the program expiring. By the end of 2014, another 76,000 Ohioans will lose their emergency unemployment insurance if an extension is not passed.
The EUC program was authorized by Congress in 2008 and has supported more than 790,000 Ohioans. In 2012, unemployment benefits helped keep about 600,000 Ohio children further away from poverty. Just in Ohio:
- If unemployment insurance is not extended, more than 128,000 Ohioans would lose their benefits, including 52,000 who have already lost benefits;
- Since 2008, more than 6,500 Ohio jobs have been saved due to EUC benefits;
- The average weekly unemployment benefits in Ohio is $318; and
- The maximum weekly unemployment benefits in Ohio is $413.