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MDES pays $4.8M in additional jobless benefits

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) began processing weekly Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) claims July 23 and paid 16,000 Mississippians an additional $4.8 million July 26.

The EUC program has four tiers. Individuals who have exhausted regular unemployment benefits since May 22, or that have exhausted one of the first three tiers of EUC may be eligible for additional benefits. Individuals who exhaust the fourth tier are not eligible for additional benefits under the program.

Individuals who have continued to file their weekly claims during the period the program was inactive and are otherwise eligible are being paid the back benefits due. No action is required on their part. Funds are being deposited to their debit cards or bank accounts this week. Individuals who stopped filing their weekly claims due to the ending of the program in May should call 1-888-844-3577 to determine if further benefits are available.

Individuals who have returned to work should not quit their jobs.

For eligible individuals, EUC claims may be filed through Nov. 30. Weekly claims will be paid until benefits are exhausted or through April 30, 2011, which ever occurs first.

The Unemployment Extension Act of 2010 was signed into law July 22. On July 23, Gov. Haley Barbour designated Mississippi as a participating state for EUC. This action extends the period for EUC and discontinues the additional $25 weekly Federal Additional Compensation for individuals who establish a new unemployment claim for regular benefits with an effective date of May 30 and later.

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